Napier, Wooldridge

Paris Golf and Country Club’s 4th of July Championship winners Tanner Napier, left, and Larry Wooldridge, right, pose with their trophy after Sunday’s flight.

Tanner Napier and Larry Wooldridge were named Paris Golf and Country Club’s 4th of July Championship winners on Sunday, following an afternoon of rain delays.

Napier and Wooldridge squared off against the Joel Wofford-Kevin Dillen team for the championship flight. In third place were teams Brandon Beers and Aaron Burns, and John Adams and Donald Lewis.

First flight winners were Gary Holtmann and Chris Donnan, with LD Clark and Randy Sikes in second place.

Second flight winners were Joe Akers and Randy Osburn, and Brent Napier and Gary Townes in second place.

Third flight winners were Chance Woodard and Casey Gain, and Gary Young and Zane Young in second place.

Fourth flight winners were Alex Kozel and Bubba Bell, with Jamze Matthews and Greg Jaynes in second place.

This year’s championship had 80 participants, or 40 teams of two golfers.

Harbin said the championship has special meaning to many players, who come back year after year to participate and connect with friends and family in the area.

“It has long-standing tradition, I don’t even know how many years,” Harbin said previously. “The history of it is special, and a lot of prestige in the community for winning it.”

The 18-hole course, one of the best in east Texas according to local golf enthusiasts, is described as both tight and hard. Some golf champions who played the PGA Tour, like Rocky Thompson, Miller Barber Jr. and Frank Wear Jr., all played the course and won 4th of July Championships.

Champions receive a cup with their names engraved on it, and the trophy is displayed in the clubhouse entrance.

Other championship participants like Randy Sikes grew up playing the course with his father. Sikes began playing when he was 21 years old and has competed in almost every annual Fourth of July championship since.

Sikes said he’s seen the course and the championship change over the years, but he said Saturday he still enjoys the event and the opportunity to visit with old friends.

“There’s a lot of people, the only time I see them is this week,” he said. “It’s just kind of a golfer’s ritual. We’ve all gotten used to having more than one player per ball. It’s more fun to have a partner so that if you mess up or want to say ‘here, you do it.’”

Macon Atkinson is a staff writer for The Paris News. She can be reached at 903-785-6963 or macon.atkinson@theparisnews.com.

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