07-07 golf

The Paris Golf and Country Club held its annual Fourth of July tournament over the weekend. Pictured, competitor Joel Wofford tees off on Sunday. Wofford and teammate Wade White placed first in the championship flight.

Forty teams across a wide spectrum of skill levels teed off over the weekend at the Paris Golf and Country Club over the weekend at its longstanding annual Fourth of July tournament.

The competition was broken into five flights, with teams being placed in groupings based on skill level.

“I really like that we divide it up that way,” country club general manager Cathy Harbin said. “It makes the event more inviting to a wider number of golfers and puts them on equal footing. In the championship flight you’ve got some of the best golfers in the county, and it gives the teams in the lower flights the chance to be competitive and win as well.”

In the championship flight, the grouping with the most skilled players, the team of Joel Wofford and Wade White came away with the crown, edging out the team of Sean and Jay Ryan on the final day of competition. Larry Wolldridge and Tanner Napier finished third in the championship flight. 

“It feels great,” Wofford said. “This is always a fun event, and this year feels even a little bit better because I’m just glad we were able to have it, what with the virus and everything.”

White said this was the duo’s first time teaming together. However, both have hoisted the championship trophy before. White said he won the event 26 years ago, and Wofford has been the top golfer at the tournament seven times previously.

“I had a great partner,” White said with a chuckle. “Joel is a terrific golfer, and it was a lot of fun teaming with him over the weekend.”

Though they came away with the title, it wasn’t smooth sailing throughout the entire weekend, White said.

“The second day was a bit of a challenge, and even today I missed a birdie putt at nine that swung momentum a bit in the Ryans’ favor,” he said.

According to White, the pair were able to stay focussed and course-correct thanks to good communication throughout the event.

Warren Garden, who competed in the fourth flight, praised the course and said he definitely plans on competing in years to come.

“I’ve golfed at a lot of golf courses in the area and around the metroplex, and this course is as good as any of them,” he said. “I was surprised how great of shape the course is in. The staff here do a really good job maintaining the greens and it’s just all-around a great course.

“It’s a short course but it’s got some things that you’ve got to think about too. It’s not an easy course by any means.”

In the first flight, the team of Randy Gillen and Kent McKee finished first over Larry Coker and Cole Kennedy, while Randy Sikes and Loy Dean Clark finished third.

Amongst the competitors in the second flight, Nick Bethea and Nick Campbell finished first, with the team of Randy Osbourn and Joe McMillen finishing second. The father-son duo of Billy Mack Steed and Bric Steed finished third.

David Thrasher and Howard Corriston won the third flight, while Scott Scudder and BJ Templeton were the runners-up. The teams of Matt and Chandler Bawcum and Brad Ruthart and Tanner Waggoner tied for third.

And in the fourth flight, Kyle Eatherly and Andy Watson placed first, with Brandon Allen and Justin Smallwood placing second and Jayson Coward and Jeremy Beshires placing third.

“It’s been a great weekend,” said Jason Dawber, director of golf at the country club. “There’s a high level of talent here and it really shows.”

Tommy Culkin is a staff writer for The Paris News. He can be reached at 903-785-6972 or at tommy.culkin@theparisnews.com.

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