BLYTHWOOD, SC (June 4, 2006) -- Paul Butler (Gaffney) and Ben Karns (Gaffney) captured their first SCGA major championship at the 43rd SCGA Four Ball Championship on Sunday at the Windermere Club in Blythewood. Going head to head with five time Four Ball winner, Walter Todd (Laurens), and his partner, Chip Whitt (Greenwood), the Butler – Karns pair jumped off to an early 2 up advantage when their opponents bogied the first two holes of the match. The two teams went on to halve every hole, including a birdie halve at the par 5 sixth, until Walter Todd holed an 11 foot birdie putt at the par 5 tenth to cut his team’s deficit to 1 down. Karns then responded for his team, holing a 15 foot birdie try at the par 3 thirteenth to go back to 2 up. At the driveable par 4 fourteenth, Chip Whitt knocked in a 5 foot birdie putt to get his team back to just 1 down with four holes to play. The match then all but ended at the par 4 sixteenth, when Paul Butler hole a 9 foot birdie putt to get his team back to 2 up with just two holes to play. The par 3 seventeenth would be halved as Butler and Karns closed out the match, 2 & 1.
This is the first major championship victory for both Paul Butler and Ben Karns. Both are currently members of two South Carolina collegiate golf programs, Butler at Limestone College in Gaffney, Karns at Presbyterian College in Clinton. Both the Butler – Karns pair and their oppenents, Walter Todd and Chip Whitt have completed over 120 holes of golf over a five day period. Neither team was at the top of their game during the final match after surviving two rounds of stroke play qualifying and four rounds of match play competition. However, the players all provided gutsy performances on the final day of competition.
The 2006 SCGA Four Ball Championship is one of 17 major championships hosted by the South Carolina Golf Association. The 43rd Annual event is being played on the 6,827 yard, par 72 golf course at The Windermere Club in Blythewood. The Four Ball Championship began with a field of 66 teams battling for 31 qualifying positions for the Match Play portion of the event. The field was reduced to two teams following the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds held on Saturday. The final match was contested on Sunday morning.
For complete results day-by-day, click on the tournament link above.