GREAT FALLS, Virginia (May 7, 2016) — Kyle Bailey played college golf at Radford University. Harold Dill III was one of Bailey’s roommates at RU, but he wasn’t on the Highlanders’ roster. In fact, he got cut from the team during his junior year.
But spending time around Bailey and the rest of Radford’s players helped Dill develop a love for the game, and he’s blossomed into a strong player as a mid-amateur. Since leaving college, though, Dill and Bailey have spent more time as opponents than partners, most recently in last year’s VSGA Four-Ball Match Play Championship, when Bailey’s side eliminated Dill’s in the quarterfinals.
Bailey and Dill decided to play together at the 51st VSGA Four-Ball Stroke Play Championship at River Bend Club, and the chemistry between the two was evident. Bailey and Dill shot a 9-under 62 in the second round to earn a spot in a two-side playoff opposite first-round co-leaders Justin Young and Scott Shingler. On the third playoff hole, Bailey sank a two-foot birdie putt to clinch a one-shot victory for his side and the Wallace McDowell Trophy, awarded to the tournament champion.
Bailey/Dill and Young/Shingler entered the playoff after posting 11-under 131s in 36 regulation holes. The winning putt came after Bailey (Roanoke CC) missed makeable putts on the first two playoff holes.
“We knew we were due on that third hole,” he said, his face showing relief after the short putt dropped on the final hole.
The third playoff hole was the short par-4 12th, which was playing a shade under 300 yards. Bailey and Dill both attacked, and Bailey’s monstrous drive came to rest pin high 15 feet right of the hole, essentially leaving him a two-putt for birdie and putting the pressure squarely on Shingler (Evergreen CC) and Young (Ballyhack GC).
“We had both hit driver there every day and gone for the green, and it had worked out for us,” Bailey said. “So stay aggressive, that was the thought.”
Dill (South Riding GC) also went for the green and ended up just short on the fringe. Shingler hit his drive pin high, but it landed left in a greenside bunker. He was unable to get up and down for birdie. Young elected to play an iron off the tee. After hitting a wedge on, Young’s birdie putt came up short.
“He made a birdie earlier in the day hitting off the tee with an iron and going wedge in,” Shingler said. “In hindsight, it would be neat for him to go ahead and hit driver, and maybe that was the call. But he made a great birdie earlier in the day laying up, and he thought he could have a good wedge and get a good number back to the hole. It just didn’t work out.
“Give them credit. [Bailey] hit a phenomenal tee shot, hole high, 15 feet with a driver. The number was 275 uphill, and he flew it almost 300 yards. He hit a heck of a golf shot when he needed to.”
Young and Shingler trailed by a shot heading into No. 17. Shingler stuffed his approach on the par-4 hole to within six feet, while Young’s second shot on the hole settled 30 feet from the pin. As the two walked toward the green, Young said, “Go ahead and pick yours up, Scott, because I’m going to make this.” Young backed up the talk, drilling the putt for birdie.
On the par-5 18th hole, Shingler went left off the tee and ended up in spongy rough, forcing him into a series of layups. Young kept his ball in the fairway, though, and he had an excellent chance to get up and down for birdie from about 60 yards out to give his side the lead. His wedge shot landed three feet from the pin before spinning back hard and off the front of the green.
“I never dreamed in a million years that it would have spun back off the green,” Young said.
Young two putted to make par to seal a second-round 64, setting up the playoff.
After a cold, steady rain forced the suspension of the first round on Friday, clouds gave way to dazzling sun by Saturday afternoon. Dill and Bailey shot 69 in the first round and got going early in the second, posting a 7-under 29 on River Bend’s front side to surge into the lead.
“We just ham and egged it all day,” Dill said. “Birdie after birdie. I get lost in how many birdies we had. The only mistake we had was that we missed the green on 10 and took a bogey. But that was a turning point, because Kyle birdied the next two holes, and I ended up birdieing 16. And we cruised in. Other than [the bogey] it was a pretty flawless round.”
Vincent Nadeau (Spring Creek GC) and Brandon Grogan (Chatmoss CC) shared the 18-hole lead after posting a 67 but couldn’t get anything going on the back nine in the second round and fell off the pace, a second 67 putting them at 8 under and in third place, three shots behind the leaders. Defending champions Ben Beach (Hermitage CC) and Kevin Miller (Kinloch CC) posted a 7-under 64 in the second round to move into a tie for fourth with Matt Paciocco (Richmond CC) and Jay Zapko (Independence GC) at 137.
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