Wharton-Palmer and Reid win Bear Invitational

GEORGETOWN, Texas (Oct. 25, 2009) -- Michael Wharton-Palmer of Arkansas, and partner James Reid of Oklahoma have won the Bear Invitational, thanks to a stellar closing round of 67 on Sunday.

Wharton-Palmer, an Englishman, has played competitive golf at the highest levels but after an almost two year layoff from competitive golf declared before the event that "best-balls are about my speed right now." His partner, a former Trans-Miss Amateur finalist, is also an experienced amateur. That experience paid off when he curled in a 40-foot downhill birdie putt on the par-3 12th with Wharton-Palmer looking at a potential bogey.

We're talking about the kind of putt that can easily gather enough momentum to roll well off the green into a collection area. Coming off a Wharton Palmer birdie at the difficult 10th, momentum was building for the team. In the end, their tournament-low final round included seven birdies and two bogeys, one of them on the water-guarded 18th, where players get to channel their inner child as they drive through a babbling brook that crosses the cart path in order to get to the green.

Also firing a solid 3-under par round on Sunday was Tournament Director Jay Pumphrey and his partner Mark Austin. They finished in solo second, two back of Reid and Wharton-Palmer. And amateurgolf.com members Doug Baker and Howard Knowles posted a final round 69 to win the first flight by a convincing six strokes. Other flight winners are show below.


The water-crossing on No. 18 (said to cost $1 Million) is just one of the many memorable things about the Jack Nicklaus-designed Cimarron Hills Golf Club, which welcomed contestants with excellent conditions and service despite a difficult Texas golf season that Cimarron Hills Head Golf Professional Mike Weigand described as "three months of 100 degree heat followed by day after day of rain." Not exactly a superintendent's dream, and Weigand and players were definitely appreciative of the hard work done by Superintendent Matt Cimino and his crew.

The course looked great, and the smooth bent grass greens (which are usually not found as far south) putted in the 12-plus range on the stimpmeter, providing Cimarron Hills' par of 72 with plenty of defense, despite all divisions playing at less than the 7300 yard "Bear" tees.

A nice steady dose of Texas breeze, coupled with the speed of the greens definitely kept things interesting.


- A rare bird sighting -- Richie Cooper of Houston scored an "albatross" (double-eagle) on the 5th hole, knocking an 8-iron into the cup after bombing a drive over 300 yards in tricky downwind conditions that sent many players through the dogleg fairway

- An ace -- Cimarron Hills member Curt Banglesdorf, owner of an aviation company, couldn't play the tournament due to a scheduling conflict on Friday. But he was willing to step up and play as a marker, when the need arose. On Sunday, Banglesdorf made his second career hole-in-one on the 17th hole, hitting just short of the pin, then bouncing off the flag, next to the hole, and spinning in.

- Different strokes -- Michael Wharton Palmer cited his recent reading of Pia Nilsson's "Every Shot Must Have a Purpose" with his positive mental outlook, while his partner in the event, James Reid, was a bit more whimsical, saying "It was the Loudmouth shorts." (They are shown in the photo above.)

- The tournament -- Bringing 44 teams from around the U.S. to play an event is a difficult task, and Tournament Director Jay Pumphrey, Director of Golf Mike Weigand and the entire Cimarron Hills staff did an outstanding job. As the word spreads, spots in this event will be tough to come by.

* * *

Final results from The Bear Invitational, played October 22- 25, 2009, follow:

- Championship Division: Par 72, 6803 yards
- Other Flights: Par 72, 6429 yards

Pos     Gross Scores
1 J. Reid / M. Wharton Palmer   73-72-67---212
2 J. Pumphrey / M. Austin   74-71-69---214
T3 C. Harwell / B. Steensen   72-73-70---215
T3 K. Patterson / J. Felps   70-74-71---215
5 P. Karper / M. McGee   74-72-71---217
6 J. Munden / J. Ironside   70-75-74---219
7 G. Black / L. Nunez   77-72-71---220
T8 P. Thomas / C. Johnston   73-73-75---221
T8 J. Honea / M. Greene   76-70-75---221
T8 T. Wilhite / E. Seabaugh   72-71-78---221
T8 G. Bruce / T. O'Connell   73-70-78---221
T12 D. Northcutt / R. Williams   72-73-77---222
T12 W. Smith / D. Lundquist   72-75-75---222
T12 R. Feight / D. Woods   74-74-74---222
T15 T. Spelman / R. Budde   76-74-73---223
T15 M. Healer / J. Bowen   74-74-75---223
17 P. Wlodkowski / J. Gentile   80-72-75---227
18 J. Stubbs / J. Stubbs   77-74-79---230
19 K. Morvant / M. LeBlanc   82-73-79---234
20 K. Stribling / B. Hill   82-74-80---236
21 D. Pipes / J. McHugh   84-82-73---239
22 A. Bryan / M. Spears   79-86-80---245
23 C. Butler / M. Bozarth   86-84-89---259
Flighted Division 1      
Pos     Gross Scores
1 D. Baker / H. Knowles   74-73-69---216
2 R. Hare / C. Chapman   77-76-69---222
3 R. Hackleman / B. Hullender   69-79-76---224
T4 S. Baker / J. Bamonte   76-77-74---227
T4 M. Deaver / B. Palmer   76-77-74---227
6 S. Arcaria / C. Arcaria   77-81-81---239
7 D. McGlauflin / M. Shevlin   77-85-79---241
8 G. Wilhite / R. Adams   83-81-79---243
Flighted Division 2      
Pos     Gross Scores
1 M. Watkins / R. Cooper   74-76-71---221
T2 J. Felps / M. Turnage   77-81-76---234
T2 S. Mosqueda / B. Sanchez   74-84-76---234
4 A. Markus / J. Falconer   76-79-85---240
5 H. Stewart / G. Gentry   79-85-77---241
6 J. Sanchez / D. Gillund   81-87-82---250
Flighted Division 3      
Pos     Gross Scores
1 K. McLerran / J. Hale   79-78-90---247
2 T. Tonore / L. Buckley   81-87-80---248
3 R. Birkman / D. Gardner   83-83-84---250
T4 B. Jones / R. Gray   87-84-88---259
T4 D. Wolf / D. Singleton   86-88-85---259
6 J. Arcaria / B. Morris   87-90-90---267

ABOUT THE The Bear Invitational

54-hole two-man best ball event held at one of the finest clubs in central Texas. The event is named in honor of Jack Nicklaus, who designed the course at Cimarron Hills.

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