Georgia Senior Four-Ball: Baxter, Blalock lead

WAVERLY, Ga. (Nov. 9, 2011) -- Atlanta duo Mark Baxter and Bill Blalock fired an 11-under-par 60 to take a five-stroke lead over three teams after the first round of the 20th annual Georgia Senior Four-Ball Championship, taking place at The Golf Club at Sanctuary Cove in Waverly and King & Prince Golf Course in St. Simons Island, November 9-11.

Baxter and Blalock recorded a bogey-free round that included 11 birdies. On the front nine of The Golf Club at Sanctuary Cove, the duo turned in birdies on holes two, four, five, six and eight, good for a 31 before making the turn. On the backside, the tandem scored a 29 after recording birdies on holes 11, 12, 14, 15, 16 and 18. Baxter and Blalock turned in par on the seven other holes, including two of the three par 5s.

Baxter and Blalock will take their five-stroke advantage into round two over three teams tied for second. Steve Collins of Claxton and Wally Adams of Vidalia, Jimmy Thomas of Johns Creek and Richard Van Leuvan of Roswell, and Taylor Adams of St. Simons Island and Frank Perry of Fayetteville are tied at 6-under-par 65.

The Championship flight will play all three rounds at The Golf Club at Sanctuary Cove in Waverly – a par 71 layout playing to 6,410 yards. The first through fourth flights will play each round at King & Prince Golf Course in St. Simons Island – a par-72 layout playing to 6,209 yards.

In the first flight, Doug Faulkner of Martinez and Dave Barwick of Suwanee are tied with Tom Stewart and Charles Speakman, both of Columbus, for the lead at 2-under-par 70. Bob Dutlinger of Suwanee and Jeff Tindle of Alpharetta are tied with Tom Toombs of Perry and Doug Johnson of Bonaire for the lead in the second flight at 3-under-par 69. The third flight is led by Ernie Hollifield of Kennesaw and Tab Mefford of Atlanta at 1-under-par 71. In the fourth flight, Sam Horner of Dawsonville partnered with Duncan Knapp of Big Canoe to take the opening-round lead at 3-over-par 75.

The low 48 teams based on combined handicap index comprise the Championship Flight. The remainder of the field was determined by lottery and flighted by team handicap index. Only the competitors in the Championship flight are eligible for the overall title. Entries were open to two-man teams of male amateur golfers age 55 or older as of November 9 and who have a maximum handicap differential of six strokes.

Founded in 1916, the Georgia State Golf Association (GSGA) received its official charter on June 24, 1924. Since that date, the GSGA has grown to one of the largest state amateur golf associations in the country, with over 350 member clubs and 85,000 individual members. With a mission to promote and preserve amateur golf in the state of Georgia, GSGA offers a computerized handicapping service, course rating and measuring, and annually conducts a full schedule of statewide competitions for men and women of all age groups. Other services include a summer-long junior sectional program, award-winning Golf Georgia magazine, membership recognition and rewards programs, management of the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame and a charitable foundation administering two college scholarship programs.

ABOUT THE Georgia Senior Four-Ball

Open to male amateur golfers; entrants must be at least 55 years old on or before the first day of the Championship for the Senior Division and 65 years old for the Super Senior Division; a maximum stroke differential of six strokes is allowed between partners; if the differential is more than six strokes, the higher index will be adjusted down to six strokes; the stroke differential does not apply in determining the low 48 teams by total team handicap index.

Field: 96 teams - 48 teams based on low team index comprise the Championship flight; remaining Senior Division teams drawn by lottery (1 exempt spot held for each host club; 4 exempt spots held for flight winners); low 24 teams (subject to change) by handicap index comprise the Super Senior Four-Ball Championship flight; both players must be at least 65 years or older as of the first day of the competition.

Format: 54 holes of flighted four-ball stroke play.

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