Crenshaw and Owen run away with Pine Needles Invitational
Matthew Crenshaw and Thomas Owen (Carolinas Golf Association)
Matthew Crenshaw and Thomas Owen (Carolinas Golf Association)

Matthew Crenshaw and Thomas Owen opened with a 63 and never looked back in the 29th Pine Needles Invitational to win by five shots.

The 54-hole event consists of two rounds of four-ball and the final round is modified alternate shot.

The winning duo made 17 birdies and an eagle in 54 holes on their way to victory. The opening round 63 set the tone for the week, but two teams were able to keep pace with Crenshaw and Owen. Ryan Nagy and Trey Boome started the final round three shots off the lead, and after a 66-68 opening two rounds Jason Pool and Barry Dyche sat two shots behind Crenshaw and Owen.

Considering the final round is alternate shot, where anything can happen, the stage was set for a touch of drama. However, Crenshaw and Owen picked up where they left off in four-ball, ripping off four birdies to shoot 31 on the front nine. Nagy and Boome shot a 32 and Pool and Dyche shot 33. Crenshaw and Owen were just too good, shutting the door with three more birdies on hole Nos. 10, 14, and 15.

In the senior division, Paul Simson and Gary Robinson headed over from the Jones Cup and teamed up for a one-shot victory over a trio of teams - David Glabicki and Hunter Grove, Sherill Britt and Keith Waters, and Dale Bouguennec and Dan Neveu.

Simson and Robinson made their hay in the second round, shooting a nine-birdie 62. That score put them into a three-way tie for the lead after two rounds with the teams of Bouguennec and Neveu and Britt and Waters.

Unlike the open division, the final few holes of the senior division had a touch of drama. Simson and Robinson birdied the 15th hole and then got it into the clubhouse with three pars to finish the round. Glabikck and Grove fired a 66 to put some pressure on the winning team. A front-nine 32 in the final round had them in the hunt; they never faltered, making two birdies on the back nine. They needed one more to force a playoff.

Britt and Waters made nine straight pars to start their round, but an up-and-down back nine, including an untimely bogey on the 17th hole left them a shot of the lead. Finally, it was lining up for a playoff, as Bouguennec and Neveu were tied for the lead on the 18th tee box. However, they dropped a shot on the home hole giving Simson and Robinson the victory.

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ABOUT THE Pine Needles Invitational

54 holes four-ball stroke play championship with open and senior (both players ages 50+) divisions. The first two rounds are best-ball and the final round is modified alternate shot. The field will be cut to the low 48 teams split between both divisions following the second round. The Consulation Round will be played at Mid Pines.

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