The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Latest News

July 14, 2013

Leaderboard full of familiar faces

33rd Annual BNI Memorial Golf Tournament

— Those who have followed the BNI Memorial Golf Tournament in the past won’t have any problem reading the names at the top of the leaderboard for this year’s event. Most of them are very familiar.

Brandon Reece, who won back-to-back BNI titles in 2006 and 2007, and Michael Powers, who finished third in last year’s BNI, held the lead after the first round of the 54-hole tournament Saturday, with familiar names like Mike Mays, Derek Brooks and Alan Wharton just a few strokes back.

Reece, an Allstate agent in Raleigh, N.C., carded his 68 at The Brier Patch Golf Links, while Powers found his 68 at Grandview Country Club. The co-leaders were two strokes clear of Davy Jude, who shot a 70 at Brier Patch Saturday, and three ahead of Brandon Waters, Adam Kemlock and Mays, a six-time champion, who finished at 1-under-par with 71s.

Wharton, the 2008 champion, Brooks, a young golf star who’s the son of former WVU basketball star Herbie Brooks, and four-time BNI champion Greg McGraw were part of a group of seven golfers who carded even-par rounds of 72 on the first 18 holes of the 33rd annual BNI, played this year in memory of Andy Holland and sponsored by First Community Bank, with assistance from Lewis Automotive.

The golfers will switch courses for today’s second round, with Monday’s championship round played on The Cobb Course at The Resort at Glade Springs.

Reece was part of the first group to tee off Saturday morning at Brier Patch — part of the BNI lineup again after the event was played at Pipestem for several years — and he got off to a strong start, after losing in a playoff to Bosten Miller last July.

“I left a couple putts out there, but I was pretty happy with the round,” said Reece, who grew up just a couple miles from Brier Patch and said he’s never seen the greens in better shape. “I made a few birdies on the back, and my only bogey came on No. 4.

“It was nice to get out there early and be done by 12:30.”

Reece will be out early again this morning at Grandview, and he’s looking just to stay out of trouble.

“You’re not going to win it on the first or second day, but you have to make sure you don’t lose it,” he said. “Typically I play Brier Patch and Pipestem a little better (than Grandview), but I don’t really know why. It’s a little more open, but the wind can pick up more.

“I’m just going to try to plug along and hit as many greens as I can.”

Powers, who also leads Mays in the battle for the low score in the Senior Division, played a nearly mistake-free round. He carded five birdies and only one bogey during his round — making up for the mistake on No. 16 with a birdie on the next hole.

“I kept it out of trouble and kept it in the fairway,” said Powers, who lives in Huntington and works for the Huntington Housing Authority. “It was just about staying out of trouble and having a good round.

“I wanted to birdie all the par-5s, and I was able to do that.”

Powers has been playing in the BNI since 2004. He was led to the tournament by a friend, Marsh Fork native Rob Henderson.

“It’s a blast,” said Powers, who has played on the senior circuit in the West Virginia Golf Association. “We love it.”

Powers said he played a practice round at Brier Patch a month ago, and he’s looking forward to his round there today.

“It was in great shape,” he said. “We’re looking forward to it. You have to hit the ball straighter over there. It’s a much tighter golf course. You have to position your ball a little better.

“I feel pretty good about (my score). We’ll see what Brier Patch does (today).”

Tee times today begin at 7:30 a.m., at both courses.

— E-mail:

and follow on Twitter @CamHuffmanRH.

Text Only
Latest News
  • legion VIDEO: American Legion posts plan to merge

    To help deal with its decreasing membership numbers, Beckley American Legion Post 70 is planning a merger with Post 32.

    “We see the benefit for both of us and for Raleigh County,” Post 32 Adjutant Frank Cook said. “Right now Post 70 is having membership problems and with membership problems comes financial problems.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tri-state coal interests rally before hearings

     More than 2,000 union workers and others organized by the coal industry in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia joined top state elected officials Wednesday to rally against proposed stricter federal pollution regulations for coal-burning power plants.

    July 31, 2014

  • legal Tort reform group brings message to Beckley

    How can West Virginia create more jobs and have a better business climate, at no cost to taxpayers?

    Greg Thomas, executive director of the West Virginia Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse (WV CALA), says legal reform is one of the answers to that question.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • ‘Biscuit guy’ makes his mark with anthem at TWV

    The old saying “being at the right place at the right time” couldn’t be more true for Calvin Alexander.

    Thanks to a salad dressing bottle (and some impressive vocal skills), Alexander was invited to sing the national anthem not once, but twice, at Theatre West Virginia before the opening of “Hatfields and McCoy

    July 31, 2014

  • Judge in W.Va. asked to delay gay marriage ruling

    Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has asked a judge to postpone ruling on a federal lawsuit challenging West Virginia's same-sex marriage ban until the U.S. Supreme Court reviews a ruling in a similar case in Virginia.

    July 30, 2014

  • Tri-state coal interests rally before EPA hearings

    More than 2,000 union workers and others organized by the coal industry in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia joined top state elected officials Wednesday to rally against proposed stricter federal pollution regulations for coal-burning power plants.

    July 30, 2014

  • Work continues on stand-alone Warrior Trail

    The executive director of the Hatfield and McCoy Trail Authority said Tuesday that officials are still working toward the creation of the stand-alone Warrior Trail in McDowell County.

    July 30, 2014

  • East River Mountain Tunnel repairs will continue for several weeks

    Motorists traveling Interstate 77 could see slight delays again tonight as repair work continues inside of the fire-damaged East River Mountain Tunnel.

    July 30, 2014

  • State leaders to attend coal rally in Pittsburgh

    West Virginia officials are set to join hundreds of coal miners and coal supporters at an electricity and energy jobs rally.

    July 30, 2014

  • Americans continue to be plagued by debt

    Credit card debt may have reached its lowest level in a decade, but according to a recent study on personal debt vs. income, just as more people are paying off their credit card debt monthly, nearly the same number of people are being reported for unpaid bills. 

    July 30, 2014