The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Other Sports

August 30, 2012

Cragett surprised to win tournament at Stonewall

Don’t blame Jim Cragett if he’s grinning from ear to ear.

After all, not every golfer wins the biggest tournament of his life at age 63.

Cragett defeated the No. 8, 1, 4 and 3 seeds to capture the Silver championship Sunday at the 51st West Virginia Senior Amateur Championship at Stonewall Resort in Roanoke.

“I’ve been playing in the tournament every year since I turned 50,” he said. “This is as far as I’ve ever gone. I’m pretty excited.”

Cragett, who lives in Crab Orchard, defeated David Grubb of Charleston, 2 and 1, to get off to a strong start at Stonewall.

That put him into the quarterfinals against the No. 1 seed, Jim Mason of Mineral Wells.

“When I played the No. 8, I saw we were pretty well equal. I had him two holes down with one to go,” Cragett said. “But I didn’t think I could beat the No. 1.”

Cragett played well, making a lot of pars, and beat Mason on No. 17.

“That put me one up with one to go, and I tied him on 18,” Cragett said. “I had my confidence up, and that helped quite a bit.

“I said, ‘Gee whiz. If I can beat No. 1, I can play on.’”

Next up for Cragett was fourth seed Nat Ayre of Vienna in the semifinals. The match was a classic.

“It took 19 holes, and the last one I birdied,” he said. “It was quite a good match, nip and tuck all the way.”

A familiar golfer, No. 3 Ken Juskowich of Morgantown, now stood between Cragett and the championship.

While still confident, he knew that Juskowich had beaten him in a previous match.

“I’d golfed with him before, and he was on that day,” Cragett said.

“But Sunday, he caught me on a good day. I was striking the ball well and making long and short putts.”

Cragett put Juskowich down five holes with four to go to claim the prize. But beating him, as it turned out, wasn’t as much fun as some of the other wins.

“Ken is a super good guy, and the one I didn’t really want to beat,” he said. “He was the best opponent I had, as far as camaraderie went.”

Cragett grew up near the old Twin Oaks Country Club, where he worked as a caddy, but didn’t play golf seriously until he was 30.

He plays regularly at The Resort at Glade Springs, and won the club championship on the Stonehaven Course in 2007.

Cragett has also competed in the BNI Memorial Tournament several times, finishing second in the Senior Division in 2011.

“I didn’t compete this year, because I had another commitment,” he said. “I’m active locally, but not too much out of Raleigh County.”

But Cragett was able to play in the several WVGA Senior Series events, something he really enjoys.

“They’re so much fun, because it’s people my own age, people I’ve read about,” he said.

No experience was better than Sunday’s, however.

Steve Fox, who won the Senior Championship crown, and well-known golfer Harold Payne both came up to congratulate Cragett.

“It meant a whole lot when a golfer such as Steve, competitive throughout the whole state, shook my hand and congratulated me,” Cragett said. “Harold was rooting me on. It was a really good boost to know people were behind me.

“It’s great to be recognized.”

The championship made for a great birthday present. Cragett turns 64 Sunday.

“I hope to be joining my brother, Roger Keaton, and club pro Justin Beard at Stonehaven this weekend,” he said. “Justin’s always helpful, and they were both cheering for me the whole time.”

— E-mail:

Text Only
Other Sports
  • 041914 old white Old White to celebrate 100 years

    The home of The Greenbrier Classic will be having a birthday today, and the celebration should be something special.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mullens, Pineville to meet in Anderson Memorial

    After many years away from the sideline, legendary Mullens High School coach Don Nuckols is returning to the game of basketball.

    April 19, 2014

  • 041914 D'Antoni Lakers mum on D’Antoni

    Mike D’Antoni was still the Los Angeles Lakers’ coach when he left their training complex to spend the Easter weekend out of town with his family.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • D’Antoni’s Lakers future still unclear

    With the Los Angeles Lakers season officially over — the Lakers beat the Spurs 113-100 Wednesday but finished 27-55 overall, the most losses in the club’s history and the franchise’s worst winning percentage since the Minneapolis Lakers in 1957-58 — Marshall fans will be keeping a close eye on what’s going on in Tinsel Town over the coming days.

    April 17, 2014

  • McClung moving from mound to dugout

    Seth McClung was getting his daughters Madison and Fallon inside and ready for their baths when his phone rang. He’s said before that he enjoys the role of “daddy day care.”

    April 15, 2014

  • First stop Waffle House; next stop The Greenbrier

    Bubba Watson decided to keep his post-Masters victory more low key this year. Instead of going to New York for a media tour, he headed home to Orlando, Fla., and kept plans for a five-day vacation with his wife.

    April 15, 2014

  • Pick 3: Cam Huffman's answers

    Is Mike D’Antoni the best hire for Marshall basketball if the Herd can land him?

    April 15, 2014

  • Pick 3: Gary Fauber's answers

    Is Mike D’Antoni the best hire for Marshall basketball if the Herd can land him?

    April 15, 2014

  • fayetteville Who needs the beach?

    The word seems to be getting out about the Spring Break Wood Bat Classic.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • sampras Sampras named tennis pro emeritus at Greenbrier

    Like The Old White TPC Course and The Greenbrier’s other golf courses, tennis also has a storied past at The Greenbrier.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo