The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Other Sports

July 15, 2013

Stage is set for an exciting conclusion to tournament

BECKLEY — Strategy is a critical aspect of sports. That’s obvious when Nick Saban gambles on a fourth down and comes up successful or when Rick Pitino draws up the perfect play for a game-winning 3-pointer.

In golf, it’s sometimes a little more subtle. You won’t find the plans drawn out on a dry erase board, and it’s usually the athlete, not the coach, who’s making the decisions.

Strategy, though, could play an important role in today’s final round of the BNI Memorial Golf Classic.

Brandon Reece holds a three-shot lead heading into today’s play on the Cobb Course at The Resort at Glade Springs, but he knows just how quickly that can slip away.

Last year, the two-time champion was four shots behind eventual winner Bosten Miller heading into the final round, but Miller got a little wild on a couple of early holes, losing balls out of bounds. By the time the players made the turn, Reece had already erased that deficit and was in the lead.

Miller recovered to win in a playoff, denying Reece a third BNI title, but that round might creep into the back of Reece’s mind today as he tries again for this third crown.

“It’s disappointing when you lose any tournament,” said the 2006 and 2007 BNI champion. “But it has to be a learning experience.

“I try to play about the same (in the lead or chasing the lead). I just try to pick my spots. I am aggressive when I can be but conservative when I need to be. It’s about making good decisions.”

Those chasing Reece will also have to come up with a game plan.

Michael Powers, who’s the closest at three back, is a member of the Senior Division, so he’s probably not going to win by trying to reach the green in two on the par-5s. But finding birdies on those holes, he said, is critical to his attack.

“I just have to play my round and let the chips fall where they may,” he said.

Aaron Kemlock takes a similar strategy. He’s well under the minimum age for the Senior Division, but he also is aware of his limitations. He’s not about to try to push the issue and do something that’s not part of his game.

“I’m not a long ball hitter,” said the former Concord golfer. “I play fairways and greens and lay up on the par-5s. I know (taking big risks is) not my game. I’ve always been short, so I just try to make it up around the greens.”

Kemlock knows he has his work cut out for him if he hopes to pick up his first win in the tournament he’s been playing in for most of his life. But he’s going to enjoy the experience, no matter what.

“I’ll go out and try to hit fairways and greens again and see what happens,” he said. “But I’ll get to see it first-hand in that last group.”

Winston Canada will have to watch the leaderboard to know what’s going on behind him, but the big hitter may play a different style than others at the top.

With six strokes to make up, he may have to take some chances to try to get himself in front. But he often plays the high-risk, high-reward type of game that can lead to comebacks.

The three other guys in Canada’s group — Mike Mays, Alan Wharton and Greg McGraw — have combined to win 11 of the 32 previous BNI tournaments. They’ll do what they always do, try to avoid mistakes and let the leaderboard come back to them.

With some in a 2-minute drill, trying to make up ground fast, and others, like Reece, possibly playing somewhat of a prevent defense, the plans on the course today will all be very different.

But just as there is on a fall Saturday afternoon or inside a packed gymnasium on a cold winter night, there’s sure to be plenty of excitement watching it all play out.

— E-mail: chuffman@

register-herald.com and follow on Twitter @CamHuffmanRH.

1
Text Only
Other Sports
  • graham Less fanfare, but plenty of noise on day 3

    There wasn’t quite the fanfare Sunday morning at the New Orleans Saints new $30 million practice facility at The Greenbrier as there was the day before, when more than 5,000 fans turned out to have a picnic with the NFL stars.

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • coaches Picking up some pointers

    West Virginia University football coaches took in New Orleans Saints practice Sunday.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Conn job: RHP impressive in Miners’ win over Paints

    Trevor Conn had not started a game for the West Virginia Miners before Sunday.

    July 28, 2014

  • ingram Saints show their appreciation

    New Orleans Saints players and coaches went about a businesslike practice session Saturday afternoon in White Sulphur Springs.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Some books for the rest of summer

    Stretching out in a hammock with a good book is a great way to relax on a warm summer afternoon. Here are a few titles that have recently caught my eye.

    July 27, 2014

  • graham Fans enjoy their chance to interact with team

    Lois and Jeff Price have something else to brag about. The native southern West Virginians, now residents of Frederick, Md., were enjoying life on Saturday at The Greenbrier resort, new home of the New Orleans Saints training camp, during fan appreciation day.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Creating a week to remember

    After my traveling shoes were placed neatly beside the door, it was time to spend some much needed time around home.

    July 27, 2014

  • Weather willing, Miners host Paints today

    With the West Virginia Miners fighting for their playoff lives, fans have only two more chances to see their team in the regular season.

    July 27, 2014

  • There are some changes on the way

    Hunters who have found themselves driving out of their way to check in a deer, turkey, or bear will no longer have to waste the time or gas starting in 2015. 

    July 27, 2014

  • Mayor gives his thoughts on current state of Beckley sports

    Whether it was courtside at King Coal Beckley Auto Mall Arena — then known as the Armory — or high in the press box overlooking Van Meter Stadium, Bill O’Brien has seen his share of Beckley sports.

    July 27, 2014

Saints Training Camp

AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide