If a golfer hasn’t broken through with a first PGA Tour victory by age 44, it’s unlikely to happen these days, what with all the up-and-coming young whippersnappers with their monstrous drives and steely nerves. But Ken Duke, who had three career, second-place finishes on Tour, persevered and earned that victory, beating Chris Stroud in a two-hole playoff.
The Southern Amateur Championship began and continues to be a a major amateur golf event bringing together an array of skilled players from clubs that are members of the Southern Golf Association. For example, the great Bobby Jones from East Lake Country Club in Atlanta won the event three times. Most recent U.S. Open winner Webb Simpson is a two-time Southern Amateur champion hailing from Raleigh, N.C. But the field also includes qualifiers and other invitees, include many from beyond the United States. This year's event, set for July 18-21 at Chenal Country Club's Bear Den course, will include 15 international amateurs.
Defending U.S. Senior Amateur champion Louis Lee and his older brother, Stan, who won the U.S. Senior Am in 2007, were perfect in three matches and the 10 mid-amateurs and 10 seniors of the Arkansas State Golf Association team defeated a team representing the Mississippi Golf Association last weekend in the 7th Annual Governor's Cup. And the First Tee of Central Arkansas has started a capital campaign that is hoped to raise $200,000 a year to support operations and to provide financing for needy children to attend to facility.
Along with the announcement Wednesday that Arkansas would be competing in this season’s Las Vegas Invitational over the Thanksgiving holiday, the Razorbacks will have plenty of nonconference opposition that could help the Ratings Percentage Index, no matter the game’s result. Meanwhile, more than 250 Arkansas State fans glimpsed the turf at War Memorial Stadium on Wednesday in a way like it had never been seen before.
Ever wanted to play the acclaimed private Diamante Country Club in Hot Springs Village, but you didn't have the connections? The club is making it possible for anyone to play on upcoming Saturdays, starting this weekend.
In last year's first round of the NBA Draft, 17 players taken had played as teens in the "Real Deal." It's likely at one of 44 gymnasiums around Pulaski County, more future NBA picks and stars will be showing off their skills in this weekend's Real Deal in the Rock, featuring traveling basketball teams ranging from age 17 on down.
Arkansan Bryce Molder, who performed at Georgia Tech to much acclaim — achieving rare four-tme All-American status — struggled throughout his professional career for 11 years before achieving his firat PGA Tour win the 2011 Fall Series Frys.com Open. He’s continued his solid play in 2012 by being in contention half a dozen times. The improvement in his game is borne out statistically in the greens-in-regulation number, where Molder has jumped from 108 last year to No. 7 this season, meaning he's had more looks at birdie. Molder is in New Orleans this weekend competing in the Zurich Classic along with fellow Arkansans John Daly and Ken Duke, who grabbed the early lead with a 7-under-par 65 Thursday morning.
Duke is looking to the April 30 Ken Duke Charity Classic at Maumelle Country Club. Duke was raising money for causes, including an indoor practice facility at HSU, First Tee of Little Rock and the Spine Institute.
Maybe a few more folks than the usual turned out for UALR's Thursday night matchup with Florida International, simply because Isiah Thomas was on the FIU sideline. Of course, watching Thomas coach isn't akin to watching one of the greatest NCAA and NBA players of the past 31 years play the game — Thomas proved with the New York Knicks that building and coaching a team will never be considered his strong suit. In three seasons at FIU, he had amassed a 25-61 record going into the UALR contest. Yet, he's still Isiah Thomas. If he showed up for an autograph signing session, that alone should draw a crowd anywhere. But Thomas didn't stay for his team's entire game with UALR on Thursday night, and when he left, the game went south for Florida International.
With part of Maumelle Country Club's golf course under water during the weekend and the rain continuing in the area, it was easy for organizers of the Ken Duke Charity Classic to move their event, planned for Monday, to June 6.
An overabundance of rainwater mixed with the rising Arkansas River has put the front nine of Rebsamen Park Golf Course underwater. The course will be open on Saturday, but only for play on the back nine with restrictions on three holes, according to a club spokesman.