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McGraw’s mountaineer mastery
New Farragut resident comes from West Virginia to capture FDCC Senior title

It didn't matter that Greg McGraw had only played Fox Den Country Club's golf course four times before last weekend.

This West Virginia native, a self-employed mining engineer who moved to Farragut last winter and became an FDCC member in March, fired a two-day total of two-under par 136 (70-66 on two partial-rounds, 34 holes, off orange tees) to win 2011 Senior Club Championship Sunday, June 26.

Three strokes better than final day playing partner Jeremy Dick (71-68-139), McGraw sealed the championship by nailing a roughly 40-foot putt on the 18th hole.

“I'm just trying to lag it up there because I kinda figured I was one or two shots ahead,” McGraw said. “And Jeremy had a putt for birdie, but even if he had made [it] I still figured I'd win by one.”

“Green speeds are very similar to where I play at in West Virginia,” McGraw added. “I played well for two days. Putted well.”

McGraw, 52, added consecutive birdies on No. 5 and No. 6 Sunday, “Which gave me some room,” he said.

His lone bogey Sunday was on No. 9 — a bogey both days. “I got above the hole both times and missed the putt downhill both times,” McGraw said. “Then tried to count some pars off, then got lucky and made that 40-footer for birdie.

“I struggled with the tee-ball, off the tee, but the iron game was really good,” McGraw added. “And putting was great for me, by my standard.”

“The biggest difference for me is these fairways are Bermuda, and where I play [in West Virginia] it's all bentgrass,” McGraw said. “So it's getting accustomed to the lies in the rough.”

Steve Elam finished third (71-75-146) and Ed Zarb took fourth (76-71-147).

Kevin Harbin (74-74-148), Drew Macdonald (80-76-156) and Joe Brownlee (83-79-162) were recognized for top “low net” scores in their age brackets.

A golfer for 30 years, McGraw said he’s “played multiple competitions over the years,” adding he’s a four-time winner of Beckley Newspaper Invitational, Southern West Virginia's top amateur event.

“I've played in 20-plus West Virginia state amateurs,” he said, adding his highest finish ever has been eighth.

Summing up his experience at FDCC last weekend, “I played with great guys. And the course is fantastic,” said McGraw who along with wife, Shawn, and stepson, Landon, moved to Farragut in February.

In the battle for Foree Cup (ages 65-and-older), Dale Mutz won for the sixth time, firing a two partial-round total (34-holes) of 141 (68-73/gold tees).

Dennis Falls took second (73-71-144). Low net among Foree competitors were Larry Wilson (77-72-149) and Carl Mathews (85-75-160).

Despite on-going course work on bunkers and other areas causing the closure of holes No. 11 (Saturday) and No. 17 (Sunday), “The golf course is in fabulous shape right row,” said Scott Moran, FDCC head professional, after Sunday’s club events.

“Everyone is thoroughly enjoying coming out here and playing right now.

“It's been decent in the evenings for bentgrass greens,” Moran added. “It's been down in the upper 60s at night, so the greens have a chance to recuperate and grow and store some energy. The warm afternoon of the sun is perfect for the Bermuda.”

With construction on holes No. 1 through No. 6 complete, Moran said construction of bunkers should be completed “about a week after the Fourth of July.”

However, “Some bunkers will not be playable while other areas will still have growing sod and will be not be open until, I'd say, the first week in August,” Moran added.


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