Golf Grapevine April 24, 2009

Scott Langley

Scott Langley of Manchester is a golfer worth knowing. The Parkway South grad,  now a sophomore at Illinois, recently was named the Big Ten Conference’s Men’s Golfer of the Week, an honor he’s earned for the third time in his career.

    Langley bolted to the first-round lead at the FAU Spring Invitational with a six-under par 65 and never looked back, winning the tournament by two strokes with a 54-hole total of eight-under par 205. “I had one of those stress-free days you hope to get once in while,” Langley said of his 65. “The last two days I didn’t make as many putts, but my ball striking was solid. It feels great to win a tournament again.”

    That performance helped the Illini to a 15-stroke victory in the 14-team field at Gleneagles Country Club in Delray Beach, Fla. Earlier in his career, Langley won the 2007-08 Argonaut and the 2008-09 D.A. Weibring Invitational. The 2008 Big Ten Freshman of the Year ranks 14th nationally in the recent Golfweek computer rankings.

Carts at Missouri Amateur  

    The 102nd Missouri Amateur Championship will return to one of the state’s most storied country clubs this June. Alden Swift (1904), Richard Bockenkamp (1922), Glen Oatman (1937), Warren Riepen (1948), Tom Watson (1967) and Jimmy Jackson (1976) are among past Missouri Amateur Champions who won’t be at St. Joseph Country Club this year. But if the Missouri Golf Association gets its wish, 1988 champion Don Bliss will make another run at history in an attempt to add to his four Missouri Amateur titles.

    The Missouri Golf Association board of directors has announced that golf carts will be permitted during the match play portion of the competition. Until this year, players were allowed to use golf carts during the 36-hole stroke play qualifying, but not once they qualified for match play. In what becomes a very long and physically demanding week for the player advancing through the match play bracket, the opportunity to use a golf cart provides a second wind of sorts.

    “It came down to a decision to give our top players the opportunity to stay as competitive as possible for as long as possible,” says Scott Hovis, the MGA’s executive director. That said, Hovis is careful to point out that the decision to allow golf carts during the match play portion of the competition will be evaluated again next year. “We consider this a trial in 2009 and will always listen to the feedback of our players and member clubs,” he says.

Metropolitan-Gateway PGA event

    After a hiatus of more than a decade, the season-beginning match-play event that pits the area’s top amateurs against the top club professionals from the Gateway PGA was recently held.  The Metropolitan Amateur Golf Association team, captained by Skip Berkmeyer and featuring a squad that included some of the top amateurs in the history of St. Louis golf, beat their club professional counterparts 15-9 in two days of team and individual matches at Norwood Hills Country Club. Berkmeyer championed the effort to bring back the event.

    After splitting six four-ball matches on the first day, the amateurs sneaked ahead, taking four of six alternate-shot matches during the second-day morning play. The amateurs closed out the victory that afternoon in singles, winning six of the 12 matches and halving two others.

    Berkmeyer, playing against his close friend and longtime teacher Bobby Pavelonis, recorded the clinching point in a 2 up victory. He and former U.S. Walker Cupper Jim Holtgrieve and Fox Run’s Ted Moloney all contributed to three victories for the MAGA team. Bellerive’s Mike Tucker and Bob Gaus (Tower Tee/Persimmon Woods) each earned two points to lead the Gateway PGA team.

Hooters Event Coming

    The National Golf Association’s Hooters Professional Golf Tour will be held next month and a local golfer will be looking for some home cooking. Scott Yancy is one of 168 players competing at the Sunset Hills NGA Golf Classic May 11 to 17 at Sunset Hills Country Club in Edwardsville. Yancy is a 1999 graduate of Edwardsville High School. “As you can tell by the smile on my face, I’m excited to be back and playing in my hometown,“ Yancy said during a recent press conference at Sunset Hills.

    The golfers will be competing for a share of the $200,000 purse. One of the more challenging courses in the St. Louis metropolitan area, Sunset Hills will play at just over 6,900 yards when the professionals tackle the par 72 layout next month.

    The week of golf begins on May 11 with a qualifying tournament and 10 tournament spots up for grabs. The NGA Tour practice round is set for May 12, with the pro-am event to be held May 13. Tournament action begins in the 72-hole event May 14 with all 168 players competing in the first two rounds. The top 65 players after 36 holes qualify for the final two rounds on May 16 and 17.

Persimmon Woods-Westborough deal  

    Two private clubs, Persimmon Woods and Westborough, have entered into an agreement offering reciprocal privileges. The agreement is designed to increase value-added features for both clubs’ memberships and complement the total package of services available to members.


    JDRF Jackie Smith Golf And Tennis Experience will be held June 1 at Algonquin Golf Club in Glendale. Long drive senior champion Dan Boever will be entertaining all day, and Golftec will offer swing evaluation.

    Teaching pro Mario Barretto, formerly  ranked No. 1 in St. Louis for singles and doubles, leads a clinic focusing on skill development and proper mechanics for generating spins. Lunch, a rolling snack/beverage carts and cocktail reception make for a fun day. The event helps fund research that will bring therapies and a cure to the millions of people with type 1 diabetes. For more information, call 729-1846, ext. 14. JDRF is the world’s leading funder of diabetes research.

That’s it for this month. If you have any golf news, e-mail me at

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