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Gallagher column: Bivins worked so golfers could play

Ryan Honeycutt was asked what he anticipated today when he and partner Dusty Holder tee it up for the final rounds of the Labor Day golf tournament at the Country Club of Salisbury.
“We’re not working so we’ll just have a good time,” he grinned.
Expect the three other teams battling for the coveted championship to do the same.
On Sunday, the Kygers and the Dorsetts also came rolling in with victories, as did the twosome of Ronnie Eidson and Curtis Kyles. They all received congratulations as they walked off the Donald Ross course.
But the person who received the most handshakes and pats on the back stood a few feet from the golfers.

Superintendant Ron Bivins won’t be playing today but he’s the main reason the others will. His crew took a golf course that was under water for most of last week and returned it to normal.
“Great job, Ron.”
“You did a wonderful job, Ron.”
“You’re the only one who can take on Mother Nature and win.”
With every compliment, Bivins shrugged and mentioned his workers, who spent all hours of the morning, noon and night drying out a course flooded by rains Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
“It’s like being a coach,” Bivins said. “You’re only as good as your staff.”
Bivins is a coach, by the way. He has assisted Doug Illing at Davie High for years and after the jayvee game on Thursday, he hurried back to the course.
He had hoped Grant’s Creek would drain a little so he could start the cleanup. No. 14 had flooded twice. When the water finally receded, it was a sight to see.
“It was a swampy, muddy mess,” Bivins said.
His crew found coke bottles, volleyballs, beach balls, twigs, leaves, trash cans and ó ready for this? ó about 1,000 fish laying in the fairways.
Leaves and fish were clogging up the drains so Bivins’ workers were out there barefoot and with pants legs rolled up keeping them open. There was talk of playing only nine-hole matches but Bivins kept assuring the committee things would be fine.
“Everybody gave 110 percent,” he said.

Because of their dedication, golfers showed up Saturday morning quite impressed.
On Sunday, they were ones impressing with some sparkling rounds.
Now, four teams will battle today for the title. Who’s the favorite?
“There’s some solid players out here,” Ronnie Eidson said.
Eidson and Kyles should be favored. Eidson is going for the triple crown, having already won the Rowan Masters and the Rowan Amateur. The pressure’s on, right?
“That doesn’t bother me,” he said.
However, Eidson is quick to point out that two years ago, he and Kyles made the final “and we got murdered,” he laughed. “So, you never know.”
They’ll play Honeycutt and Holder.
“We’ve got our hands full, that’s for sure,” Honeycutt said.
It will be a family affair in the other semifinal match as John and Johnny Kyger take on Michael and Keith Dorsett.
When they tee off at 9 a.m., the sun is expected to be out. And that’s good news for Bivins and the members of his crew.
Because of them, Honeycutt and Holder, as well as everyone in the other flights, will come to the Country Club today and “just have a good time.”

Contact Ronnie Gallagher at 704-797-4287 or rgallagher@salisburypost.com.

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