Dorsett wins his sixth Rowan Masters
By Jordan Honeycutt
Whether you call him a one-man dynasty, senor Warrior or any other nickname, Keith Dorsett has stamped his name on the annual Rowan Masters golf tournament with Sunday’s victory being his sixth out of nine events.
For the second straight year, Dorsett defeated 17-year old Alex Nianouris for the tournament championship.
Dorsett was victorious by a score of 3 & 2, as play between the two ended on the 16th green.
“I scraped the ball around a lot this year and didn’t play my best until today,” Dorsett said.
“This heat just wears on everybody and I was able to be lucky and play my best and make huge shots when I absolutely needed to.”
The youngest player in the field, Nianouris, takes home second place again and was definitely disappointed, but very gracious in his defeat.
“I fell behind too much early and when Keith started making his putts consistently, I just couldn’t come back,” Nianouris said.
Dorsett’s lead early was due to him hitting fairways and while he didn’t make any huge shots early, he did what he needed to do and Nianouris faltered hitting a few bad ones.
Where the match seemed to turn for good was when Dorsett drained a long birdie putt on no. 10 that had to curve up a slope and turn back left to go down.
Dorsett laughed and shook his head as the ball went into the hole.
“Alex is a great golfer and I knew how important it was for me to get an early lead on him because he is very capable of six or seven birdies over an 18-hole span,” Dorsett said.
Nianouris made a small charge late as he played a fantastic 13th hole, which Dorsett conceded to him due to his own errant shot into the pines.
One hole later, only leading by one, Dorsett stuck an iron shot from the fairway within five feet of the pin, while Nianouris’ tee shot nestled snug up against a tree by the cart path.
Two holes later, he slammed the door by delivering a beautiful tee shot on the par three no. 16 and Nianouris flew the green and ended up having to chip in for birdie to keep play alive and couldn’t get it done.
While most of the day’s excitement and captivation was centered around Dorsett and Nianouris, a riveting battle for third place was occurring between Phil Miller and Chris Owen.
Owen held a one hole lead for the majority of the match, but Miller rallied late push even and force extra holes.
On the 20th hole of the round, Miller sunk a birdie and escaped with the third place prize.
“I feel I played much better today than yesterday,” Miller said.
“We were pretty tight today, whereas yesterday was just awful.”
Owen was just purely thrilled to be playing on the last day of the tourney.
“I’m tickled pink just to be competing here for third, honestly,” Owen said.
For Warrior Golf Club, it has now hosted the Rowan Masters nine times and Dorsett has won six of those, with Ronnie Eidson taking home two trophies and Gary Miller bringing in one.
“As long as I can still swing it, I’m going to keep coming back and trying to win it again,” Dorsett said.
“it’s a lot of fun and I’m ready to go for number seven.”
Dorsett brought home $300 cash and the big bronze trophy, while Nianouris earned $200 and Miller and Owen received $100 each.
Upon completion of this year’s Masters, Warrior Golf Club assistant pro, Andrew Beaver, indicated that the tourney is back on for the same time next year, which will be the decade anniversary.