Labor Day Golf: Defending champs Eidson, Kyles start strong

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 3, 2011

By Ryan Bisesi
SALISBURY — The defending champs are back again.
Ronnie Eidson and Curtis Kyles, the 2010 winners of the Labor Day 4-ball Tournament, were strong on the opening day Saturday at the Country Club of Salisbury. Eidson and Kyles won their first round matchup against Chris Owen and Ken Clarke 2 & 1 to advance to the semifinal today at 1:30 p.m in the championship flight.
Kyles made a 10-foot putt to achieve par on the 17th hole to wrap up the day. Eidson/Kyles defeated Owen/Clarke for the second-straight year.
“If Ronnie plays good and I help him any at all, then we’ve got a good chance,” said Kyles after finishing the 6,500-yard course. “Trying to defend it is more of a mental thing.”
Kyles got off to a rough start on the 17th, hitting off the tee into the sand trap on the par-three hole. Kyles chipped onto the green and sunk a clutch uphill putt to clinch it.
“I was actually hoping the ball went into the trap instead of the rough,” Kyles said. “I usually hit the ball pretty good out of the sand. I was trying to just get it up there within 10 feet. If they see it’s within 10 feet, that makes their attempt at part a lot harder.”
Eidson, battling health problems, made a crucial 12-foot putt on No. 7 to put him and Kyles up for keeps. Kyles birdied the 12th hole as did Clarke on 10.
“Ronnie made the hell out of some putts today,” Clarke said. “I don’t expect anything different.”
Eidson won the Horace Billings Rowan Amateur earlier this year, the third of his career.
“He’s amazingly tough for all the health issues that he has,” Kyles said. “I tell everybody I’m happy to play with him. He’s got a great swing and if I cut him two or three holes in 18, I feel like I’ve done something good.”
The women’s flight featured wins by No. 4 Mechelle Kuld/Sharon Miller and No. 3 Phyllis Durland/Faye Cline. No. 2 seed Susan Morris/Becky Isenhour won and face Durland/Cline today.
The top-ranked duo of Allison Dupree and Grace Yatawara received a bye Saturday and will face Kuld/Miller today, teeing off on the 15th hole.
No. 8 seed Mallory McDaniel/Jim Christy defeated No. 9 Kevin Lentz/Shane Benefield and will face Eidson/Kyles today starting on No. 10.
In the men’s championship flight, No. 4 Eric Mulkey/Thad Sprinkle advanced to take on brothers Michael and Keith Dorsett, the No. 5 seed. Keith won his sixth Rowan Masters tournament at The Warrior back in June.
Another brother tandem had success as No. 3 Roy and Glenn Dixon won 2 & 1 against Randy Goins and Steven Harvey. Joey Boley/Richard Cobb defeated Charlie Graeber/Bill Haynes 3 & 1 and will face the Dixons.
Troy Beaver/Alex Nianouris, both on the state 2A champion Salisbury golf team, defeated Chris Sifford/Derrick Corpening 2 & 1 and have No. 2 Johnny and John Kyger on the schedule for today, teeing off on the first hole.
In the seniors championship flight, Bob Steele/Frank Eason surprised top-seeded Eric Norris/Charlie Andrews with a 3 & 2 win. Steele/Eason will face Ed Cook/Cliff Ritchie today, teeing off on No. 5. Ty Cobb Jr./Dennis Andrade takes on James Poe/Bob Rusher on Hole 8.