High drama has been the order of the day recently as sudden death playoffs have been needed the last two seasons and three times in the last four years to determine a champion in the 36-hole, stroke-play affair.
Henry Mabbett Jr., birdied three of the final four holes last year to force a sudden-death playoff which he won on the first hole against former Spalding High teammate Davin White to become the tournament’s eighth consecutive first-time winner. The duo — both signed to play NCAA Division I golf at the time, Mabbett at Georgia Southern and White at Georgia state — blazed a trail around the 6,439-yard, par-72 course built in 1932, firing matching 67-68—135’s to set the all-time championship record.
The past eight champs include: Mabbett, 2010 champ Corey Dinkins (75-72—147), 2009 champ Joey Tinsley (70-74—144), 2008 champ Lee Brannon (76-70—146), 2007 champ Ken Pullin (67-73—140), 2006 champ Rock Hutcheson (69-73—142), 2005 champ Adam Rogers (71-73—144) and 2004 champ Josh Woods (73-74—147).
To sign up for this year’s tournament, stop by or call the pro shop (770) 229-6615. Cost is $75 which includes, green and cart fees as well as lunch for both rounds. Deadline to register is 5 p.m., Oct. 3.
The tournament format is 36 holes of stroke play over two days, 18 holes per day. Players will be paired according to GHIN handicap if available, otherwise average score in the opening round. Flights for the second round will be based on opening-round results, with the leaders teeing off in the final group Sunday.
A look at the tournament’s rich history in recent years:
* 2010: Corey Dinkins (75-72—147) won a sudden-death playoff on the fifth hole against 2009 champ Joey Tinsley (74-73—147) to finally lay claim to the title after finishing runner-up in 2007, 2008 and 2009.
Then-rising Spalding High sophomore Carson Willis (76-72—148) finished a stroke back in third. It all came on a day where 14 players — ranging in age from 14- to 65 — were within three strokes of the lead going into the final round.
* 2009: Joey Tinsley shot a 2-over 74 on Sunday to go with his first-round 70 on Saturday to win his first City Championship, the sixth first-time winner in a row.
Cory Dinkins finished second with a 148, his third runner-up finish in a row.
* 2008: Lee Brannon knocked in a 7-foot par putt on the first hole of a sudden death playoff with Cory Dinkins to win his first City Championship. Both players had chances to win in regulation, but they bogeyed holes to finish tied at 146.
Spalding High rising sophomore Davin White held the lead going into the final round with a 75, but ended up finishing four strokes back in third place.
* 2007: Ken Pullin fashioned an opening-round 67 to take a two-shot lead over Cory Dinkins and a three shot lead over three other golfers tied for third including Joey Tinsley, multi-time champion Wayne McBride and defending champion Rock Hutcheson.
Pullin closed with a 73 — the co-best score in the field on Sunday — to cruise to a five shot lead over Dinkins (69-76-145) and a three-shot lead over Tinsley 73-73-146) and provide the tournament with its fourth first-time champion in the past four years.
* 2006: Rock Hutcheson won the tournament with a 69-73-142 and dedicated the victory to the late Mike Rivers (City Champion in 1993, 1998 and 2002), who passed away months earlier after a bout with cancer.
Wayne McBride finished runner-up, four strokes in back of Hutcheson.
* 2005: Wayne McBride, trying to become the first player to win the title in five decades, held the lead by a stroke over Adam Rogers after an opening-round 70, but Rogers added a second-round
see history/page a11
73 to his opening-round 71 to win the tournament for the first time as McBride shot a second-round 79 to finish five shots back in fifth.
Joey Tinsley finished runner-up.
* 2004: Josh Woods fired a 73-74-147 to become a first-time winner. Brett Upson, then a rising junior at Spalding High, finished runner-up.
* 2003: Chris Rivers,the son of Mike Rivers, fired a 69-75-144 to win his second title. He won his first three years earlier.
Wayne McBride finished runner-up for the second year in a row.
* 2002: Mike Rivers shot a 72-70-142 to win the last of his three titles. McBride placed second.
* 2001: Mickey Carver shot a 70-74-144 to win the second of his two titles.
The first came in 1989.
* 2000: Chris Rivers shot a 71-76-147 to win his first City Championship.
GRIFFIN CITY CHAMPIONS LIST
Year |Player |Score
2011 |Henry Mabbett Jr. * |67-68—135
2010 |Corey Dinkins * |75-72—147
2009 |Joey Tinsley |70-74—144
2008 |Lee Brannon * |76-70—146
2007 |Ken Pullin |67-73—140
2006 |Rock Hutcheson |69-73—142
2005 |Adam Rogers |71-73—144
2004 |Josh Woods |73-74—147
2003 |Chris Rivers |69-75—144
2002 |Mike Rivers |72-70—142
2001 |Mickey Carver |70-74—144
2000 |Chris Rivers |71-76—147
1999 ||(no tourney)
1998 |Mike Rivers |71-69—140
1997 |Clarence Mack |72-72—144
1996 ||(no tourney)
1995 |Clarence Mack |74-71—145
1994 |Tim McBride |75-77-79—231
1993 |Mike Rivers |68-74-69—211
1992 |Wayne McBride |76-75-70—221
1991 ||(no tourney)
1990 |Wayne McBride |71-68—139
1989 |Mickey Carver |not available
*— Won in a sudden-death playoff