Reed Weatherford takes Day 1 lead at Beaufort City Championship

sfastenau@beaufortgazette.comJuly 27, 2013 

sptBFTCITY0728sw01

Benji Gecy tees off from No. 2 Saturday morning during the 16th annual Beaufort City Championship golf tournament at Fripp Island Resort's Ocean Creek Course.

SARAH WELLIVER — Sarah Welliver Buy Photo

Reed Weatherford was in his boat before the final groups had signed scorecards at the Beaufort City Championship.

Weatherford turned in a tidy 5-under-par 67 earlier in the day on Fripp Island's Ocean Point Golf Links and was ready for an afternoon of fishing. The head professional at Sanctuary Club on Cat Island blitzed a short setup with a round that included two eagles and four birdies. He leads Benji Gecy by three shots entering Sunday's final round on Fripp Island's Ocean Creek course.

But forgive him for making it look easy. That would be the wrong impression.

Weatherford worked five years as an assistant pro on Fripp Island. Ocean Point's tight layout frustrated him for a long time.

"It took me about 10 years to learn how to play that golf course," said Weatherford, who finished as the top professional in 2012.

Now he'll have a chance to close out victory on his preferred Fripp Island track, the less-punishing Creek course.

After Gecy, three players posted 1-under 71s. Char Cormier, the 2010 champion and Fripp Island's golf director, shot 1-over 73. And 2012 champion J.D. Hoft, who won the Hilton Head Amateur this past weekend, shot 78.

The mixed field of area club professionals and amateurs was up against the Beaufort Water Festival and a Hilton Head Island Amateur Golf Association event the same weekend. Fifty golfers competed Saturday, with five breaking par.

Gecy is trying to shake poor outings at the amateur and this week's South Carolina Open. Gecy was shaken early in the Hilton Head Amateur by a topped shot, after he started 2 under his first five holes. He shot 78-83 at Belfair to miss the South Carolina Open cut by 10 shots.

Before that, Gecy liked the way his game was headed. He finished runner-up at the Santee Amateur, losing to Matt O'Quinn in a playoff.

This game's just so cruel," Gecy said. "Right when you are rolling right along."

But on the 6,000-yard Ocean Point setup, Gecy managed his game again. He shot 2 under with a number of birdie chances on the way in. After finishing third overall here in 2012, Gecy will play in the final group.

"I'm looking forward to tomorrow, that's for sure," Gecy said.

Weatherford's education at Ocean Point taught him to make his driver scarce. He hit the big club twice Saturday, each time on a par-5 and each time resulting in eagle.

None of Ocean Point's par-5s play longer than 500 yards. Weatherford hit 3-wood, 6-iron into No. 6, 3-wood, 5-iron into No. 12 and driver 7-iron into No. 18.

"When the setup is like that, all you've got to do is get it in play," Weatherford said.

Beaufort City Championship

First round at Ocean Point Golf Links, Fripp Island

par 72; 6,000 yards

Reed Weatherford 67

Benji Gecy 70

Terry Lanning 71

Gavin Lindstrom 71

Mike Marusha 71

Jon Verity 72

Randy Glover 72

Char Cormier 73

Jeff Pinkney 75

Chuck Hinners 76

Phil Weber 76

Belton McCarty 77

J.D. Hoft 78

Zach Campbell 79

Brian Fox 79

Matt Johnson 79

Dan Lambert 79

Don Johnson 80

Keaton Butler 80

Jerry Ross 80

Ernie Taylor 80

Dennis Robinson 81

Todd Stone 81

Jeff Abrams 82

Bobby Gecy 82

Joseph Macchia 82

Jim Manning 82

Mike Kamradt 83

Neal McCarty 83

Dan McCormick 83

John Sweinhart 83

Tommy Earl 84

Corey Johnson 85

Tyler Mishler 85

George Schnurr 86

Tom Westlake 86

Christian Connelly 87

Jay Hillebrand 87

David Ohrn 87

Doug Hart 88

Lewis Turner 88

Brent Cooper 89

Grady Winstead 89

Jimmy Boozer 91

Larry Mathias 93

Bob Bicknell 95

Phil Kelly 95

John Hillebrand 97

Rich Snow 102

Jim Lathren 104

The Island Packet is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service