A day after a prominent area golfer died following his opening round, the Hilton Head Island Amateur Golf Association wrapped up its Senior Championship and Opening Tournament on Sunday at Oldfield Golf Club.
At 11 a.m., once all the golfers had teed off, a horn was sounded and golfers all over the course stopped where they were and observed a moment of silence in rememberence of Jim Ferguson, who was found slumped over the wheel of his car after he left the clubhouse on Saturday.
When the golf continued, Callawassie Island resident J.R. Evans supplemented his first-round 76, which had put him in third place, two shots off the lead, with a second-round 78, good enough for a 154 total and a one-stroke win over Keith Guise.
J.D.Hoft shot 70-77--147 to win the Open Division by two strokes over Joe Bryant.
Eight of the golfers competing in the senior tournament were residents of Callawassie.
"I don't think I'd have been the pick of the eight to win," said Evans, who has lived on Callawassie for seven years.
Evans' previous "claim to fame," as he called it, was his 2002 club championship at DuPont Country Club in Wilmington, Del.
But everyone around Evans went the wrong direction on Sunday. He entered the day two strokes behind first-round leader Tim McBride. But McBride shot 88. Second-place Ed Atkins, one stroke ahead of Evans, shot 81. Guise, who finished a stroke behind Evans, shot 76 to move up from sixth place.
"I certainly didn't drive well today," Evans said. "But when I missed (the greens), I missed them in a good spot. I really didn't putt well, either, but I made enough."
Having no idea how the rest of the field was faring late in his round, Evans thought for sure he wouldn't be a factor in the championship.
"When we got to No. 13, I made a bad decision there. Then I tripled 14," he said. "I just figured my day was over right there. I parred 15 -- I had a great drive but misread the putt. Then I birdied the par-3 16th."
But on a windy day, Evans did enough.
"This certainly feels good," he said.
Evans was not at the course when Ferguson died on Saturday. He got a phone call well after he had left the course.
"I heard about it when I got home," Evans said. "It's just sad."
Evans admitted he was "kind of surprised" that the tournament continued, but he didn't question the decision.
"If it were me," Evans said, "I'd want them to go ahead and play, too."
HHIAGA director Bob Collar was responsible for blowing the horn at 11 a.m.
"I was at No. 8," Collar said, "and every player I could see stopped and reflected for at least a few moments. It went extremely well. I could see people recalling memories of Jim and how much he meant to this organization."
Having known him before he took over the HHIAGA eight years ago, Collar said Ferguson may have made his living in real estate, but his life was golf and his children.
Collar admitted he was initially uncertain how he would handle the rest of the tournament and leaned on advice from others on what to do.
"We did what we thought was appropriate," Collar said. "It was well-received. I think it was a big part of the tournament so far."
According to Collar, the HHIAGA will find a way -- he's not sure just what, yet -- to honor Ferguson in some bigger way later in the season.
"After some reflection on Sunday morning, I realized looking back, since I took over the organization, at every tournament for eight years, Jim Ferguson played in every single one," Collar said. "And I realized, he's never going to play in another tournament."
HHIAGA Senior Championship and Opening Tournament
Sunday at Oldfield Golf Club
J.R. Evans 76-78--154
Keith Guise 79-76--155
Ed Atkins 75-81--156
Jim Hauck 76-80--156
Gary Perkins 80-76--156
Gibby Young 77-80--157
Chris Morris 83-75--158
Rick Thrasher 80-79--159
Chuck Hinners 81-81--162
Tim McBride 74-88--162
Bob Collar 82-81--163
Mickey Sinkus 87-86--163
Stew Butler 84-83--167
Roger Clark 80-88--168
Gary Neals 86-90--176
John Wagner 89-93--182
J.D. Hoft 70-77--147
Joe Bryant 76-73--149
Dave Politi 75-78--153
Trey Testino 77-76--153
Benji Gecy 76-78--154
Gerry Pascale 79-75--154
Terry Lanning 78-77--155
Kevin Arnold 78-78--156
Brian Quigley 81-77--158
Brian Rizzo 77-81--158
Marcus Byler 81-78--159
Alex Kiproff 81-78--159
Ed Claytor 84-76--160
Charlie Hall 83-77--160
Jamie Manning 81-81--162
Bo Madeo 87-76--163
Jeffrey Bauer 81-84--165
Jeff Wong 86-81--167
John Piccone 81-88--169
Anthony Bonsignore 86-89--175
Brian Gecy 91-87--178
Greg Schmaus 80-NS
Gordon Gourley WD