The Chechessee Creek Senior Invitational, which wrapped up play Wednesday afternoon at Chechessee Creek Club, in just its fifth year of existence routinely boasts one of the strongest fields in senior amateur golf.
That was illustrated when Ted Smith defeated Spring Island's Gary Shimmin on the first playoff hole to win the 65-and-over Super Seniors division after both players shot 216.
Smith, who made par on No. 1 to win the playoff, is the defending Golfweek Super Senior Player of the Year and is a runaway to win the award again this year. Shimmin was the winner in 2011.
Also in the field was Walt Martin the 2010 winner, meaning the tournament boasted the past three winners, soon to become four.
The tournament, an 800-point Golfweek event (there are just a handful of 1,000-point events), drew three players who competed in the U.S. Senior amateur and 12 of the 15 top Super Seniors in the country.
"We had a really good field, especially the Super Seniors," Shimmin said. "The Senior field is good, but the Super Senior field is very deep. Very deep."
Gus Sylvan shot a final-round 71 to finish at 218 and move from a tie for fifth to the 55-and-over Senior division title. It was Sylvan's best finished in a Golfweek-sanctioned event since a second-place finish in the 2011 Chanticleer National Senior Invitational at Greenville Country Club.
Overall, Shimmin, also one of the tournament's organizers, was pleased with the fifth annual event.
"It was by far our largest so far," Shimmin said. "We had a full field of 96, and it came off without a hitch. We dodged any weather. It looked iffy for a while but was close to perfect and the course was in perfect shape."
Chechessee Creek Senior Invitational Champions
2009: Fred Silver
2010: Mike Jackson
2011: Denny Alexander
2012: Mike Bodney
2013: Gus Sylvan
2009: Jay Howson
2010: Walt Martin
2011: Jon Verity
2012: Don Marsh
2013: Ted Smith
IJGA GOLFERS SWEEP GEORGIA OPEN
Japan's Tennoshin Ogawa, a full-time student at the International Junior Golf Academy on Hilton Head Island, won the Boys 15-19 Division at this past weekend's International Junior Golf Tour's Georgia Open at Savannah Quarters.
Ogawa shot 75-68--143 to edge classmate Matt Cheng of Taiwan by one stroke. Two Hilton Head Islanders -- Garrett Johnson (75-73--148) and Will Miles (76-75--151) -- finished fifth and seventh, respectively.
In the Boys Under 14 Division, Japan's Takafumi Shimoji, also an IJGA student, fired back-to-back rounds of 75 to beat classmate Karl Vilips of Australia by one stroke. Bluffton's Brandon McBride was third at 77-77--154.
Finally, Mexico's Ana Paula Valdes, an IJGA full-time student, won the Girls Under 19 Division, shooting 67-71--138 to beat classmate Rei Nakatani of Japan by six strokes.
Send all golf news to sports editor Mike McCombs at firstname.lastname@example.org.