By: Tony Edwards
This was the sixth BIGGS Classic held at Albemarle Plantation’s Sound Golf Links and the second to be conducted in May. The tournament was blessed with summer-like temperatures and low humidity. The course, meticulously prepared by Randy Tetterton and his hard-working staff, was in tip-top shape for the occasion. The GPro Tour coordinator, Gary Haugh, and our very own Lee Duncan and their respective staffs made sure the tournament was going to run like clockwork.
125 pro golfers had signed up and were primed and ready on Thursday for the first round of the three-round stroke-play tournament. Thanks to the remarkable efforts of Rosemary Smith, 97 of these young men (plus a number of caddies and family members) had a comfortable place to stay “on campus” for the week. And Rosemary would be the first to thank all residents who offered their homes for this purpose. It is one of the many facets of the BIGGS Classic at AP that now attracts many of these aspiring pros to come and play each year as a favorite stop on the GPro Tour. I must not forget to applaud the many resident volunteers who assisted with the range, on-course spotting, scoring, rules assistance, liquid refreshment replenishment, starters at holes #1 and #10, parking attendants, CERT medical first aid, and after-round divot-filling throughout the week. The list goes on. A big “THANK YOU” to all who helped to make the tournament special for these professional golfers.
It is important to note that the tournament is financially self-sustaining, thanks to the wonderful sup-port and contributions from our many sponsors, especially our title sponsor, BIGGS Cadillac-Buick-GMC of Elizabeth City. In fact, thanks to all of them, we were able to put up one of the bigger purses on the GPro Tour, including a $15,000 prize to the winner. In addition, and for the last two years, the winner earned a full exemption to the Rex Hospital Open, a Web.com Tour event, scheduled the week following our tournament. This is a big incentive, since eventual passage to the PGA tour can only be through the Web.com. It’s a very challenging road to the “big leagues” in golf.
Three rain-free days and increasingly hard and fast playing conditions brought the final round to a climax with three players vying for the top spot down the stretch. Carson Young, Josh Brock, and Stewart Jolly all reached the 18th with a chance to win, but it was the remarkably consistent play of Jolly (only one bogey in 54 holes) that earned him the champion honors with a final score of 15 under par. Tom and Patty Tetlow were delighted as Stewart’s “house parents” for the week.
At the closing ceremonies, Tony Cook, a senior at Perquimans High School, was awarded the Biggs $5,000 academic scholarship, much to the delight of his aunt and uncle in attendance. Then Gary Haugh, assisted by Mr. and Mrs. Biggs, called up the new champion to present him with the winner’s check. A beaming Stewart Jolly then addressed the audience, expressing his thanks to all for hosting the tournament, which resulted in the very first win of his profes-sional career. Quite fittingly, an appreciative crowd serenaded him with a rousing chorus of “For he’s a Jolly good fellow.”
And so ended another very successful BIGGS Classic golf tournament. We can now look forward to next year, knowing that GPro has signed us up for 2020, which happens to be the 30th anniversary of the Sound Golf Links. Can’t wait!