(This is part two in a three-part series about the City Golf Tournament.)
By CHRISSY SMITH
SLIDELL — Jack Abney has pretty much been the man when it comes to the Slidell City Golf Tournament by winning the championship flight title the past eight years in a row. He’s like the pro in Slidell.
But Robbie Rhodes, who has come in second place six times to Abney, has been playing some impressive golf this year.
The Greater Slidell Golf Championship will take place this year at three different Slidell course locations — Royal, Pinewood and Oak Harbor from June 22-24.
Abney and Rhodes are both members of Pinewood Golf Club. This month, Rhodes set the all-time course record at Pinewood and has beaten Abney three times at the Pinewood Golf Club championships. However, Rhodes said he has realized the club title doesn’t mean much when it comes to the city tournament.
“I’ve learned that winning the club doesn’t factor into the city tourney. I’ve beaten Jack three times at club, but not at city because they are two different types of tournaments. But I’ve been hitting the ball really well all spring, and the city tournament really comes down to making putts. All three courses are so different, and you’ve just got to be a smart player and not overdo it,”?Rhodes said.
Besides Abney and Rhodes, it will be interesting to see if Jacob Bergeron (who is 14 years old) will enter the contest. He is one of the best golfers for his age in the state, and could contend in the championship flight.
Last year, Abney, who is a former college and tour golfer, was down three stokes going into the final day of competition. He had to play at Oak Harbor his final day after completing rounds at the other two courses, Pinewood and Royal, respectively. Abney shot 72 on the first day, 72 on the second and 70 on the final day.
Mike Havert is another golfer to keep an eye out for. He was in the lead going into the third day of the tourney last year. Also standing out last year were Dan Willwerth and Nick Lagrange.