If the shoe fits, wear it.
Sunday morning before the final day of the Roanoke Valley Match Play Championship, Senior Division player Frank Moore found something in his shoe in addition to his foot and sock.
“My wife put this note in my shoe,” Moore noted, showing the small piece of paper while standing just off the 18th green.
The message to her hubby said ‘You have what it takes……make it happen.’
The note seemed uncannily prophetic when Moore reached the par-5 18th hole at Old Monterey Golf Club all square with favorite Jack Allara, a Roanoke Valley Golf Hall of Fame inductee, who is a frequent resident at the top of the leaderboard in local golf tournaments.
After both Moore and Allara were just short of the green in two shots, Moore put the shoe down when he lofted a short chip that rolled straight into the hole smoother than a foot sliding into a perfectly sized FootJoy with a shoehorn.
Allara, himself, needing a hole-out to force extra holes, followed with a sharp chip of his own that slipped just past the hole.
“I’ve never finished a tournament that way, not with a chip-in to win,” Moore said. “I won the old City-County stroke play in 1977 with a long putt, but never a chip-in on the final hole.”
“Jack’s a tough player and I just hung in there,” Moore added. “I think the note gave me a positive attitude. I started off good and was up three at the turn. Then, I started to slip a little on the back nine before we got to number 18 tied. Now, I’ve got both the regular and senior wins in this event.”
In the amateur division Sunday, Blake Carter parlayed a semifinal win over Matt Chandler 3 and 2 before topping David Hudgins 4 and 3 in the final after Hudgins had ousted No. 1 seed Chase Bailey 2 and 1.
In the super senior division, Roanoker Jim Wright defeated No.1 seed Carl Leonard 3 and 2 to take home the trophy.
In the grand masters division, Marvin Taylor took the title with a 6 and 5 win over Roanoke legend Ned Baber. It was Taylor’s second straight win over Baber in the last two years.
“Ned has beaten my brains out in the past, so I’m getting even,” Taylor laughed after cashing in on 4 dozen golf balls and a stack of gloves in his tournament-win booty,. “I hope this is a trend.”
“The weather was good, no rain and I hit it good. Match play is fun and we don’t get to do it that way very often,”Taylor pointed out.
Although the participation was down from prior years, this year’s event held true with plenty of drama and upsets.
“This year we had a few new wrinkles,” tournament director Sam Taylor noted after the trophy presentations. “We had an 18-hole qualifier, and despite fewer players, still had a quality field. There were a lot of exciting matches and Old Monterey and its great staff, and our sponsors, helped make it a great tournament. This tournament started in 1935 and has kept going through the years. It’s a popular format.”