City golf tournament long needed -- and it's in works

Wednesday, August 10, 2016
Saddle Creek Golf Club's ninth and 18th holes sit side by side and are two reachable par fives that will be crucial when area golfers tee it up in the inaugural Greater Lewisburg City Golf Championship on August 20 and 21. Tribune photo by Anthony S. Puca

There used to be a time when winning the Marshall County Golf Open was one of the most coveted amateur titles in the area.

Looking through the Tribune archives and seeing all the great names and faces that played in the event was like a kaleidoscope of golf history in Marshall County and that lineage could be restarted with the recent announcement by Saddle Creek Golf Club General Manager and PGA Professional Greg Wilson regarding the inaugural Greater Lewisburg City Championship on August 20 and 21.

Starting from scratch

"I really have no idea what to expect the first year, we could have a few players or we could get 80 players," Wilson said. "We may have gotten a late start on this, so we may not get a full field."

Although different in format from the Marshall County Open, the City Championship should draw some of the most talented golfers in the area that want to hoist the winning hardware.

"We have a lot of good players in this area, I have done city championships everywhere I have gone and they have been very popular," Wilson said. "I was a little surprised a town this size didn't have one for so long, so I wanted to get this started again."

Area-wide field

The Marshall County Open used to be a bracketed match-play event whereas the City Tournament will be a two-day flighted competition with stroke play determining the winner and it will be open to players from Marshall, Maury, Lincoln, Bedford and Giles County.

Winners will be awarded in the Men's Division (up to 59 years old), Ladies, Senior Men (60-69) and Super Senior Men (70 and up).

"We will just hope for the best and each year try to improve on it," Wilson said. "In the future our goal is to get a main line sponsor and make it a really nice thing with meals, trophies, the whole ball of wax....make it a really nice event."

The current Saddle Creek Club Champion Joe Liggett will be in the event and said, "It's awesome and golf in the area and the city of Lewisburg needs this."

Liggett, who also won the club championship in 2014 added, "I love good competition and pressure and I feel like the more great competition that there is, the better it makes me play. That trophy would be priceless."

Looking forward

A blast from the past....Buddy Wiles accepts the 1986 Marshall County Open trophy from then Marshall County Golf Club president Roger Giles.

Lewisburg's Mike Tankersley, the 1992 TGA state amateur champion, three-time Saddle Creek Club champion and six-time Marshall County Open winner said about the upcoming event, "I think they have got a good thing going with this new tournament and I feel the county needs an individual championship, it is the purity of golf."

Incredibly, Tankersley won his first Marshall County Open at the age of 15 and talked about the competition in the 80's and 90's.

"Buddy Wiles was the guy to beat in the eighties and Jeff Jones was the guy in nineties. If I didn't beat Jeff in match play on the 18th hole three years in a row, he would have been the one holding the trophy three straight times."

Forms to sign up for the Greater Lewisburg City Golf Championship are available at the Pro Shop at Saddle Creek Golf Club or call (931)-422-2014.