Golf

Beale-Byrd win Slavic Invitational Tournament

George Byrd and Nick Beale consider their putt on number 14 during the final round of the 2016 Slavic Invitational Tournament at Fallen Oak golf course in Saucier on Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016.
George Byrd and Nick Beale consider their putt on number 14 during the final round of the 2016 Slavic Invitational Tournament at Fallen Oak golf course in Saucier on Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016. jcfitzhugh@sunherald.com

Nick Beale and George Byrd combined to shoot a 5-under-par 67 Sunday afternoon at Fallen Oak Golf Club, winning the 2016 Slavic Invitational championship.

They edged the team of Tim McCabe and Jake Kuharich by one stroke. Beale and Byrd shot a total of 188, while McCabe and Kuharich shot 189 overall, with a 68. The two teams were tied at 121 entering the final round.

“Holes 3 and 4 were key,’’ Beale said. “We were in trouble on both holes. I hit it in the water on 3 and my partner hit it in the right bunker. He hit a great bunker shot and was still 15 feet past the hole. He made the putt coming back for the par.

“On the next hole (No. 4) we were both in trouble. I made about a 15-footer for par, also.’’

Both teams were 1-under on the front nine, and then Beale and Byrd turned it on. “We birdied 11, 12, 13 and that’s where we got ahead,’’ Beale said.

McCabe and Kuharich shaved the two-shot lead to one with a birdie on No. 18.

Beale and Byrd won the Slavic title two years ago, and Beale also won in 2006 with a different partner.

David Lee and Justin Massey shot a 68 Sunday for a 194 total to take third place.

The teams of John Boothby-Kyle Sapp and Naret Johnson-Brandon Laird each finished at 195 total.

“We got it going a little bit on the back,’’ Byrd said. “We had some more chances but we didn’t make some putts. It was tough. In the beginning, we hit it all over the place for a little bit. Nick is the best player I know and it is a whole lot easier to be his partner.’’

The McCabe-Kuharich tandem finished second to Beale and Byrd in 2014 by one stroke.

“It was back and forth at the beginning,’’ McCabe said. “On the back side it turned around, and I think they birdied three holes in a row that kind of got us out of sorts. We had missed opportunities – we missed a couple of putts inside of 10 feet that you normally think you would make.

“They were two up going to 18 and Jake made a birdie on 18. That’s just how it goes. It was fun. It is disappointing to come up one short. You’d probably rather lose by 10 than lose by one.’’

Other flight winners were Steve Wilson and Keith Fayard in the Second Flight, shooting a 65; Mark Martino and Josh Clements in the Third Flight, shooting a 65; and Hymel and Luminais in the First Flight, shooting a 67.

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