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Dedicated to the game of golf

What could bring 104 people together to brave the elements of sub-freezing wind-chills on a winter Saturday for five hours of golf? Sean Curry, director of golf at Cambrian Ridge, said free passes will do it every time.

"After seven successful years here at Cambrian Ridge, we wanted to give back to the community that has supported us so well," Curry said. "So we held Greenville/Butler County Day."

What the folks at the Robert Trent Jones signature course did was simple. They offered a free day of golf, with carts, beverages and hors d'oeuvres, and some prizes that any avid golfer would love to have, including one-year passes for golf at Cambrian Ridge.

"Just think about it if you will, that is quite a prize, to have free green-fees for a year," Curry said.

So at 11:30 on Saturday morning, the 104 set out on the Loblolly and Short courses for some of the most grueling winds many had ever experienced during a round of golf.

Although it rained in buckets all day on Friday, the expertly designed golf course was well drained for Saturday's golf. There may have been some standing water in some of the sand traps, but not on any of the greens and fairways.

Among the group, there was not a soul that could say their skills at the game were duly challenged.

"The majority of the golfers in the tournament were regulars," said Justin Dupuis, head golf professional at Cambrian Ridge. "They were the golfers targeted by this event-those that have supported us since we opened."

Although there were a few participants from outside the Greenville and Butler County areas, the winners were required to show proof of residency before they could win the first place prize.

When the golfing was through, many gathered in front of the fireplace in the clubhouse, warming up with a cup of coffee, and talking about a particular challenge they met on the course, among them, the northeastern wind gusts of up to 25 miles per hour.

While the golfers enjoyed the companionship and cuisine set out at the tournament's end, the score cards were tallied.

Before revealing the results of the tournament, Curry announced that the event was such a success, and would be continued as an annual event, at approximately the same time next year.

Curry also announced that during the last weekend in May, Cambrian Ridge would be the place for another popular event, the Calvary Charge.'

Then, on June 2 and 3, they will host the Father and Son tour'.

Curry finished by announcing a national event coming up in September.

"During the week of Sept. 17 through 23, we will host the NGA (National Golf Association) event formerly known as the Hooters Tour', here at Cambrian Ridge," Curry said.

When the totals were in, the first place team was that of Hugh Brooks, Ron Peacock and Willie Taylor, with a net score of 48.6, after subtracting their handicap of 5.4 from their gross score.

Sean Curry presented the three with their free passes.

Second place honors were bestowed upon the team of Wesley Miller, Aubrey Nall and Jason Brown, whose handicap of 6.1 got them a net score of 49.9.

Third place went to the team of Joby Norman and M9ichael Norman. The two-man team had a 3.3 handicap, and scored a 51.7 net score.

In addition to the first place passes, another free annual pass was offered as a door prize, which was won by Buddy Teague.