Hancock wins State Senior Four Ball Championship

Published 7:16 pm Tuesday, October 20, 2009

David Hancock of Greenville and Ralph Mathews of Andalusia shared the lead or led outright all three rounds of the State Senior Four Ball Championship and they ran out the winners by four shots at Huntsville Country Club Sunday.

Dana Amberson and Harry Kirkland tied with Bob Dumas and David Stanfield for second place. Both teams shot rounds of 69-69-66–204.

Hancock and Mathews, friends and golfing rivals for close to 40 years, shot rounds of 66-69-65–200.

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However, while their margin of victory appeared comfortable, it was a struggle for them at that start of the final round.

They both bogeyed the first and then Hancock had to chip in to save par on the second hole.

They then calmed down as Hancock reeled off birdies on Nos. 4, 5 and 7 to give them a little breathing room.

Heading to the back nine they had a two shot lead and never let up with birdies on Nos. 11 and 15 by Hancock and on Nos. 14 and 18 from Mathews to see them home in 31 strokes.

“We’ve played a lot of golf together and know what we are capable of doing,” Hancock said. “The key was staying relaxed and not being too hard on ourselves, especially after a poor start.”

“We’ve both been talking about playing in this championship for a couple of years,” Mathews, 51, said. “As soon as David was eligible, we wanted to play together.”

Mathews, who won the State Junior in 1974, comes from a golfing family as his father Max Mathews has won the State Senior Amateur 65+ age division four times.

As does Hancock, a winner of many statewide tournaments including the Labor Day Invitational at the Country Club of Mobile, who’s oldest brother Phillip played on the PGA Tour and played college golf for Florida, as did +4.0 handicap David before he transferred to Troy State.

Another brother Charles “Bunky” Hancock played at Alabama the same time as Jerry Pate, and their late father Charles won the State Left Handed title in the 60’s.

It was Hancock’s first Alabama Golf Association title. He has been close before in multiple Mid-Amateur championships, and joins Phillip on the AGA champions honor roll as he won the State Junior in 1970 and the State Amateur in 1973.

Hancock summed up their winning by saying “We didn’t wanted to let this slip. We really wanted to finish this (championship) off and that’s what we did.”