There has not been a repeat champion at the Tri-County Championship.
And there won’t be one this year.
But golf tournament founder and coordinator Norm Petersen offers assurances that plans are to only take a break and not discontinue the tournament permanently.
Saying, “Golf can wait,” Petersen announced recently that the tournament he started in 2009 will not be played this year because of recovery efforts from the tornado that struck the area in mid-May.
“The devastation from the tornado and hail storm has pushed things like golf to the back,” he said. “But don’t misunderstand, we are NOT wanting to cancel this tournament. It’s been a great tournament, and we hope it comes back next year bigger and better than ever.
“I don’t have any doubt if the Children’s Advocacy Center is willing to be the charity involved, we’ll go forward, and it will be the greatest tournament yet.”
Of course, there are also other charities, but the CAC and the tournament have had a strong connection, Petersen said, with many thousand dollars having been raised for the facility that helps needy children and families.
Petersen, along with many of the people who annually help make the tournament a success, are focusing their charitable efforts on helping tornado victims, he said.
“This is just a time to focus on those folks, the victims,” he said.
“As far as I’m concerned, my attention is on next year. People are asking if we could move it to another date, but I just don’t see it happening.”
Petersen said the tournament was originally scheduled for early August.
The tournament began because Petersen said he’d always thought with all the golf courses in and around Hood County, and all of the great golfers, there should be a single event to determine the top player.
Over its first four years, the tournament’s trademark was including all the golf courses in Hood County, and later adding Squaw Valley in Glen Rose. It also featured some thrilling golf.
Last season, Travis Benson won prior to his senior season at Granbury High. His victory came on the third hole of a sudden-death playoff – over his GHS coach, Steve Ward, after each had finished regulation at 6-under-par 136 playing Nutcracker (par 72) and deCordova Bend (par 70). It was also the first year high school golfers were allowed to play.
In 2011, Mr. Golf in Hood County, Lelan Chiles, won the title by three strokes, shooting 3-under-par 69 at Hidden Oaks and 1-over-par 73 at Pecan Plantation.
In 2010, the tournament expanded to include Squaw Valley. Former Granbury Pirate Casey Jones sizzled that course with a 6-under-par 66 with an even-par 72 at Harbor Lakes on his way to victory.
And the inaugural event was won by Josh Price with a 1-under-par 141 (71 at Harbor Lakes, 70 at deCordova).
“We’ve had some great golf played in this tournament,” said Petersen. “And I hope we have a whole lot more.”
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