Nearly 30 years ago, Brent Thomas took a three shot lead into the final day of the Grenada Invitational. He thought he was well on his way to winning the title.
Former Kirk Academy coach Ronnie Aldy had something to say about that. He overtook Thomas to win the title.
Fast forward to this past weekend. Thomas again led by three shots heading into Sunday’s final round.
This time, the final outcome was different. Thomas was able to get at 7-under at one point and went on to win the 56th annual tournament at Perry Creeks Golf Club. It was the second title for Thomas, who won the tournament back in 2007.
“It feels good, no question,” Thomas said. “I probably let off the gas some when I got to 7-under.”
A Kirk graduate, Thomas said that 1985 flashed before his eyes after a hot start. The difference this time was that he was able to hold off the competition.
“That tournament did cross my mind at one point,” Thomas said. “I was able to relax somewhat because there was no one really pushing me this time.”
Thomas finished the final round with a one-over 72. The key to winning the tournament probably came in the opening round. Thomas shot a 67 and stood at 4-under.
Richard Reed of Starkville finished second three shots back at 142 for two rounds.
“I thought a big key for me was a 31 on the front nine Saturday,” Thomas said. “That enabled me to get a lead.”
Thomas started the day with a par on the opening hole. He had an Eagle on No. 2 and a birdie on No. 4. Then, holes 7-9 weren’t kind with three consecutive bogeys to give him a 36 on the front nine. He shot a 36 on the back nine, including a critical birdie on No. 17. That came after Reed birded No. 12 and Thomas bogeyed the hole. The roles were reversed on 17th hole.
“That birdie on 17 was big in the final outcome,” Thomas said. “If the outcome of that hole would have been reversed, then I would have taken a one-shot lead to the final hole.”
Third place was a tie between Michael Naaman and David Griffin, who both shot a 143.
Clinton Van Devender and Robert Griffin each had a 144.
The highest finish by a local player besides Thomas was Joe Monteith, who finished tied for ninth. He had a two-day total of 147.
Grenadian Robert Willis had a 157 for the two days of the tournament.
Van Devender was the winner of the Second Flight. Breland Brooks and Richard Fairchild both had a 152.
Aldy had a two-day total of 157, which put him tied for ninth in the flight.
Jay Bowen won the Third Flight with a 153. Former Grenada Country Club pro Charlie Lockett finished with a 156. Justin Dyre was next with a 157.
Kevin Bement carded a 159 and Scott Kirk shot a 161. Will Goff finished with a 171 and Rhett Dyre came in at 176.
Brent Mims was the winner of the Fourth Flight with a 159. Paul Liberto had a 166 and Nathan Hartley shot a 168 and Steve Tate carded a 169. Bill Goff shot a 170 and Al Walton had a 174.
Jason Brooks won the Fifth Flight. After shooting an 86 on Saturday, he came back to shoot an 80. Ben DeHart was second with a 168. Wab Morris shot a 172.
Sam Dowdle, Tommy Dyre, and John Mark King all had a 179 to tie for the top spot in the Sixth Flight.
A total of 104 golfers took part in the tournament.