Local golf clubs await new Waynesboro Challenge

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For two-plus decades, the county’s top golfers have competed for supremacy in the Wayne County Golf Amateur in different age divisions.

Now, club bragging rights are on the line.

The inaugural Waynesboro Challenge tees off Saturday morning at 8 a.m. at picturesque Walnut Creek Country Club.

The two-day event involves four 12-man teams from the county’s four clubs - Walnut Creek, Southern Wayne, Goldsboro Municipal and Lane Tree.

“I feel this is something that would flourish in Wayne County,” said Jeremy Joyner, WCGA president. “It gives us a chance to bring our clubs together as well as give us a great way to promote the WCGA later in the year.”

Clubs determined their own qualification for the challenge. Each team is comprised of six players 49 years old and under and six seniors 50 and older.

Day one involves an 18-hole, stroke-play tournament in the morning. Six-man teams will battle in a 9-hole best-ball format, followed by a 9-hole modified alternate shot format in the afternoon.

“There will be some stiff competition, some bearing down and focusing,” said Parker King, vice president of WCGA. “100% of the credit should go to Jeremy, this is kind of his brainchild. [He] introduced the idea after the amateur last year to get more people interested in playing golf. 

“He’s worked hard to get everything organized.”

Once scores are compiled, the top two teams advance to Sunday.

Captains from each team will do a pairings presentation similar to the Ryder Cup for final-round singles play. Foursomes - two from each club - will engage in a match-play format.

Three points are available per foursome.

Joyner proposed the clubs split one-time expense for a trophy that will be on display at their club until the next challenge. Nameplates for the winning club will be added each year.

“It’s an opportunity to get people within our community to join and play at area golf clubs, promote fellowship as well as competition,” King said. “Hopefully, it will create some rivalries within the county in a positive way. So far from everyone I’ve spoken with, reaction has been very positive … been a lot of excitement.

“It’s something that has been a long time coming. Other counties do it and it has a big turnout.”

An Ellis Maples-designed course, Walnut Creek is a par-72 layout that is just seven yards short of 7,000 in length.

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