Gary and Les Smith are having a summer to remember. Back in June, the brothers combined to finish third overall at the Men's Four Ball Championship on their home course at Paragon, losing in a three-way playoff to Gerry and Chad MacMillan, while Chris Evans and Sean Stuart finished second. Gary then finished in fourteenth overall at the MCT Insurance Men's Mid Amateur, while both brothers had an excellent showing last week at the NSGA Senior Championship with Gary finishing in a tie for second, and Les finishing in a tie for seventh overall.
The success continued into day one of the Senior Four Ball Championship at Clare Golf and Country Club where the sibling duo sits atop the leader board.
"We played well, there was rarely a hole we didn't have a putt for birdie, and we got off to an excellent start on hole number ten making birdie on our first hole that got us going" explained both Gary and Les on their opening round of the tournament.
"The course is in great shape, right from the tee box to the greens, yesterday (during the practice rounds) the greens were a bit slow, but today they had them in excellent shape" said Les with Gary giving an approving nod. The Smith's were joined by fellow Paragon members Paul Tidman and Tom Banks who shot a two under sixty nine. Also one shot back of the Smith's are defending champions John Drummond and James Jackson both of Osprey Ridge Golf Club.
Banks and Tidman, who like Les and Gary Smith are from Paragon, said they played consistent, and were fortunate enough to not both get in trouble at the same time.
Banks and Tidman said Paragon's Men's nights have grown in size and ability, which is great preparation for this type of tournament.
"The Men's night started back in 1982, we had 12 guys, that was it, and by three or four years ago we were up to between 180-200 players each Thursday, even today we have well over 100 and there are probably 10 to 12 guys with handicaps at three or less, so it makes for great competition."
James Jackson and John Drummond rounded out the top three scores of the day. The Osprey Ridge duo equalled Banks and Tidman's score and sit one back of the Smith's following day one.
Drummond and Jackson will tee off in the second-last pairing with Bob Thompson and Bruce Fagan at the 1:20 pairing, and it will be an all-Paragon final pairing of Tidman/Banks, and Les and Gary Smith at 1:30 p.m. who will look to bring home the 38th Senior Men's Four Ball Championship.