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By Alan Hensley
Special to The Beacon
Former West Brunswick golfer Greg Hensley played for the South in the 10th annual North South Tournament April 19-21 at Keith Hills Golf Club in Buies Creek. Hensley is enrolled in the PGA Golf Management program at Campbell University.
The three-day tournament was the last event of the 2013 Spring Semester Tournament Series. Forty-six golf students and two golf instructors were divided in foursomes. North won the tourney.
Teams played alternate shot on the first day. Hensley and Tray Sellers won their match against Garrett Wetherbee and Cody Nussbaum.
“Tray and I played hard, which paid off with a 1-up victory,” Hensley said. “I knew what I needed to work on for the next day to try and help the South come back on the North.”
The day ended with North ahead 8.5-3.5.
Teams played four ball on the second day. Hensley and partner Kenneth Jones (director of the PGA Golf management program) lost 3 and 2 against Ryan Daily (assistant director of PGA golf management program) and Nick Gorman.
“Before we teed off, I knew it was going to be an exciting and challenging second day,” Hensley said. “The Daily and Gorman team led us a majority of the front nine. I birdied the holes they both birdied to keep us in check and not too far off the lead. Jones had good par saves that helped keep us alive.
“We were 2 down at the turn and I went birdie-birdie for the next two holes with a chip-in on the second hole to get us to all square. I remember one of the caddies saying, ‘Watch out,’ to the North side.
“However, Jones and I struggled on the next three holes and dropped to 3 down. My 35-footer had narrowly missed going in for birdie on hole 15 and then my birdie on 16 also skimmed the edge.”
The second round ended with North ahead 13-11.
In the third round, 24 golfers on each side played against each other in individual matches. Hensley won his match against Ryan Vance. Teammate Tim Bringard played against Robert Starkey.
“I was pumped up to play with my friend from The First Tee of Brunswick County, Tim Bringard,” Hensley said. “Tim and I were flip-flopping between winning and losing each hole. After the front nine, Tim and I were both struggling. I was 4 down and did not plan on giving up. I worked my way back to 1 up on Vance going into the last two holes. We both parred 17 and birdied 18. Vance hit the par-5 hole 18 in two but missed an eagle putt, forcing me to get up and down from 51 yards to save the lead.”
Henlsey birdied the 18th to win the match. But North kept its lead and won the tourney 27.5-20.5.
“Overall, I struggled all spring semester with my golf game,” Hensley said. “I had given up on making the North South tournament cut until I was chosen as a captain’s choice pick. I was so excited and ready to show how I can play when called upon. I worked hard. After numerous practice sessions and playing many rounds of golf, I felt ready for the match play.
“The atmosphere was filled with rivalry, but overall it was fun. ”