The first thing Barry Godown did after winning his first Men’s Shelby County Open championship Sunday was breath a big sign of relief.
Godown won his first Open championship by shooting a 71 on Saturday at Shelby Oaks and a 72 Sunday at the Moose for a 143 and a three-stroke win over runner-up Nate Fridley. Former champion Brad Goffena was one stroke behind Fridley with a 147, and Wil Fridley finished at 149.
“It was a long day,” Godown said after getting his trophy. “I felt like at times it was getting away from me. It just felt like survival.”
And surviving is not something he’s done in past Opens, he said.
“A few years ago I was in contention and took myself right out of it,” he said. “I’ve had a few other chances, too, and let them get away. I’ve been playing very, very good golf. My handicap is a plus-1, and when you have that, that’s kinda getting it done. So I told myself that whatever happened (Sunday), I’m still playing good golf. But it’s tough to play good golf on a day you want to be good. Mentally and physically, it’s a lot different from just a practice round.”
Godown laughed when he thought back to his very first Shelby County Open. He’s a man who up until 26 or 27 years old, cared little about any other sport but baseball. That’s the sport he played in college at Ball State.
“I played baseball in front of thousands of people in college, with no problem,” he said. “But the first golf tournament I ever played in was the Shelby County Open, and I was a nervous wreck.”
Shelby Oaks club pro Rob Fridley said earlier in the week that Godown was his favorite to win the title, simply because he works so hard on his game.
“I know people who work harder,” Godown said. “But if I’m around the house with nothing do to, I’ll go out and hit a bucket of balls. And I’m one of the few who enjoy playing a course that’s 7200 hundred yards long. I like the long, challenging courses.”
That was enough to make him a little apprehensive going to the Moose, a short course tucked within the city limits. He’s played it in the past, usually the week of the Open, but the final round of the Open was the first time he’s played the Moose layout this year.
“I’ve been on it enough that I knew what to expect,” he said. “Yesterday was pretty good at the Oaks, but nothing spectacular. I was plus one at the turn and didn’t feel too good about that, but when I saw the scoreboard, I realized that nobody else was doing any better.”
Meanwhile, the second flight low gross champion was Mark Sanvido with two rounds of 76 for a 152. And the third-flight winner was Nich Fischio with an 82-84, 166.
One day in 2017
Fridley announced during the trophy presentation that next year the tournament will be just one day, a Sunday.
It will be a 27-hole tournament, with 18 at Shelby Oaks and nine at the Moose.
Fridley took this step after a dramatic drop in entrants this year, from 72 last year to 42 this year.
“I’m not sure anymore that the guys want to dedicate a whole weekend to this tournament,” Fridley said. “They may have work on Saturday or want more family time on Saturday. The low numbers forced us to make an adjustment, and hopefully this will get the numbers back up.”
Shelby County Open
(First round at Shelby Oaks, second round at Moose)
First flight — Barry Godown 71-72—143; Nate Fridley 77-69—146; Brad Goffena 72-75—147; Wil Fridley 75-74—149; Mike New 78-73—151; Tyler Bergman 73-79—152; Steve Beaty 79-75—154; Brad Yinger 79-75—154; Davis Westover 79-76—155; Mike Krusemark 77-79—156; Brad Gottemoeller 82-81—163; Steven Brown 91-78—169; Ross Pulfer 88-82—172.
Low net — 1. Tyler Bergman 140, 2. Steve Beaty 142.
Second flight — Mark Sanvido 78-76—152; Josh Platfoot 72-84—156; Mason Jones 77-82—159; Eli Kuck 80-83—163; Sam Long 78-89—167; Tyler Lachey 80-89—169; James Devine 74-95—169; Max Pulfer 84-88—172; Keith Drinnen 86-88—174; Michael Hilgefort 91-87—178; Jason Cooper 84-93—177; Ryan Schmidt 82-87—178; Mason Platfoot 89-100—189.
Low net — 1. Josh Platfoot 136; 2. Eli Kuck 143.
Third flight — Nick Fischio 85-84—166; Steve Shatto 83-85—168; Tom Reier 84-88—172; Bob Curliss 90-83—173; David Langdon 86-88—174; Ernie Vibbert 85-90—175; Chip Ordean 89-88—177; Chad Manger 94-83—177; Linus Greve 88-92—180; Michael Simmons 86-95—181; Brian Scoggin 92-89—181; Ron Tackett 96-86—182; Jason Latimer 92-90—182; Craig Steenrod 96-95—191; Geoffrey Henry 89—109—198; Buck Watren 103-97—200.
Low net — 1. Steve Shatto 138; 2. David Lasngdon 146.
Reach Ken Barhorst at 937-538-4818