Back to back! - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Back to back!

April 24, 2004

ALBANY, Ga. - With a final-round 63 and 22-under total of 194, Wright Waddell and Carter Mize of Columbus captured their second-straight and fourth-overall Georgia Four-Ball Championship by four strokes at Doublegate Country Club.

Johnny Hammond of Columbus and Bill Roberts of Pine Mountain, a former Georgia Amateur champion, shot 67 to finish second, one stroke ahead of four teams tied for third at 199.

Second-round leaders Scott Pitts of Cornelia, reigning Atlanta Amateur champion, and partner Brian Davidson of Baldwin had to settle for a second-straight, third-place finish after a final-round 70.

Georgia Public Links champion Dave Womack and Michael Standard, both of McDonough, carded five birdies and an eagle on the back nine to shoot 37-29-66 and tie for third as well. Also at 199 were Donny Phillips of Duluth and Chris Hall of Marietta (65) and past champion Rocky Costa of Alpharetta and Brett Lange of Atlanta (68).

 Six teams finished tied for seventh at 16-under 200, including last year's runners-up Jayce Stepp of Cartersville and Scott Davenport of Marietta (68) and Tom Graziano of Atlanta and Scott Moss of Eatonton (70).

Graziano and Moss were within two strokes of the leaders after four-straight birdies on holes 10 through 13, but bogeyed three of the final five holes to drop to seventh. Trailing by two strokes after a second-round 64, Waddell and Mize combined for 11 birdies and two bogeys on the final day. Waddell birdied holes seven, eight and nine to move the defending champions to six under for the round, giving them a three-stroke lead at the turn.

Despite bogeying both par threes on the back nine, Waddell and Mize's lead never dropped below two strokes, as they followed each bogey with back-to-back birdies on holes 12 and 13 and 17 and 18. Mize also made a two-putt birdie from 50 feet on the par-five 15th.

"If you have two bogeys and still shoot nine under you have to be making a lot of putts," Mize, a two-time Georgia Amateur champion (1993 and 1994), said after the round. He sunk a 15-foot birdie putt on the 549-yard, par-five 13th after reaching a greenside bunker in two. He also drained an eight-footer for birdie on No. 17.

Waddell, who won his second Mid-Amateur title at Doublegate in 1999, made putts of 10, 15 and six feet during his stretch of three-straight birdies on seven through nine before sinking a 12-footer on 18 after driving into the rough.

Waddell and Mize, who have played together since junior high school, picked up their first two Georgia Four-Ball Championships in 1991 and 1995.

They join current Champions Tour player Allan Doyle and David Dougherty as the second pair in the championship's 33-year history to win four titles. Hosting this event for the fourth time, the par-72 Doublegate course played to approximately 7,000 yards.

In 2001, the winning score was 16-under 200, posted by Jeff Belk of Marietta and Bob Young of Dunwoody in 2001. This year, Belk and Young finished tied for 19th at 205.