Andalusia’s Rabren wins Bud Burns ChampionshipPublished 10:04pm Wednesday, June 19, 2013
By Daniel Evans
The Selma Times-Journal
Brooks Rabren won the 52nd annual Bud Burns
Dixie Junior Championship Wednesday with a final round of 73.
The Andalusia native, who won the 3A state golf championship this year, was able to play well on a day where the leaders backed up to the pack.
Rabren took advantage of Selma Country Club’s par 5s, making birdie on the first hole and the seventeenth hole. He was also able to limit his mistakes, making only four bogeys on the day.
With a total score of 215, or 2-over-par, Rabren took home the Otey Crisman Trophy and a signed picture from Bubba Watson, a past winner of the event.
“I shot 70, 72, 73. I made quite a few birdies. I made a few mistakes, but I hit the ball extremely well,“ Rabren said. “I struggle on the greens a lot though, and I didn’t make many putts. I’m actually going tomorrow to take a putting lesson. “
Rabren’s fellow competitors might argue whether or not Rabren needs a putting lesson, considering he was among the leaders in total birdies. He came into the final round trailing Lane Smith of Florence for the lead by one shot.
“It feels good to win. I knew I had a chance if I played my normal game like I have been,” Rabren said when asked if he thought he would have a chance to win entering the final day of competition.
Overall, Rabren made 11 birdies in the tournament. He is a rising junior at Straughn High School. This was his second time playing the Bud Burns Championship.
“He had a great score, 215. I’m telling you — that golf course played hard out there. Windy conditions. Wet conditions yesterday. Little-bity greens and I’m telling you, they’re fast.” Tommy Burns, PGA golf professional with the Selma Country Club, said.
“On the stimpmeter they are running probably about 11. The field was increased by about 20 percent, which I was tickled to death with.”
Smith shot 79 in the final round and his playing partner Will Thrash of Prattville, who also entered the day one back, shot 82. Last year’s overall winner, Ford Manderson of Selma finished well back with a total score of 21-over-par, 234.
Smith finished second, with a total score of 7-over-par, 220. Austin Gean of Florence finished third overall with a total score of 221, 8-over-par.
Smith won the 17-18-year-old division. Alex Norman of Birmingham finished second after shooting a 69, the best score of the final round. He finished with a total of 222. Third was Thrash, who finished with a total of 224.
In the 15-16-year-old division, Rabren claimed the title. Gean finished second with a total of 221 and Ethan Willoughby of Albertville came in third with a total of 224. Jones Free of Marion-Junction won the 10-and-under division with a score of 83 in his one round of golf.
“Regardless what people say about the kids now, about how they aren’t disciplined, this is the best bunch of kids I can remember,“ Burns said.
“I’m not saying these are the best one’s I’ve ever seen, but it seems like it is. They were so well-mannered. I’ve never had so many kids come up and thank me and be complimentary of the Selma Country Club and what we do for them here.”
Thomas Morris took home the Paul Grist Trophy, which recognizes a Selma player with great sportsmanship and character that continues to put in hard work on their game. Morris, who is entering sixth grade at Morgan Academy, shot 184 in two rounds.
“I started off doing pretty good. The first day I ended up with an 88, which I was glad for, because last year I wasn’t doing very well because it was my first year and I shot 116,” Morris said. “On some of the holes, my friends encouraged me to keep trying when I was down, and they helped me a lot. “
Morris also plays football, baseball, golf, basketbal and tennis.
Winners were also announced in each age group for “B-division” winners. Those winners were Nick Gann of Tuscaloosa, Boo O’ Pry of Salem, Ben Bricken of Montgomery, and John Catanzaro of Gadsden.
The girls’ competition wrapped up on Monday. with Clanton’s Madison Sanders as the overall winner.