Hanning wins invitational

Published 12:03 am Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Bain Hanning hurt his back again Tuesday, so he wore a back brace while he played in the Selma Country Club’s 81st annual Men’s Invitational on Friday-Sunday.

“I’ve had back problems for awhile,” said the 20-year-old Selma CC pro shop employee. “It’s not unusual.”

Apparently, the brace wasn’t a problem Sunday when Hanning took home the winner’s trophy with a three-stroke victory.

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Hanning finished with a 4-under 209 in the three-day tournament, three strokes ahead of Steve Hudson of Birmingham. Hudson captured the senior championship with his 201.

Hanning said he was striking the ball accurately.

“I kept hitting the greens,” said Hanning, who was playing in his fifth men’s invitational. “I just wasn’t making the putts. I just missed three fairways and I hit that one on No. 18.”

Playing in the final foursome, Hanning outdrove the other golfers as he finished the final round, shooting a 2-under 69 on the day.

Steve Hudson of Birmingham also shot a 69 on the day to finish second in the tournament with a three-day total of 1-under 212. He captured the senior championship.

“The weather really didn’t have an effect,” Hudson said. “I made a few changes that I thought I needed to make.”

After a first-round 68, Hudson struggled to a 75 Saturday. The soft greens took in more water Sunday morning before the hardest rain about noon.

“About noon was when we got the worst of the rain,” Selma CC pro Tommy Burns said. “Then the wind got cold.”

Several players were unable to finish their rounds because of the showers.

Second-round leader Jimmy Reist of Decatur downplayed the weather’s effect. Reist shot a third-round 75 to finish in fourth with a 214.

“It wasn’t the weather; I just didn’t play as well,” Reist said. “But I really enjoyed playing here this year, especially with all the hospitality.”

Third place went to defending champion Will Swift of Birmingham, who finished with an even-par 213. David Cothran of Selma — who led the first round — was fifth with 215, along with Mike Greer.