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Garner looking for repeat

By Taylor Holland

The Selma Times-Journal

 

After sinking a 20-foot putt on the second playoff hole to win last year’s Selma Country Club Men’s Invitational, Paul Garner is preparing to defend his title in this weekend’s event.

More than 100 golfers are expected to challenge Garner, however, who said he’s just excited to participate in one of his favorite events of the year.

“This is what a lot of people at the club like to participate in,” Garner said. “A lot of people from out of town come in to play and it’s a fun event to play in. It’s something you just look forward to. It’s what we do.”

Garner

Garner, a former Auburn University golfer, said he’s played in the tournament more than 25 times. Although he’s unsure if he’ll be able to retain his title, he said winning was a feeling he’d never forget.

“It was thrilling,” he said. “To win in a playoff like that with my family there, it was just really fun. I won’t say I’m any different because of it but that moment was extremely exciting.”

Tournament chairman Christian Crane said he is also excited about playing in the three-day tournament, which kicks off this Friday.

“I’m most looking forward to the camaraderie that comes along with everybody being out there,” Crane said.

Crane said the tournament has provided him countless memories since he began playing in it.

“I wish I could say that I had won, but I’m not that caliber of a golfer,” Crane said jokingly. “For me, it’s always just been a time to get out and play with friends.”

Since tasting victory last May, Garner said he’s been able to hit the links a few times this spring in preparation for the tournament.

“It’s kind of like the Masters,” Garner said. “I really hope that, come Sunday on the back nine, I can be somewhere close enough to have a shot, close enough to be nervous about it.”