It’s been a long time, but Ray Franz is back in the winner’s circle, capturing the 89th Carolinas Open played at Bryan Park in Greensboro, N.C., by five shots over amateur Michael McGowan of Southern Pines, N.C. Franz shot 12-under-par 201, including an 8-under 63 in the third round of the 54-hole tournament.
The Wando High School graduate, now 45, turned professional in 1991, shortly after winning his second Charleston City Amateur title and on the heels of a successful college career at UNC Charlotte. Franz won three events on the Hooters Tour and numerous events on other mini-tours and spent one year with conditional status on what is now known as the Web.com Tour.
“It’s nice to know you can still do it, still be competitive and shoot some low scores. It’s been a long time since I’ve been in the winner’s circle,” Franz said.
Franz said the end of his career as a touring professional began when he took some lessons in 2001 and it took him 12 years go get his swing back. In the interim he has worked as an assistant at Bulls Bay and Daniel Island Club where he’s now trying to become a Class A PGA professional.
“It’s a very prestigious tournament,” Franz said of the Carolinas Open, “and it could open some doors for me. I enjoy playing in (Carolinas PGA) section events. As far as playing super-competitive golf, I’m done with that. I enjoy riding the cart and playing.”
Kamito Hirai of Summerville, a former Pinewood Prep standout who played for Winthrop, shared medalist honors with a 3-under 69 in local U.S. Open qualifying held at Pinewild Country Club in Pinehurst, N.C. McCuen Elmore of Cheraw and Daniel Brantley of Asheboro, N.C., also shot 69 while Paul Brown of Hartsville, N.C., was fourth at 70.
Ryan Nelson of Charleston shot 65 at Secession Golf Club in Beaufort and shared medalist honors with former South Carolina golfer Mark Anderson of Beaufort in local U.S. Open qualifying.
Bronson La’cassie of Charleston tied for fourth with a score of 68 to advance through U.S. Open local qualifying held at River Landing in Wallace, N.C. Former Charleston Southern golfer Jacobo Pastor is second alternate after shooting 69.
Coosaw Creek won the Charleston Area Men’s Interclub Golf Association match played at Coosaw Creek and moved into first place in the yearly standings. Coosaw Creek finished with 31 points, followed by Berkeley with 24 and Pine Forest with 10.
Jeremiah Evers of Stono Ferry was the top individual with 11 points, while Steve Bernard of Pine Forest, Sal Acosta of Coosaw Creek and Hank Miro of Crowfield tied for second with nine points.
Coosaw Creek has 64.5 points in the yearly standings, followed by Pine Forest with 60.5 and Shadowmoss with 52.5.
Dan Micklewright shot 84 to finish first in the Fister Golf Amateur Tour presented by Charleston Golf News tournament played at Wescott Plantation. Kasey King also shot 84 in Flight A. T. J. Carr won Flight B with an 81 while Chad Livingston finished second with an 88. Tony Steele and Ken May both shot 90 to top Flight C. Sharon May won Flight D with a 96 while Sam Wilson was second with a 105.
Jeff Emory won the Charleston Golfweek Amateur Tour event played at Shadowmoss Plantation with a score of 79. Duane Bauseman won A Flight with a 76, while Devan Lawrence and Biff Huff posted 78s. Mason Talley won B Flight by one shot over James Ravenel with an 85. Erik Eadie won C Flight by four shots over Mark Godzisz with an 81. Wes Gentry shot 86 to win D Flight.
Tuesday-Thursday: Charleston Women’s City Amateur and Women’s City Senior Amateur, Municipal Golf Course, $90 for regulars (three-¬day) and $75 for seniors (two-day), call (843) 795-6517.
May 25-26: Chick Miler Invitational, Summerville Country Club, call (843) 873-2210.
June 4: FamilyCorps Golf Tournament, Ralston Creek-Daniel Island Club, $200 per player, register at Family-Corps.org or contact Amanda Netsch at (843) 747-0480.