VALDOSTA — Valdosta State Athletic Department’s Bets and Birdies golf scramble always plays a vital part in helping the program raise the funds necessary to support its department.
In the context of the past season of Blazer Athletics, the fundraiser may as well been a celebration.
Valdosta State capped off one great season, and laid the groundwork for another, Friday at the Valdosta Country Club.
“I think anytime you have one golf tournament supporting your entire athletic department, it’s a special day,” said VSU men’s basketball coach Mike Helfer. “There’s a lot of people out here, a lot of friends, and some new folks you get a chance to meet. Hopefully you can get them involved in the athletic department supporting our teams.”
A field consisting of 26 teams teed off on Bottom and Bellemeade, beginning with a shotgun start at 9 a.m.
Blazer fans, alumni and coaches past and present made an appearance on the links, though it was ultimately the Farmers and Merchants Bank foursome of Bowen Corbett, Jeff Parrish, Brett Whiddon and Ryan Budzinsky that came out with the top gross score of 57, edging the 58 shot by the second-place team of Mark Simon, Johnny Knowles, Mike Jerome and Eric Proctor representing Lowes.
Jesse Maranville, Barry Chapman, Stu Mullis and Jarrod Sullivan of Georgia Gulf Sulfur finished in third gross with a score of 58.
Fowler, Holley Rambo and Stalvey’s Nate Balanis, Jeff Lovell, Wayne Rambo and Rob Wynens finished first in net with a 52, followed by a 52 from Walter Peacock, John Norris, Helfer and Bubba Nolan of the VSU Foundation and a 54 by Packaging Corp of America’s Clint Yager, Derrick Fleishman, Devin Johnson and Mike Moore.
Joe Brogdon finished with the longest drive of the day on Bottom 9 and Karen Bennett hit the longest drive on Bellemeade 7.
“Obviously the Valdosta…