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Leigh wins tourney for senior golfers

J.P. Leigh is no stranger to playing outstanding golf in important state-wide and even nation-wide golf tournaments.

Playing in his own backyard, Leigh played solid and consistent golf all the way around Nansemond River Golf Club Monday and Tuesday. Nevertheless, Leigh still had no margin for error in edging Tim Vigotsky’s great final round by one stroke and winning the 4th Annual Senior Invitational with a two-round total of 4-under par (140).

Leigh shot 70 both days. If there was one key hole as Leigh did just enough to stay ahead of Vigotsky as he was shooting 68 in the final round, it was the shortest hole at Nansemond River.

Leigh, a Suffolk resident, birdied the 107-yard, par-three No. 16, and then made pars on the last two holes.

Fifteen excellent senior players made up the tournament. The event’s not a full Virginia State Golf Association tournament, but the results count toward the annual point totals to determine state player of the year and other honors.

“Steady” was Leigh’s strength through all 36 holes. He missed only four greens in regulation for the tournament.

Leigh’s par putts on No. 17 and 18 were from tap-in distance, but he counted an up-and-down on No. 11, a par three, as critical.

“The par putt I made on 11 made a big difference. Off the tee, that was one of the few misses I had all day, but I was able to make a pretty good chip and make it from about 10 feet,” Leigh said.

“I knew Tim was coming after me. I knew he can go really low,” Leigh said.

Vigotsky’s 4-under-par round was the lowest of the two days. Vigotsky, the head golf coach at Westfield High School in Northern Virginia, won the 60-and-under flight, so he and Leigh both won first-place shares of the purse.

More than the prize money for the top three players in each flight, the invitational’s an opportunity for good competition.

George Owens, with rounds of 72 and 73, placed third overall. Robbie Hughes led with a 69 after the first round, but shot 78 Tuesday.

“Thanks to Mark (Lambert) for having this event for us. This is a great course. I love playing in (this tournament) and I’ll always play in it as long as he has it,” Leigh said.