Taylor, Kennedy win at NRGC senior event

Published 7:52 pm Saturday, June 28, 2014

The first edition of the Nansemond River Golf Club’s own senior tournament yielded a pair of Suffolk winners in each age division on Monday.

Jeff Taylor came in first for the 50- to 69-year-old division with an 18-hole net score of 65, while Billy Kennedy won the 70-year-old and over division with a net score of 62.

Taylor was pleased with his performance.

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“I played pretty good,” he said. “I shot 40-38.”

His gross and net scores were tied with Jim Garrett, but the starting point the players used on each hole gave Taylor the edge.

“I wasn’t hitting from his tee box,” Taylor said of Garrett. “I was hitting further back.”

Currently 52 years old, Taylor has played golf since he was 25.

“I started with a shag bag and some rented clubs,” he said. “I was teaching myself for a long time.”

But then he started taking lessons, and has benefited from instructors like “Lefty” Barbe.

Taylor said he will shoot 81 consistently, but can occasionally have good days where he can hit 75.

He cited a helpful training technique for why he was able to beat his average on Monday. His wife will record his golf swing with a camera, allowing him to break it down.

“I don’t have a conventional golf swing,” he said. By reviewing the recording, he said, “I’ve found something that I wasn’t doing properly.”

During the last month, he has been working to fix the issue and bring his score down.

For Billy Kennedy, solitude helped him produce his winning score.

“I was on my own, and when I’m on my own, I can concentrate on my game better,” he said, pleased to have produced a solid round with no double bogeys and one birdie.

Kennedy, 72, estimated he has been playing golf for 35 years, having first started in his mid-30s. He said his average gross score these days is in the low-to-mid 80s, an average he beat on Monday with a gross score of 78.

“I had a great day,” he said. “I made a lot of putts, and it felt good.”

Kennedy is a member and part-time employee at Nansemond River Golf Club.

Both winners expressed their appreciation for NRGC putting on the first-time senior event.

“Everybody had a good time,” Kennedy said.

Taylor praised the club’s PGA professional when he said, “I really appreciate everything (Mark) Lambert’s doing there.”

Following are the top finishers from the Nansemond River Golf Club senior tournament on Monday:

Ages 50-69

1st net – Billy Kennedy, 78 gross, 62 net

2nd net – Charles Utley, 83 gross, 66 net

1st gross – Curtis Rakes, 75 gross, 70 net

2nd gross – Don Farmer, 75 gross, 72 net

Ages 70 and over

1st net – Jeff Taylor, 78 gross, 65 net

2nd net – Jim Garrett, 78 gross, 65 net

1st gross – Cam Thompson, 73 gross, 63 net

2nd gross – James Tarrantino, 75 gross, 66 net