Buxtons lead championship flights at Peninsula Amateur

They're married to the tee

Posted: Sunday, July 23, 2000

Carolyn Buxton took up the game of golf seven years ago as a way of spending time with her husband, Paul.

These days, the couple is spending time together atop the leader board at the Peninsula Amateur. Both led their championship flights after the second day of the three-day tournament Saturday at Birch Ridge Golf Course.

While Paul has just three strokes on the rest of the field, Carolyn has a 20-stroke margin on the women's field -- an outlandish lead even by Tiger Woods standards.

"We've relived a few of our shots together over the past couple hours," said Carolyn Saturday night.

Chances are, the shots that were relived were not booming drives. The pair both used solid short games to take their leads at the tournament.

"We're not long-ball hitters," Carolyn said. "A lot of the people we play with hit farther than we do. We both have to rely on our short games."

Paul, a Soldotna dentist, had a 5-over 69 Saturday and heading into today's final round, he has a three-stroke lead on Nolan Rose and a five-stroke lead on Rob Smithwick.

"Smithwick, Rose, (Joe) Blanchard, all those guys can hit the ball 40 or 50 yards farther than I can," Buxton said. "I just try to keep it in the fairway, hit straight shots and make my putts.

"My short game and putting have been really good."

Notably absent at the top of the leader board are Todd Smith and Tim Walsh, who have combined to win 10 of the last 11 Peninsula Amateurs. Tom Walsh, the pro at Birch Ridge and father of Tim, said the two have moved from the peninsula and couldn't make it to the tournament due to work.

"If they were here, you know they'd be leading it," said Buxton, who is playing in the Peninsula Amateur for the seventh year. "I really, with my handicap, should be in the first flight."

Rose, a 17-year-old who will be a senior at Skyview this fall, said the length of Buxton's tee shots doesn't hurt him as much at Birch Ridge as it would on other courses.

"You don't really need length to do well in Soldotna," he said. "In Kenai, it definitely helps, but in Soldotna it doesn't make that much of a difference.

"Plus, he never misses the fairway."

Meanwhile, Rose said he has taken some costly detours from the fairway. He said he'll have two good holes, then make a terrible shot that costs him two or three strokes.

"My putting's been awesome, I'm just not hitting the ball well," he said. "If it weren't for my putting, a lot of pars would have been bogeys or double bogeys. I've just got to get the sticks going."

While Carolyn Buxton said the rest of the field could still win, the other three women that make up the Championship Flight aren't counting on it. Buxton's closest pursuer is Lynne Reynolds and she was considering seeing a doctor Saturday night due to the pain in her left hand caused by a bee sting.

Reynolds was stung about a week ago and her hand is still noticeably swollen. She said it feels numb at times and the pain goes all the way up to her wrist.

"It's going to be really hard to catch her," Reynolds said of Buxton. "She's have to play really, really, really bad."

In other action, Mike Hollingsworth has an 11-stroke lead in the men's first flight with a two-day total of 164, Helen Chenault has a six-stroke lead in the women's first flight with a two-day total of 196 and Don McGhee has a 15-stroke lead in the men's second flight with a two-day total of 180.

Peninsula Amateur

Friday, Saturday

at Birch Ridge Golf Course

Men's championship flight

Paul Buxton 74-78 -- 152

Nolan Rose 76-79 -- 155

Rob Smithwick 81-76 -- 157

Joe Blanchard 80-84 -- 164

Gerald Winkler 84-83 -- 167

Matt Matarrese 84-84 -- 168

Mike Chenault 86-84 -- 170

Tom Allison 87-89 -- 176

Bob Bird 84-96 -- 180

Women's championship flight

Carolyn Buxton 90-89 -- 179

Lynne Reynolds 99-100 -- 199

Lisa Parker 104-100 -- 204

Barb Winkler 102-111 -- 213

Men's first flight

Mike Hollingsworth 83-81 -- 164

Bob Fenimore 88-87 -- 175

George Stein 89-87 -- 176

Mo Redford 93-83 -- 176

Tony Azzara 86-93 -- 179

Scott Jackson 88-92 -- 180

Jay Kriner 89-96 -- 185

Mike Manger 94-92 -- 186

Josh Lansing 85-102 -- 187

Dustin Jung 99-90 -- 189

John Davis 96-96 -- 192

Dave Keating 100-101 -- 201

Women's first flight

Helen Chenault 96-100 -- 196

Teresa Connoley 103-99 -- 202

Sharon Keating 111-107 -- 218

Men's second flight

Don McGhee 87-93 -- 180

Phil Turkington 97-98 -- 195

Dick Cockroft 105-91 -- 196

Bob Clapsaddle 99-98 -- 197

Dave Stein 97-103 -- 200

Ron Carlson 106-104 -- 210

Sam Best 106-105 -- 211

John Lansing 105-109 -- 214

Gary Dawkins 99-114 -- 215

Richard Atuk 120-102 -- 222

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