Buckner averts disaster to take VCC title|Golf

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 29, 2009

Steady Eddie Buckner was cruising toward his first win in the Vicksburg Country Club Championship when the 13th hole nearly derailed his plans.

Buckner made a nine on the hole and opened the door for Jake Dornbusch and the rest of the championship flight.

“That nine on 13 let everyone back in,” Buckner said.

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His once seven-stroke lead was down to two when he faced a 10-foot birdie putt at No. 15. Buckner made the putt, Dornbusch missed his, and Buckner’s lead was back to three strokes.

Buckner played it safe from there and won his first VCC title by that margin after a three-day total of 223. He shot a nine-over par 79 in the final round after shooting two straight 72s in the first two rounds.

“It’s my first one but I’ve been second here on more than one occasion,” Buckner said.

Dornbusch was second at 226 after a 77 on Sunday, followed by John Caldwell another stroke back. Caldwell had the best round in the championship flight at 76. Bob Houser was fourth at 229, and John Boland fifth at 230.

“Eddie played steady golf all three days. He was consistent. He hit a lot of fairways, with the exception of 13,” Dornbusch said. “The nine at 13 got me back within two shots but he held on.”

Buckner said his adventures at the 13th hole were something he’d like to forget. He put his tee shot into the woods and his next shot into a creek.

“I lost two balls on that one hole,” Buckner said.

Dornbusch, however, had his troubles on the back nine on all three days.

“I was just up and down,” Dornbusch said. “I was 1-under on the front for the tournament but I think I played the back nine 17-over,” Dornbusch said.

Buckner was glad to hold on and win the tournament in memory of his father.

“I wanted to win this for him. You could say I’m part of golf royalty here in Warren County because of him. He won the Warren County championship eight times and won this tournament once. I grew up on this course and my dad showed me how to play. I really love this course,” Buckner said.

Joel Greer had the round of the day with a four-over 74 on Sunday. That was good enough to win the first flight. Hunt Gilliland shot a 261 to take the second flight.


Contact Jeff Byrd at jbyrd@vicksburgpost.com