Buckner build big lead in VCC Championship

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 29, 2009


Scores were generally lower for Saturday’s second round of the Vicksburg Country Club Championship, but the course set up by new club pro Jack Slocum is making for a challenging tournament.

“I think what they’ve seen is more tees and pins in places they haven’t seen in several years,” Slocum said. “I brought my experience in running the mini tours for five years to this tournament. I think it’s a good test of golf.

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“What I try to do is set up six easy holes, six medium holes and six hard holes. That way you have pretty good balance. Today, I think the guys weren’t as nervous and some others are trying to make their way on to our Cup team,” Slocum said.

Only nine golfers broke 80 in Friday’s round 1, but on Saturday, 13 scored in the 70s.

First round co-leader Eddie Buckner gained some separation on the field and will take a five-stroke lead into today’s final round, which begins at 1 p.m.

Buckner had a solid back nine, coming in at 1-under and finished with a two-over par 72 and a two-day total of 144. He was able to save bogey at No. 17 after his drive bounced twice off the cart path and then careened off a crosstie into a cove.

“That was a real unlucky break. I thought I hit a good drive. I just had to grind it out to make bogey,” Buckner said.

He punched out, made a good pitch to the green and then drained an 8-footer for the bogey.

On the final hole at the par 3 18th, his wedge landed four feet from the pin and he made the putt to notch his fourth birdie on the day.

“Stuck a wedge on 18 and I had a tricky downhill putt, but that was one of the few I made today,” Buckner said.

Jake Dornbusch, who’s five shots back after a 75 to card a two-day total of 149, hit his approach on 18 to within eight feet, but the green wouldn’t hold it and it slid off.

“I make a great shot and that happens,” Dornbusch said of the roll off that left him off the green. He three-putted for a double bogey. “I just give away too many shots. I’ve made 10 birdies in two days and I’m 9-over par.”

Buckner agreed that Slocum’s course setup has made things tougher for the VCC golfers.

“No doubt, these pins are tricky. The pin locations are more difficult, but I was able to have a good round. I had only 19 putts on the front nine and was three-over. I made four birdies, at 12, 15, 16 and 18, coming in.”

John Boland, who shared the first round lead with Buckner, slipped back to fourth with a 79 and is at 151, seven strokes behind Buckner. Bob Houser shot a 74 to tie Dornsbusch in second at 149.

“No birdies and nine bogies. Couldn’t hit a green all day,” Boland said.

John Caldwell and Benjamin Brooks share fifth place at 152 while Quentin Lovins is alone in seventh at 154. Three strokes back is Dean Andrews and Randy Wright at 157 followed by Larry Rocconi and Bobby Burks (159) and rounding out the championship flight is Matt Bell at 160.