Whittington, Ellis and Mims wreck the field in Red Carpet golf tournament

Published 8:05 am Monday, October 16, 2017

The format for the second round of the inaugural Red Carpet Bowl 3-Man Invitational golf tournament was what’s called a shamble.

It was fitting, then, that the winning team left the rest of the field in shambles.

Brady Ellis, Judd Mims and Chris Whittington teamed up to make six consecutive birdies early on, shot 11-under par on the front nine on Sunday, and romped to an eight-stroke victory in the tournament at Vicksburg Country Club.

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“We just came out striping it. Everything we looked at fell,” Mims said. “There’s nothing like coming out here, playing with friends and having a good time. Winning some money is a bonus.”

Ellis, Mims and Whittington finished with a two-round total of 180 and split a top prize of $1,100 cash — $900 for winning the tournament and another $200 for having the lowest final round score. They also got their names on the Gene Allen Cup, named for one of the founders of the Red Carpet Bowl and a tournament participant.

Allen and teammates Tony Bishop and Adam Napier qualified for the first flight but finished in ninth place with a score of 203.

The team of Jeff Harpole, John Halpin Caldwell and Mike Curtis finished at 188 and took home $750 for second place. In third and winning $550 was the team of Matt Bell, Hunt Gilliland and Jake Dornbusch, who shot 190.

In the second flight, the team of John Robert Ward, Gerald Mims and David Smith won a playoff to take home the first-place prize money. Jamie Blok, Gene Rouse and Justin Stokes finished second after both teams shot a 59 on Sunday and a 125 total for two rounds.

Adam Bienvenu, Zach Rowalt and Chris Wood finished third in the second flight, with a score of 126.

The second flight used a scramble format for both rounds. In the first flight, the tournament followed a scramble format in Saturday’s first round and then switched to a shamble on Sunday.

In a shamble, each team takes the best tee shot among its three members and then each member plays out the hole from there with the best two scores counting toward the team’s total.

With Whittington regularly putting the ball close to the hole on VCC’s five par-3s and Ellis and Mims knocking down putts left and right, their team quickly pulled away from first-round leaders Conner Douglas and Nick and Eddie Brown.

The Ellis-Mims-Whittington combo trailed by one shot coming into the round and had a commanding lead by the turn. Starting with the third hole, they netted birdies on every hole for the rest of the front nine and wound up with a 123 total for the round.

Douglas, Brown and Brown shot 135 and finished in a tie for fourth place.

“When we birdied seven in a row on the front, that was pretty much the highlight. We lit it up on the front nine,” Mims said.

Whittington said Ellis and Mims deserved most of the credit. Whittington drove well, but only took two putts in Saturday’s round and didn’t have many more that needed to count on Sunday.

“When you’ve got somebody putting good, all you’ve got to do is put it on the green. That’s what Brady did. He made putts,” Whittington said. “Those two made everything. I didn’t hardly putt.”

Whittington, Ellis and Mims have long been among the best amateur golfers in Warren County. Whittington is a four-time Warren County champion, while Ellis and Mims are regular participants in the annual Warren County Cup.

When all three were on their game — and on the same side — it proved an impossible task to dethrone them.

“It’s pretty rare. You’re not going to come out and have three people shooting 11-under very often,” Mims said. “It was just one of those days where everything you putt goes in.”

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 140-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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