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Stinson, van Vuuren lead Spring Fling

Pieter van Vuuren and Jamie Stinson have heard all the jokes about their string of second-place finishes in the Spring Fling. The dynamic duo is on a mission to silence all their critics this year.

Stinson and van Vuuren fired a 9-under, 63 on Saturday to pace a 47-team field at McMinnville Country Club. Matt Cotten and John Wilson, the 2019 champs, are right behind at 7-under, while three teams are hanging around at 6-under. The final round of the club’s premier tourney will be play Sunday, with a champion crowned around 4 p.m.

Near misses on Sunday have made Stinson and van Vuuren perennial runner-ups in the Spring Fling, along with making them the target of some light-hearted teasing around the club. Their flurry of birdies Saturday were a thing of beauty, including a close where the team drained long-range putts on the final two holes.

“Pieter hit one from across the green on No. 17, then we hit another long one on No. 18 to finish birdie-birdie,” said Stinson, long considered one of the best players at the club. “We finished really well. It was good to see some putts go down.”

While the final two holes were where the leaders pulled away from the field, van Vuuren thought some good cookies from the Molloy kids and a tucked-in shot from Stinson on 14 for a tap-in birdie got the team rolling.

After Saturday’s round, the course was separated into four flights, with just nine teams left to battle for the championship Sunday. The Championship Flight includes Cotten and Wilson (7-under, 65), Bill Locke and Tommy Sims (6-under, 66), Bill Rogers and Keith Bryson (6-under), Paul Martin and Casey Talbert (6-under), Nick Stern and Bracton Womack (5-under, 67), Al Womack and Bill Hickey (5-under), Andrew Brock and Greg Brock (5-under) and Will Stern and Mike Taylor (5-under).

John Wilson and Matt Cotten are going to be chasing Sunday.

Wilson and Cotten have history chasing down the leaders on the last day, making up ground on van Vuuren and Stinson in 2019 on the final day and putting it away with an amazing approach on No. 9 over the trees to lock in a win. There‘s still room for improvement Sunday for the duo, who felt like they could’ve finished 10-under Saturday.

Locke and Sims are an always dangerous pair that caught fire on the back nine, rebounding from an even front nine to fire a 30 on the back nine. The pair rounded out their day with an eagle on the par-5, No. 16 – putting them in contention for another championship.

“Tommy hit a wood within six feet and we were able to make the putt,” said Locke about his team’s eagle down the stretch.

Sims and Locke are playing their 30th tournament together and have over a dozen victories, including a span where they won each event from 1992-97. Locke has won the Spring Fling and Club Championship in the same decade four different times and first won the Spring Fling in 1976.

Bill Rogers had two of the most impressive shots of the day and they came on back-to-back holes. Rogers holed out from 114 yards out on the par-4, No. 11 – giving his team the only eagle on the hole throughout the day, then drained a 30-footer for birdie on No. 12.

Rogers, playing again with longtime partner Keith Bryson, didn’t need much help from a sloped green to get the eagle on No. 11 – a shot that helped his team shoot 6-under Saturday.

“It flew in,” said Rogers about the big-time shot with a pitching wedge. “It’s always a good feeling – just doesn’t happen enough.”

Nick Stern and Bracton Womack had the only other eagle, with Womack going long off the tee and finding the green from 190 yards out. From there, they found the hole to save their day.

“(We) Started with two bogeys, so we knew we had to get back in the tournament,” said Stern, a 2020 champion. “Bracton showed me a great read and barely missed it. I got it right in the middle of the hole.”

Zack Molloy will not get a chance to 3-peat after he and Mark Hitchcock shot 68 and found themselves at the top of the first flight with two other teams (Hank Patton and Matt Brown, Dr. Brad Brock and Dr. Bill Noah).

Here is the full list of flights for Sunday:


Jamie Stinson - Pieter van Vuuren 63

John Wilson - Matt Cotten 65

Bill Rogers - Keith Bryson 66

Bill Locke - Tommy Sims 66

Paul Martin - Casey Talbert 66

Nick Stern - Bracton Womack 67

Al Womack - Bill Hickey 67

Andrew Brock - Greg Brock 67

Will Stern - Mike Taylor 67


Brad Brock - Bill Noah 68

Hank Patton - Matt Brown 68

Zack Molloy - Mark Hitchcock 68

Jimmy Mosier - Wayne Woolfall 69

David Spry - Josh Webb 69

Andy Crawford - Jon Kidd 69

Corker DeLoach - Mickey Heath 69

Tucker Lynn - Grant Walker 70

Ronnie Brown - Phil Whisenhunt 70

Austin Green - Nick Brown 70

Bart Stanley - W. Lockhart 70

Chris Cochran - Ryan Williams 71


Buck Brock - Luis Tittle 72

Andy Jacobs - Harry Flippin 72

Johnny Murray - Johnny McCormick 72

Craig Hamby - John Perdue 72

Blake Alsobrook - Chase Alsobrook 73

Cody Durham - Tommy Bryant 73

Steve Biles - Dwayne Brown 74

Rodney Whiles - Ray Cantrell 74

Hayden Wood - Alan Johnson 74

Bunker Brock - Liam Brock 75

Keith Rogers - Brad Pepper 75

Chad Hamby - Darrell Cook 75


Alan West - Jason Denney 76

Karl Huff - Greg Wilson 76

Daniel Benedict - Mike Griffin 76

Barry Medley - Dave Alsobrook 77

Bobby Taylor - Paul Moore 77

Brett Simmons - Tony Pounds 77

Kenny Neal - Gavin Lewis 77

John McNulty - Kevin Moritz 79

Butch Bullen - Roger Jacobs 80

Cole Taylor - Wendell Dishman 80

Steve West - Pat Greene 81

Wally Stern - Chuck Boyd 82

Danny Glover - Grant Major 83

Bobby Morton - Todd McInerney 87

Check the WCSA website for the latest news on the Spring Fling and click here for a photo gallery from the first day.

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