He's warming up

Kilgore’s Alan Clark (above, left) accepts the Meadowbrook Golf and Event Center’s men’s club trophy from pro David Cline. Clark won the men’s title last week and is the 2018 Energy Weldfab Meadowbrook Classic champion, as well; he’ll defend that crown next week. (Photo by LEAH LOWERY)

Competition, be warned: Alan Clark is not taking his status as defending Energy Weldfab Meadowbrook Classic champion lightly.

Clark shot a two-day 142 – a 71 twice – to capture the Meadowbrook Golf and Event Center’s men’s club championship last Sunday, a predecessor to what he hopes will be a crowning jewel: a second straight Classic title.

The 82nd playing of the Meadowbrook Classic – Energy Weldfab has been the tournament’s lead sponsor now for some time – is next week, a homecoming tournament of sorts that is one of the most prestigious tournaments in East Texas region, and one of its oldest. The heritage of the Classic dates back to 1937, to the oldest days of the Meadowbrook course.

Golfers will be arriving mid-week, and the committee is currently putting the final touches on the flights (named after famed tournaments or courses, like the Masters flight, Pebble Beach, et al).

They’ll play three rounds and a champion will be decided on Sunday (July 14), likely with a large gallery looking on from the top of the hills surrounding the final green.

Clark won last year with a three-day 201, holding off former University of Texas at Arlington golfer Bobby Massa to do so. With the win, Clark – born in Longview but raised in Kilgore and a club member – became the first club member to win since Randy King hoisted the Classic trophy in 1994. Clark shot under 70 in all three days in 2018.

He played well last weekend in the men’s club tournament, pacing the field. Jim Sawyer was second place with a two-day 150, and Tom Watson was third with a 153.

Steve Long was the net winner (a 133.20 without the handicap), as Don White came in second (135.60), and Scott Clark, third (145, even).

Also last week, Meadowbrook had some young guests: the Northern Texas Junior PGA Tour, about 20 golfers under 19 years old who tried their hand at one of, if not the, best nine-hole course in the state, a part of the group’s Summer Series. Golfers ages six through nine played just the one time through, nine holes, and golfers 11 through 17 played through twice.

It wasn’t the Junior Tour’s first appearance at Meadowbrook; in fact, it’s been here a few times. East Texas residents Natalie Leslie of Lindale and Callen Eastman of Troup help make that possible.

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