People have been converging on the hills at Meadowbrook Golf and Event Center each July since Franklin D. Roosevelt was in his second term, and before “The Wizard of Oz” was ever on film.
They’ll do so again this week for the 82nd playing of the Energy Weldfab Meadowbrook Classic, one of the oldest and most popular tournaments in the East Texas region among golfers in the state. At press time Tuesday morning, flights were still being finalized, but there will be practice rounds played Thursday, then the three-day tournament begins Friday.
It’ll culminate Sunday early-evening, weather-permitting, when a champion is crowned after playing 54 holes.
Records fall in the tournament just about every year, and one thing that happened last year that had been anticipated for quite a while was that a Meadowbrook member actually broke through to win the tournament. That man was Alan Clark, who sank a 55-foot putt on hole 18 last year to put a wrap on a – pun intended – masterful tournament.
It also allowed Clark to be able to lay claim to a wonderful family tradition at the course. His grandfather, Earl Clark, was a one-time club caddy who became a skilled golfer and won the 1967 Classic. Some 51 years later, his grandson did the same, shooting a 65 on the first day, a 68 on the second and then another 68 on the final day.
In pulling off the feat, Clark became the first Meadowbrook member to lay claim to the Classic championship since 1994 – Randy King won it that year.
The rest of the tournament competitors after the championship flight play in flights named after famed golf courses or events. For instance, there’s a Masters flight, a St. Andrews flight, a Pebble Beach flight, a Pine Hurst flight, and a Colonial flight.
There’s also a team competition as a part of the tournament, which dates back to 2000.
As always, the News Herald will have coverage of the event in the print edition following, and online – including complete tournament scores – on kilgorenewsherald.com, and on Facebook.