By John Wilbert/NEMS Daily Journal
SALTILLO – Tupelo’s Bo Reed has the Butch Lambert Invitational first-round leader to thank.
Not for allowing him to move up to the top of the leaderboard, but for bringing him his 60-degree wedge.
If Reed didn’t have Bobby Lehman bring the club he left behind prior to teeing off at the Natchez Trace Club on Sunday, then Reed wouldn’t have won the Butch Lambert title.
He needed that wedge to bust out of the rough on the first playoff hole to keep his chances of winning alive. Reed birdied the hole with an 18-foot putt to tie David Griffin and send both players to a second playoff hole.
The 19-year-old Reed won the tournament on the third playoff hole. He and Griffin finished at even-par through regulation.
“I thought I was done, honestly,” the Meridian Community College golfer said about his shot from deep out of the rough, just to the left of the green, on the first playoff hole.
I didn’t think I was going to get it out of the rough,” Reed said. “That was some thick stuff.”
Reed’s tough shot might have been impossible without that elusive wedge.
Prior to starting his final round, Reed was hitting golf balls at the Tupelo Country Club. He accidentally left his wedge with his friend and former Tupelo High School teammate, Fletcher Johnson, the 2010 Mississippi State Amateur champion.
No worries, because Lehman – who led the tournament after Saturday’s 70 – was also hitting balls at the Tupelo County Club and was going to tee off for his second round on Sunday shortly after Reed.
Lehman, the 1991 Butch Lambert winner, brought Reed the club he needed just in time to begin the second round.
“That just shows you how classy of a guy Mr. Bobby is to bring me my wedge,” Reed said. “He’s a really good guy.”
Lehman followed his opening-round 2-under-par 70 with a 75 on Sunday to finish in a tie for third with Joe Collins at 1-over for the tournament.
Griffin, who was in a three-way tie for second with Collins and Chris Mills entering the final round, had a chance to win it on the 18th hole, but his putt from 5-feet out lipped out.
“I thought I had made a good putt,” said Griffin, who would bogey the hole. “It just slipped out. Sometimes that’s golf.
“The putt just went inside the right edge and just didn’t stay in the hole. It just lipped out.”
Both players bogeyed the second playoff hole before Reed birdied the third to win.
The stroke-play tournament is named in honor of a former SEC football official, the late A.C. “Butch” Lambert.
Contact John Wilbert at 678-1572 or firstname.lastname@example.org