The team of Shawn Hodge and Jon David Kennedy withstood strong challenges from several teams, but in the end, the six-stroke lead Hodge and Kennedy built in the first two rounds was too much to overcome.
Hodge and Kennedy shot a final-round 68 to win the Dixie Classic on Sunday at the Brickyard at Riverside by three shots over the team of Taylor Floyd and David Steed, which shot a final-round 65 to take second. The teams of Stan Gann Jr. and Travis Steed and Wilson Andress and John Walker tied for third, four shots back.
“We played so well in the first two rounds that we knew someone would have to go really low to beat us,” said Hodge, who also won the Peach Blossom tournament this year with Gann. “We only had one birdie on the back nine, and by the time we got to No. 13, we knew that some other teams were cutting into the lead.
“But we felt like we just had to keep making pars at that point. The last round wasn’t great, but we are thankful for the lead we had after two rounds.”
Gann and Travis Steed trimmed the Hodge-Kennedy lead to four after 12 holes when Hodge and Kennedy both missed short birdie putts, but Gann and Travis Steed could not make putts the next three holes with a chance to get closer. Meanwhile, Floyd and David Steed were playing great golf one group ahead of the leaders, with Floyd making a birdie on the final two holes to grab second place.
“We went into the round basically playing for second because we didn’t think that Shawn and Jon David would have a bad round, and that meant we would have to go way low,” said Floyd, a former FPD standout who played in the Brickyard Collegiate as a member of the Augusta State team. “We had some chances to go a little lower, but I also made a few long birdie putts, so it pretty much evened out.
“Overall, I would say that we are very pleased with a second-place finish.”
Hodge was quick to point out how well the Brickyard course played.
“This is one of my favorite golf courses because it’s very consistent, and you basically use every club in your bag when you play it,” Hodge said. “The greens are very difficult to read, and I think Jon David’s knowledge of the course was a great advantage for us.”
Gay McMichael and Michael Standard finished fifth with a three-round total of 199.