Thursday, November 24 2022

The Energy Weldfab Meadowbrook Classic – perhaps the oldest golf tournament in East Texas – takes place this weekend here at the Meadowbrook Golf and Event Center, and crowns its champion early Sunday evening.

Sweltering heat is forecast with little respite all weekend, and barring a playoff, which has already happened, this year’s classic champion, the 85 {sup}e{/sup} participating in the tournament, will be crowned around 7 a.m. Sunday noon.

This year’s championship flying field will be Corbin Barton, Paul Leslie, Dalton Northcut, Lane Waters, Adam McClain, Brett McAfee, Braxton Watkins, Noah Summers, Watson Hill, Stuart Martin, BJ Waters, Cameron Hubbard, Collin Thompson, Rory Smith, Ryan Oden, Andrew Koonce, Rick Maxey and Kirk Hale.

Hale is coming off his second straight Meadowbrook Men’s Club Championship, and Maxey, of course, is a four-time Meadowbrook Classic champion, one of only two men who can say that (the other is the late Raleigh Selby). Maxey, who now resides in Arkansas, recently won the Pinecrest tournament at Longview.

Koonce was second last year behind Andrew Pressley, by just three shots (Pressley won with a 207 in three days; Koonce shot a 210).

Oden is the 2017 Meadowbrook Club Champion and

The tournament dates back to 1937, with the first champion Bill Clark winning two of the first three Classics.

Since then, the only year the Classic has not been held was 1955, when the clubhouse was being renovated.

And what Maxey did was amazing, winning his four decades of time — his first came in 1974, his second the following year, the year “Jaws” dominated theaters.

His third didn’t come until 2000, the year the tournament was revamped into a homecoming event and the year it became something of a destination event not just for golfers around the world. East Texas, but also for young and future golfers. Last name. And Maxey’s fourth crown arrived in 2008. Who’s to say a fifth won’t happen this year?

Locals will tell you that Hale has a chance. The club’s current and two-time defending champion is on fire right now, and no one who plays the course every week seems to be playing better.

Three days of 100-degree weather is a true test of endurance, not only for golfers on the Championship flight, but also for those on other flights, all named for famous courses or tournaments (Masters, Colonial, St. Andrews and others).

See full event coverage, including sheet music, online on Sunday evening and in print in the Kilgore News Herald when it’s complete.

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