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Archive for Saturday, August 18, 2001

Topekan sets Eagle Bend record

August 18, 2001

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Four or five times Eric Williams had played Eagle Bend Golf Course and he never recorded a score better than par 72.

Then came last Sunday morning and Williams, a former Washburn University golfer from Topeka, fired a 7-under-par 65 the lowest recognized score ever recorded on the 5-year-old municipal layout below the Clinton Lake dam.

"The best score I'd ever had anywhere before was 3-under," Williams said. "I've had good front nines and good back nines, but I never expected two nines like that."

Williams shot 32-33 in a round that included eight birdies and only one bogey. He three-putted the par-4 No. 5 hole.

"I hit the ball close to the pin a lot," Williams said. "Most of my birdies were from three, four and five feet. But I hit a 12-15 foot putt on No. 18 to break the record."

Nick Underwood, a Wichita State University golfer, shot a 31-3566 during the 2000 Kansas Public Links championship at Eagle Bend. Underwood's 66 will remain on the board as the lowest score in a competitive round at Eagle Bend.

Underwood shot his 66 from the back (gold) tees while Williams used the blue tees. Over 18 holes, playing the gold tees adds 442 yards to the course distance.

Williams, who works part-time at Golf USA, was playing with friends Drew Judd and Chuck Winsky and Winsky's father, Merle.

"I normally play the gold tees," Williams said, "but I was playing with Chuck's dad and I didn't want him to have to walk that far."

Eagle Bend pro Jim Kane said the course will present Williams a plaque in honor of his accomplishment.

"We have two course records," Kane said. "One for competitive rounds and the other for non-competitive rounds."

Actually, the lowest score for a non-competitive round at Eagle Bend is a 64. It's been done twice, both times by Kane, but he doesn't count them because he's the course pro.

As a freshman at Washburn University, Williams averaged 74.6 strokes as a member of the Ichabods' golf team. He attended Washburn last year, but didn't play golf.

Now Williams is enrolled at Kansas University.

"I've been thinking about going out for the KU golf team," Williams said. "I don't know, though. I don't normally shoot 65s like that."

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