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Golfers scramble in cold weather

Jan. 02, 2013 @ 12:02 AM

LAVALETTE -- Watching college football bowl games from late morning until late at night is one entertainment option on New Year's Day.

Tyler West came up with a different way to start 2013. He, Cory Igo, Garrett Dye and Billy Creed formed a team and competed in the New Year's Day Scramble at Sugarwood Golf Club.

The tournament is the annual kickoff event for a new season. West came down from Wallback, located 30-plus miles north of Charleston on Interstate 79, where snow still is on the ground. Dye and Igo made it in from Clendenin. Creed is from Charleston.

"This is the only tournament this time of year," West said. "Why not (play)."

"What else is there to do today?" Igo said. "Read a book."

Sugarwood owner and president Ed Allen has conducted this tournament for more than 25 years. He and the players have encountered all kinds of weather -- mostly cold.

The temperature Tuesday didn't reach 40 degrees, but there was little wind and that made the day tolerable for the 29 teams. And waiting for the players in the clubhouse was the advertised special -- all the chili you could eat. They made their first stop when they came off No. 9 during their round. The second came when played concluded.

"The chili's good," Creed said. "Keep the chili coming."

Allen said he starts paying some attention to weather forecasts about 10 days out. For the past two days, he watched the radar closer and sensed conditions would be OK.

"It's the novelty thing, the polar bear thing," Allen said of why the turnout is big. "People want to get out. Start your year off right."

Creed agreed.

"My New Year's resolution. Play more golf," he said.

West's team performed well though the four, like many other players in the field, hadn't hit balls in a while. West's team tied Mark Workman, Bill Adkins, Phil Butcher and J.D Maue for first in the championship flight at 13-under 58. Workman's team won on a card playoff. There were three flight and three teams placed in each.

Creed said he and his teammates enjoyed the day.

"I thought we'd have snow," he said. "It was warmer at the start, but got colder as the day went by, especially playing the holes along the water."

"It wasn't bad if you dressed warm enough," Dye said.

Igo's first stop after the round was the chili pot.

"I can't feel my face," he said.

West and his teammates thought they could've gone lower.

"We left a couple of shots out there," Creed said.

"This (13 under) is not what we wanted," West said.

Many of the players who received gift certificates cashed them in before they left. When they got home, they still had time to watch the end of the Rose Bowl, the Orange Bowl from start to finish and think about ways to go lower here in 2014.

"We'll definitely be back," West said. "

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