by nathan oster
Thirty-six holes played over the course of two days and in the sweltering July heat were not enough to decide the net title in the 41st annual Security Bank Invitational held over the weekend at Midway Golf Course.
It took an additional two playoff holes for the trio of Dave Bernard, Scott McColloch and Michael McColloch to fend off the team of Jeff Vail, Chris Bundren and Tom Zierolf to claim this year’s title.
Always one of the most anticipated tournaments of the year, the SSB Invitational was set up as a three-person, two-man best-ball net format.
Fifty-four golfers — or 18 three-person teams — hit the course on Saturday morning. The Bernard-McColloch-McColloch team led after the first day, having carded a 13 under par. Two shots back, at 11 under, was the team of Ryan Baumeister, Sterling Schroefel and Carlos Ochoa.
Those two teams were paired for Sunday’s final round.
The Bernard-McColloch-McColloch team had another good round, finishing at 25 under.
But the team that caught them in the net wasn’t the one they were paired with, but rather the trio of Jeff Vail, Chris Bundren and Tom Zierolf. Those three used 16 natural birdies over the course of the two days to card their 25 under.
After 36 holes, the Vail-Bundren-Zierolf team was the clear winner of the gross competition. But because the net pays more than the gross and the same team cannot win both, they went the extra holes. The Bernard-McColloch-McColloch team won it on the second hole.
The tournament paid three places in the net and one in the gross.
The Vail-Bundren Zierolf team walked away with the gross title.
Rounding out the top three in the net competition, after the winning Bernard-McColloch-McColloch team, were the teams of Jeff Lee, Randy Simmons and Josh Craft in second and John Nielsen, Karsten Simmons and Greg Venable in third.
While the tournament was the featured attraction, several other events made it a full weekend for the golfers. It began Friday with a practice round, followed at day’s end by a calcutta and prime rib dinner hosted by Security State Bank.
The results of Friday’s practice round were then used to form teams for Saturday night’s derby, in which the best out-of-town golfers were paired with the best in-town golfers to form two-man teams. The winners this year were Jonathan Baker and Dave Walton.