The Laurel Oaks Classic returns for the 26th time this weekend.
The two-day, stroke-play tournament is set to begin on Saturday at Laurel Oaks Golf Course and will feature several of the area’s top golfers, including defending champion Troy Gooms.
“You’ve got a bunch of people that can win it. Grooms has got as good of a chance as anybody to win it,” said John Mattingly, who owns the course with Rick Pumpelly and Phillip Grayson. “Deron Feldhaus could win it, [Eric] Schumacher could win it. There’s a good 12 to 15 people in the championship flight that could win it.”
Grooms is coming off of his first-ever Laurel Oaks Classic title, shooting an 8-under 136 over two rounds last summer. He’s won multiple events in Maysville over the years, including the Chippeways at Maysville Country Club and the Firecracker at Kenton Station Golf Course to go along with last year’s title at the Laurel Oaks Classic.
A three-way tie for second between Jackson Frame, Tyler Lippert and Deron Feldhaus followed. The three finished two strokes behind Grooms, but will be looking to make a run at the title this year.
Lippert and Frame, who both graduated from Mason County within the last five years and continued playing at the NCAA Division I level, have found success over the summer. Frame was the champion at the Chippeways for the second straight year and finished third in this summer’s Firecracker. Lippert finished tied for fifth at the latter event and recently advanced to the semifinals of the Kentucky Golf Association Match Play Championship.
While the young guns will be aiming for their first Laurel Oaks Classic title, Feldhaus is going for his fifth. He won the Firecracker for the fourth straight year and seventh time overall less than two weeks ago. His last Laurel Oaks Classic title came in 2012.
“They’re going to have their hands full,” said Mattingly. “The players that are coming up are pretty good.”
There are around 50 or 60 registered for the tournament currently, according to Mattingly. The cutoff to sign up is noon on Friday. The field will be broken into flights after Saturday’s first round. The tournament includes a senior division for golfers at least 60 years of age.
The entry fee is $125 for nonmembers and $100 for members, with $700 going to the winner of each flight, according to a flyer for the event posted on the Laurel Oaks Golf Club Facebook page. The second place golfer in each flight will get $400, with $200 going to the third place finisher.
Saturday will feature a couple of special events, including a dinner for golfers and a promotion sponsored by Mann Chrysler, where the first golfer to hit a hole-in-one on No. 12 will win a 2018 Jeep Compass.
The course is in good shape,” said Mattingly. “It’s mowed down, the greens are excellent.”
Tee times will be posted in Saturday’s edition of The Ledger Independent, as well as online at www.maysville-online.com/sports.