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story.lead_photo.caption NWA Democrat-Gazette/J.T. WAMPLER Alex Neal watches a drive Sunday June 16, 2019 during the 81st Chick-A-Tee golf tournament at Springdale Country Club.

SPRINGDALE -- Sunday's final round of the 81st Annual Dwight Collins Chick-A-Tee golf tournament was somewhat nostalgic for the top two finishers.

Alex Neal and Steven Dixon found themselves in a battle down the stretch at Springdale Country Club, paired together for the final round of the three-day, stroke play event.

81st Dwight Collins Chick-A-Tee

At Springdale Country Club

Championship Flight

Golfer^R1-2^R3^Total

Alex Neal 139-71 – 210

Steve Dixon 142-72 – 214

Jacob Bartel 148-67

Drew Stewart 147-68 – 215

Corey Nichols 144-74 – 218

Brad Nipper 148-74 – 222

Michael Chaney 149-74 – 223

Bryon Shumate 150-74 – 224

Brian Taylor 154-78 – 232

Tyler Harper 158-77 – 235

First Flight

Matt Dura 145-74 – 219

Randy Jones 144-76 – 220

Jeff Hannah 142-78 – 220

Brad Norwood 152-74 – 226

Phil Ford 151-79 – 230

Kevin Sorg 148-85 – 233

Second Flight

James Jech 156-74 – 230

Kraig Williams 157-75 – 232

Bryan Davis 153-80 – 233

Charlie Houghland 157-77 – 234

Steven Bertram 155-80 – 235

Ronnie Ruff 154-83 – 237

Wade Story 159-78 – 237

Scott Jackson 158-80 – 238

Ron Syler 154-86 – 240

Todd Fraley 156-86 – 242

John Wright 158-86 – 244

Walter White 161-83 – 244

Mike Lyman 161-85 – 246

Third Flight

Lee Traweek 163-78 – 241

Sean Lease 164-79 – 243

Jamie Pendergast 163-81 – 244

Roger Clark 165-82 – 247

Booter Duffield 163-84 – 247

Gerald Easterling 164-83 – 247

Brett Chenevert 163-85 – 248

Mike Bradley 164-84 – 248

Jody Keene 165-83 – 248

Roger Voss 167-81 – 248

Jay McMahon 165-86 – 251

Nick Rabuse 166-85 – 251

Greg Anderson 166-86 – 252

Bob Pinkleton 167-86 – 253

Jason Bedford 166-88 – 254

Shane Jimison 167-90 – 257

KC Jeffries 167-92 – 259

Fourth Flight

Adam Ruff 168-71 – 239

Ron Corners 170-81 – 251

Doug Steele 169-82 – 251

Heath Harkins 174-79 – 253

Duane Waters 168-85 –253

Kevin Beasley 169-87 – 256

Jayson Balk 170-87 – 257

Steve Easterling 172-87 – 259

Shawn Register 168-92 – 260

Daryl Rhoda 174-86 – 260

Thomas Crosier 172-89 – 261

Pat Storms 177-87 – 264

Joe Herriman 177-99 – 276

Rhett Chenevert 178-99 – 277

Mark Kelly 171-107 – 278

Fifth Flight

Sean Barrows 182-73 – 255

Pat Shinall 182-87 – 269

Roger Kelly 181-88 – 269

Dale Tyler 184-87 – 271

Calvin Dickerson 179-93 – 272

Jim Young 189-83 – 272

Dean Mathis 189-87 – 276

Bill Corbin 191-86 – 277

Mike Storms 188-91 – 279

Farzad Siahmakoun 189-91 – 280

Russell Atchley 185=97 – 282

Walter Beadle 189-93 – 282

Odell Taylor 189-97 – 286

Russell Smith 189-99 – 288

Tim Chapman 200-96 – 296

Mike Taylor 208-94 – 302

David Silvas 215-105 – 320

Sr. Championship Flight

Gary Compton 140-79 – 219

Stan Stockton 146-76 – 222

Danny McCrackin 151-73 – 224

Bill Bailey 150-78 – 228

Jerry Triska 152-79 – 231

Warren Center 154-80 – 234

Dave Lienemann 156-78 – 234

John Riley 157-MC

Jarrell Williams 158-MC

Johnny Lea 159-MC

Sr. First Flight

Stan Wilson 161-76 – 237

Don Neal 161-78 – 239

John Gladden 163-80 – 243

Wade Carter 162-82 – 244

Greg Lee 168-78 – 246

Steve Munch 169-80 – 249

Joe Moore 172-79 – 251

Hickory Morton 174-87 – 261

Tom Crosier 196-97 – 293

Bill Zemke 193-105 – 298

Gene Anderson 176-MC

Harry Green 211-MC

Neal followed up a tournament-low round of 66 on Saturday with a 71 on Sunday to win the tournament at 6-under, 210. Dixon fired a 72 on Sunday to finish at 2-under.

Ironically, the duo has been competing against each other since their high school days, over 20 years ago, when Neal golfed for Farmington and Dixon for Shiloh Christian. They have remained friends through the years and are extremely familiar with the other's links game.

"I've played with Alex for years," said Dixon, who won the tournament back in 2013. "Great golfer, good dude, good friend. If he's playing that well, it's hard to catch him.

"But it's fun to watch him and we had a good time."

Saturday's 66 was the lowest round Neal has shot in tournament play. His round included hitting 16 of the 18 greens, but he credits a missed three-foot putt with four holes to play that got him focused for a strong finish. He was 5-under on the final four holes with three birdies and an eagle.

"I missed that short putt, and I don't know if it made me mad or what, but it was like I just focused in and finished strong," he said. "I was hitting it about as well as I had all day, but my putter kind of got hot and I started making some putts there at the end."

Neal began Sunday's round with a short putt for par on the first hole, followed by a birdie on the second hole. After a bogey on the 13th hole, he bounced right back with a birdie on 14.

"I kind of knew where everybody I was playing with was, score-wise, but I wasn't sure about the others," Neal said. "So I was just trying to keep it going and cruise in there at the end. I was able to string together some pars toward the end and hold everybody off."

Drew Stewart and Jacob Bartel each finished five strokes off the lead at 215.

Neal, who had won some ASGA events about a decade ago, said this was the best he has played in the past four or five years. He has participated in the past four Chick-A-Tees with little success.

"It feels great to come out here, play well and be able to make some shots," he said. "When I've played this tournament before, I just hadn't been able to really get anything going. So this is great.

"It was like a light came on Saturday and I just started hitting it really good, making some putts. And I came out (Sunday) and was able to kind of keep everything going and it worked out.

Dixon, who has won the club championship at the Springdale course five out of the past six years, gave Neal a push down the stretch, but was unable to make up ground on the final holes.

"I think I played OK, ball-striking-wise, but we got a new nine, so we are all still figuring it out," Dixon said. "This final round was just a chase. And Alex was playing too well to catch this time."

The course does feature a redesigned front-nine holes, which re-opened two weeks ago. The changes include hole and green placements, with tiered greens, added bunkers and narrower fairways.

Overall, the recent changes were well received by the golfers.

"They gave us compliments all weekend long, about the golf course, the food, and just the way everything went," said Roy Hobbs, club pro and general manager. "We were very fortunate to have some beautiful weather and the golfers got out and took advantage of it."

The winners of each flight received $400 in prize money, with second place receiving $300, third getting $200, and fourth, $100.

The Collins Cup Trophy was presented to Neal by club member Rick Collins, the son of the tournament's namesake Dwight Collins. The Chick-A-Tee was renamed in honor of Collins, a long-time club member and former pro, who passed away in 1993. It was fitting that his son presented the trophy on Father's Day.

"This is a great honor for my father and for our family," Rick Collins said. "This was our second home when I was growing up, so to be able to come out and still be a part of this tournament is quite an honor for me, as well."

Sports on 06/17/2019

Print Headline: GOLF Neal claims 81st Chick-A-Tee championship

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