Originally created 06/02/04

Title won't change USC Aiken coach's address



It happens all the time in collegiate sports: a coach wins a national title in a smaller classification, starts shopping his services around, then takes a job at a bigger school, usually on the NCAA Division I level.

That won't be the scenario for USC Aiken golf coach Michael Carlisle, who led the NCAA Division II Pacers to the school's first national championship in any sport in May.

Asked whether he was looking around, Carlisle said Tuesday, "I'm just looking around to keep the program getting better and win some more championships here.

"It's a lot of fun to win," Carlisle said. "I love this area; it's my home. I've got family and friends here forever. I'm real happy where I'm at."

In 14 years as the USC coach, the 46-year-old Carlisle had come close to winning a national title, finishing as the runner-up in 1995, 1996 and 1999.

"Relief, that was my feeling when we won," Carlisle said. "It's like winning a major in professional golf. You can have a good program, but you're not really considered there until you've won the big show.

"Finally, we did it," Carlisle said. "We got the monkey off our back, that stigma of being a really good program and a good team, but this is the one tournament we hadn't won."

The national title "will give us some confidence," Carlisle said.

"I'm not saying we're going to win next year, but we'll be pretty good. We'll be a defending champion; that's going to help a lot all the way down the road."

It won't affect recruiting for the 2004-05 season - Carlisle has already signed his newcomers - but it will in the future.

"It will make those guys (next season's signees) feel a lot better that they're going to a team that just won a national championship, and it will help farther down the road," Carlisle said.

TWEED TROPHY: His friends haven't forgotten Augusta's Sam Tweed, and neither has the Augusta Area Junior Golf Association.

The group, which played host to the annual Sam Tweed Memorial Championship on Tuesday at Augusta Municipal Golf Course, unveiled a new, permanent trophy in honor of Tweed, who died in 2002 at age 85.

The names of the winners of the nine-year-old tournament, including this year's winner, Ryan Penfield, will have their names engraved on the wooden pedestal which supports a crystal bowl.

The trophy will be on permanent display at the course nicknamed The Patch, where Tweed was a member for 50-plus year.

"We wanted to get a nicer one to honor Sam," said Carlisle, who is also the AAJGA executive director.

Tweed was thrilled when his friends, David and Dusty Avery, established this tournament in his name. Their son, Benjamin, who was Tweed's godson, played the series in the mid-1990s.

On the day of the tournament each year, Tweed would be at the course, encouraging the juniors. That image left a lasting impression on Carlisle.

"I remember how much he enjoyed coming out and watching these kids play," Carlisel said. "He was very close to the Avery family and Ben. He'd come out here and watch not only Ben but his buddies. He would come out here all day long. Even when he wasn't feeling the best and his health wasn't good the last few years, he's still get out here because he enjoyed it so much."

RECORD MATCHED: Matt Fox of Evansville, Ind., recently tied the course record from the championship tees at Midland Valley Country Club in Graniteville with 9-under-par 62.

Fox, 31, had nine birdies and no bogeys. His witnesses were David Kinsey, Ford Davis and Chip Wesley.

Fox worked as a caddie at Augusta National Golf Club, until the season ended last week.

The other players who have shot 62s are Midland Valley head pro Steve Foss (twice) and Ryan Hyteya. Foss had his first record round five years ago, then matched it three weeks ago. Hyteya's 62 came in a U.S. Open qualifier.

EARLY WARNING: Entries are already being accepted for the 11th annual Bert Yancey Memorial Tournament, better known as Bogeys, Birdies and Bert, which will be played Monday, Oct. 11 at the River Golf Club in North Augusta.

To enter the four-man lauderdale event, call Phylis Holliday at 736-6857. Proceeds will go to the Mental Health Association of Greater Augusta and local affiliates of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill and the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance.

Reach David Westin at (706) 724-0851 or david.westin@augustachronicle.com.

NORTH AUGUSTA CC

  • Hap Holbrooks, No. 6, 150 yards. Witnesses: Charles Stone and Bo Glover.
  • Brandon Pennington, No. 6. Witness: Ted Pennington.
  • GOSHEN PLANTATION

  • Owen Chivers, No. 17, 175 yards, 5-iron. Witnesses: Jerry Russell, Jay Brooks and Harry Elsey.
  • GORDON LAKES

  • Johnny Wilson, No. 6, North Course. Witnesses: John Prioleau, Tyrone Presley and Harold Jones.
  • Floy Miciotto, No. 4, West Course. Witnesses: Dot Salts, Betty Moody and Gwen Poole.