The 2023 Faulconer Invitational has close finishes

By Duncan Nixon

The 2023 Faulconer Invitational was played over the challenging Lake Monticello golf course on Saturday and Sunday May 20 and 21. The weather was virtually perfect for the final round on Sunday. The Invitational was played in three divisions, as is normally the case. There is an open division, a seniors’ division and a super-seniors’ division. Regardless of scores, the winner of the open division is considered the winner of the Invitational. This is because the open division contestants play from the much longer and more challenging tees. This year they played both rounds from the purple tees, which are a blend of the Championship blue tees and the regular men’s white tees.

The winner of this year’s Invitational was 20-year old Garnet Manley, whose home course is Ivy Hill in Lynchburg. Manley is on the Campbell University golf team, and he had an extraordinarily successful high school career. He had a consistent weekend to win the Invitational, shooting 74 and 73 for a three over par score of 147.  It is very impressive to come in at three over par on the Lake course, playing from the purple tees. The course is 6,619 yards playing from the purple with a rating of 72.1 and a slope rating of 139, which golf geeks will tell you means it is a hard course.  

Following Manley were Marshall Tinsley who was only one stroke behind, with a 73-75 for 148, Third place went to Adam Marshall who came in at 77-76 for 153. Marshall was the winner of the Invitational in 2022. Dalton Gibson who shot 77-79 for 156 was fourth. A trophy for low Lake Monticello resident was awarded to Ethan Smialek who shot 79-82 for a score of 161. Low junior went to Fluvanna High School stand-out Killian Donnelly who shot 78-84 for a score of 162.

The senior division was open to golfers aged 50-64. It was a close shoot-out. Scott Richards whose home course is Greene Hills was the winner for the second year in a row. He shot an impressive par round of 72 on Saturday. He followed it on Sunday with a 79, for a total of 151 which was sufficient to nudge out Steve Firkins who shot 75-77 for 152 to lose by a stroke. In third place, another stroke back was Scott Garrison with 79-74 for 153.  The seniors played from the men’s tees over a course measuring 6,296 yards, with a rating of 70.6 and a slope of 136.

The super-seniors are golfers 65 and over. They play from the gold senior’s tee. From those tees the course is 5,610 yards and it is rated 67.7 with a slope of 128. The super-senior’s winner was Jeff Hudgins who shot 79 on Saturday but bounced back on Sunday with a very impressive 71 for a 150. He plays out of the Country Club of Virginia in Richmond. The Invitational clearly draws golfers from all around Central Virginia as the three divisions were won by golfers from Lynchburg, Greene County and Richmond. Doug Marshall and Van McCarter tied for second in the super-seniors with scores of 151. McCarter shot an impressive 71 on Saturday.

Lake Monticello golf pro Mark Marshall received multiple compliments on the conduct of the Invitational and numerous players commented favorably on the condition of the course and the helpfulness of the numerous Lake residents who assisted with administrative  tasks and spotting.

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