By DAVID CLAYBOURN
Once again Eric Kelly is atop the leaderboard at the Monster Ball Craig Bowers Memorial Golf Tournament after Saturday’s opening round in Greenville.
Kelly, who won the championship flight last year by six strokes with partner Billy Blankenship, paired with Matt Neyra to grab a three-shot lead heading into today’s final round. Kelly and Neyra fired a 13-under 57 at Wright Park Municipal. Second place with a 60 belonged to Brian Rowell and Michael Meyer and Jack Nottingham with partner Jay Cox.
The championship, first, second and third flights played at Wright Park on Saturday. They will switch to Oak Creek Country Club today for the final 18 holes.
Three teams are tied for the lead in the first flight with 63s. Former Fannindel Falcon golfer Shaun Franklin is tied for the top spot with partner Blake James, plus Vince Record with Barry Huffman and two Greenville golfers Jason Casstevens and Matt Chapman.
Greenville Lions athletic hall of fame members Keith Bonham and Jerry Jolley led the second flight by a stroke at 63.
Two teams are tied for first place in the third flight with 62, Andrew Rainey with Daniel Floria, plus Chip Driver with Tom Benton.
Former Greenville Lions football player James Smith and Boles-ex Grant Manis lead the fourth flight at 65.
Two teams are tied for first in the fifth flight with 71s: Chris and Ty Phipps, plus Johnny Jackson and Tavin Harmon.
The father-son team of Rick and Brad Espino lead the sixth flight with a 71.
Rocky Bowman and Alex Bowman top the seventh flight at 76.
The event is named for Craig “Monster” Bowers, an avid golfer and former Greenville High School basketball and baseball player who was also an assistant basketball coach with the Lions and an assistant principal in Royse City. Bowers died in a skiing accident in Colorado last year. The event benefits local charities as well as a college scholarship fund for Bowers’ children.
Monster Ball Craig Bowers
Memorial Golf Tournament
Wright Park-Oak Creek
57 — Matt Neyra-Eric Kelly
60 — Brian Rowell-Michael Meyer
60 — Jack Nottingham-Jay Cox
63 — Chase Johnson-Andy Carter
63 — Julian Bowers-Cory Stone
63 — Shaun Franklin-Blake James
63 — Vince Record-Barry Huffman
63 — Jason Casstevens-Matt Chapman
64 — Tommy Hemphill-Chad Dunaway
64 — Kevin Bowers-Scott Coffman
64 — Bobby Jenkins-Mike Beddow
64 — Brett Jones-Wade Clark
64 — Mark Dean-Richie Garcia
63 — Keith Bonham-Jerry Jolley
64 — Steve Payne-Spenser Payne
64 — Justin Waddle-Loren Rutter
66 — Kevin Davis-Don Bumpus
65 — Andrew Rainey-Daniel Floria
65 — Chip Driver-Tom Benton
66 — Brent Hart-David McCalla
67 — Tom Wensel-Zach Hyde
67 — Steve Morehouse-Ian Morehouse
67 — BoBo Hartline-Cory Brown
65 — James Smith-Grant Manis
66 — Eric Ketchum-Noble Ketchum
68 — Russell Beasley-Jason Barborak
68 — Gary DeGarso-Jonathon DeGarso
68 — Chris Lawson-William Strickland Jr.
68 — Jerry Deaton-Tom Siewart
68 — Joe Winniford-John Winniford
71 — Chris Phipps-Ty Phipps
71 — Johnny Jackson-Tavin Harmon
72 — Randy Moore-Clayton Moore
73 — Randy Turner-Bob Forst
71 — Brad Espino-Rick Espino
72 — Sterling Newcomb-Bob Bihr
72 — Mark Priest-Cory Fain
73 — Danny Bowman-Scott Wolfe
76 — Rocky Bowman-Alex Bowman
77 — Drew Holloway-Ray Martinez
78 — Keith Quimby-Kim Quimby
80 — Matt Palmore-Shane Sickles