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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Blevins back, red-hot for Hounds

Thursday, September 4, 2008

So far, the reaction has pretty much been the same.

Whenever the Salem Greyhounds have pulled in for a golf match during the early part of the 2008 season, it's usually one of the first things head coach Larry Brown has heard after greetings are exchanged.

"Hey, has he not ran out of eligibility yet?"

The "he" opposing coaches are talking about is Salem's J.W. Blevins.

"Yeah," chuckled Brown. "At Tannenbaum last week, they were making a comment, 'Hey, he still has some eligibility left?' He (Blevins) was a good player even back in ninth grade and they remember that. They just keep saying, 'Gosh, we hate to see him again.'"

But yet, here he comes anyway, a thorn in the side of the competition.

Blevins has been on a major tear in the early weeks of the new golf season, helping his Hounds to six wins in their first seven outings of 2008.

And not surprisingly, Blevins has picked up medalist honors in six of those matches, including Salem's third-place finish at the Southern Invitational at Tannenbaum Golf Club in Drasco Aug. 22.

Riverview took top-team honors in the 27-hole event, as the Raiders finished the day with a 349.

The Southside Southerners came in second with a 359, while Salem ended the match with a 388.

After opening the season at 6-0, that third-place showing was the Greyhounds' first finish out of the top spot this year.

"We didn't do as well as I hoped (at Tannenbaum), but we'll bounce back," said Brown.

Still, Blevins' day at Tannenbaum had plenty of spring to it.

Knowing he was behind Riverview's Cameron Angerman on the last hole of regulation, Blevins drained a 24-foot putt to catch up with Angerman.

"He eagled that last hole, which was a par-5, to get into a playoff with the kid from Riverview (Angerman)," Brown said. "And he won the playoff hole. He finished with a 110, which is 2-over par. That's pretty good."

Blevins scores were: 38-35-37, tops among the 40 golfers in the Southern Invitational.

Shane Smith finished with a 135 (38-48-49) for Salem, while Jon Goodson carded a 143 (41-50-52).

So what's been the key to Blevins' hot start, a start that's seen him shoot under par in a couple of matches?

"He's very consistent. That's what I like about J.W.'s game. He's never too much in trouble, he stays down the middle most of the time," Brown said. "And when he does get in trouble, he finds a way out and a way to score. He's got a good long game to go with a good short one. He's just a solid golfer."

And Blevins also has another key element essential in any golfer's arsenal -- a short memory.

"He's played enough golf to keep a level head," said Brown. "He knows if you make a bad shot, that one's over with and you get out of that one and move on to the next one. You just can't let one bad shot lead to two or three others in the game of golf. J.W. just plays with an even keel, which is certainly a strength."

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