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Golfing Gwinnett: A round for the ages

When you play golf four days a week, "one of those days" is bound to come.

But even when it does, rarely do even those days of greatness translate into the day Cecil Pickens had

May 23.

The 86-year-old teed off that Wednesday morning like it was any other, but as he toted his pull-cart and clubs around the course at Berkeley Hills Country Club, he noticed how well he was playing.

"Sure, I could tell (how I was doing)," Pickens said. "I was making pars and doing fairly well. I didn't have any double bogeys, which is fairly unusual for me."

And when Pickens finished his double bogey-free round he had a fairly unusual score: 83.

An 83 from an 86-year old. Yep, Pickens had shaved three strokes off his age.

"It was just one of those days where everything went right," Pickens said. "It just kept clicking. Now it didn't the next day, I shot a 93. That's the usual score."

And he would know better than most, since the retired Pickens plays up to four days a week.

He leaves the weekends to the day laborers.

In the past few golf seasons, Pickens has hit his age, or one below, but never three strokes better.

"The course is playing easier now because the fairways are so hard the ball just runs," Pickens said.

But he is still hitting the shots straight, putting his approaches on the green and making the putts.

His age may continue to rise, but his game is not in decline.

"There is a double-whammy there," he said. "You are getting older so it should be easier, but you are getting older so you don't play as well as you used to."

But on that Wednesday in May, he played as well as ever.

"In golf it goes right one day and the other four days it doesn't go right," he said.

Duluth's Wright takes second at Georgia PGA Junior Championship

Kendall Wright of Duluth took a one-stroke lead into the second day of the Georgia PGA Westfield Junior PGA Championship at Birch River Golf Club in Dahlonega.

The single stroke wasn't enough to hold on for first, but her rounds of 75 and 78 were good enough to finish second behind Alei Mitchell (76-73) of Waycross.

It was the best local finish on the boys or girls side in the Westfield Junior PGA Championship qualifying event. Finishing behind Wright in the girls qualifier where Buford's Jennifer Nam (81-79), Buford's Judy Nam (86-75), Duluth's Katie Petrino (83-84), Lilburn's Kimberly Graff (86-83), Duluth's Maria Carter (94-97), Lawrenceville's Kiersten Rom (110-112) and Duluth's Lindsey Hertel (123-113).

Jack Walsh's scores of 72 and 73 were good enough for fifth in the boys Georgia PGA Junior Championship and his 145 was the top score from a large field of local golfers.

Behind Walsh were Dacula's Kevin Lee (71-77), Auburn's Drew Czuchry (77-73), Duluth's Drew McGuire (73-78), Lawrenceville's Zach Estep (82-74), Lawrenceville's Taylor Rose (80-81), Suwanee's Eric Alvarez (82-80), Norcross' Eric Quinn (85-80), Snellville's Colin Spellman (85-80), Duluth's Ben Lee (81-84), Lilburn's Ted Moon (87-84), Suwanee's Marc Edel (85-88), Snellville's Robert Graham (91-87), Suwanee's Garrett Marschke (94-88), Lilburn's Michael Stolorena (90-94) and Duluth's McAllister Ball (91-100).

Hicks' 73 good enough for second at Bear's Best

Duluth's Stuart Hicks shot a 73 in the second flight of the Amateur Golf Association Bear's Best tournament, six strokes behind winner Mike Nudd from Sharpsburg.

One stroke behind Hicks was Faiyaz Amlani of Lawrenceville. Other local finishers included Randy Daniel and David Sheiman of Duluth who both shot 77, the Snellville pair of James Hampton and Tony Shaw each shot 81 and Lawrenceville's Chuck Korom shot an 82.

One-timers

From 155 yards out on the par-3 4th, Chris Wilson knocked a nine iron in for a hole-in-one at Northwood Country Club

Ernie Lucenda, at Berkeley Hills Country Club, hammered in his hole-in-one at the fifth hole of the Pine course.

Bear's Best saw two hole-in-ones in the last week with Steve Glass holing out from 162 yards with a 7-iron on No. 6 to win a trip to Atlantic City and Bob Leech knocking it in from 175 yards out on No. 11 in a charity tournament to win a Honda Accord.

Golfing Gwinnett is a weekly column that highlights golf in the area and welcomes contributions from courses and individuals. To be included in the column, fax information to (770) 339-8081 or e-mail to ben.beitzel@gwinnettdailypost.com.