LAWRENCEVILLE, Ill. — Another full field is expected for the 65th annual Silverthorne Auto Group Lawrence County open this weekend, but a notable golfer won’t be participating.
Former Lawrenceville resident Zach Manley, who had his string of three consecutive titles a year ago snapped, is not entered. Now living in Indianapolis, Manley’s work doesn’t allow him to break away this weekend, according to Lawrence County Country Club manager Doug Brown.
The player who stopped Manley’s run of titles, LaSalle’s Trey Tussey, though is back and is more than capable of starting his own stretch of championships. Tussey, who was born in Vincennes, has won both local tournaments he has entered, having won the Vincennes Open in 2017.
Last year’s runner-up, Matt Davis of Terre Haute, Ind., is also among the 22 players in this weekend’s Championship Flight. Former champions Chris Cassell, Terre Haute; and Tom Doyle, Evansville; have also entered. Among the local players, Brown pointed to Bridgeport’s Zach Breault, the reigning LCCC club champion; Vincennes’ Blake
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Claycomb and Sumner’s Jacob Zwilling as possible champion choices.
Brown said he liked the chances of Tussey and Breault.
“Tussey plays college golf (at Lewis, Mo.) and Breault plays college golf (Southern Indiana), so that means they’ve played a lot this spring,” Brown said. “I’m thinking a lot of these guys haven’t played a lot of golf so far because of the weather.”
A rainy spring has made the 6,373 yard, par-72 course green and lush. It also has allowed the rough to grow more than normal. Brown said he didn’t want the rough deep enough to where finding wayward drives would be too hard to find, but admitted that the conditions of not much roll and filled-in rough would favor the better golfers.
“Looking at the forecast, it’s expected to be windy too. It’s going to be tougher than it normally is. I predict the winning score to be 139 (5-under),” Brown said.
The tournament has 112 golfers in six flights: Champions, A, B, C, D and Senior (players 65-and-over with a handicap of 10 or above). While other local tournaments are taking entries up to almost tee time, Brown said his tournament isn’t accepting any more entries.
The 36-hole tournament begins at 7 a.m. (CDT) Saturday, with the two-round tournament ending Sunday evening. The festivities begin at 5 p.m. today with the LCCC Shootout. Davis won last year’s nine-hole competition.