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No obstacles for winner

Weston gets first title while oddities plague competition
Monday, July 16, 2007 | 12:46 a.m. CDT; updated 12:53 p.m. CDT, Saturday, July 19, 2008
Dee Sanders, left, winner John Weston and Doug Solliday, right, gather under a tree on the 17th hole that held onto the ball Solliday hit off the fairway of the 17th hole. Solliday added a stroke to his score and finished third.

Correction: The caption for this article orginally mischaracterized the shot Solliday made on the 17th hole.

On a sun-splashed, warm afternoon, 52-year-old John Weston showcased his talent on Sunday at A.L. Gustin Golf Course, winning the Columbia Seniors Golf Championship over close friend, 51-year-old Dee Sanders. They first met when they were teammates on the 1976-78 Missouri golf team and shared an apartment. Sanders was also the best man at Weston’s wedding.

“Dee is one of the best amateurs in the state. He beats me two out of three times,” Weston said. “Today was the one time.”

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On this day nobody, not even Sanders, could deny Weston, who shot the best score in Saturday’s first round at Lake of the Woods Golf Course. Weston continued playing well Sunday at A.L. Gustin, shooting a 2-under-par 68 to finish at 3-under-par for the tournament and beat Sanders by four strokes. This was the first time Weston has won the two-day tournament.

“I just tried to keep the pressure on,” Weston said. “It’s a challenging game. It gets everybody.”

Sunday the game got Doug Solliday. On the 17th tee he hit a drive that went awry and left his ball stuck in the branches of a tree. the mishap cost him a stroke and any shot he had at this year’s championship. Solliday finished in third place, shooting 4-over-par for the tournament. It was the fifth time he has finished third in the event. He also has three runner-up finishes.

Weston said it takes a lot of practice to play well. He said he spends countless hours at the golf course, practicing every day in preparation for the tournaments he plays in. He says that he enjoys trying to improve his game and learning from the mistakes he’s made on the course. Weston also thinks that he has to practice every day in order to stay competitive.

“It’s as hard to win in Columbia as it is anywhere else in the state.” said Weston, who won the Missouri State Seniors Golf Championship two years ago.

Weston said he tries to play in as many local and state tournaments as he can. He will have less than a week to enjoy his latest championship. Weston said he is looking forward to playing in a stroke play tournament next weekend in Kansas City.


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