Greystone Invitational ‘chipping’ in for good time

Helena native Connor Slane watches a shot from an elevated platform in a chipping contest June 20 at the Greystone Invitational. (Reporter Photo/Drew Granthum)

Helena native Connor Slane watches a shot from an elevated platform in a chipping contest June 20 at the Greystone Invitational. (Reporter Photo/Drew Granthum)

By DREW GRANTHUM/Sports Editor

GREYSTONE — While there’s no mistaking that all of the competitors in the 2014 Greystone Invitational are taking the tournament serious, event organizers encouraged them to have a little fun June 20.

All participants were invited to attend a dinner party following the second day of the tournament’s round, where they were fed by the organizers on the back patio of the country club.

“It’s fun,” former Spain Park standout Connor Smith said. “You get to meet a lot of different players, not only from different states but from different countries. You get to talk to them about how there team is and what college is like. It’s good to meet a lot of different people and make new connections.”

Fellow Spain Park alumni Vasili Kartos said he enjoyed both the actual tournament and the fellowship among golfers as well.

“It means a lot,” he said. “I met a couple guys I didn’t know and it’s nice to meet people, because you never know if you’ll need them in the future. It’s crazy what kind of people you meet now and (need) in the future.”

In addition to the cookout, golfers were given the opportunity to hit chip shots from an elevated platform onto a floating green in the middle of a water trap for a chance to win $100 gift certificates from the Greystone Pro Shop.

Tournament director Tom Ramsey said the whole event — tournament and dinner — were designed to give the competitors the best experience possible.

“We did the island green for our member-guest (tournament),” he said. “(It) gives them a chance to relax and cut up. It’s hard to hit a golf shot in front of 100 people. These guys keep coming back.”

As of 2:26 p.m. on June 21, Jake Tucker of Cullman was leading the tournament. Tucker posted a 71 on the day to finish one under for the round. Check back with Shelbycountyreporter.com for updates.