ASHEVILLE, N.C. (WLOS) — Greg Parker has played steady, accomplished golf for more than 35 years, through a collegiate and pro career that has established the Old Fort native and Marion resident as one of the best from WNC to ever tee it up.
The 52-year-old head pro at Marion Lake Club added to that impressive legacy Thursday with a record-breaking seventh Skyview golf title.
Putting on one of the best 54-hole efforts in the tournament’s 59-year history, Parker posted a three-day total of 20-under to edge the equally brilliant Noah Ratner by two shots at Asheville Golf Course.
Parker (67-62-67-196) finished with 23 birdies to win yet another Skyview, and though official records are not kept, he is believed to be the first of a long list of notable champions – including Chuck Thorpe, Shane Thompson, Richard Clark, Lee Elder and Jesse Allen – to win seven times.
“They are all special, but this one was a little extra special,” said Parker, who took home the $2,500 first place prize after winning the title for the first time since 2014.
“When you get older you tend to cling to these wins because you don’t know how many more there will be,” he said. “It’s nice to know I can still be competitive and play well enough to win.”
On his 27th birthday, Ratner was the hard-luck second-place finisher, finishing 18-under after nearly matching Parker’s spectacular total of 22 birdies over 54 holes.
Riding in the same cart the last two days, Parker and Ratner combined for 34 birdies over the last 36 holes, an incredible display of shot-making and scoring.
The tournament came down to the par-5 17th, where a bad bounce and bad luck cost Ratner, who trailed Parker by one.
After booming his drive on the 491-yard hole, Ratner – who won the Skyview in 2015 and ’16 - hit a 6-iron approach just a few yards left of the green.
His ball hit a cart path, bounced through the golf cart of a spectator and went out of bounds. Ratner made a bogey-6, while Parker got up and down from a greenside bunker with a 10-foot birdie putt for a three-shot lead.
“I was aiming 30 yards right and just pulled it a little, and the wind picked up and caught it,” said Ratner, who received $1,900 for finishing second. “I played great, Greg just played a little better.”
“Noah played every bit as well as I did,” said Parker. “It was a great shootout the last two days, and especially today.”
Richard Clark, another multiple Skyview winner, finished third at 13-under and earned $1,500.
Austin Fisher of Hendersonville, a rising senior on the Brevard College golf team, won the amateur division at 8-under, one shot ahead of Kyle Scruggs of Gaffney, S.C. Scruggs missed a putt inside four feet on the final hole that would have forced a playoff.
Tommy White of Asheville waltzed to an eight-shot victory over Byron Bailey in the senior amateur division. White shot 11-under.
59th Skyview Pro/Am Tournament
Final Round at Asheville Golf Course
Pro/Senior Pro Division
- Greg Parker 67-62-67-196 $2,500
- Noah Ratner 66-65-67-198 $1,900
- Richard Clark 66-69-68-203 $1,500
- Jesse Allen 68-70-66-204 $1,200
- Matt Cook 70-68-69-207 $1,000
- Ryan Smith 72-67-70-209 $750
- Phil Nickell 71-67-71-209 $750
- Skip Taylor 67-74-69-210 $700
- Tommy Padgett 71-71-71-213 $600
- Robbie Biershenk 70-70-74-214 $550
- Paul Everett 71-70-73-214 $550
- Austin Fisher 68-65-75-208
- Kyle Scruggs 71-67-71-209
- Joseph Squires 69-70-72-211
- Joshua Crisp 71-69-71-211
- Thomas Garbee 73-70-78-221
- Christopher Fry 76-70-75-221
- Woodruff Logan 79-71-71-221
- Cody Mincey 73-71-79-223
- Nicholas Boone 77-74-73-224
- Tommy White 68-66-71-205
- Byron Bailey 71-70-72-213
- Jeff Long 76-69-69-214
- Bourgin Boyd 71-73-74-218
- Scott Pritchard 72-70-81-223
- Brandon Godfrey 79-71-74-224
- Cletis Dozier 73-79-72-224
- Ivory Walker 69-78-78-225
- Jerry Wilkins 79-72-76-227