Making a name for himself Jul 27, 2009  (10 years ago)

By Randy King
Jul 27, 2009, 14:57

Eventual winner, Chips Wooddy tees off on the 16th hole Friday. Kyle Green - The Roanoke Times

Chips Wooddy shoots a final-round 68 to win the Roanoke Valley Golf Hall of Fame Senior title.

Chips Wooddy has long been known to certain local newspaper copy editors as the "human typo."

Well, there's no mistaking the guy any longer. Hey, this dude can play some serious golf.

Perhaps assuring his unique name will no longer be butchered in print, Wooddy fashioned a stout 3-under-par 68 Friday to capture the 24th Roanoke Valley Golf Hall of Fame Senior Championship on Friday at Roanoke Country Club.

"I'm the only one in this area who spells their last name with two D's," Wooddy said.

And the first name? It's not Chip. It's Chips. Of course, that's a nickname. His real first name is Clayton.

"I don't like Clayton too much," the 59-year-old retiree noted.

Well, he liked where he was Friday. Taking advantage of his extensive knowledge of his home course, the longtime RCC member toured the Redbud nine in 2-under 34 to snare the lead, then held steady on the Dogwood nine to clip fellow RCC member Jack Tuttle by two shots. Wooddy, who was 4 under until bogeying the final hole, finished with a winning 36-hole total of even-par 142.

Mike Fields blasts out of the sand on the 16th hole during the final round of the Roanoke Valley Golf Hall of Fame Senior Championship. Kyle Green - The Roanoke Times

Tuttle, the 2006 champion, posted a final-round 69 to snare second and help lead RCC to its second senior team title. Parlayed with Jack Gregory's final-round 75, RCC's three-man team posted a 1-under 212 total. It was plenty enough to rally RCC from a two-shot deficit to first-round leader Countryside and coast to an 11-shot victory.

"Coming to your home course, you're at ease," said Wooddy, who entered the day one shot behind first-round leader Mike Fields of Countryside. "There's no guesswork on what club to hit and what the greens are going to do, so it makes a real advantage for the home team."

Fields, who was one shot back after turning the front in even par, went bogey-bogey-triple bogey on hole Nos. 10-12 and limped home to a 78 that left him nine shots back in fifth. The triple at the seemingly innocent 147-yard par-3 12th cost him four shots when Wooddy made a deuce.

"I bladed a shot out of the sand ... that broke my back right there," Fields said. "I just didn't get it done today. That's golf."

Chips Wooddy chips on the 17th hole (No. 8 on the Dogwood course) during the final round of the Hall of Fame seniors tournament. Kyle Green - The Roanoke Times

Of course, Wooddy wasn't about to be stopped on his home track. In addition to draining almost every makeable putt he looked at, the Richmond native saw his ball rattle out of the trees several times, only to carom out of harm's way.

"I told him I thought he had a couple of monkeys in the trees who kept throwing his ball out," Fields joked.

Tuttle, a good friend of the winner, said he thought he had a chance until he heard Wooddy was 4 under through 12 holes.

"After hearing that, I just tried to get in," said Tuttle, 60. "Shoot, I shoot 69 and he wins a beer off me."

Hidden Valley's Jack Trussell (73) finished five shots back in third, while defending champion Bill Nunnenkamp of Countryside (72) was fourth at 148.

Hanging Rock's Fred Widdowson, winner of the 2003 senior title, captured his first crown in the 65-and-over super senior class. Widdowson (77) finished two shots ahead of Blue Hills' Dan Mitchell, last year's VSGA Super Senior champion. Mitchell made a double bogey on the final hole to shoot 78 and finish in a second-place tie with Barrett Cawood (76) of The Waterfront at 150.

"I'm surprised 148 was good enough," said Widdowson, 66. "Winning never gets old. And Hanging Rock winning the team title, too. I know Billy [McBride, the Hanging Rock head pro who died this spring] would have been smiling and proud of us today."


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