Low scores highlight Fall Classic
POWHATAN — Former PGA Tour player and professional Carl Paulson teamed with amateur and fellow Virginia Beach resident Jay Serrao to shoot 8-under-par 64 and capture the professional-amateur division of the Richmond Golf Association Fall Classic conducted today at The Foundry Golf Club. The event brings together amateurs and professionals in a team-oriented, captain’s choice event.
Richmond residents and amateurs Larry Loving Jr. partnered with Matt Hedley to fire 10-under 62 and claim the amateur-amateur division on a match of scorecards with Brent Holsten (Henrico)-Todd Hoyle (Midlothian).
Paulson-Serrao outlasted the pro-am tandems of Daniel Soehren-Ryan Taylor, Tyler Vrolyk-Scott Creamer and Craig Callens-Ben Beach who each returned scores of 7-under 65 (pros listed first).
Competitors dealt with low 40-degree weather most of the way.
Paulson had nearly a 15-year professional golf career, spending 10 years on the PGA Tour and five playing on what was then known as the Nationwide Tour (now the Web.com Tour), the PGA Tour’s feeder circuit, where he recorded two victories. He stopped competing in 2012 due to chronic back problems and is now currently the
co-host of “Inside the Ropes” on SiriusXM radio with Dennis Paulson (no relation).
Paulson returned to his native Virginia Beach in June. Paulson and Serrao know one another from playing high school golf together at First Colonial High School in Virginia Beach. As for the here and now, they play regularly at Cavalier Golf and Yacht Club in Virginia Beach where both are members.
They complemented each other well throughout the Fall Classic, combining to make five birdies in a six-hole stretch from Nos. 5-10. They added late birdies at two of their final three holes, Nos. 16 and 17, on their way to securing the title.
“We played a lot of golf together this summer,” said Paulson, 46. He is admittedly contemplating trying to qualify for the Champions Tour when he reaches the minimum age requirement of 50. “We were playing one day and Jay’s brother, Steve (Serrao), said, ‘Hey, y’all ought to come up and play the (Fall Classic).’ It was pretty cool to play in a team event.”
Jay Serrao noted that getting rounds in with Paulson has elevated his own play this year.
“I tell you what: In playing with Carl this summer, he’s stepped up my game,” Serrao said. “We’ve both been feeding off each other. Carl hit it down the middle all day long and we made a lot of putts.”
Will their win get some air time on Paulson’s broadcast?
“Yeah, for sure,” he said with a laugh.
Loving-Hedley began their round on No. 13 in the shotgun start format and got off to a scorching start, stringing together five straight birdies from Nos. 14-18. And in the late stages, Loving drilled his driver second shot off the deck from 242 yards at the par-5 eighth hole to 30 feet before draining the sidewinding eagle putt. Then, on their last hole of the day, par-4 12th, Loving stuck his approach shot to 12 feet before Hedley converted the ensuing birdie chance that would ultimately help decide the outcome.
“We teamed up for birdies and had a good partnership,” Loving said.
Both are members of Willow Oaks Country Club in Richmond and Loving-Hedley finished 1-2 in this year’s club championship.
“That’s how we decided to play together,” Loving said of their partnership.
For their part, HolstenHoyle birdied their last three holes, Nos. 12-14, to equal the double figures under-par aggregate.
“I had a good putting day, but (Holsten) was better off the tee and kept us in play,” Hoyle said.