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Steady Rhodes wins Rolling Hills

By James D. Horne jhorne@paducahsun.com

Being steady and consistent was all Josh Rhodes wanted to be during Sunday's final round of the 58th Annual Rolling Hills Country Club Men's Invitational.

And Rhodes was exactly that, especially on the back nine as he parred the last four holes after his third bogey of the day at No. 14, and went on to win the championship flight with a with an 8-under (67-69) 136. That was three strokes better than Greg Beale's 5-under (70-69) 139.

"I made three bogeys today and I just struck the ball poorly on those holes, but this year I just tried not to take any risks that didn't need to be taken," said Rhodes, 29, a 2002 Heath alumnus, who was tied for the first-round lead with James Meeks after both shot 5-under 67 on Saturday. "I felt like I could be a tactician around the course and use the advantages of my length when I needed to. My goal was to get to 10 (under) today. I felt if I shot 10 and still got beat then, oh well, and I'd go and shake his hand. But I just plodded around, and I was steady enough to win it."

Beale, who started the day three shots back, moved into second after his eagle on No. 18.

"I was 1-over through four and chipped in on No. 5, but I couldn't get anything going on the front nine, which I had to if I was going to have a chance to get close," he said. "I played solid on the back nine and made a nice eagle on No. 18 to finish second. That's a good tournament for me, I'm not complaining."

Adam Butler (69-71) and Justin Gosa (69-71) tied for third at 4-under 140. Meeks (67-75), Grant Price (77-65) and Eric Straub (74-68) all tied for fifth at 2-under 142. Avery Edwards came in eighth thanks to his even-par (72-72) 144.

Alex Metzger won the first flight with his even-par (74-70) 144 over David Glass' 3-over (72-75) 147.

Steve Korte took top honors in the second flight thanks to his 3-over (74-73) 147. Greg Overstreet came in second with a 7-over (73-78) 151.

The third flight was taken by Rob Phillips and his 10-over (76-78) 154. That was two strokes better than Kurt Averill's 12-over (81-75) 156.

Tim Jones was the best in the fourth flight with his 18-over (80-82) 162. Ronnie Hall came in second with a 21-over (83-82) 165.

Bill Metzger, ending with a 3-over (69-78) 147, took the senior crown over Ronnie Brown, who also finished at 3-over (70-77) 147. But it wasn't decided until a playoff hole that saw Metzger par and Brown double bogey.

"I didn't play well on the front nine today," Metzger said. "But I played even par on the backside, which held it together for me. But overall it was a very enjoyable day."

Rhodes had a four-shot lead going into No. 18, and he admitted the pressure was there because he knew the only person he could blame if things went awry was himself.

"It's not over until they put it up on the board, but it is a weird feeling because you're the only person that can mess things up," he said. "Playoffs are definitely more intense, and I've won a few that way. But I'd much rather do it this way."

Call James D. Horne, a Sun sports writer, at 270-575-8661 or follow on Twitter @psunsports.

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