Moyers returns to tournament golf with a vengeance at City Championship

By Jerry Ratcliffe

After sitting out from tournament golf for a lengthy span, Mikey Moyers wanted to dip his toe in the water to ease his way back into competition. The Charlottesville City Championship at friendly Meadowcreek Golf Course was a good place to start.

Moyers, one of the top amateurs in the state, roared back in traditional fashion on Saturday, posting an 8-under-par 63, and owns a four-shot lead over Garnet Manley III heading into today’s final round.

Philip Mahone and UVA men’s golf coach Bowen Sargent share the lead in the Senior Division, both with an opening-round, 5-under 66. Steve Cox (69) leads Greg Crum by a stroke in the Super Senior competition.

“This is what I wanted, a good start to getting back into individual golf,” Moyers said. “I haven’t played in a tournament, so this gives me the feeling of it before I play in some big East Coast or national tournaments. This is a good place to start for me.”

Moyers, a former standout at William Monroe High School and Virginia Tech, recorded nine birdies in his opening round, the only blemish coming on the tricky, par-3 17th, when he suffered his only bogey of the day. He quickly shook it off and drilled a 10-foot birdie putt to finish off his round.

He made the turn at 5-under 30 with five birdies, then took it to 7-under with birdies on both of the back nine’s par-5s (No. 10 and No. 12).

“It was just solid all day, a pretty stress-free round,” Moyers said. “I executed my gameplan, but that one bogey made me mad. I made a good swing, aimed to the right because I don’t mess with that hole. You can make a double there in a second. It was an easy up-and-down that I just didn’t make.”

Moyers boasts such a strong wedge game that anything 100 yards and in gives him birdie opportunities, particularly at Meadowcreek, which can sometimes be defenseless because of its lack of length (6,200 yards from the tips). Most of his putts were from 15 feet and in all day.

“It’s a matter of how many putts can I make, and I did miss a few, but it’s like nobody is going to make 100 percent from 10 feet,” the leader said. “So if I can make half of them, that’s pretty good. I didn’t get mad when I missed the short ones.”

Moyers would be the first to admit that is a change from his younger days in golf, when he became frustrated over missing a shot or not cashing in on a birdie opportunity.

“I’m a little more mellow on the course, I don’t let things upset me very easily,” the Greene Hills golfer said. “I don’t panic if I start hitting it bad or miss spots. I guess that’s called maturity.”

Being in the lead heading into a final round is nothing new to Moyers, whose name is on golf trophies all around the state. In fact, he won the City Championship the last time it was played in 2019. He posted rounds of 68-67-67 in that tournament, when it was a 54-hole event.

Having played Meadowcreek numerous times over the years, he has developed an almost fail-safe gameplan.

“Basically I don’t hit driver anywhere out here,” Moyers said. “I play very conservative. I know my wedges are good, so if you put me at 100 yards on every hole, I feel like I can get half of them.

“The only holes you can make big numbers on, I don’t even think about trying to hit a driver. There are three or four driveable holes, but if you miss the green you’re not guaranteed to make birdie, so I’m just trying to give myself 18 opportunities. I hit irons off the tee on a lot of holes.”

Meadowcreek Golf Course
First Round Results
(Leaders only)
Championship Division
Mikey Moyers — 63
Garnet Manley III — 67
Austin Turner — 70
Chad Felts — 71
Tim Morris — 72
Nick Little — 72
Bob Rotella — 72
Aaron Kennon — 72

Senior Division
Phil Mahone — 66
Bowen Sargent — 66
Scott Garrison — 69
Tom Elliot — 70
Steve Firkins — 70
Steve DeMasters — 71
Inoch Arnette — 72
Bill Hamilton — 72
Skip Platt — 72
Greg Whitmer — 72
Jeff Toms — 72
Scott Richards — 73
Chuck Crenshaw — 73

Super Senior Division
Steve Cox — 69
Greg Crum — 70
Ronnie Snow — 72
Randy Leyshon — 73
Chandler Wilkens — 74
John Welsh — 74
Terry Dean — 76
Gary Gibson — 76