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November 22, 2011

Knaffle displays game in CGCSA championship

Some superintendents in the area can do more than grow grass. They can play a bit as well, and none are better than Jim Knaffle of the International Club of Myrtle Beach. He's undoubtedly the best player in the area from Lisbon, Maine, which is also my hometown.

Knaffle, 40 and a plus-1 handicap, won the Carolinas Golf Course Superintendents Association’s annual championship by three strokes on Nov. 14 with an even-par round of 72 over 6,677 yards at the River Club.

It was Knaffle’s first win in the tournament, which attracted 316 players from the 1,800-member trade association. Higher handicap players competed at Litchfield Country Club and Willbrook Plantation.

Knaffle was four shots clear with five holes to play but stumbled with a double bogey on the par-3 14th. His closest challenger, Steve Agazzi from Turtle Point at Kiawah Island Resort, made birdie on the following hole to cut the lead to one. But Knaffle birdied two of the three closing holes to win going away.

Knaffle and Agazzi were recently teammates representing the Carolinas in an annual Ryder Cup-style event over two days against golf course superintendents from Virginia. He has been at International Club from its construction and opening in 1999.

He advances to the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America’s national championship at the Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course at PGA West in Palm Springs, Calif., in February.

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