LUMBERTON — After proclaiming himself as baddest man on the planet, Brad Locklear could feel the pressure heading into the final round of the Kiwanis All-American golf tournament on Sunday.
But that didn’t bother him.
“I always try to put a little pressure on myself,” Locklear said. “It was a battle (on Sunday). I didn’t have it like I did in the first round, but I still felt good.”
Brad and his teammate — Lonail Locklear — had reason to feel good after carding a 6-under-par 66 in the final round at Pinecrest Country Club, claiming the championship with a 16-under-par 128 for a two-stroke victory.
“Me and Lonail stuck it out,” Brad said.
“The holes that he didn’t get, I got, and the holes I didn’t get, he got. It was a team effort on both days. It’s a team tournament. You’ve got to have a good partner. I had one of the best partners I could ask for this week.”
After posting a 62 in the first round — ending the day with an eagle from the fairway — the Locklear duo hoped to get off to a fast start in Sunday’s round.
It took four holes, but the team earned its first birdie on the par-4 5th and never looked back.
“We started out giving ourselves opportunities,” Brad said. “I think when I made that birdie on five it broke the ice. All day it was a battle. It came a little more natural (Saturday). Lonail made some tough putts for par that took a lot of pressure off me.”
Lonail went on to birdie Nos. 6 and 8, before Brad closed the front nine with a birdie to put the team at 4 under for the day. Both would birdie the par-5 11th, before their only bogey of the tournament on No. 12. Birdies on Nos. 15 and 17 helped the team seal the victory.
The defending champions, John Haskins and Larry Cloninger, claimed a runner-up finish after posting a 14-under-par 130 for the tournament. The duo started the day four strokes back of the lead, but carded a 64 for the lowest round of the day to claim second place.
Dyrck Fanning and Scott Benton played in the final group with the Locklear duo, providing some pressure late in the round.
“I struggled a little bit, but I birdied No. 6 and Brad took over on Nos. 8 and 9,” Lonail said. “They got a little close to us. Scott (Benton) made some birdies to put some pressure on us late.”
Fanning and Benton finished in third place.
Brad wasn’t surprised to see the leaderboard tighten up.
“You can expect that the last day of a tournament,” he said. “It was a battle.”
It was the first time the Locklear duo had played together in a tournament, but it won’t be the last.
“He asked me about four or five months ago and I knew what kind of golfer he was,” Brad said. “He’s the best partner I could ask for. When I get in trouble I need someone there to bail me out because I’m so aggressive.”
“We’re going to try to win it again next year.”
Lonail plans on it.
“I enjoyed it. I’m ready to come back again.”
Steve Pippin and David Marsh won the first flight, with Marty Hunt and Larry Hardee claiming first in the second flight.
The winners of the third flight were Tim Wilson and Justin Long, with Allan Adams and Holt Moore claiming top honors in the fourth. Chris and Steve Kinlaw won the fifth flight, with Patrick and Tyler Prevatte rounding out the winners with a victory in the sixth.
Brad (left) and Lonail Locklear hold their trophies after claiming first place in the Kiwanis All-American golf tournament on Sunday.
Rodd Baxley can be reached at 910-416-5182. Follow him on Twitter @RoddBaxley.