New driver’s license in hand, 16-year-old Jerry Deaton entered the 1952 Portsmouth City Amateur golf tournament. Unnerved more by the competition than the roads, he shot a front-nine 60.
“I did not get the ball airborne,” Deaton said.
Discouraged and embarrassed, he headed for the parking lot, only to be stopped by Chandler Harper, the Portsmouth native who two years earlier had won the PGA Championship. You need to finish the round, Harper told him.
And finish Deaton did, with a back-side 39 that earned him a notice in the newspaper for his unusual route to breaking 100.
“It was a good experience,” Deaton said. “I’ve never quit since.”
He certainly hasn’t...