The first week in August is one that Dave Battey has circled on his calendar every year.
Coming into the Resorters Golf Tournament at the Alexandria Golf Club, Battey had entered 24 times and had yet to reach a final. After focusing on the mental aspect of his game, he was able to win the Men’s Master championship on Saturday.
“It’s almost surreal,” Battey said. “I had a feeling that I was going to do well this week. I had a bit of a change in attitude. I thought about life and golf and decided that I needed to make a change. I guess that was a good thing because now I won the Resorters. This was the first time in 25 years that I’ve ever been to a final. I still can’t believe it.”
Battey beat fellow Alexandria golfer Norty Blanchard 2-1. After the first five holes, Blanchard was 2-up and was looking to run away with things early.
“Golf is a funny game,” Battey said. “The first five holes were really bad. I shot a seven on one of the holes. I went into the woods and hit two trees. It’s couldn’t have started worse. Then I started making birdies and I played really well.”
A birdie on No. 6 and a par on No. 9 squared the match heading into the turn. Birdies on Nos. 10, 12 and 13 put Battey 3-up. Even though Battey birdied No.14, an eagle chip from Blanchard cut his lead to two.
“Norty is a great athlete. He’s one of Alexandria’s best athletes ever,” Battey said. “He’s a competitor and he doesn’t quit. He chipped in for eagle on No. 14. That was a really impressive shot. I think if I hit that shot I’m two-putting for par.”
Blanchard took advantage of Battey’s bogey on hole 15, but had a bogey himself on 16 to put Battey 2-up with two holes left. Both players birdied the par-three 17th hole to seal the win for Battey.
“My driver was really good all week until today,” Battey said. “I was striping it down there all week. My putting was better this week than it has been. I used to be a really good putter but now, not so much. I guess I put it all together at the right time. I don’t know how, but I did it.”
After the realization of winning set in, Battey was emotional. With friends and family in attendance, he finally accomplished a long-time goal of his.
“I decided that there are a lot more things that are more important than winning a golf match,” Battey said. “I said to myself, ‘If I win, I win. And if I lose, I lose. Just have fun.’ That made all the difference for me. It means a lot to me to win this. It’s a really hard tournament to win. There aren’t a lot of people that win the Resorters and everybody here is a good golfer. It’s something that’s really special for me.”
As he went through each hole on Saturday, Battey played for the man who showed him the game after his father died two years ago.
“My dad taught me how to golf when I was 10-years-old,” Battey said. “I know he watched me today. I talked to him a couple of times when I was out there.”
It may have taken 25 years to get here, but Battey’s first Resorters title was worth the wait.
“As weird and spiritual as it might sound, I almost think that there’s a time for everybody and this week was my time,” Battey said. “It was (Randy Johnson), my buddy’s time last year. This year it was my time. And I got to do it with my two daughters and four grandkids here with me. I'm just so happy.”