Michael Arnaud made his first trip to the Dothan Country Club a successful one.
Arnaud, a veteran on the Korn Ferry Tour, won the Dothan Pro-Am as part of the Emerald Coast Golf Tour by defeating University of Alabama golfer Wilson Furr by 1-stroke on Friday.
The Covington, La., resident dropped a short par putt on No. 18 to secure the win just after Furr, competing as an amateur, barely missed a birdie putt that could have sent the two into a playoff.
Arnaud shot a three-day, 14-under par 196 (66-65-65), while Furr shot 64-67-66 for his 197. Two strokes back of the winner was Blake Caldwell of Ponchatoula, La., at 199 followed by Aaron Power of LaGrange, Ga., at 200.
Using the tournament as a tune-up for a return to the Korn Ferry Tour when it starts back up on June 11, Arnaud collected a check of $7,000 for the victory.
“I really liked this golf course,” Arnaud said. “It reminds me a lot of the courses I grew up on back home in southeast Texas.
“I like these old-school golf courses. The first time I had played it was Tuesday during the practice round. I fell in love with it quickly.”
Arnaud was steady with the putter throughout the three-round tournament.
“I played well the first two days,” he said. “Today, I was a little errant on a few tee shots, but was able to recover and I putted really well. That’s the name of the game — — putting. The greens were quick and you really had to pay attention.”
Arnaud said it was good to just get back in competitive play.
“Not playing for a month and a half or two months, just getting yourself back into the competition and into the grind,” Arnaud said of what he was looking for.
“We played a lot of money games back home during the quarantine, but just to be out here with players of your own caliber and forcing you to really bear down and hit shots — it’s good to get your mind refocused on tournament golf.”
He hopes it will give him a boost going into the Korn Ferry schedule, which is a notch below the PGA Tour.
“I’m playing a mini-tour event the first week of June out in west Texas, so that will be another opportunity to get myself back in playing shape for whatever this season looks like and going into next season,” Arnaud said.
A couple of Dothan golfers had solid rounds as well on Friday while playing as amateurs in the field of 37.
Calum Masters, a former Providence Christian, Troy University and University of Georgia golfer who plans to turn pro this fall, shot a 5-under 65 to finish at 202 (69-68-65).
Auburn University golfer and Houston Academy product Hal Dove shot a 73 on Friday after rounds of 75 and 71 for a three-day 219.