PALM VALLEY — The 65th Annual Life Begins at 40 golf tournament tees off this morning at Harlingen Country Club and, once again, Ron “The Killer” Kilby looks to be the man to beat.
Last year, Kilby defeated 2012 champion Ray Iler 5 and 4 in the championship round to win his third straight LBA 40 title and ninth overall.
Kilby’s quest for title No. 10 begins at 8 a.m. today when he tees off alongside Keith Schussler, Don Haire and Chris Wicker on Tee No. 1.
Meanwhile, Iler begins play on Tee No. 6 at 8 a.m. in the same group as Steve Brewer, Rusty Napier and, 211 and 2013 champion L.D. Clopton.
Other past champions in the qualifying field include 2007 winner Richard Hageman, who tees off at 8 a.m. on Tee No. 3, and Richard LaPierre, who won the event in 2002, 2005 and 2008. He tees off at 8 on Tee No. 10.
The LBA 40 began back in 1952 when members of the Harlingen Country Club invited some friends to play golf. Word of the invitation quickly spread, prompting more friends to come to HCC until eventually the annual tournament was born.
Kilby, who is from McAllen, has the most LBA 40 titles by far, winning in 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2008, 2014, 2015 and 2016.
The next closest competitor is Curtis Person of Memphis, Tennessee, who won four titles, including three in a row from 1966-68 and another in 1973.
The tournament continues through Saturday with the championship finals set to tee off at 1 p.m.
LBA 40 pairings
Wednesday, March 1
At Harlingen Country Club, Palm Valley
8 a.m. tee time
Tee 1A: Ron Kilby, Keith Schussler, Don Haire, Chris Wicker
2A: Bill Werley Jr., Bob Ermey, Frank Cohen, Jim Arnold
3A: Richard Hageman, Benito DeLeon, Mickey Boland, Richard Wilson
4A: Ray Iler, Steve Brewer, L.D. Clopton, Ruster Napier
6A: Jeffrey Scoggins, Tom Adcock, Ronnie Flowers, Richard Galvan
8A: Frank Del Angel, Glenn Haueisen, Andrew Howorth, Alan Roach
9A: Sergio Zarate, Brett Mann, Marvin Caldera, Tom Nesmith
10A: Richard LaPierre, Al Millon, Marc Saldana, Jim Coder
11A: Jim Rowe, Jason Mann, Lynn Curry, Nestor Martinez
13A: Bart McAndrews, Bob Velazquez, Dale Shaffer, Vern Petersen
14A: Saul Gonzales, Gil Ortiz, Don Franklin, Albert Salinas
16A: Bill Greer, John Omick, Daniel B. Strickland, Erwin Sanchez
1:15 p.m. tee time
Tee 1A: Tim Tillman, Tom Gibson, Rudy Gomez, Dean LaBonte
2A: Craig Lonon, Rusty Hall, Wayne Beneke, Doyle Hicks
3A: Carter Greshman, Joe Hildreth, Donny Reed, David Payne
5A: Durrell Lovell, Warren Studdard, Javier A. Rioncones, Matt Gorges
6A: Roland Drechsel, Walt Hammons, Joe McNabb, Bill Scoggins
8A: Leo Araguz, Bob McMinn, Richard Cutney, Bill Combs
9A: Garnett Causey, Don Hansen, Ned Cooley, Tony Alford
10A: Eric Hoff, Andrew Davis, Cecil Robinson, Mike Miloser
11A: Allan Colwick, Keith Jorgensen, Bobby Hunt, Byran Maxedon
13A: Jerry Rhein, John Snodgrass, Jim Hearn, Dean Conner
14A: David Chase, Tom Locke, Michael Lucak, Tito Guerrero
16A: John Rowe, Jerry Schussler, Kenneth Jackson, Seth Moore