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July 13, 2004

Virginia assistant equipment manager David Bell won his fourteenth local major golf title as he won the Reines Jewelers Charlottesville Men’s City Golf Championship for the third time in his career with an 8-under 202. Bell led from the opening hole, starting the tournament with a seven-under 63 on the opening day and closing with a birdie on the 54th hole of the tournament en route to a three-stroke victory over the second-place finisher, Philip Mahone. Mahone is the brother of UVa Athletics’ Administrative Assistant Sue Hildebrand.

Bell’s 63 gave him a three-shot lead after the opening day, as only nine golfers hit below par on Friday, including Colin Murray, the son of Athletic Media Relations Director Rich Murray. Jeff Toms was Bell’s closest competitor with a first-day 66 that left him just three off the pace.

Only eight golfers were under par on Saturday, and Toms made up ground on Bell by leading all competitors with a 67, and he closed out the second day just one stroke behind Bell with a seven-under 133. Mahone had a three-under 137 to sit in third, while Gordon Shelton, the husband of Virginia volleyball coach Melissa Aldrich Shelton, was also under par at -2 with a 138.

Bell started the final day with five-shot advantage over Mahone, who was the only golfer to go under par in all three rounds. Bell immediately put distance on the field with birdies in two of the first four holes, and after the first nine holes on the final day, he had an eight-shot lead over Mahone.

On the back nine, Bell had an up-and-down round, bogeying the 12th, and then dropping a stroke at each of the 15th, 16th, and 17th holes while Mahone got hot, getting a birdie on the 13th and 17th, shrinking the Bell advantage to just two strokes as the pair headed to the 18th tee.

Bell’s approach shot on the par-3 18th hole was within 30 feet of the pin, and he drained it to claim his first title since 1997 and his third overall, tying him with Paul Kane for the most city titles in a career.

“It’s great to win again,” said Bell.”I really didn’t know if I was ever going to win another tournament like this against outside competition.”

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