Turley has had three different teammates in the Sunny King Charity Classic this decade and all of them have had him at or near the lead during their time together.
This year, he brought back his original partner — former Clay County resident Brian Macoy — and Friday they grabbed the first round lead of the 31st Classic with a 14-under-par 58 in the scramble format at Cane Creek Golf Course.
It was Turley's 20-foot putt for eagle on 18 that catapulted them over a logjam at 13-under for a one-shot lead heading into the championship flight's modified scramble round today at Oxford's Cider Ridge Golf Club.
"I've picked him before," Turley said, with his best what's-the-deal inflection. "That's the third time we've played together."
The first two came in 2000 and 2001, and they finished third in their debut. When Macoy moved to Florida, Turley turned to Adrian Geeting for three years, and they finished fourth in 2002.
He had played with John Hanson the past three years, and they were always in contention. They led after each of the first two rounds in 2006, won the Championship B flight in 2007 and were tied for second going into the final round last year.
"You've got to get somebody you just mesh good with," Turley said. "I play good with both those guys, our games kind of fit. What I do good and what he (Macoy) does good kind of goes good together. The same thing with John.
"They both hit it a long way, and I think I'm a pretty good putter."
He certainly proved that on the last hole Friday. Turley made five birdies earlier in the round, but saved his biggest putt of the day for last.
The teammates came to the 18th tee one shot off the lead, but reached the green with Macoy's drive and his 9-iron from 162 yards. Turley then made the eagle putt to give their team the lead.
The way their day went, it should have been expected. Their round was highlighted by 10 consecutive birdies after an opening-hole par. They also birdied 13 and 14 after a par at 12, making it 12 birdies in 13 holes.
"We made our putts when we needed to," Macoy said. "There were only a couple birdies on the back that we should have made. Basically, 16 and 17 got away from us. They were two easy birdie holes. We just didn't close the deal on the putts, but we ended up really nice."
Until Turley's eagle putt, 13-under looked to be the number that would lead the tournament.
The teams of Jaylon Ellison-Jeremy McGatha, Scott Eaton-Dan Griffin and Phillip Austin-Bruce Collins all posted 59s before Turley and Macoy finished. Chris Maye and Geeting joined them later when Maye made a four-footer for eagle on 18.
Hank Smith and five-time past champion Patrick Cushman were another shot back at 60. Seven other teams, including defending champions Ott Chandler and Marcus Harrell, were at 61.
Ellison and McGatha birdied their last seven holes in a row. They had a string of five consecutive birdies on the front nine, including one on the par-5 eighth after McGatha weaved a shot from 180 yards over and around several obstacles — which Ellison said was the best shot he'd ever seen his partner hit —to set up a 15-foot eagle try.
"Jaylon and I always play good when we get on, like, a little streak," McGatha said.
"(No. 12) was the turning hole," Ellison said. "I could have gone south or north on the 12 tee and luckily, together, we made a birdie and we put it together and he finished strong for us. Jeremy, from 15 on, he made some clutch putts, what we needed to stay in the tournament."
Eaton and Griffin, another set of former Classic partners who reunited two years ago, also put together an impressive birdie run in the middle of their round. They birdied holes 4 through 10, added 13 and 14, then closed it out with birdies on each of the last three holes.
"We've been playing in this thing so long, and this is the way back when we were playing a lot we used to start out," Eaton said. "It was a given we were going to post a decent number anyway, but it seemed like this time, where in the last few years the wheels would run off, we'd get stuck in the mud and make some pars, we didn't do that this time.
"And if we made a par or two, we got right back off the par train in a hurry and didn't drag our feet four, five holes and then start thinking about how we have to start pressing to get in there where we need to be. It was the way we hoped it would go is the way it went. I couldn't be happier about it."
Austin and Collins made seven birdies on their front nine, including six in a row, to turn in 29. They added six more on the back.
Defending champions Chandler and Harrell each said they were disappointed in their start, but it wasn't devoid of highlights. Harrell, who sank the winning putt in last year's Classic, tossed in a sandie for eagle at the par-5 14th. The 25-foot throw got them to 10-under for the day, but they had only one other birdie coming home.
"It was probably the only break we really had all day," Harrell said. "We had three or four different holes where we had putts just go all the way around the hole and come back out.
"We definitely needed the sandie. We probably threw about a hundred balls out of the sand this week, just for that reason. We knew eventually, especially these first two rounds, we'd be using it at some point for eagle. We've been throwing them every day all week. That's the first one that went in for me. It's harder than what you'd think it is."
2009 Sunny King Charity Classic Tee Times -