An attempt to purchase Black Bear Golf Club in Longs has resulted in a lawsuit filed in Horry County.
Businessman Dong ‘Raymond’ Ou, who has represented himself as a businessman from Singapore, is suing the owners of the course in an attempt to recoup a $100,000 earnest money deposit he supplied as part of a sales contract.
The purchase was never finalized, and Ou has recently purchased a course in the Pinehurst area of North Carolina.
The suit was filed late last year and is unresolved.
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Black Bear has been closed since August. Owner Kang Zou, who is a defendant in the case along with his mother and co-owner Chunlan Li and their company, Black Bear Global LLC, said the course closed because it was losing money.
Ou proposed to buy Black Bear through his new company Green Lotus Sports LLC for $1.25 million, according to the sales contract.
In his lawsuit, Ou claims he tendered a $100,000 deposit on June 29, 2016 that the sales contract specified was to be held in escrow and was instead retained by Black Bear’s owners.
Ou also claims in the suit that he discovered concerns that he wanted to discuss with the owners prior to closing, including a possible roadway easement affecting the golf course and the sale of some golf course assets during the pendency of the sales contract.
The suit claims he was unable to discuss the concerns with the owners, who he says were not represented by an attorney for the transaction, and they failed to provide a title warranty or attend a scheduled closing on Aug. 10, as the sales contract stipulated.
In an answer filed with the court to Ou’s lawsuit, Black Bear’s owners claim the parties agreed the defendants could hold the earnest deposit, and the defendants were not informed of problems with the title, were prepared to sell on the closing date and are eligible to keep the deposit per terms of the sales contract because Ou breached the contract by failing to provide the agreed upon purchase price.
Zou said in an email to The Sun News, “Ou didn’t have enough funds to buy Black Bear so he lost that deposit.”
Black Bear is still involved in another lawsuit. Former Black Bear head professional and general manager Patrick Wilkinson is suing the owners in the court of common pleas, claiming he is owed more than $14,000 for three days of past wages, pro shop merchandise and unpaid revenue from pro shop sales.
Through Green Lotus Sports, Ou recently purchased Beacon Ridge Country Club in West End, N.C., outside Pinehurst from Don and Rhonda Billings, who had owned the course since purchasing it out of bankruptcy in 1990.
Beacon Ridge is a public course that has members, and Ou met with about 200 members of the course’s homeowners association in the gated Seven Lakes West community last week. According to a report in The Pilot newspaper of Moore County, N.C., Ou told homeowners he plans to invest in repairs and improvements to the clubhouse and course, and would like to build a golf academy that would attract junior golfers from East Asia.
Ou has created several LLCs with the Green Lotus name, and one is Green Lotus Championship Golf Academy.
The Beacon Ridge purchase also includes about 20 undeveloped housing lots, tennis courts, an outdoor pool and fitness center.
The condition of Dustin Johnson’s lower left back continues to improve, according to his agent, David Winkle of Hambric Sports Management.
Winkle said it is not believed that Johnson suffered a serious injury, and though he is still sore he is “improving by the day.”
Johnson said he fell on a wet set of three stairs on Wednesday while going outside of his rental home in Augusta, Ga., in socks to move a car and landed hard on his back and left elbow.
The injury caused Johnson to withdraw from the Masters Tournament on Thursday afternoon, minutes prior to his first-round tee time. He hit balls on the Augusta National Golf Club range for less than an hour before determining he was unfit for competition.
Johnson should have some time to recover. He said when he withdrew that prior to the injury he had three weeks off planned following the Masters.
If he were to return to action on the PGA Tour in three weeks, that would put him an hour up the road from Myrtle Beach in Wilmington, N.C., at the Wells Fargo Championship at Eagle Point Golf Club.
The course is hosting the tournament this year because its home, Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, is hosting the PGA Championship in August.
Winkle said Monday that Johnson’s schedule is still to be determined. The Players Championship in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., follows the Wells Fargo
Johnson has played in the Wells Fargo Championship only three times, the last in 2011.
Reserve hosting ACC
The top-ranked women’s golfer in both college and world rankings will be playing on the Grand Strand this week.
Duke junior Leona Maguire of Ireland will be among the participants in the 29th Women’s Atlantic Coast Conference Golf Championship being played Thursday through Saturday at The Reserve Club in Pawleys Island.
The tournament has been held for the past nine years at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, N.C., but was moved by the ACC in response to North Carolina’s controversial HB2 law, which was considered by many to be discriminatory to the LGBT community. Both Sedgefield and The Reserve are private clubs operated by McConnell Golf.
Maguire is ranked No. 1 in the Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking and Golfstat individual college rankings.
Eight of the 12 ACC teams are currently ranked in the top 50 by Golfstat, including five in the top 25. They are No. 4 Florida State, Duke (10), Wake Forest (14), Miami (18), N.C. State (24), North Carolina (37), Clemson (41) and Louisville (43).
Five ACC individuals are in the Golfstat top 12, including Wake Forest’s Jennifer Kupcho (4), Florida State’s Matilda Castren (6) and Morgane Metraux (10), and Miami’s Dewi Weber (12). Metraux leads the conference with three individual titles this year. Alice Newson is Clemson’s highest-ranked player at No. 26.
In last year’s tournament, Virginia, ranked 62nd by Golfstat this year, defended its title after becoming the first-ever champion from outside the state of North Carolina in 2015.
An ACC team has won the NCAA Division I women’s golf national championship as recently as Duke and coach Dan Brooks in 2014. Duke has also won national titles in 1999, 2002 and 2005-07.
Spectators are welcome and admission is free. Tee times run from 8-11:10 a.m.
The competition will be broadcast live online on ESPN3 from 2 p.m. to the completion of play Friday and 1 p.m. to the completion of play Saturday.
The Reserve was designed by Greg Norman and has hosted numerous tournaments including the 1999 South Carolina Open, the 2001-02 Carolinas Opens, 2003-05 Carolinas PGA Section Championships, 2012 South Carolina Senior Championship, 2014 South Carolina Amateur and 2016 Carolinas Women’s Amateur.
Four-Ball vols sought
The Dunes Golf and Beach Club and United States Golf Association are still seeking more than 30 volunteers for the U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship, which will be played at the club from May 27-31.
The event’s operation requires approximately 200 volunteers, who are being placed in 12 subcommittees.
The Four-Ball is a national championship consisting of 64 two-women teams that will compete in 36 holes of stroke-play qualifying before three days of best-ball match play determines a winner.
Volunteers can register through the Golf tab at www.thedunesclub.net, where there is also a link to a USGA webpage detailing the event.
USGA changes events
The USGA is adding the U.S. Women’s Senior Open next year to its list of championships, and it announced the retirement of the Men’s State Team Championship and Women’s State Team Championship following the completion of the 2017 competition calendar.
The USGA will conduct 14 championships in 2018.
The USGA State Team Championships were first conducted in 1995 as part of the organization’s centennial celebration and were originally intended to be one-time events but continued on a biennial basis because of their initial success.
In each competition, each state was represented by three non-collegiate amateur golfers determined by state and regional golf associations and the best two stroke-play scores counted each round.
The first U.S. Women’s Senior Open will be held at Chicago Golf Club.