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Several winners at Kings Creek CC Junior Golf Championships

August 25, 2017

Kings Creek Country Club held its Junior Club Championship Aug. 13, in which 16 juniors competed in four separate divisions: 3-, 6-, 9- and 18-holes. 

Trey Mitchell won the Junior 18-hole club championship with a score of 98. Griffin Gaughan took second place and Tyler Bourdreau finished third. 

Mackie Repke shot a 41 to win the 9-hole championship. McKenna Danahy came in second and Graham Repke took the third spot. 

Hudson Brockstedt’s 39 won the 6-hole championship. Haley Gamuciello took second place, and Campbell Gaughan finished in a tie for third with Isabella Metz.

In the youngest group, Carson Rowe and Sammy Metz tied for first place in the 3-hole competition. 

In the last few years, all of the Cape Region clubs have done a great job of promoting junior golf. These club championships should encourage the kids to stick with the sport, and help grow and preserve this great game. 

Major Series of Putting

In a recent golf tournament, I made a 23-foot putt that first broke left and then broke right, dropping into the hole with a gentle sigh. 

The gentle sigh was mine. That putt was for a triple bogey on a par 4, made possible by hitting two shots beyond the red-staked areas before I reached the green.

My playing partners were very nice about it, complimenting the putt and saying nothing about the errant drive or the squirrelly 4-iron that preceded it.  

Many golfers find solace in their putting, especially when other parts of their game are less than ideal. For those who take great pride in their flat stick skills, there’s a new competition that could mean serious money for the winners.

The Major Series of Putting is holding its championship finals in Las Vegas in October, on a new 18-hole putting course laid out by the Nicklaus Design firm. The course will be spread out on nearly a half-acre of property near Planet Hollywood, a few blocks from the Strip.

“It’s the biggest putting tournament in history,” said Eric Thibaudeau, marketing and operations manager for MSOP Entertainment, in my interview with him at the 2017 PGA Merchandise Show. 

MSOP is a subsidiary of Lune Rouge Innovation, controlled by Cirque de Soleil founder Guy Laliberté. 

According to Thibaudeau, MSOP President and General Manager Guillaume Béland had the opportunity to play Oakmont, site of the 2016 U.S. Open, which is famous for its slick greens. Béland had a tough day, but nonetheless won an after-round putting contest that included several Oakmont members. 

His experience inspired Béland to develop a putting contest that would be fun, accessible and big time.  

Both the local qualifying and championship events offer different formats, including single and team categories in both stroke and match play.

The main event is called the High Roller Invitational, and it will attract players who are fine with putting up four figures for a chance to win. For golfers concerned about retaining their amateur status, Thibaudeau said one of the Las Vegas final events will be set up just for that purpose - no money, and the gift certificates will not exceed the USGA-set maximum.

I also interviewed PGA Tour Champions player and Fox Sports commentator Brad Faxon, an MSOP senior advisor for the event.

Faxon said he became involved after playing in a Tour Champions event in Quebec City. His pro-am group included Stéphane Quintal, a veteran NHL player and the current senior vice president of player safety for the NHL. He joined Faxon at the back tees. 

Faxon said he was a bit startled by Quintal’s insistence at playing from the same set of tees, but said the group had a great time and played well. As often happens at pro-ams, the conversations veered away from the day’s activities into other areas of interest.

Faxon’s pro-am day in Quebec City lead to his introduction to the MSOP folks, and his eventual signing-on to help with the event. As a PGA Tour player more famous for his putting skills than any other aspect of his game, Faxon’s affiliation with a major putting contest makes perfect sense.

For more information about the MSOP, go to MSOP.com.

Gumpman wins putter

The ninth hole skill contest at Rookery South continues, in which golfers try to win a putter by placing their tee shot within a club grip length of the hole. When no one made it last month, Dave Hambly held a drawing among the participants. 

Joey Gumpman of Harrington won the drawing for the Odyssey White Hot putter. The next round of competition is now underway.

Cripple Creek club champions

Sandy Bunting regained the title of Ladies' Club Champion Aug. 19 at Cripple Creek Golf and Country Club. Bunting is also currently Ladies Senior Club Champion. On the men’s side, Jeff Baxter won his fourth straight Club Championship title Aug. 20.

Local club competition results

The Kings Creek CC Ladies 9 Hole group played an individual Three Blind Mice game Aug. 6.

After the scorecards are turned in, the golf shop randomly draws three holes, throws out those scores, and retabulates to determine the winner.   

Mary Mezger won first place, with Tina Brown in second and Terry Derville in third.

Mary Beth Merolla won closest-to-the-pin honors on the 11th hole.

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