Local club championship tournament stresses teamwork

June 15, 2012

For most golf tournaments, the competition format stresses either single play or the combined efforts of a foursome.

In the usual tournament set up to raise money for charity, scrambles are popular. That’s because the players who may not play very often can relax a bit, but still contribute toward their team’s total with a timely putt or drive.

For most other events, the format is aimed at crowning an individual champion in stroke or match play.

This year’s edition of the Kings Creek Country Club Member-Member championship used a combination of formats that paired only two golfers for each team.

This arrangement often puts more pressure on the players than either the single or four-person setup.

The June 3-4 event pitted the participants against the course for 18 holes each day, with a different scoring format for each set of nine holes. The first day was a scramble on the front nine, and an alternate shot on the back nine. For the second day, the competitors posted their better ball on the front nine, and their aggregate score on the back nine.

The alternate shot part is usually the most pressure-packed. All it takes is a duffed tee shot or a putt that rolls eight feet past the pin for golfers to feel just awful about what they have just presented their partner.

It can be a true test of friendship, or family ties, or both.

In this year’s event, Diane Herndon and Stefanie Herndon won the Ladies’ Gross title with a combined two-day total of 195. Tricia Ritthaler and Vicky Tull took second place in that category.

Jen Flinchbaugh and Lisa Smith won the Ladies' Net championship for the second year in a row. Taking advantage of a fine second round, they finished with a 157 total. Anita Pettitt and Patty Magee finished in second net, with Mardee Corbett and Mary Mezger coming in third.

John Kiker and Stan Zabytko won the Men's Gross title by a single shot (190) over John Purple Sr. and John Purple Jr. (191). Ty Mayers and David Spillman finished in third place, three shots behind the Purples.

Ron Ritthaler and David Pie won the Men’s Net championship category after a two-hole playoff against Jim Doane and Gary Barth, when both teams finished the 36 holes with equal 167 scores. Craig Fay and John Morton took third-place honors, only one stroke behind the playoff participants.

Local club competition results
As noted previously, we’re happy to announce the results of the regular club competitions of the various Cape Region courses. Just send us an email with the results.

The Kings Creek CC Ladies, as regular readers may have noticed, are happy to share their good news.

For example, the 9-holers played a Far Out format June 11 in which the scores from the par 5s are dropped off the score sheet.

Chris Sullivan won, followed by Nancy Barlow in second and Sandy Reeves in third place. Sullivan also won the closest to the pin contest on the 13th hole, with an approach that stopped 18-feet-7-inches away.

Payne Stewart and Olympic
This year’s United States Open takes place at the Olympic Club near San Francisco, Calif., the scene of several surprising Open finishes.

Jack Fleck stunned the golf world in 1955, tying Ben Hogan in the last round, and then beating the Hall of Famer in an 18-hole playoff the next day.

Arnold Palmer lost the Open to Billy Casper in another playoff in 1966, despite leading the tournament with only a few holes to go.

I have vivid memories of watching Payne Stewart just miss a 25-foot putt on the 18th hole in the 1998 Open, giving Lee Janzen the championship by a single stroke. Stewart was remarkably gracious in defeat. It was therefore all the more heartwarming to see him win the next Open at Pinehurst with a great putt on the last hole.

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