Golf Bag: Pros, Ams Play to Tie in Tar Heel Cup Matches
The upset was there for the taking in the 16th playing of the annual Tar Heel Cup Matches held at Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club Monday and Tuesday.
The Tar Heel Cup matches top professionals and amateurs from North Carolina in a Ryder Cup-style format. And historically, the professionals have dominated, holding 13-2-1 record against the amateurs.
But this time the amateurs held their own, taking a 3-1 lead in the four-ball competition Monday, but losing in singles play 5-3 Tuesday for a 6-6 tie that allowed the professionals to retain the cup.
The amateurs won three of four matches on Monday in the four-ball competition. Pine Needles CEO Kelly Miller and Mark Slawter combined to take a 1-up win over Simon McGreal and Jeff Peck; Scott Harvey and Brian Westveer defeated Gus Ulrich, of Pinewild, and Cory Schneider 1-up; and Uly Grisette and Paul Simson topped Steve Isley and Scott Medlin 5&4.
The lone win for the professionals came when Curt Sanders and Jeff Avant beat Cliff Benson and Pete Seagroves 3&2.
The professionals turned it around in singles play on Tuesday, though. Slawter got the amateurs off to a good start, whipping Medlin 3&2. But Avant beat Harvey 1-up and Ulrich topped Seagroves 3&2. Grisette put the amateurs back on top with a 4&3 trouncing of McGreal, but Sanders beat Westveer 2&1.
Benson kept the amateurs’ hopes alive with a 1-up win against Schneider, leaving them two matches up with two to play. But Peck pecked out a 1-up win over veteran Paul Simson, and Isley defeated Miller 2-up in the final match to force the deadlock.
The amateurs, winless in the last nine years, had hopes of a overcoming their dry spell but couldn’t get the needed half-point to take the title.
Avant and Sanders went undefeated for the professionals, and Grisette and Slawter won both their matches for the amateurs.
The Tar Heel Cup is conducted jointly by the Carolinas Golf Association and the Carolinas PGA and sponsored by Golfnet, the CGA’s handicapping vendor.
Rounds4Reserach: More than 1,000 tee-times for public bid are expected to be offered on golf’s great online auction at Rounds4Research.com that runs from April 7-21.
This gives golfers a chance to buy tee times for foursomes at elite private courses such as Eagle Point, Long Cove, Cassique and Sage Valley, all ranked among the best 100 in the nation by Golf Digest. Almost 650 courses have pledged tee times to raise money for golf turfgrass research.
“This has to be the largest grassroots effort the golf industry has undertaken on its own behalf,” said Paul Jett, the course superintendent at Pinehurst No. 2, another of the country’s best 100 that is participating. “And, of course, the pun is intended.
“This is not just another golf industry issue; it’s an issue for the overall economies of North and South Carolina. Golf generates in the order of $8 billion in economic activity in the Carolinas each year. That’s a lot of jobs and community benefit riding on the health and conditioning of our golf courses. The world-class turfgrass research at Clemson and N.C. State is our greatest insurance against threats to golf’s role as a significant economic driver.”
More than 400 of courses in the auction are in the Carolinas. Others are mostly from Georgia, Texas and Virginia.
“This is a great way for the average golf lover to gain access to places they could only otherwise dream of playing,” said Jeff Connell, president of the Carolinas Golf Course Superintendents Association. “And even on courses that are public, the auction format gives them the chance to secure some bargain pricing. I think there will be some moms and kids shopping for special Father’s Day presents this year.”
Some of the other notable courses up for bid in the Carolinas are Sedgefield Country Club, Greensboro; Harbour Town Golf Links, Hilton Head; and Daniel Island Club, Charleston, S.C.
For information, call Jett at 235-8773.
Mid-Amateur: Jarrett Grimes, of Columbia, S.C., who won the title last year in Durham, is among the 264 golfers who filed entries into the 30th Carolinas Mid-Amateur Championship, which will be played April 16-18 at Furman University Golf Course in Greenville, S.C.
Grimes took the 2009 title at Treyburn Country Club in Durham on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff against Mark Slawter, of Wake Forest. The two had tied with 5-under par 211 totals after the regulation 54 holes.
In the playoff, which was played on Treyburn’s par-4 18th hole, Grimes holed a 5-foot birdie putt to claim the victory.
In addition to Grimes, former champions who are entered in this year's 54-hole competition for golfers ages 30 and over are Robert Godfrey, of Seneca, S.C., Walter Todd, of Laurens, S.C., and four-time winner Paul Simson, of Raleigh, who is slated to be inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame next month.
Eight players from this area have qualified for the event. They are William Carter, of Laurinburg, the reigning Moore County Amateur champion, Frank McBrayer and Kevin Whitaker, of West End, Carmen Serbio, of Fayetteville, and Jeff Wishart, Richard Miller, Tommy Britt and Phillip Wallwork, of Lumberton.
Tin Whistles: The team of Ralph Cole, Scott Forehand, Bruce Monteith and Bob White won a card playoff to take first place in the captain’s choice event held on Pinehurst Resort’s No. 1 course April 3.
The foursome tied at 51 with the team of Dick Berkshire, Bob Bilodeau, Dick Johnston and Jim Voelkel. Lawrence Lowe, Walt Mauer, Richard Waters and Terry Wade were third with 52.
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