(April 7, 2013) … Team USA captured the Golfest Cup for the first time in three years, winning the pressure-packed Ryder Cup formatted event over Team California at the Wigwam Resort on April 6-7. The final score was 13-11 in a tight contest that ultimately boiled down to the final hole of the last two Singles matches. Those two battles finished All-Square, ending the possibility of a tie and California keeping the Cup.
It was a hard-fought and much needed victory for the host Team USA, who had stumbled in the first two Cup competitions by scores of 10.5 to 5.5 and 15-9. However, a consistent and persistent 2013 team effort directed by Captain Spanky Hayes had them hoisting the coveted Cup on Sunday afternoon. CONGRATULATIONS TEAM USA!
Now that both teams have experienced the thrill of a Golfest Cup victory, a true rivalry has seemingly been born. “We worked hard to win this trophy,” said Hayes. “Now we plan to work harder to keep it.”
GOLFEST CUP NOTES: Special thanks to Team USA Captain Spanky Hayes and wife Dani for opening up their home for an awesome barbecue on Friday night. There was a mountain of food and drink allowing all golfers to knock down some serious competition calories. Members of both teams were introduced and received their Cup shirts. Both teams used the opportunity to trade some good nature barbs at each other. … Utah’s Ike Sherlock made an unexpected appearance on the “Disabled List.” He didn’t even make it on the course, throwing out his back and dropping to his knees in pain on the driving range. Medical diagnosis? He threw out his back. An emergency visit to a local chiropractor did nothing for his pain and Ike was on a plane the next morning heading home. Getting old sucks! … That left Team USA scrambling for a replacement golfer on Friday night. That spot was filled by Travis Gammage, a 10-handicapper. He finished with a respectable 1-1-1 record. … Other Golfest Cup virgins were Keith Wilson and Jeff Poole for Team USA, and Tom Gudvangen for Team California. … All of the golf carts sported flags to identify their teams – some larger than others. We were easy to identify and we got more than our share of second looks from others at the Resort. …
The most popular “carbohydrate refilling comfort food” on Saturday evening after 36 holes of golf was pizza and wings. Not the kind you eat; but the kind you wolf down when you’re starving! (And some adult beverages!) … After working out some initial bugs, the Wigwam Resort & Pro Shop proved to be an excellent host for the Golfest Cup. They provided us with a scoreboard, our own private room in the restaurant, and even bought us a round of drinks. The courses were in great shape also! … Few golfers on either side were receptive to playing the 18th hole on the Gold Course. It’s a dogleg left that features a drainage canal down the left side. In addition, the narrow green parralels the canal on one side and is surrounded by bunkers on the other. You either hit the green with your approach shot, or begin finding ways to salvage a bogey (or worse). … Most of the par-3’s were well-protected holes in the 140-175 range. Course knowledge gained during the practice round went a long way to either conquering them, or surviving them. … Some short putts were conceded, others were not. There was a missed 12″ putt in one of the matches. … The 2013 event marked the first time the Golfest Cup was played on two-different courses. In 2011, all three rounds were played on the Raven at Verrado. Oak Quarry hosted three in 2012. This year, the Fourball matches was played on the Heritage Course at the Wigwam Resort. The Foursome and Singles matches were contested on the Wigwam’s Gold Course. … Another special thanks to Spanky Hayes for his efforts in setting up the venue and other details of the Golfest Cup to help things run smoothly. There are a lot of activities that go on behind the scenes to pull off an event like this. … The Honorary Captains of the 2014 Golfest Cup teams will be announced in September. … California will host the 2014 event on their home turf. That course will be announced later in the year as well. …
BY THE NUMBERS: Leading by example is a tough gig sometimes. Despite his best efforts, Team California Honorary Captain Mike Barbone finished 1-2-0. Team USA Captain Spanky Hayes was 0-3-0. … Only two golfers posted perfect weekend records – Team USA’s Danny Young and Team California’s Mike Rittner, both 3-0-0. … Three others that were darn near perfect were Team California’s Todd Baltzley and USA’s Matt Rohr and Jeff Poole, who wrapped up 2-0-1 efforts … Three golfers didn’t experience a win in any event: CA’s Tom Gudvangen (0-2-1), USA’s Jim Dee (0-2-1), Art Taylor (0-3-0), and the aforementioned USA Captain. Anyone who thinks that playing in a Ryder Cup style event is easy should try one on for size. You will be humbled! … There were only three tied matches in 2011 & 2012 combined. There were four in this years Cup, including three in Singles play. … Just in case you are wondering, the countdown clock is already running for the 2014 Golfest Cup! Stay tuned! … See ya!
Team California: Jim Allen, Honorary Captain Mike Barbone, Jeffrey Adkins, Mark Suzda, Mark Pickering, John Lundgren, Art Taylor, Mike Rittner, Patrick Calahan, Tom Gudvangen, Kirk Dragmire and Todd Baltzley.
Team USA: Jim Dee, Honorary Captain Spanky Hayes, Bob Potts, Clyde Hayes, Travis Gammage, Kasey Scheidenlein, Danny Young, Matt Rohr, Chuck DeFrancisco, Vander Brown III and Jeff Poole.
Fourball Matches: The six Fourball Matches were played on the Wigwam’s Heritage Course, the older of the three courses on the property. Finding a yardage marker on the Heritage Course proved to be tougher than finding a snowman in the Arizona desert. But, it played relatively resort friendly with few surprises. Ten of the 12 members on the California team were playing the course for the very first time. Despite what could have been a perceived disadvantage, Team California won three of the first four matches played. Yardage books were in play constantly. The other aforementioned match ended in a tie which turned out to be a great battle between Team USA’s Travis Gabbage & Jeff Poole and Team CA’s Tom Gudvangen and Kirk Dragmire (Young guys vs. Older Guys.) The lead swayed back and forth several times, with both teams being up as much as two-holes, but in the end this contest finished in an ALL-SQUARE tie.
Convincing efforts by the USA Team’s of Chuck DeFrancisco and Danny Young and Matt Rohr & Keith Wilson got USA on the board with their two Fourball victories.
CA Mike Rittner & Mark Suzda defeat USA Spanky Hayes & Vander Brown III 2 & 1 … CA 1 – 0 USA
CA Mark Pickering & Todd Baltzley defeat USA Jim Dee & Bob Potts – 2 UP … CA 2 – 0 USA
CA Kirk Dragmire & Tom Gudvangen tie USA Travis Gammage & Jeff Poole – Halved … CA 2.5 – .5 USA
CA John Lundgren & Patrick Calahan defeat USA Kasey Schiedenlein & Clyde Hayes – 2 & 1 … CA 3.5 – .5 USA
USA Chuck DeFrancisco & Danny Young defeat CA Art Taylor & Jim Allen – 4 & 3 … CA 3.5 – 1.5 USA
USA Matt Rohr & Keith Wilson defeat CA Jeffrey Adkins & Mike Barbone – 3 & 2 … CA 3.5 – 2.5 USA
Foursome Matches (Alternate Shot): The Golfest Cup moved to the longer Gold Course for the Alternate Shot matches in the afternoon. The key in alternate shot play is to stay focused and in the zone – even though a teammate might only hit a golf shot every 10 minutes or so. If one needs the true meaning of golfing’s “ham-n-egg,” it’s how to win in Foursome competition. Team California dominated this event in 2012 (4-0-2), but the tables were turned in 2013. Team USA won four of six, including two-matches squeaked out on the 18th green. The one-point morning deficit turned out to a one-point lead heading into Sunday. The biggest victory was Kasey Scheidenlein and Bob Potts posting a 4 & 3 USA victory over Mark Pickering and Art Taylor. In almost every match played, there were three-hole swings in both directions.
USA Vander Brown III & Matt Rohr defeat CA Mark Suzda & Jeffrey Adkins – 3 & 2 … CA 3.5 – 3.5 USA
CA Mike Rittner & Mike Barbone defeat USA Spanky Hayes & Keith Wilson – 3 & 2 … CA 4.5 – 3.5 USA
USA Bob Potts & Kasey Scheidenlein defeat CA Mark Pickering & Art Taylor – 4 & 3 … CA 4.5 – 4.5 USA
CA Todd Baltzley & Patrick Calahan defeat USA Jim Dee & Chuck DeFrancisco – 3 & 2 … CA 5.5 – 4.5 USA
USA Jeff Poole & Danny Young defeat CA Tom Gudvangen & Kirk Dragmire – 1 UP … CA 5.5 – 5.5 USA
USA Clyde Hayes & Travis Gammage defeat CA Jim Allen & John Lundgren – 1 UP … CA 5.5 – 6.5 USA
Singles Matches: The Singles matches were very competitive with victories being shared almost evenly between the two teams. At one point, it was locked up at 9-9 on the scoreboard. The match between Jeffrey Adkins and Matt Rohr was a dogfight with both golfers up by as much as two-holes. But when the flagstick was put back in the 18th hole, it was a hardought tie. USA’s Danny Young pulled off a great bunker shot on the final hole to defeat Art Taylor by one.
However, Team USA’s Clyde Hayes 2 & 1 victory over Patrick Calahan and Jeff Poole’s convincing 7 & 5 win over Tom Gudvangen put all the pressure on Team California to pull off a best case scenario of “tie and keep the Cup.” The last two singles matches split their matches with honors taken by USA’s Vander Brown (5 & 4 over Mark Suzda) and CA’s Mike Rittner (3 UP over Spanky Hayes.)
That left only two matches on the course … USA’s Bob Potts against CA’s Mark Pickering and USA’s Jim Dee against CA’s Todd Baltzley. Both contest were strategic battles with the lead swinging back and forth like a pendulum. California needed victories in both contests to make the tie scenario happen and Baltzley led by one one on the final tee box. Potts and Pickering were all-square. Potts and Jim Dee ended up sinking clutch putts, including a 40 foot bomb by Dee to Halve both matches. Final Score: Team USA 13, Team California 11. And the celebration began!
CA Jeffrey Adkins tie USA Matt Rohr – Halved …
USA Keith Wilson defeats CA Mike Barbone – 4 & 3 …
CA 6.0 – 8.0 USA
USA Danny Young defeats CA Art Taylor – 1UP …
CA 6.0 – 9.0 USA
CA John Lundgren defeats USA Kasey Scheidenlein – 5 & 4 …
CA 7.0 – 9.0 USA
CA Kirk Dragmire defeats USA Travis Gammage – 4 & 3 …
CA 8.0 – 9.0 USA
CA Jim Allen defeats USA Chuck DeFrancisco – 4 & 3 …
CA 9.0 – 9.0 USA
USA Jeff Poole defeats CA Tom Gudvangen – 7 & 5 …
CA 9.0 – 10.0 USA
USA Clyde Hayes defeats CA Patrick Calahan – 2 & 1 …
CA 9.0 – 11.0 USA
CA Mark Pickering ties USA Bob Potts – Halved …
CA 9.5 – 11.5 USA
CA Todd Baltzley ties USA Jim Dee – Halved …
CA 10 – 12.0 USA
USA Vander Brown III defeats CA Mark Suzda – 5 & 4 …
CA 10.0 – 13.0 USA
CA Mike Rittner defeats USA Spanky Hayes – 3 UP …
CA 11.0 – 13.0 USA
GOLFEST CUP RECORDS & STATISTICS
2011: TEAM CALIFORNIA 10.5 – 5.5 TEAM USA
April 2-3 – The Raven Golf Club @ Verrado (Buckeye, AZ)
2012: TEAM CALIFORNIA 15 – 9 TEAM USA
March 24-25 – Oak Quarry Golf Club (Riverside, CA)
2013: TEAM USA 13 – 11 TEAM CALIFORNIA
April 6-7 – The Wigwam Resort (Litchfield Park, AZ)
GOLFEST CUP – INDIVIDUAL RECORDS
Mike Ritter – 3-0-0
Todd Baltzley – 2-0-1
Patrick Calahan – 2-1-0
John Lundgren – 2-1-0
Jeffrey Adkins – 1-1-1
Kirk Dragmire – 1-1-1
Mark Pickering – 1-1-1
Jim Allen – 1-2-0
Mike Barbone – 1-2-0
Mark Suzda – 1-2-0
Tom Gudvangen – 0-2-1
Art Taylor – 0-3-0
Danny Young – 3-0-0
Jeff Poole – 2-0-1
Matt Rohr – 2-0-1
Vander Brown III – 2-1-0
Clyde Hayes – 2-1-0
Jeff Wilson – 2-1-0
Travis Gammage – 1-1-1
Bob Potts – 1-1-1
Chuck DeFrancisco – 1-2-0
Kasey Scheidenlein – 1-2-0
Jim Dee – 0-2-1
Spanky Hayes – 0-3-0