October 24, 2015
Oakhurst Country Club in Clayton indeed walked away as the champions of this year’s annual NCGA Team Match Championship.
The Oakhurst CC Thursday squad, that is.
Oakhurst CC Thursday jumped out to a big 18-6 lead and held on thanks to a clutch win by Kevin Schmidtbauer over Jim Westmeyer, defeating their compadres 21-15 in Saturday’s championship finals at par-71 Poppy Hills Golf Course. It marked the first time in the event’s 27-year history that two teams from the same club went head-to-head in the finals.
For the Oakhurst Thursday squad, it was also a bit of redemption. They’d lose to eventual champion Whitney Oaks in last year’s Thursday finals. The championship uses a format where two players from a side face off against two players from an opposing side in a four-ball and individual matches concurrently, with players earning two points for a win and one point for a halve.
“This is great. It’s awesome,” said Oakhurst Thursday team captain Chuck Beesley. “We kind of fantasized that that we’d both get to the finals, and sure enough it happened.”
There were no hard feelings between the two teams. The losing Oakhurst Saturday squad will not be cleaning the clubs of the Thursday team for a week, nor wearing bunny outfits for Halloween.
“No, there wasn’t a wager,” said Beesley with a laugh. “We’d have been happy with a tie.”
While Oakhurst Thursday led 18-12, it appeared that Oakhurst Saturday was ready to make a charge and force a playoff. Schmidtbauer ended any talk of extra holes with a late victory to seal the deal.
“I figured I needed the two points to close it out,” Schmidtbauer said. “It was really a fun experience to play with those guys.”
Oakhurst Thursday built a commanding 18-6 after a sweep by Kirk Straw and partner Michael Han. Following an Oakhurst Saturday win from Robert Pedersen and Todd Dorman in four-ball, the lead was cut to 18-10. Moments later, Dorman won his individual match to narrow it to 18-12.
At the beginning of the season, the two squads went head-to-head in a practice match. Oakhurst Saturday dominated in that one.
In the third place match, Belmont CC knocked off Spring Creek G&CC, 20-16 for the win.
Belmont CC clinched the win when partners Steve Clark and Cory Brock swept both their individual and four-ball matches.
October 23, 2015
Oakhurst Country Club is going to be the champion of this year’s annual NCGA Team Match Championship.
The only question left is, which Oakhurst squad?
In a first, two teams from the same club–Oakhurst– advanced to the finals, to be held Saturday at par-71 Poppy Hills Golf Course. The Oakhurst Thursday team moved on after defeating Belmont CC in a playoff in the Thursday finals. The Oakhurst Saturday squad, meanwhile, defeated Spring Creek G&CC in the Saturday finals, 21-15.
It’s the first time that any team from Oakhurst had advanced to either the Thursday or Saturday finals.
The championship uses a format where two players from a side face off against two players from an opposing side in a four-ball and individual matches concurrently, with players earning two points for a win and one point for a halve.
All signs pointed to an Oakhurst victory early on, as Oakhurst jumped out to a quick 6-0 lead thanks to a a pair of wins by Jake Vigil and Chuck Beesley over opponents Danny Paniccia and Todd Hansen. Vigil and Beesley also won their four-ball match.
Belmont CC later cut the deficit to 10-8, however, with a halve by Craig Johnson and a win by Brian Herman, with the duo also capturing their four-ball match.
Later, following a win by Steve Teale and partner Rusty Riley in four-ball, Belmont had tied it at 12 points apiece.
The match stayed even from there, with both squads splitting wins, to finish tied at 18 after regulation.
In the playoff, both teams were again represented by their ‘A’ groups–Oakhurst’s Vigil and Beesley taking on Belmont’s Paniccia and Hansen. Again, Vigil and Beesley made it a sweep,
In the early going, it looked like Spring Creek G&CC was going to be in control, as it jumped out to a 6-0 lead backed by a sweep by Kyle Huckell and Jeff Steeley over Oakhurst’s George Erbez and Bob Valliere.
This time though, it was Oakhurst’s turn to play the role of spoiler.
After some see-sawing back and forth, Oakhurst later came back to tie it at 14 all following a sweep by Todd Borman and Robert Bucey, who is the father of 2014 NCGA Amateur Stroke Play champion Bobby Bucey.
The match remained tied at 15 apiece when Oakhurt’s David Erbez and Robert Pedersen forged a halve in four-ball with Spring Creek’s Don Peterson and Mike Weintz.
With everything coming down to the final pairing, Oakhurst again made it a sweep, as Al Aragon and partner Jim Westermeyer won their matches over Spring Creek’s Craig Nilsson and Jim Huckell.