Member-guest tournament comes off “without a hitch”

Member-guest tournament comes off  “without a hitch”

By Duncan Nixon, Correspondent

Thirty two-man teams teed off Saturday and Sunday (June 9-10) at the Lake Monticello Golf Course in the annual men’s member-guest tournament. The teams are divided into five flights of six teams each. After two days of tense competition, the top team from each flight qualifies for a shoot-out to determine the overall champion. Luckily the weather cooperated, and as Mark Marshall’s assistant Dan Henry noted, the competition came off “without a hitch.”

This year, first time competitors Kyle and Donald Gravitt came out of the lowest handicap flight to capture the championship. Don, who is Kyle’s father and his guest, quipped “first time, first win.”

This tournament has a fairly complicated format that makes each of the 45 holes played equally important. In each flight of six teams, the teams all play everyone in the flight once in a nine-hole match. In each nine-hole match there is one point awarded to the team with the best gross score and one point for the best net score (i.e. after deducting handicaps) on each hole. The team that wins the nine-hole competition in each category is awarded a bonus point for 10 points per match. If a team wins 6-3 in the gross competition, the winning team gets a bonus point and the recorded score is 7-3. The same applies in the net score competition.

After all the rounds are completed (27 holes on Saturday and 18 holes on Sunday), all the scores are totaled and a winning team is declared for gross score and for net score in each flight. The winning team in the flight with the most overall points goes to the shoot-out to determine the overall champion.

The winning team for gross points in the first flight was the Gravitts with 30 points. The team of Bob Lamb and Bob Valiga won the net points award with 27 points. In the second flight, the team of Bud Nelson and Jim Bunn won the gross points award with 29 points. The top net score team with 31.5 points was Eric Johnson and Jerry Pemberton. In the third flight, the team of Jim and Robert Darlington won the gross competition, scoring 34 points. The net prize went to the team of Craig Lounsbury and Eric Piatrik.

In the fourth flight, the team of Bill Hardin and Rick Johnson put up the tournament’s highest winning score, recording 34.5 points out of a possible 50. The net prize in that flight went to the team of Richard Bowman and Jack Gabriel with a score of 27. In the fifth and highest handicap flight, the team of Larry Wolfe and Don Hoffman netted 29.5 points in the gross score competition, while the team of David Sipe and Jim Banger took the net prize with 28 points.

A couple of these teams won their competitions by tying and winning on a tie breaker. Others won by only a point or a half point. Accordingly, any putt on any hole that just missed, or improbably dropped in, could make a team a winner or a loser.

In the shoot-out for the championship, the players from each of the competing two-man teams first played to the 18th green from 100 yards out. If a player on any team bested all the other players the shoot-out would be over in one round. No one made a two, but the Gravitt team, the Hardin-Johnson team and the Wolfe- Hoffman team all had a player score a three. These teams then played to the 18th green from 150 yards out. The Gravitt team was the only one to make a three and they won the overall title.

Prizes were also awarded for closest to the pin on par three holes and for longest drives on specified holes. Players were fed well during the tournament. The entry fee covered continental breakfasts on Saturday and Sunday, a quality buffet dinner at the Ashlawn Grill on Saturday night, and a barbecue lunch on Sunday, while Marshall was doing the complicated tabulation of the scores.

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