Gray Foxes launch Majors competition

By Duncan Nixon, Correspondent

The Lake Monticello senior men’s Gray Foxes 18-hole group has instituted a new competition this year: the Majors.

In men’s professional golf there are four tournaments that are known as the Majors: the Masters, the U.S. Open, the British Open and the PGA Championship. They are always played in that order during the golf season. Like virtually all pro golf tournaments there are four rounds of 18 holes in each tournament. They are played over the same course on consecutive days.

In the Lake Monticello Majors, those participating play four rounds of 18 holes, all on the Lake Monticello course, but they are played over a period of six weeks or more. Also, the competition is based on the net scores of those participating, not the gross scores. The net scores are the players’ scores after applying their handicap to their actual, or gross score.

Players are allowed to designate before they play whether a round will count in their Majors competition. In order to qualify to win, each player must designate four rounds. The senior men have completed the competition in the Masters and the U.S. Open. The British Open competition has just begun and the PGA tournament will be contested later in the season. This Majors competition is the brainchild of new Gray Fox member Jerome Heiser, who started it up last season at a course in Northern Virginia.

It is interesting that no individual senior golfer has been in the top finishers in both of the two rounds completed thus far. In the Masters, the winner was Bill Russo. Second place went to Karl Bergstresser. Gary Woody and Mitchell Moon tied for third place. In the U.S. Open, the winner was Duncan Nixon. Second place went to Kevin McDonald. Bob Lamb, Jerome Heiser, Dan Atkinson and Steve Wormington all tied for third place.
To win, a player must have a hot streak during which his play is better than his handicap would indicate. This may be the case for high, low or medium handicapped players. The top finishers so far include players of all levels of handicap.

Heiser said he has built a computer application that he uses throughout the tournaments. This app allows the handicaps of the players to be adjusted as the tournament proceeds based on the scores they record, round by round. Accordingly, handicaps used for the tournament scoring may be based on more recent scoring data than the player’s handicaps in the USGA system. Equitable score controls are also applied. This means that if a player has a complete blow-up hole and scores a 10, 11 or 12, that score is reduced to a maximum that can be recorded for a player of that participant’s handicap (for example, seven, eight or nine).

There is also a point system that will be applied to the results of all four tournaments to determine an overall winner for the season. A trophy will be awarded after the season to the overall winner. For the Gray Foxes, the tournaments are “big money” events, as each participant puts in $20 at the beginning of each tournament and this money is then paid out to the tournament winners.

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