Lake Monticello member-guest tournament winners: Michael Hanson and Rich Williams

By Duncan Nixon

The weather conditions were nearly perfect for the 2024 Member-Guest tournament over the Lake Monticello Golf Course on June 8 and 9. Four flights of six two man or man and women teams competed. It is an interesting format, as each team plays a nine hole competition against each of the other teams in the flight. Three nine hole matches are played on Saturday for a grueling 27 holes of golf   (the majority of the competitors are seniors.) On Sunday another two nine hole matches are played to allow every team in a flight to play all the other twosomes in the flight. On every hole there is one point awarded to the team with the best net score of the four players. If the teams’ best net scores match each team is given a half point. If one team’s players have a net six and a net seven and the other team’s players have net six and net eight the teams tie for the hole. 

At the end of the five competitions, the highest scoring team in each flight goes into a shoot-out to determine the Member-Guest champion. After nine holes the team with the most points is awarded a bonus point, so each competition has ten points. A 6-3 win therefore becomes a 7-3 win. After Sunday’s matches the points are totaled for each flight and the two-man team with the most points in each flight goes to the shoot-out.  

The Flights were established based on team handicaps. The four flights were named after well known elite golf courses. There was an Augusta National flight, a Valhalla flight, a Pinehurst No.2 flight, and a Royal Troon flight. The competition for first place in three of the flights was extremely close. In the Royal Troon flight, which was the flight for the highest handicap players, the teams of Doug Weaver and Don Mitchell tied the team of Paul Seehaver and Daniel Beckhard with 28 ½ points. The winner would normally be determined by who won the head-to-head match between the teams, but they tied their match 5-5. The winner was therefore determined by comparing their head-to-head match scorecards going backward from the final hole of the match. Based on this procedure, the Seehaver-Beckhard, defending champion, team went into the shoot-out.

 In the Augusta Flight, despite scoring only 2 ½ points in their first match, the team of Edward Cutler and Austin Hurlbrink won the flight with 27 points. Behind by ½ point was the team of Kyle and Donald Gavitt, past winners of the tournament. In the Valhalla flight, the team of Michael Hanson and Rich Williams topped the team of Tom Mondell and William King 29 ½ to 29.  The only flight that was not close was the Pinehurst No.2 flight. Jerome Heiser and Todd Kalinsky scored a tournament high 34 ½ points to win their flight easily. 

In the first round of the shoot-out, which was monitored by PGA professional Mark Marshall, the teams all played from the 18-hole tee boxes. This round was handicapped, and some excellent golf was displayed. The best score for each team counted, consistent with the tournament format. The team of Cutler and Hurlbrink eagled the hole, but the team of Hanson and Williams and the team of Heiser and Kalinsky both birdied and they each were playing with a handicap stroke so their birdies counted as eagle. 

The second round of the shoot-out was played from a pitching distance on the eighteenth fairway, over a small pond, with no handicaps. All six shots landed on the green or the fringe. Only Williams from the Hanson, Williams team made his putt for the win.   Seehaver made the shot of the tournament eagling from 80 yards out on the 17th hole.

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