Newport Cup 2K8 is in the books, and we have a winner. The Red team, taking up for Tiger Woods' absence, overcame a two-point deficit in the Sunday singles to take this year's edition of the staff competition, 19-17 in Erie, PA and surrounding areas.
As a member of the vanquished side, I can say that the week had a whole lot of laughs, a whole lot of rain, wind, clouds, and cold, and one incredibly stupid golf course.
What follows is a quick recap of the scoring. Though I'm sure the Red team might like to see more details, I've (fortunately for many) left those to the memories of the participants, where they will soon (hopefully) fade.
|Erik J. Barzeski
Friday Morning Best Ball
|Through One Round of Play|
Friday morning we played at Thunder Hill, the incredibly stupid golf course I mentioned above. I'm all for "difficult" golf courses, but Thunder Hill has gimmicks on every hole. It's hard simply for the sake of being hard, and as a result, is far from a true test of golf. Lob wedges from 100 yards would land 15 yards short of greens and bounce over. Water was everywhere, including places you couldn't see, some par fives required four-irons off the tee… it's a mess, and I wouldn't recommend anyone play there. Ever. For any reason.
Playing as close a game resembling golf as the course allowed, the team of George and Erik tied Danny and Chris, while the team of Alan and Joe blanked Cody and Everardo, 3-0.
Friday Afternoon Combined Score Point
|Through Two Rounds of Play|
After spending six hours at Thunder Hill (and losing countless golf balls, many after what was thought to be from the tee or fairway to be darn near perfect), the gang ventured on to the venerable Little Mountain (reviewed here). Little Mountain offers a great test of golf, and the afternoon scoring was "combined score" with each competitor using their net scores.
Erik and Joe couldn't overcome solid play from Danny and Cody, who took 2½ of the 3 available points, but George steamrolled the Reds on the front, and Alan chipped in on the back nine to sweep the Red duo of Everardo and Chris, 3-0.
Saturday Morning Southern Point
|Through Three Rounds of Play|
Southern Point is a game that awards players points for scoring on a hole. Traditionally, pars are worth one point, birdies worth two, and so on. I prefer to play a modified Southern Point that shifts the points totals by one place: one point for bogey, two for par, etc. Two partners, each playing to their handicap, should score four points per hole for a team total of 72 over 18 holes.
Team totals in the miserable, cold, windy weather that faced us at the Lower Course at Peek 'n Peak Resort were in the low to mid 60s, and the matches were close. The front nine was decided by one point in both matches and by only a few more on the back nines, yet we had two sweeps. Everardo and Chris gutted Erik and Alan, while George and Joe eviscerated Danny and Cody, leaving the matches exactly where they started the day: with the Blues leading by four. The lead would narrow in the afternoon.
Saturday Afternoon Low Ball, Low Total
|Through Four Rounds of Play|
Due to heavy fog, continuing rain, and more than a slight chill in the air, the afternoon matches were moved from Peek 'n Peak's Upper Course to the more hospitable Lake View. After lunch in the grill room, we played a game of "Low Ball, Low Total." In this game, one point is awarded to the team which has the low (net) score for the hole, and one point to the team with the low (net) total.
The Blues of Erik and George won the front, but couldn't quite pull off the comeback on the back nine, finishing their matches square at 1½-1½. Alan and Joe managed to eke out half a point against the low-handicap team of Danny and Chris, who won 2½ to cut the Blue team's lead in half, from four to two points. It would turn out that closing to within two by the end of Saturday was all the Reds needed…
In the first match, Cody knocked off Alan 2up on the front nine, but Alan took a hole more than the author of Thrash Talk on the back nine, losing the total but keeping the Blue team in the lead, 14-13. Playing alongside, George took the front from Chris before losing the back, both by scores of 1up, to retain the Blue team's one-point lead.
In the final group, Joe won the front against Danny 1up before succumbing to a few birdies from Danny on the back before losing that side 3up. His 1-2 loss knotted up the matches at 16½ points. In the final and deciding match, Erik lost the front to Everardo 1up, but clung to a 1up lead as the two teed it up on the 18th. After finding the fairway and getting the ball to within 20 feet in three, Everardo hit his fourth shot to six inches, assuring him a five for net four. Having been assured that the Red team had already won, Erik's par putt to tie the hole and the event came up two feet short. Everardo and Erik would finish even on the back nine, the match would finish 2½-½, and Everardo's shot would seal the win for the Red team.
Hey, can I just copy what I wrote in 2006? Fun was had by all. The Red Team snuck out a win in dramatic come-from-behind fashion, though it was close all week. The Blue Team looks forward to avenging our defeat next year.