By Rick Colvin
The Palmetto team notched its first Bouchillon-Ambrose Cup victory of the season besting Marshwood 10 to 4 ½ and the Oakridge team edged into first place in the yearlong competition, beating Deer Creek 7 ¼ to 4 ¾ on April 21 on the Deer Creek course.
Oakridge now has three points for the season, Deer Creek and Marshwood have two apiece, and Palmetto trails with one point.
The day’s match play format was modified alternate shot, a game in which both members of the two-man teams tee off and the team chooses the better ball; the next shot is hit by the player who did not hit that drive and then the team alternates shots until the ball is in the hole.
As in the B-A Cup matches earlier this season, Landings Club pros competed for the teams named for the club houses where they work and, this week, all of those matches ended in ties.
Palmetto Head Pro Chris Leake played with member Scott Stockslager and tied Marshwood Assistant Pro Kobe Freshwater, who was paired with member Tim McDermott. Oakridge Assistant Pro Alyssa Clements joined member Paul Lieberman and tied Deer Creek Assistant Pro Joey Tilton and his partner, member Paul Hubert.
One of the highlights of the latter match was Clements’ spectacular drive over the bunkers at the inner elbow of the dogleg left par 4 15th hole, leaving Lieberman a wedge into the elevated green. Another highlight was a bunker shot by Paul Hubert on the 18th hole. With the match tied, Tilton had hit his second shot into the bunker at the far-right corner of the green; Lieberman then hit a wedge from about 100 yards for his team’s third shot to about 8 feet from the hole. Hubert saved the tie, however, hitting out of the bunker to about four feet. Both teams missed their birdie putts.
Marshwood’s Greg Snyder made a clutch 35-foot putt from the valley to the left of the 16th green for a par to tie the hole and avoid being closed out by Palmetto’s Rick Colvin and Bret Hardy, who were two-up at the time. Snyder then hit a tee shot to about 10 feet past the back pin of the par 3 17th hole, and his partner, Tom Souls, made the steep downhill put to win the hole. That left Snyder and Souls one down going into the 18th, which both teams parred, allowing the Palmetto pair to preserve a one-point victory.
Clutch shots also led to a victory for Marshwood’s Charlie Bradford and Rick Saunders. Bradford hit a hybrid from 215 yards to 10 feet from the pin on the 13th hole and Saunders made the birdie putt to win the hole. On the 15th hole, Saunders hit his approach to 15 feet and Bradford holed out for another birdie to go two up with three left. Bradford and Saunders bested Palmetto’s Ed O’Donnell and Jeff Baker 3 and 2.
Two come-from-behind battles helped fuel Oakridge’s victory over Deer Creek. Bill Jaques and Gary Poleynard were four-down after nine holes but fought back to beat Steve Thomas and Bob Benson. A turning point in the match was Poleynard’s shot from 186 yards to 10 feet on the par 5 6th hole, which was the pair’s 15th hole because the match began on the back nine. Jaques sank the putt for a birdie to tie the match and the team’s net-birdie on No. 9 sewed it up. Similarly, Oakridge’s Tony Lombard and Jack Welch were four-down with four holes left in their match against Jon Bokina and Richard Dolan before they won the rest of the holes to tie the match.
Deer Creek’s Ron Thomas holed out a chip from behind the green on the 18th hole to tie his match against Oakridge’s David Foley. As in the B-A Cup competition earlier in April, not all of the teams were able to fill out their roster, such that Foley had to compete against both Thomas and Andy Eastwood. Foley earned ¾ths of a point by beating Eastwood and tying Thomas.
Marshwood was particularly short-handed and 10 of its players had to play simultaneous singles-matches against two Palmetto opponents, which may have contributed to Palmetto’s decisive win.
Highlight Reel (Belated)
In the LMGA competition April 14th, Rick Cricenti hit a 5-iron from 151 yards and sank the shot for an eagle on Palmetto’s par 5 13th.
New LMGA-er Sean Ryan and his wife, Mary, moved to The Landings September, 2020 from Armonk, New York, where they both retired from careers with IBM. Sean’s most memorable round was at Royal Troon in Scotland, on his first visit to the country. A rainbow hovered over the course as his foursome was teeing off on the first hole, which Sean took to be a good omen for the round to come. Alas, he said, “the winds we played in made sure the course won!”