Story written by Jim Horvath
BREWSTER – Through the first nine holes of the 37th annual Cape Cod Cup golf match held at the Ocean Ocean Resort and Golf Club Wednesday afternoon, the amateur team was clearly dominating the professionals, jumping out to a 5 points to 2 lead.
However, the pro’s putters became red-hot on the back nine, their birdie putts began to drop and they rallied to forge a 10 ½ – 10 ½ tie.
The Cape Cod Cup matches a team of 14 of the best amateur golfers in the area against a team of 14 club professionals from the Cape Cod Chapter of the New England PGA. Each of the seven matches has three points at stake – one for the front nine, one for the back nine and one for the 18 hole total.
This was one of the most exciting Cape Cod Cup contests in years. The key shot came on the par 3, 185 yard 16th hole in the last of the seven matches. Ocean Edge host Shayne Sakson pro stung a 5-iron to with 2 feet for an easy birdie to give him and his partner Zach Mahan a one-up lead over amateurs Greg Everson and Mike Reghitto. The final two holes of that match were halved with pars, allowing the pro’s to come away with a 2 ½ to ½ victory. Those 2 ½ points proved to be the difference that tied the overall Cape Cod Cup match, 10 ½ – 10 ½.
“The wind was in our face, so I switched from a 6-iron to a 5-iron and took on the flag. It turned out to be the right choice”, said Sakson.
The professional tandem of Andrew Stolze and Frank Leja shot 4-under par on the back nine and came back to defeat Michael Walker and Kurt Flionis, 2 – 1. “After losing the front nine, we righted the ship with three birdies in four holes and then held them off at the end”, said Stolze.
Professionals Tom Tobey and Bobby Williams fought back from a two down deficit after ten holes and managed to tie Chad Crocker and Alex Stimpson, 1 ½ – 1 ½. “Bobby’s birdies on 15 and 17 were the keys”, stated Tobey.
An important half-point for the professionals came from another back nine rally, this time from Bob Miller and Bob Guisti. Miller and Guisti watched Pat O’Reilly and Barry Jones combine for an eye-opening five birdies on the front nine and a 5-up lead. However, the Cup veterans that they are, Miller and Guisti never gave in, tied the back nine to win a ½ point, which turned to be decisive in the overall final score.
Not to be outdone, the amateurs had one of their own duos stage a splendid back-nine rally. After falling two-down after ten holes, Whitney Trimble and Ricky Stimets made four birdies in a span of 6 holes to win the back nine and their match, 2 – 1, over Matt Baran and Ben Egan. ‘It was a good match. It was fun, a good day out here”, said Stimets. Overall, the foursome combined for ten birdies.
The two other matches each ended in ties, 1 ½ – 1 ½. Amateurs Ryan Brown and Sam Russell deadlocked Zack Sweet and Greg Richbourg, with each team making clutch birdies on the 18th hole. Parish Pina and Matt Cornuet tied professionals Brad Sherman and Brendan Reilly, 1 ½ – 1 ½.
The Ocean Edge course was set up perfectly for exciting match play, with tricky, tucked pins and smooth, fast greens.
Wednesday’s deadlock is the fourth tie in the 37-year series of Cape Cod Cup matches. The amateurs lead the overall series 18 – 15 – 4.