Virginia wins Team Matches vs. West Virginia
The Virginia team won the Ye Ole  Feudin’ Stick <br>(Virginia Golf Association Photo)</br>
The Virginia team won the Ye Ole Feudin’ Stick
(Virginia Golf Association Photo)

HOT SPRINGS, VA (April 24, 2016) - Jack Allara II was playing really well on Sunday, sitting at 3-under par 10 holes into his match with Rick Moore. Then, on the par- 3 No. 11 at The Omni Homestead Resort’s Cascades Course, Allara (Hidden Valley CC) put a tidy bow on a dominating victory, hitting a 6 iron into the wind and sticking it within 18 inches of the hole, a birdie that sealed an 8-and-7 win.

It was that sort of day for the VSGA squad, which captured eight of the 14 singles matches Sunday to complete a comfortable 17½-10½ victory over its counterparts from the WVGA. The VSGA has won the last seven editions of the Virginia-West Virginia team matches and extended its lead in the series to 28-4-1.

And on the sun splashed 18th green afterward, team members gathered for a photo with Ye Ole Feudin’ Stick, awarded to the competition’s winner.

For Allara, fellowship is the allure to competing in the yearly team matches.

“You know, I didn’t grow up playing golf,” said Allara, a senior who went 2-0-1 over the weekend. “I played team sports, basketball, football. So to enjoy the camaraderie, giving each other the needle ­­– you’ve got to be able to take it, too – it’s just fun. It’s fun to be a part of, especially this late in life. They’ve got something for us old guys to do, you know.”

Seniors and regulars alike contributed to the VSGA’s weekend success. Super senior J.P. Leigh (Elizabeth Manor G&CC) completed the VSGA’s only 3-0 weekend by beating Jim Mason 4 and 3. Dave Pulk (Two Rivers CC) earned a half point against Steve Fox in the final senior match.

Five VSGA regulars earned full points with victories in Sunday singles: Vincent Nadeau (Spring Creek GC), Buck Brittain (Fincastle on the Mountain), Jon Hurst (Fredericksburg CC), Justin Young (Ballyhack GC) and Keith Decker (Chatmoss CC). Jimmy Delp (Laurel Hill GC) halved his singles match with Trent Roush thanks to converting a tough up-and-down from the rough on No. 18.

The top WVGA performer was Jess Ferrell of Fairmont, W. Va., who topped Jordan Utley (Independence GC) 5 and 4 in singles to cap a 3-0 weekend.

Young posted a 5-and-4 win over Ben Palmer in his singles match. The 2015 VSGA men’s golfer of the year said he hopes the strong showing at the Cascades Course (he went 2-0-1) will provide a strong starting point for his 2016 season. Up next for Young is the Fox Puss Invitational at Boonsboro CC next weekend before heading to River Bend G&CC for the VSGA Four-Ball Stroke Play Championship the following weekend.

“For me, it gives you good competition without the pressure, really,” Young said. “It’s more about the team camaraderie. It’s not like you’re out there on your own and have to grind out 54 holes of stroke play. This kind of gets the competitive juices flowing. It’s still pressure. But the morning and afternoon four-man yesterday, if you had a bad hole, your partner could pick you up. That’s why I like it.

“Plus, you have a chance to represent your state.”

Decker and Hurst also went 2-0-1 in their first appearances in the Virginia-West Virginia Matches in some time. Both players’ schedules worked out to where they were available to compete this year.

ABOUT THE Virginia-West Virginia Team Matches

Team matches between amateur teams representing the Virginia State Golf Association (VSGA) and the West Virginia Golf Association (WVGA). Ryder Cup style format with Foursomes, Four-Balls and Singles matches.

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