MIDDLETOWN, RI (May 25, 2016) - Tyler Cooke calls it brotherly love. He and his brother-in-law, Bobby Leopold, both are top players. Put them together as a team and they become all but unbeatable. At least they have been in the last two years in the RIGA Four-Ball Championship.
The two won the event convincingly for the second year in a row on Tuesday when they combined for a 7-under 65 at Newport National. With their 62 on Monday at Carnegie Abbey, that gave them a 36-hole total of 16-under 127 and a five-stroke victory over the teams of Kyle Hoffman and Ryan Pelletier, Billy Forcier and Michael Philipp and Dave Carvara and Kevin Silva.
While they did not match their 59-60 performance and 13-stroke win last year, Cooke and Leopold remained extremely impressive.
"We haven’t made a bogey in two years," Cooke pointed out.
In the first round, Cooke led the way with seven birdies. At Newport National, Leopold, a two-time State Amateur champion, stepped up his game. "I helped him some, but he played terrific, especially on the front," Cooke said of his brother-in-law.
The two began with a two-stroke lead and any doubt about whether they would be able to defend was dispelled before the front nine was finished on a cool, overcast day which only added to the European feel of the beautiful Newport National layout.
Leopold eagled the 495-yard, par-5 eighth hole. "I had 230 in but it was straight into the wind,’’ Leopold said. "I thought I could hit three-wood."
He did, to 10 feet, and made the eagle putt. He then birdied nine, as well, and the team was one its way to another title.
Silva and Carvara had a 65, Hoffman and Pelletier 66 and Forcier and Philipp a 68 to get into the second-place tie.
Hoffman and Pelletier, who won this event in both 2013 and ’14, were helped when Hoffman holed out a wedge for an eagle on the 396-yard par-4 15th. But that team hurt itself in the area where it usually excels, the par-5s. "We didn’t birdie any of the par-5s," Pelletier said. "That’s not us."
State Amateur champion Silva ran off three straight birdies on the back side to boost his team. That came after his partner, Dave Carvara, had made three birds on the front. Forcier pulled his team into the tie for second when he knocked his approach on the closing hole within three feet and birdied.
View results for Rhode Island Four-Ball Golf Championship