Thanks to the Texas Golf Association for this story.
TRINITY, TX (October 29, 2006)--The South team ended up on top after two days of intense competition in the TGA’s season ending Ryder Cup style event. The stage was set on the beautiful grounds of Whispering Pines Golf Club located in Trinity, TX. Recently ranked #11 in Best Private Retreats in the Country by Golf Digest, the golf course lived up to it’s reputation has one of the best test of golf this state has to offer. Whispering Pines also held the TGA Shoot Out in 2004, and will also be hosting the 2007 Texas State Amateur.
Everyone knew the matches would be close when the teams where announced, so know one was surprised when the matches were tied after the Saturday Four Ball and Foursomes matches. The North team got off to their best start ever in the morning Four Balls by snatching up 6 ½ points. The North squad has a propensity to be slow out of the gate, so Captain Ryan Finn was pleased to be in front, even by the slimmest of margins. The opposing side remained diligent and continued to grind out every possible opportunity to earn a point or a halve. The South team of John Pierce and Alan Hill were unstoppable has they swept up all three possible points in the morning Four Ball matches to keep the South team within one point.
Four Ball Recap – North 6 ½ - South 5 ½
Match #1 Bearrie & McClure 2 ½ - Mathias & Schroeder ½
Match #2 Newhouse & Couture 2 – Guidry & Leiss 1
Match #3 Leachman & Clark 0 – Pierce & Hill 3
Match #4 Dunkelberg & Fenimore 2 – Dowdall & Lance 1
The staff at Whispering Pines refers to days like Saturday as “WP Day”, when the conditions are so good, that playing 36 holes in one day is automatic. The Foursome (Alternate Shot) matches began on Saturday afternoon under these conditions.
Captain Jeff Morton played his hot hand by sending out Pierce & Hill together again for the demanding alternate shot portion, and they delivered! It was another impressive performance as they collected another 2 ½ points, bringing their Day One total to 5 ½ out of a possible 6 points. However, the North team hung tough and when the dust settled the South team had picked up 6 ½ points in the Foursome matches to bring the Day One totals dead even at 12 points. Never before had the TGA Shoot Out been this close at this juncture in the matches!
Foursome Recap – South 6 ½ - North 5 ½
Match #1 Newhouse & Couture ½ - Pierce & Hill 2 ½
Match #2 Bearrie & Leachman 1 ½ - Guidry & Schroeder 1 ½
Match #3 Fenimore & Clark 1 ½ - Mathias & Dowdall 1 ½
Match #4 McClure & Dunkelberg 2 – Lance & Leiss 1
Knotted at 12 points apiece both team captains worked diligently to create the formula for a winning lineup in the Sunday singles matches. Would the South go with the lead guns early, or hold them back for late points? Would Captain Finn pull a reverse and back load his lineup for a strong finish?
Sunday’s conditions were ideal to settle this 4th Annual competition once and for all. With very little wind and firm, fast greens the players had a great stage for some straight up, head to head, let’s get it on, match play at it’s finest! Captain Morton book-ended his lineup with his top point getters, while Finn went with an alternating type lineup.
The South Strategy eventually paid off, as Piece won 3 points in the lead off position and Alan Hill took his 3 points in the anchor spot. The North team got 3 point sweeps from Dan Dunkelberg and Alan Clark to keep things interesting. The matches were ultimately decided by the middle matches were every half point came down to the 9th or 18th hole.
The last match on the course found David Leiss all square for the 18 hole match with John McClure. Leiss won the front side 3 up while McClure rallied on the back and was 3 up for the back. Both players hit the two best approach shots into the 18th green of the weekend each within 6’ of the front left hole location. McClure’s slippery left right putt slid just wide, while Leiss poured his in to win a critical point and secure the victory for the South. The entire North & South teams who were gathered behind the 18th green applauded a hard fought battle and some timely shots under pressure.
Singles Recap – South 13 – North 11
Match #1 Couture 0 – Pierce 3
Match #2 Bearrie 1 ½ - Mathias – 1 ½
Match #3 Newhouse 1 – Guidry 2
Match #4 Fenimore 1 ½ - Lance 1 ½
Match #5 McClure 1 – Leiss 2
Match #6 Dunkelberg 3 – Schroeder 0
Match #7 Clark 3 – Dowdall 0
Match #8 Leachman 0 – Hill 3
Final Results South 25 – North 23
2003 – Terra Vista Golf Club, Austin
South wins 26 ½ to 21 ½
2004 – Whispering Pines Golf Club, Trinity
South wins 33 ½ to 14 ½
2005 – Colonial Country Club, Ft. Worth
North wins 26 to 22
2006 – Whispering Pines Golf Club, Trinity
South wins 25 to 23