Billy Peters Cup Matches: Pros down amateurs

WOODSTOCK, Ga. (Oct. 17, 2011) -- For the first time since 2001, the Georgia PGA wins the biennial Billy Peters Cup Matches, 15 ½ - 8 ½, at Capital City Club, Crabapple. The GSGA amateurs were going for their fifth-straight victory after winning the previous four matches (2003, ’05, ’07, ’09), but a come-from-behind fight proved to be too much.

On the day, the GSGA won five singles matches, halved two and lost nine, equaling a GPGA 10, GSGA 6 day-two score.

In the first singles match of the day amateur Billy Mitchell of Roswell started things off right for the GSGA, defeating GPGA professional Greg Lee, 1 up. Mitchell, who made his third appearance on the Billy Peters Cup team this week, won holes three, five and seven to go 3 up at the turn. After dropping five of seven holes to start play on the backside, the match was all square with one to play. Mitchell saved par on 18 to win the hole and the match and secured the first singles point for the GSGA.

The second singles victory for the GSGA came when amateur Scott Weeks of Savannah, making his Billy Peters Cup Matches debut, won his match over GPGA pro Phil Taylor, 1 up. In his round, Weeks recorded four birdies and won holes three, five, 11, 13, 14 and 17, while Taylor took holes two, eight, 10, 15 and 16. Weeks’ birdie on the par 4, 17th proved to be most important as it helped secure the 1-up win.

Two of the four GSGA players on the senior circuit won their matches, as amateur Jack Hall of Sea Island beat Craig Stevens of the GPGA, 1 up, and the GSGA’s own Don Marsh of Alpharetta defeated the GPGA’s Ted Meier, 6 and 5, in the most lopsided match of the day. Marsh was the only GSGA representative to have won both matches in the two-day event. He partnered with fellow senior player Bill Leonard of Kennesaw in the opening four-ball round.

The fifth and final victory for the GSGA came when Billy Peters Cup Matches rookie Michael Standard of McDonough finished ahead of GPGA professional Winston Trively, 1 up.

In the other matches, reigning Georgia Mid-Amateur champion Mark Strickland of Woodstock fell to GPGA pro Stephen Keppler, 3 and 2. The GSGA’s Chris Chuck of Roswell, a Billy Peters Cup Matches rookie, lost to Michael Parrott of the GPGA, 2 and 1, and amateur Chris Hall of Kennesaw, who made his fifth appearance on the Billy Peters Cup Matches team, fell to professional Jeff Hull, 5 and 4.

In matches six and eight, respectively, the GSGA’s Matt Russell of Dunwoody was defeated by GPGA pro Matthew Evans, 4 and 3, while GSGA senior Doug Hanzel of Savannah lost to Sonny Skinner of the GPGA, 1 up. Match 10 went to the professionals as senior amateur Bill Leonard of Kennesaw came up short to the GPGA’s Danny Elkins, 1 up. Match 11 also went to the GPGA squad as amateur Christian Raynor of Kennesaw fell to professional David Potts, 2 up.

The GSGA’s Adam Thomas of Baxley, a Billy Peters Cup rookie, fell to the GPGA’s Clark Spratlin, 3 and 1, and in the final match of the day, McDonough’s Dave Womack of the GSGA lost to Tim Weinhart of the GPGA, 3 and 2.

The two matches finishing all square were between amateur Mark Sweeney of Monroe and professional Shawn Koch, and the GSGA’s reigning state amateur champion David Noll, Jr., and the GPGA’s Bill Murchison III.

The win by the Georgia PGA Section brings the Billy Peters Cup Matches all-time series to 20 ½ - 16 ½, in favor of the professionals.

The Billy Peters Cup Matches, formerly known as the GSGA-GPGA Challenge Cup, changed its name in 2007 to honor Peters’ contributions to the game. Peters, of Blakely, is a former president of the Georgia State Golf Association and honorary vice president of the Georgia Section PGA. He was inducted into the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame in 1993. This competition began in 1962 and was held annually until 1987 when it became a biennial event. The GSGA has captured the last four matches but trails in the all-time series 20 ½ – 16 ½.

Founded in 1916, the Georgia State Golf Association (GSGA) received its official charter on June 24, 1924. Since that date, the GSGA has grown to one of the largest state amateur golf associations in the country, with over 350 member clubs and 85,000 individual members. With a mission to promote and preserve amateur golf in the state of Georgia, GSGA offers a computerized handicapping service, course rating and measuring, and annually conducts a full schedule of statewide competitions for men and women of all age groups. Other services include a summer-long junior sectional program, award-winning Golf Georgia magazine, membership recognition and rewards programs, management of the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame and a charitable foundation administering two college scholarship programs.

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