NCGA Team Match: Whitney Oaks wins it
2012 Team Match Champions: Whitney Oaks GC
2012 Team Match Champions: Whitney Oaks GC

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (Oct. 28, 2012) -- Whintey Oaks GC finally broke through to win its first ever Team Match Championship on Saturday at Poppy Hills GC. After making it to the final four, three of the past six years, but never making it to the Saturday championship match, this year proved to be different. Whitney Oaks won going away on Friday beating Corral de Tierra 27-9, and on Saturday a much tighter match occurred, with Whitney Oaks coming away victorious against StoneTree GC 20-16.

“This group has been playing with each other for the past 10 or 12 years, so it’s nice to finally see it come to fruition this year,” said Whitney Oaks captain Gary White.

As early matches began filtering in it looked like StoneTree was on its way to the winner’s circle as it grabbed an 11-7 lead after the first three matches. However, the anchor match ended early and did so in Whitney Oaks favor, earning four of the six available points to cut StoneTree’s lead to 13-11.

Splitting hairs in the fourth match with each team earning three points, it came down to the fifth match, which featured Whitney Oaks’ players Fred Huston and Greg Larson. Huston had already secured his two points, and as a duo, the two had already secured two full four-ball points giving their team 18 points, meaning the worst they could now do was tie–forcing a playoff–leading 18-16. With Larson’s singles match against StoneTree’s Dante Carpinito coming to the 18th hole all square, Larson came through in the clutch when he needed to. Lying two in the fairway, Larson hit his approach on the par-5 18th to four feet and would go on to make the birdie putt, securing two more points for the 20-16 margin of victory.

“We had some outstanding performances by Greg Larson, Spencer Page [and] … Kyle Gilmore,” said White. “Those guys had it figured out.”

As exciting as the championship match turned out, the third place match between San Jose CC and Corral de Tierra CC was arguably even more thrilling as it came down to the final putt. With both teams tied 15-15 after the first five matches, the final pairing split the singles matches and had a four-ball match, which went to 18th hole. That’s when San Jose’s Chris Arata sunk a birdie putt on the par-5 18th to avoid an 18-18 tie, and instead give San Jose CC a 19-17 victory.

Next year with Poppy Hills under renovation the championship will be held at Silverado Resort in Napa.

ABOUT THE NCGA Team Match Championship

Participating clubs with 12 players per team compete in matches during the summer with the top teams from each region advancing to the Championship at Poppy Hills. Format is as follows: A team of two players plays the opposing team of two, playing three matches simultaneously - two individual matches and a four-ball match.

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