BRADENTON, FL (April 21, 2018) - For the third straight day, the USA outclassed their counterparts from Great Britain & Ireland, running away with the Concession Cup by a 23.5-4.5 score at the Concession Golf Club.
The final margin resembled the outcomes of the first two editions of the event, which the U.S. also won convincingly.
After a day each of four-ball and alternate shot matches, Saturday's play featured 14 singles matches, with the U.S. winning 11 and GB&I winning 3. With the U.S. only needing two points to clinch the victory, there wasn't much drama.
There were still some heroic individual efforts, however. Senior Matt Sughrue was four down through 12 but won the last six holes to win his match against Garth McGimpsey of Ireland. Super senior Paul Simson won the last three holes of his match to earn the Cup-clinching point against Adrian Morrow of Ireland.
Players who won all three matches included mid-amateurs Stewart Hagestad, Michael McDermott, and Todd White; and seniors Tim Jackson, Gene Elliott, John McClure, Doug Hanzel, Matt Sughrue and Sean Knapp.
The bright spot for the GB&I team was the play of super senior Alan Mew of England, who won two of his three matches in the event. Mew defeated former U.S. Senior Amateur champion Buddy Marucci 1 up in singles.
English mid-amateur Jack Gaunt earned 1.5 points for GB&I, including a singles win over former U.S. Mid-Amateur champion Scott Harvey 2&1.
Another eye-opening result was Bobby Leopold's defeat of five-time USGA champion Nathan Smith 6&4.
Other than that, it was just about all red, white and blue.
"It’s no disgrace to have lost to a team like the United States team were this week," said GB&I captain Peter McEvoy. "I cannot believe there has ever been a better United States team representing these age groups, ever."
Still, there was a lingering feeling that something needs to be done to make the event more competitive, and both captains agreed that a change in venue might be step one.
"In my opinion it has to go overseas to maintain credibility," said U.S. captain Vinny Giles. "We have to go over there and see how we fare and see what this GB&I team can do when they get to play at home."
Said McEvoy, "All of these types of matches are meant to be home and away, and I think in order to strengthen the event we should be hosting the next one. It’s a wonderful event, and we love coming over here. It’s a great facility, great weather. But perhaps it is time that we play in a sideways sleet and see what happens."
ROUND TWO RECAP
The USA once again dominated play at the Concession Golf Club, again winning six of seven matches and putting themselves just two points away from capturing their third straight Concession Cup.
The loaded U.S. lineup is proving too powerful for the Great Britain & Ireland team, winning six matches by at least three holes. Incredibly, five of the seven U.S. teams shot par or better in the difficult alternate shot format.
GB&I did manage to put their first point of the tournament on the board, with super seniors Adrian Morrow and Alan Mew coming from behind to defeat Buddy Marucci and Paul Simson 2&1.
The senior team of Gene Elliott and Matt Sughrue shot the equivalent of 3 under par in the alternate shot format to secure a 6&5 win over Graham Bell and Ronnie Clark.
The mid-amateur team of Todd White and Nathan Smith did them one better, going 4 under in a 5&4 win over Jack Gaunt and Simon Richardson.
Seniors Doug Hanzel and Sean Knapp had seven birdies, going 2 under in a 4&3 triumph over Garth McGimpsey and Stephen East.
Mid-amateurs Stewart Hagestad and Michael McDermott also shot 2 under, winning 3& 2 over Peter O'Keefe and Matt Clark.
John McClure and Tim Jackson were even par in a 3&1 win over Bryan Hughes and Ian Crowther.
Scott Harvey and Matt Parziale weren't quite able to match par, going 1 over in their match against Bobby Leopold and David Corben, but they were still able to prevail 3&1.
Play concludes Saturday with 14 singles matches. The U.S. only needs 2 points out of 14 available to secure its third straight Concession Cup.
ROUND ONE RECAP
The USA took a commanding lead after day one of the Concession Cup at the Concession Golf Club.
The third edition of the Ryder Cup style team event is going in the direction of the first two, with the U.S. team of mid-amateurs and seniors outclassing their friendly rivals from Great Britain & Ireland.
Seven four-ball matches were played on day one—three among mid-amateur teams, three among seniors, and one super senior match. The U.S. team won six of the seven, taking a 6.5-0.5 lead going into day two four-ball matches.
GB&I had a chance to put one point on the board, with mid-amateurs Simon Richardson and Jack Gaunt taking a one hole lead to the 18th tee against the team of U.S. Mid-Amateur champions Scott Harvey and Matt Parziale. But Parziale birdied the 480-yard par-4 18th to square the match and split the point.
Most of the other matches weren’t that close. Only one other match went to the 18th hole, with the U.S. senior team of Doug Hanzel and Sean Knapp (both U.S. Senior Amateur champions) holding off Stephen East and Garth McGimpsey, 1 up, in a match where neither team led by more than one hole.
In the most lopsided match of the day, mid-amateurs Stewart Hagestad and Michael McDermott beat Matt Clark and Peter O’Keefe 6&5. Hagestad made seven birdies in 13 holes, while McDermott made four.
In other matches, the mid-amateur team of Nathan Smith and Todd White (former U.S. Four-Ball champions) defeated David Corben and Bobby Leopold 3&2. The senior team of Tim Jackson and John McClure topped Graham Bell and Ronnie Clark 3&1. The senior team of Gene Elliott and Matt Sughrue beat Ian Crowther and Bryan Hughes 4&3. And in the final match of the day, the super senior team of Paul Simson and Buddy Marucci (both former U.S. Senior Amateur champions) beat Adrian Morrow and Alan Mew 3&2.
Day two will feature seven foursomes (alternate shot) matches, with fourteen singles matches slated for Saturday.
ABOUT THE Concession Cup
Created by supporters of amateur golf, The
Concession Cup is an event designed to celebrate
game through international competition while giving
back to worthy causes. The event is a biennial team
competition played between teams comprised of
leading male Mid-Amateurs, Senior Amateurs and
Super Senior Amateurs from the United States
The Concession Cup Committee will select the
participating players through the
Six (6) Mid-Amateurs, age 25 to 54.
Six (6) Senior Amateurs, age 55 and older.
Two (2) Senior Amateurs, age 65 and older.
The competition is conducted over three
days through the traditional team match-play
formats of foursome, four-ball and singles.
In honor of two of the greatest amateur competitors
in the history of
the game, a trophy has been commissioned in
the names of United States amateur, Bill
Campbell and British Amateur, Sir Michael
Bonallack – the Campbell/Bonallack trophy will
be presented to the winning team at the
conclusion of the matches.
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