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A new mid-am and senior team event is coming to Maridoe GC
18 Aug 2019
by Julie Williams of AmateurGolf.com

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Todd Mitchell and Scott Harvey (USGA/Steve Gibbons)
Todd Mitchell and Scott Harvey (USGA/Steve Gibbons)

Post-college, team-golf opportunities are rare. That’s one reason, perhaps, that the Walker Cup draws so much attention. Beginning in 2020, however, amateurs who play golf after college will have a biennial shot at playing for a team. The inaugural East-West Matches will debut in the fall of 2020 at Maridoe Golf Club in Dallas, site of this past summer’s Trans-Miss Amateur.

Scott Harvey, the 2014 U.S. Mid-Amateur champion and a 2015 Walker Cupper, knows the excitement of team golf very well and played a role in the creation of the event. When Albert Huddleston, owner of Maridoe Golf Club, approached Harvey with the desire to host something special at his club, Harvey’s brain went straight to team golf. Thus, the East-West Matches were born.

“Albert already had the idea in his head about hosting a similar event,” Harvey said, “so when we started talking things out, it quickly went from an idea to reality.”

Past the Trans-Miss, Maridoe Golf Club will also host the Texas Mid-Amateur in September and the Southern Amateur in 2020. Earlier this spring, Golf Channel announced a multi-year partnership with Maridoe to televise the 2020 Maridoe Collegiate Invitational, a 54-hole team and individual stroke-play event that will feature top Division I men’s golf programs from across the country.

Maridoe is a Steve Smyers design that opened in 2017 in suburban Dallas. As a centrally located venue, Maridoe will be the standing tournament site for the East-West Matches.

The Concession Cup is the only other event that allows a full team of mid-amateurs and seniors to don a uniform. It’s also a biennial team competition, but is played between teams comprised of six mid-amateurs, six senior amateurs and two super-senior amateurs from the United States and Great Britain and Ireland – much like a Walker Cup but for older players.

The East-West Matches are different, Harvey explains, because the competitors are all from the U.S., and can forge relationships with guys they’ll compete against more frequently.

“It lets everyone get to know each other in a competitive environment and forge relationships that can last forever.” he said.

Outside of the Concession Cup, there’s the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball, introduced by the USGA in 2015. Together with Todd Mitchell, Harvey won that event at Bandon Dunes (Ore.) in May.

“There's not enough team golf events, in my opinion,” Harvey said in his post-championship interview. “… Everything you're doing is with someone. You're sharing every part of it with someone, and it just feels that much better.”

In the East-West Matches, two teams comprised of the best amateurs and senior amateurs in the United States will be competing in fourball, foursomes and individual competition over the course of three days in a showdown sure to bring excitement to the world of amateur golf.

Team selection criteria has yet to be announced.

Harvey likes the fact that now, players won’t have to turn professional to be part of something special. The opportunities for heavyweight match-ups can’t be overlooked. For instance, the East-West Matches might allow for USGA championship re-matches to play out. One between Harvey and 2016 U.S. Mid-Amateur champion Stewart Hagestad (who defeated Harvey in the final) would be one of the more entertaining ones.

“Here is a platform where we could potentially be competing against each other in a friendly way in an intense, yet friendly competition,” Harvey said. “I think that’s fantastic.”

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