Strickland, Martin win International Four-Ball at new venue
- Ohoopee Match Club photo
- Ohoopee Match Club photo

The International Four-Ball, one of the longest-running major four-balls in the U.S., went to the Ohoopee Match Club in Cobbtown, Ga. for the first time, and players came away raving about the course and the experience.

The Georgia-based team of Mark Strickland and Erik Martin won the Mid-Amateur division, defeating Eoghan O'Connell and Dan O'Callaghan in the final match, 4 and 2. O'Connell and O'Callaghan made six birdies between them but it wasn't enough as Strickland and Martin countered with nine.

The match ended with Strickland's tee shot hitting the flag on the short 16th and then converting his birdie.

The two semifinal matches were both exciting and came down to the 18th hole. In the first semifinal, Strickland and Martin defeated Lee Knox and John Engler in a tight match with 22 birdies between the two teams. Strickland and Martin won 1 up when the teams tied the 18th hole with birdie.

In the other semifinal, O'Connell and O'Callaghan defeated Roger Hoit and Seth Sargent 1 up. Hoit converted a clutch birdie on the 17th to extend the match, but neither Hoit nor Sargent were able to make birdie on the 18th to extend the match.

In the Senior Division, Donny Phillips and Tom Lape defeated Jeff Knox and Chip Lutz 3 and 2. Phillips and Lape took a two up lead into the back nine, but the lead was cut in half when Chip hit a wonderful wedge shot into a tough back flag on the 14th hole and converted his birdie. Phillips and Lape went on to win the 15th hole and then close out the match on 16 with a birdie.

There was also a one-day Stableford competition, with Kevin Johnson and Brett Williams coming out on top with 27 points, three points ahead of runners-up Cass Traub and Mark Manwaring.

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ABOUT THE International Four-Ball

Started in 1957, the International Four-Ball is one of the most prestigious amateur events in the country. The Championship includes Mid-Amateur (ages 25-54), Senior (ages 55-64) and Legends (ages 65 and up) Divisions. All divisions compete in a Four- Ball Stroke Play format which is contested over 3 days and 54 holes. This prestigious event has a rich history, with past champions such as Jack Nicklaus, Deane Beman, Dick Siderowf, Vinnie Giles, Jim Holtgrieve and Downing Gray.

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