Blanton Farmer and Ryan Terry win Dennis Ewing Cup
Mid-Am champs Blanton Farmer (left) and Ryan Terry
Mid-Am champs Blanton Farmer (left) and Ryan Terry

Over its 30 year history, the Dennis Ewing Cup has evolved from a regional event attracting some of the best players in Texas, into a national event with teams from around the U.S.

And in a year when golf is more popular than ever, that meant a waiting list of 15-20 teams, according to tournament co-chairman Don Gafner.

"Dallas Athletic Club has two amazing courses," said Gafner. "And in the fall our bent grass greens roll like carpet at about 11 to 12 on the stimpmeter."

That may sound like the recipe for low scores, but Gafner told us that when the winds kick up, players have to be really precise with their irons to get good birdie looks. The greens are not only fast, they are firm.

That was not a problem for Blanton Farmer and Ryan Terry. The Mid-Amateur team made their trip from Bradenton Florida and Nashville respectively a productive one, opening with a 62, and closing with rounds of 66 and 67 to post 21-under for the 54-hole event.

Those look like runaway numbers, especially considering the weather went from 80 degrees the first day, to 60 degrees in the last round with winds gusting at 20-25 mph.

But a pair of Texans -- Jake Istnick and Anthony Estorga -- were right there the whole way, and finished a single shot back at 20-under. But they put up a heck of a fight.

On Sunday, the duo had a run of six birdies on the back nine, including three-straight from Nos. 15-17. If they could have gone to the well one more time, it would have meant playoff, but Terry and Farmer's birdie at the last was the difference.

But as it stood their 6-under 30 on the back nine and final round of 64 by Istnick and Estorga were the lowest of the day.

In the Senior Division, Mark Crisco (Diamond Oaks CC) and Daniel Croonquist (Timarron) won by three over the aforementioned Don Gafner and Jim Quinn of the home club.

Gafner and Quinn opened with 9-under 63 the first day (the tournament low in the senior division) but Crisco and Croonquist separated themselves with rounds of 65 and 66 to close things out.

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ABOUT THE Dennis Ewing Cup

54-hole four-ball invitational held at Dallas Athletic Club, a private club with a long and noble golf history that includes hosting the 1963 PGA (won by a then 21-year-old Jack Nicklaus). Jack returned to DAC in 1985 and 1988 to redesign both courses, and was also consulted on the latest course update in 2011. The club has also hosted many amateur championships including the Texas State Amateur and the USGA Mid-Amateur. Entries are limited to Mid-Amateur teams (Age 25-50) and Senior Teams (Age 50+).

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