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AG Two Man Links at Sand Valley: Dan, Ben Corfee win at 27-under
Overall champions Dan (left) and Ben Corfee
Overall champions Dan (left) and Ben Corfee

Dan and Ben Corfee of Davis, California won the 2022 AmateurGolf.com Two Man Links Championship at Sand Valley and set a new tournament record of 27-under-par along the way.

The Corfee team, comprised of a former Korn-Ferry Tour player in Ben and journeyman amateur golfer in dad Dan, kept getting better and better as the mother nature provided continued sunshine, and lighter winds as the week progressed.

And while we knew that the 19-under best-ball (for 54-holes) posted last year by Phil and Chris Stegemann was nothing to sneeze at, the field full of long-hitting sons and still-competitive dads was out hunting for birdies, especially at Mammoth Dunes, where the first and final rounds were played. With a par of 73 and five par-5 holes that are all reachable, all sorts of fun things are possible.

Take, for example, the front nine of 29 posted on his own ball by Blaise Vanitvelt at Mammoth Dunes on Tuesday. How's that for an opening nine? Vanitvelt, who just finished his college golf career at Eastern Michigan, carded two eagles (at Nos. 3 and 7, both par-5's) and three birdies to boot. And while he cooled down on the back nine, Vanitvelt didn't give anything back either. He carded nine pars for a 66, keeping him and father Tim within two of the lead.

All told, we saw 14 of the 38 father and son teams -- paced by Ted and Scott Shields' round of 9-under 64 -- post red-figure scores at Mammoth Dunes in the first round. It was clear that records are, well, meant to be broken.

With continued perfect as the tournament moved to the first resort course, Sand Valley, separation did in fact occur. Former Korn-Ferry Tour player and UC Davis golfer Ben Corfee birdied the first three holes, and his dad covered him when he made his lone bogey of the day on the front nine. Then he eagled No. 10, and his dad birdied the next two. After they turned in a round of 9-under 63 the lead was six.

On the final day, the entire field -- including the chasing team of Ted and Scott Shields who were playing alongside them -- could only watch the Golf Genius leaderboard light up in red as the Corfees posted another 63 at Sand Valley to get to an amazing 27-under par for 54-holes. Trust the author when I say they could hold the Wisconsin, or even the USGA Four-Ball over these courses, and the scores couldn't get much better.

The younger Corfee made 10 birdies on his own, against just one bogey in shooting 9-under 64 on his own ball. And get this - Dan covered him on his only bogey on the par-3 fourth hole.

"We entered this because it was a father and son event," said the elder Corfee."We didn't really think about the overall. But what a venue. The people are amazing. We've been to Bandon about 20 times but it was our first time here. [It's the] same program - they are all about golf and they are all professionals."

While the younger Corfee, Ben admitted he hasn't played as much golf as he would like since giving up the professional aspect, playing at this level for three days seemed to spark a new interest in competing.

"Four days in a row was pretty fun, and it was fun playing with him," said Corfee as he pointed at his father. "I don't get to play that much golf."

With father and son teams carding the top six lowest gross best-ball scores, prizes were allocated across both the overall and father and son divisions on a "best outcome" basis. But all scores can be seen against each other on the Golf Genius leaderboard marked either Championship or Net. Just follow the links at the top of the page.

Speaking of net, many of the top gun father and son teams carried plus handicaps. The results show the value of the new World Handicap System. It really works, especially when you use low index for the past 12 months and 80% of course handicap as recommended by the USGA for best-ball competition. The overall net prize went to partners Dan Ellis (Sparks, Nevada) and Ryan Flickinger of Reno. The team posted 8-under 65 in the final round to move their way to the winning score of 16-under. They finished strong, with a 4-under net run over the last four holes. Ellis went birdie-birdie on Nos. 15 and 16 (the former with a stroke) and Flickinger added a par on the tricky 18th with a stroke.

That kept them two clear of the father and son team of Rick and Blaise Casselbury of Lititz, Penn. (We had to Google it to learn it's 9 miles north of Lancaster in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch Country.) The Casselbury's were awarded the low father & son net prize earning them both a custom-fitted Callaway Rogue ST driver along with all other division winners.

The Senior gross division title was won by the Houston team of Clay Hightower and Michael Hatch at 8-under. As the event unfolded it came down to a two-horse race between the Houstonians and Tom Baumgartner and James Davis of Bismarck, North Dakota. Six strokes separated the teams entering the final rounds, but the warm Wisconsin weather thawed up the northerners enough for them to shoot 5-under 68 in the final round, making a nice charge.

Davis recorded three birdies on a clean card for a 70 on his own ball, which was a rare thing in any division. And despite going bogey-free, his partner was still able to help with two solid birdies on Nos. 7 and 15. The pair only doubled-up on No. 16, a tricky par-3 that starts the homestretch.

As golfers made their way to the various airports within a several hour drives of this amazing property, there were no doubt thoughts of the missed opportunities and "wish I had that one over" shots on the course. But nobody regretted making the trip, and everyone wants to return next year.

Special thanks to tournament coordinator Brandie Hammontree and on-site staffer Erick Hjortness, who is lucky enough to live 20 minutes away (at least until winter). And to our host resort Sand Valley, and tournament sponsor Callaway Golf for providing such amazing prizes, a special note of thanks.

The dates for next year are May 28-June 1, 2023 and deposits will be accepted starting June 9.

SANDBOX SKINS GAME
Prior to the first and second rounds, a fun skis competition was conducted. We had a total of four aces at the wonderful Sand Box par-3 layout over the two days. Blaise Casselbury, Chris Ferguson, and Curtis Henley holed out on day one, while George Hogan grabbed his the second day. Just one “2” made a skin, by James Davis in the second round on No. 13.

As is a tradition at Sand Valley, anyone who records an ace at The Sandbox is awarded with a commemorative, old-school quality metal shovel. (You get it, "The Sandbox...") Chris Ferguson tossed it into his carry-on bag, only to be stopped by TSA at security.

"What's this," asked the perplexed agent, peering through the X-Ray screen.

"Just a shovel I won for making a hole-in-one," replied Ferguson. The TSA agent could only chuckle and shake his head as he tossed the shovel back into the bag.

View results for AGC Two Man Links II at Sand Valley
ABOUT THE AGC Two Man Links II at Sand Valley

Welcome to the second annual Two Man Links and Father/Son Championship at Sand Valley Resort. It's a 54-hole best-ball championship at a Wisconsin gem that offers a similar vibe to the home of the original Two Man Links Championship (Bandon Dunes) with award winning courses designed by Coore and Crenshaw as well as David McLay Kidd. They even have a par-3 course called "The Sandbox." The lodging, food & beverage, and hospitality are sure to exceed your expectations. And with 20- plus years of experience running the AmateurGolf.com Tour, you can be assured that we will provide all the tournament and hospitality services you would expect from the leading resource for competitive amateur golf. This one will fill quickly!

FATHER & SON CHAMPIONSHIP
AmateurGolf.com is pleased to announce that the tournament includes a Father & Son division with gross and net prizes within the division as well as eligibility for the overall gross and net championship titles.





WHAT'S INCLUDED:

(3) nights lodging at Sand Valley Resort (see options below)
(3) tournament rounds, (1) at Sand Valley and (2) at Mammoth Dunes
(1) Skins rounds at The Sandbox (cash skins buy in not included)
(3) group buffet dinners!
$10,000 - plus in tee gifts and prizes (based on 80 players)
Tournament awards for division winners
Welcome gifts for all players

ITINERARY

Monday, May 29, 2023
Arrival day, golf at player's expense today (we have a block of tee times at Sand Valley) for those that arrive early enough
- 7:00pm - Dinner at Aldos
- Lodging: Sand Valley Resort

Tuesday, May 30, 2023
- Tournament Round 1 at Mammoth Dunes
- 7:00pm - Dinner at Aldos
- Lodging: Sand Valley Resort

Wednesday, May 31, 2023
- Tournament Round 2 at Sand Valley
- 7:00pm - Dinner TBD (possibly outdoors at Sandbox)
- Sandbox Par-3 Skins game - times TBD (greens fee included, cash buy-in TBD) - Lodging: Sand Valley Resort

Thursday, June 1, 2023
- Final tournament round at Mammoth Dunes
- Checkout in the morning before play
- Tournament Awards immediately following play at Mammoth Dunes.

COMPETITIONS

Everyone in the field will play for the overall gross and net; in addition there will be prizes awarded based on the number of players in two main divisions:

Father & Son Team (Low Gross and Low Net)
Open Team (Low Gross and Low Net)

SENIORS: A bonus will be awarded to the lowest gross score among teams where both players are age 50 and over)

For net scoring, play will be at 80% of course handicap, with a maximum allowance of 18 for each player, and using the low handicap index for the past year from the USGA GHIN System. A maximum combined team handicap of 36.0 is suggested.

Play will be from the Orange Tees, except that those aged 70+ may elect to play from the Sand Tees.

* * PRICING OPTIONS * * (all prices per player)

$2295 -- ** DOUBLE OCCUPANCY **
(rooming with another tournament player only) includes 3 rounds of golf, 3 nights of lodging, one tournament dinner, plus $15,000 of prizes & welcome gifts

$2850 -- ** SINGLE OCCUPANCY **
includes 3 rounds of golf, 3 nights of lodging, one tournament dinner, plus $15,000 of tournament prizes and welcome gifts

$3350 -- ** FOUR BEDROOM COTTAGE **
includes 3 rounds of golf, 3 nights of lodging, one tournament dinner, plus $15,000 of tournament prizes and welcome gifts

Please inquire about other lodging options to include several four bedroom luxe houses perfect for two teams traveling together

View Complete Tournament Information

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