By Pat Payton, Sports editor, Journal Argus
The four-year Old Guys’ reign is over!
And the Young Guns did it in record-breaking fashion this past weekend at the St. Marys Golf and Country Club.
The annual June golf event is the two-day, local Ryder Cup competition—pitting two 16-player squads (the 40-and-over team and the 39-and-under team) against each other, comprising of golf members and 20-game pack green fee players.
Each year, there are 32 total points up for grabs. Sunday’s final tally read: Young Guns 22 points and the Old Guys 10 points. It broke the old record of 21-11 and a 10-point margin of victory.
“I think we were trying to do it for (injured player) Kellen (Fifield), to be honest,” Young Guys’ captain Darryl Sterkenburg said.
“We all just bought in and tried to draw our teams up to get their big guys, and we got their big guys this weekend.
“Our bottom end really played well, and our (three) rookies played well, too. We were just a real tight-knit team this year. And we all played well and putted well.
“I think that was the key to it,” he added.
Young Guns’ Brady St. Louis, Jake Watt and Ben Dale were Ryder Cup rookies this year.
Old Guys’ captain Bob Hearn tipped his hat to the Young Guns.
“I think our big horses went lame this weekend,” Hearn said with a laugh Sunday. “The new guys on the Young Gun's team played extremely well all weekend. They all went 2-1 in their matches.
“And their big guys all got points, and that was the big difference . . . their new guys and old(er) guys.”
“The Young Guns played great golf all weekend,” Old Guys’ veteran Rick Fifield said graciously as he handed over the Ryder Cup.
Build commanding lead
The Young Guns built a commanding 11-5 points lead on Saturday.
In the Better Ball segment Saturday morning, the Young Guns won 5-3.
In the Modified Chapman golf format in the afternoon, they extended their lead to six with a 6-2 victory.
It left the Young Guns needing to win just six singles matches on Sunday. But they did much better than that—reeling off 11 wins to turn it into a rout!
“I think there’s pressure every year, we’ve felt it ever since we lost,” Young Guns’ Glenn Bertrand said.
“This year, we were probably a little closer as a group and we had a couple of young guys come in this year, which was nice. All three of them played really well for us.
“We won a few key matches early (on Saturday), and we felt we could do something today (Sunday),” he added.
Added teammate Mike Johnson: “We had a lot of guys play well this weekend,” he said. “And a lot of (the Old Guys) players weren’t on form.”
Young Guns who won their singles matches Sunday were: Dave Blake, Jon McPhail, John Cole, Glenn Bertrand, Dave Shepley, Mike Johnson, Jason Skipper, Darryl Sterkenberg, Brady St. Louis, Jake Watt and Ben Dale.
Old Guys who won their singles matches were: Merlin Malinowski, Troy Carter, Chico Downing, Jonathan Rittenhouse and Bob Hearn.
Ryder Cup notebook:
--Sam Watt did another great job as scorekeeper this year.
--Bob Hearn is now 9-0 for the Old Guys in Ryder Cup play.
--This year’s Young Guns’ MVP was Kellen Fifield.
--The 2017 captains are Kellen Fifield (Young Guns) and Marty Rutledge (Old Guys).
--For the record, the Old Guys now lead the local Ryder Cup competition 16-7 all-time
Golf is a great game, and it’s even better when there’s a friendly team competition involved. One of the annual traditions at St. Marys Golf & Country Club is the President’s Cup, where members line up on different sides for a couple days of matches.