Story by Pat Payton | St. Marys Independent Newspaper
It always seems to come down to the singles matches. And this year was no exception. Traditionally, the Old Guys grind it out and do well in Sunday’s singles matches. But this year, a strong Young Guys squad dominated -- winning the head-to-head matches on the final day of the annual member golf event -- 13.5 points to 6.5 points.
“That’s where the depth of the Young Guys shone through,” remarked Stew Grant of the Old Guys.
Going into the singles matches trailing by a point, the Young Guys claimed a 23-17 points victory overall in the 2021 edition of the annual Ryder Cup event at St. Marys Golf and Country Club.
This year’s event featured the biggest field ever, 20 golfers per side. In recent years, each team consisted of 16 players.
“It feels pretty good,” beamed Young Guys’ captain Scott Kemp, who noted that it was his first time being a member of the winning team. “I’m sure happy for all the guys."
“We have a really good team, but it’s also a really fun team, too. We had a lot of fun before golf and after golf. It’s a good, fun group of guys and we all played well. We had a very good team from top to bottom.”
Kemp said both teams put their strongest players out last in Sunday’s singles matches. “It came down to the big guys deciding it, which is probably the way it should be. Strategy-wise, I wanted to control who my top guys played. That was my plan today.”
Young Guys won six of the final seven matches.
Winning singles matches on Sunday for the Young Guys were: Tristan Dundas, Taylor Booth, Dan Murrell, Mike Glover, Cole Stewart, Eddy Soek, Kellen Fifield, Mitch Watt, Kenny Hutton, Daryl Sterkenburg, Greg Wolfkamp, Chris Bond and Ben Dale.
Winning singles matches for the Old Guys were: Brian Hughes, Wayne Ross, Eric Henkemans, Dale Levy, Stew Grant and Andy Cunningham.
Another match between Young Guys’ Kyle Heinbuch and Old Guys’ captain Jamie Hodgins ended all square, with both players gaining half a point for their teams.
“We tried and we gave it a good go,” Hodgins said. “The Young Guys had a really good team. They’re young and they hit it a long, long way."
“It was a great weekend as always, and I’m just glad to be a part of it,” he added.
In the opening round Saturday morning, both teams picked up five points in the Better Ball format.
“The Ryder Cup is so much fun; I enjoy playing in it every year and look forward to it every year,” Captain Hodgins said. “It’s always close. The Young Guys have a good team, and we’re just trying to hang around with them and do the best that we can.”
In Alternate Shots (Modified Chapman) in the afternoon, the Old Guys won by a slim margin -- 5.5 points to 4.5 points. It left the Old Guys with a one-point lead (10.5 points to 9.5 points going into Sunday’s crucial singles matches).
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