Ryan Andrews holds the flag for his dad, Roger, the 2014 Kummel Cup champ. (Photo by Kathy Bullock.)
Roger Andrews defended his title and Richard Bullock won the senior event at the Kummel Cup tournament at Lawsonia Links in Green Lake, Wisc., July 14-15.
The weather was wonderful, sunny and in the low 70’s with very little humidity for the three-day event. Rain, which threatened Saturday’s round, held off until the final putts were sunk. The course was in great shape. the Golf Courses of Lawsonia was opened in 1930. The land selected for the original course, by the famous golf architect William Langford, was open, semi-treeless, and rolling, much like traditional Scottish courses with the wind and fescue grasses coming into play. It has been continuously maintained in this way. Most of the holes on the Links course are fashioned after Scottish golf holes. In fact, Langford sent two men to Scotland to photograph and diagram many of that country’s celebrated golf holes. Legend has it that railroad boxcars are buried beneath the green on No. 7 to give that area its distinctive elevation. The course has attracted such golf greats such as Ben Hogan, Sam Snead, and Byron Nelson. Nelson shot 69 in 1939, then a course record.
The week started out with a practice round on Thursday and a two-man best ball event which was won by Doc Eike and Ray DeRoche. Friday brought the first day of the event and a tight field in the Open division. Andrews led after the first day by a slim one shot margin over David Guerard and Ernie Ernst. Steve Simer and Bill Geisler were right behind, so the tournament was far from being decided. In the Senior Division, Bullock, who had spent three prior days studying the course, put that practice to good use. He posted a blistering 74 to hold an 8-shot lead over Ken Holtz who turned in a respectable 82.
Friday afternoon was spent enjoying the weather and trading clubs and stories on the front yard of the Kummel Cottage, between the 18th hole and the pro shop at Lawsonia. That evening, playes and guests were treated to a traditional Wisconsin fish fry of fresh perch and haddock, accompanied by some of the best from local breweries.
The skies looked ominous Saturday morning, but, as noted, held off for the tournament. Richard Bullock, however, did not hold off, posting a 78 to finish with a two-day 152 that was well ahead of runner up Holtz who come in with 82 for a 163. There was a moment, Holtz thought, that Bullock might prove mortal. The front runner found early trouble on No. 3. “We tried to put some pressure on Richard early,” Holtz said, “but his recovery on hole number 3 took away any chance of that”. Bullock later commented on the challenging layout and design of a very fine golf course that “makes you think on every approach.”
Leon Church, playing in his first SoHG event, finished third in the Senior division with scores of 87-90. In the Reserve division, Joe Guerard took first (86-86= 172; net 144); Mark Larson second (95-91= 186; net 150); and Jim Koss third (90-93= 183; net 151). Fine Job by all.
In the Open division, Andrews and Ernst were tied at the turn of the final day, recalling their last-nine duel at the Belvedere Hickory Open in June, where Ernst managed to nip Andrews by two strokes. Playing for the Kummel Cup, Ernst had made up a one-stroke deficit and Guerard and Simer were close on the leaders’ heels. Andrews gained a stroke on 10, but Simer answered with a surge of back-to-birdies on 11 and 12 that had some thinking the match would swing in his favor. Andrews bore down and with the help of his putting coach – his 11-year-old son, Ryan, who was his companion all weekend – a string of pars slowly separated Andrews from all three players chasing him. His even par round of 36 on the back proved insurmountable. With Andrews solidly in the lead, a real contest developed for second place by Simer, Guerard, and Ernst who were all even going into the 18th hole. Two pars and a birdie decided the matter.
The 2014 Kummel Cup champ, Roger Andrews, turned in a two-day 156 (80-76); Ernie Ernst second (81-81= 162); and Steve Simer sharing third (83-80 = 163) with David Guerard (81-82= 163). In the Open Reserve Division, Ray DeRoche took first (90-81=171; net 147), David Guerard second (81-82= 163; net 147; score card playoff with DeRoche), and Tom Johnson third (85-85=170; net 150).
Awards and good socializing and fun were the hallmarks of the Saturday evening banquet and celebration. As this was the fifth playing of the Kummel Cup, organizers arranged for the two winners to receive Champion Vests, which we hope they will proudly wear around the country on their hickory travels.
In all it was a great test of golfing skills and another dramtic chapter in the friendly rivalry that appears to be developing between Ernst and Andrews. We can only hope for many more matches between the two. As for your Kummel Cup organizers, we look forward to welcoming back all players for the 2015 event and invite new players to visit the great Lawsonia Links.
Thank you to all participants and guests for attending.