From the ONION CREEK CLUB, AUSTIN, TEXAS
Swift Trophy Matches (March 24)
We matched an EAST team against a WEST team for a very competitive Swift Trophy Match because we were unable to find enough Canadians in Austin. A brutal exchange rate in the Canadians’ disfavor was the culprit… and we hope the money gods will reverse their evil ways to give our Canadian friends the incentive to return to Austin in 2017. The EAST team clobbered the WEST team by a 12.0 to 6.0 margin. George Barnett of Victoria, Texas was the EAST MVP and Mike Harding of Terre Haute, Indiana took home the EAST MVP award. Both awards are small bronze statues of Harry Vardon by highly acclaimed sculptor Mike Roche. A temporary illness prevented Onion Creek member Virgil Swift, our generous benefactor, from presenting these awards.
Medal Play (March 25 – 26)
Championship Division… Jeremy Wrightof Houston, TX became the first player to successfully defend in the Championship Division, with a 78+72 = 150 total. Mark Wehring of Houston, TX (163) and Jacob Johnson of Rockwall, TX (167) were second and third, respectively. Dan Chand of Austin, TX (147 net) took low net honors.
Senior Division (60+)… Mike Harding (77+83 = 160) took first in the Senior Division, followed by John Drake, Austin, TX and Mike Pishlo (both with 177… with a scorecard playoff). Doug Brossman, Leesburg, VA took low net with 154.
Statesman Division (70+)… John Berggren, Kingwood, TX, successfully defended with a solid 78+74 = 152, followed by Max Hollon, Evansville, IN and Pete League, Austin, TX with 167 and 170. George Barnett won low net with a 144.
Two-Person Net Best-Ball Division… Mike Pishlo, Rockwood, MI and John Berggren won by a solid five-stroke margin over Mike Harding and Max Hollon (124 to 129).
Scramble Division… Scott Pilgrim, Sachese, Texas; Johnathan Pilgrim, North Richland Hills; Texas, Kirby Mask, San Antonio, Texas; and Michael Myrick, El Paso, Texas won the Scramble Division (59 + 59 = 118 – 5 handicaps strokes = 112 net) over three other teams. We used 50 percent of the team’s average handicap.
TAD MOORE AWARD, presented to a younger player demonstrating playing ability and a respect for the traditions of the game: Jonathan Pilgrim
JOHNNY HENRY AWARD, presented to the low net senior (60+), man or woman, GCS member: John Berggren.
RUSS FISHER AWARD, presented to the outstanding volunteer: John Drake
GUEST SPEAKER…. Everyone was treated to a fantastic presentation by guest speaker Bill Eschenbrenner, former head golf professional at El Paso Country Club for 40 years, member of the Texas Golf Hall of Fame, 2005 PGA Golf Professional of the Year. In 2006 Bill was inducted into the PGA of America Hall of Famealong with Jack Nicklaus. He was a good friend of Ben Hogan and remains a good friend of Lee Trevino. There were lots of great Hogan and Trevino stories!
Following the awards presentation, we had an informal pop-quiz on golf issues, focusing this year on Bobby Jones. Prizes were items from The Masters tournament. And for anyone not winning an award or a Masters tournament prize in the pop-quiz, we gave away copies of Barbara Puett’s and Jimmy Apfelbaum’s book, Golf Etiquette. Everyone took home something!
The 2017 tournament will be March 23-25. This is NOT Easter week. The 2017 tournament hotel will likely be the Comfort Suites near the Austin airport (we have negotiated a less expensive rate than the 2016 rate at the Hampton Inn… more to come when we know).
We thank Wendy Marsh, Atex Photos, for the great photo gallery. Click here to see her photos of the event, which include the three shown below.
Ron Groves sends one toward the hole.
Jonathan Pilgrim… looking good!