Austin defeated San Antonio to win the Rudy’s I-35 Cup by a 17-11 margin in a Ryder Cup style competition at Ram Rock Golf Course in Horseshoe Bay. Shown here are Captain Dean Lundquist and Randy Reynolds holding the trophy along with the Austin team members. Randy Reynolds has been the driving force organizing the competition on the Austin side. This victory marks the first time Austin has won the Cup in six years of competition. San Antonio has won four titles and retaining the cup a fifth year after a competition ended in a tie.
Each team is composed of 14 players that qualify to play in the event by competing in a year long schedule of events. Many players build their competition calendar so they will have a chance to qualify for the Rudy’s Cup competition.
Robert Evans made a birdie putt on the eighteenth hole of his match to win one up and clinch the cup for the Austin team. There were several matches still in progress and as they unfolded Austin supplemented it’s lead.
Naturally, the Austin team was excited about the victory and celebrated with the traditional shower of champagne. Randy Reynolds is shown here giving Captain Dean Lundquist a liberal dose of the bubbly suds while other members of the team watch on in amusement and celebration.
Jay Reynold, his caddy, and Peach Reynolds are shown below celebrating the victory. Jay and Peach both won their singles matches and also contributed a point playing together as a team on Saturday. Pretty nice father and son combination. Jay returned to amateur golf after playing professionally for several years. He is a welcome addition to the Austin team.
Steve Paterson received congratulations from Chris Hartenstein after Paterson holed a birdie putt on the last hole to defeat Trey Hallmark of San Antonio. The final birdie seemed a fitting way to end the day for the Austin team. Paterson was named the Austin Player of the Year for winning the overall and mid-amateur division of the season long points race in Austin. Hartenstein won the senior category.
Perhaps the most important component of the Rudy’s I-35 cup is a fund raising scramble called the “Rivalry Before The Matches”. It takes place on Friday prior to the opening ceremony and has raised approximately $300,000 over the course of six years. The funds go to charities in Austin and San Antonio. Winners of the Rivalary Before The Matches are announced at the formal opening ceremonies on Friday night.
During the opening ceremonies, the teams are introduced and a guest speaker gives a brief talk. This year, UT Golf Coach John Fields spoke about winning the national championship a couple of years ago and how difficult it is to accomplish that feat. He also shared some stories about how some of the players on the UT team approached match play. He specifically mentioned Jordon Speith, who approached the first tee in a mind set of being two down to insure he was ready to play from the first tee shot until the match was settled.
Werneke had some highlights in the fourball matches when he made a hole in one on the difficult par three eighth hole and then made eagle on the par five ninth. He played two holes in four shots. That doesn’t happen very often.
The formal matches started bright and early on Saturday morning with cool temperatures and a breeze that increased as the day wore on, providing the players with an additional challenge on an already difficult golf course.
Banter on the range prior to teeing off was lighthearted and fun and everyone enjoyed both the weather and the chance to play in the competition.
Players hit balls into a driving range where deer wandering around in the early morning. Either the players were not on top form or the deer were accustomed to flying golf balls because they never seemed to mind or notice the misguided missiles being fired in their direction.
As the captains labored over their picks for the singles matches, the players gave their input to the process.
Consideration is given to who was playing well and what the order of players should be going out the next morning.
Shown here is the Austin Captain, Dean Lundquist, along with team members awaiting the announcement of a San Antonio pick for singles matches. As one team names a player the opposing team announces who they will play. The process alternates between teams until all the matches are scheduled. As the names are announced they are posted on a board and as can be expected, they draw comment from both teams.
San Antonio Captain Pat McMahan is steated here with Ed Sanchez and Zan Terry as they watch the players names being posted for the singles matches.
All in all, the Rudy’s I-35 Cup has provided a stronger bond between the amateurs players of Austin and San Antonio, provided substantial funds for charities in both cities, increased interest in amateur golf in both cities and allowed players to compete in a quality event. Hats off to Pat McMahan and Randy Renolds for creating the event and to all the players, volunteers, sponsors and participants for a job well done.