The Amateur Team, led by Captain Billy Clagett and assistant captains, Ken Redfern and Dave O'Connell regained the Hannon Cup from the professional team by winning the matches 15 1/2 to 12 1/2 at Spanish Oaks Golf Course.
Joe Beck, Captain of the Professional Team stands beside Coach George Hannon who holds the trophy with Billy Clagett. The win by the amateurs was their ninth win in the sixteen year history of the event. This is the second time for Beck and Clagett to lead their respective teams and each has a win and a loss as a captain of their team.
During the two days of play over the challenging Spanish Oaks Golf Course, the players were treated to a golf course that was in excellent condition, although it was somewhat wet during the first day of play. The water from steady rains on the Sunday had drained well but the fairways were still damp so carts were restricted to the cart paths and the players were allowed to lift, clean, and place the ball in closely mown areas (fairways) during the first day of play. Those conditions contributed to a somewhat slower pace of play and, combined with 36 holes of match play, the players were ready for some rest Monday night.
When they returned early Tuesday, the moisture had drained enough for the ball to be played as it lies and carts were allowed on the fairways. Playing in twosomes, most of the singles matches lasted about three hours. Tee times stretched from 8:00 a.m. to about 10:00 so play concluded around 1:00 p.m.
Highlights of the matches are hard to select but they certainly should include the following three: Robert Evans, the only player to post a win in all his matches, Wes Short who will soon be returning to playing the PGA and Web.Com tour after a medical exemption, and the extraordinary length off the tee by Ted Soule. We'll take a look at each individually.
Shown below, Evans displays the form that helped he and his teammates succeed in their four-ball and foursomes matches as well as his singles match, which was decided on the last hole. This swing sequence was taken on the 18th tee during his singles matches when Wes Skaggs, his opponent had already hit the fairway on the long par four. Evans tee shot finished in the left center of the fairway about 280 yards off the tee. Good form indeed.
Wes Short, who defeated Mike Allen in the singles matches, displayed excellent control over his golf ball by making birdies on 1, 4, 8, 11, and 16 while recording no bogies. Allen, who was five down with five to play birdied 14 and 15 to get to three down and even par for the day. However, Short almost made an ace with a 3 iron on the 230 16th and that was that. Short finished the day at 5 under par. Shown here on the left of Phillip Miranda, he commented that it's been a long road back from illness and it's great to be playing well again. He indicated he will make his return to the Web.com tour in a couple of weeks in Florida on a course he has played in the past. Short will turn 49 in December and hopes to finish his career on the PGA tour on a high note.
Also of note is Ted Soule, whose prodigious length off the tee is approaching legendary status in local circles. Current estimates of length off the tee are somewhere in the 330 yard area and some drives are significantly longer. Mike Allen, whose average length is about 275 by official stats said that on hole number 8 the first day he hit a good drive and Soule was 94 yards ahead of him. Soule had 180 yards left on the 562 yard par five. Do the math and that's 382 yards off the tee. Soule, who is about 6'2" or so and about 200 pounds, generates his clubhead speed with tremendous flexibility and excellent swing mechanics. You can evaluate the swing sequence that produced the 382 yard drive and notice the technique.
All the players complemented at Spanish Oaks for running a first class event. The combination of an excellent golf course, a wonderful clubhouse facility, an excellent chef, friendly and helpful staff produced a wonderful experience for the players. Congratulations to all who supported and contributed to this successful event.
Here is a link to the photo album for the matches.