It was hard to tell who won this year’s Cyder Cup if you just looked at the faces of the competitors. The Spartanburg team might have had a little bigger smile as the home team reclaimed the cup from Greenville.
However, all 32 golfers enjoy the competition so much, even if they don’t win, they all say they had a great time.
“These teams are made up of guys who play a lot of golf together during the year. We are all friends and love this event,” said Greenville team captain Terry Willis.
The two day annual golf tournament featuring the best golfers from Greenville versus the best from Spartanburg was played at the Carolina Country Club this year.
The Spartanburg team wrapped up its first win in the Ryder Cup style matches since 2009 with a strong finish.
Spartanburg won three of the first four Sunday singles matches. The team wrapped up the win with five matches still on the course. Even with the outcome decided the last five matches were played out to a conclusion.
Spartanburg won 10 of the 16 points available in the final round to take the cup by a score of 20 – 12.
“Our team played very well,” said Spartanburg captain Todd Whitehead. “We rolled the ball well on the greens and made a lot of putts,” he said.
Spartanburg jumped out to a 5 1/2 to 2 1/2 lead after the first round of four ball matches. The afternoon round was alternate shot competition. In the past few years the Greenville team had dominated that portion of the competition.
“Usually they (Greenville) are pretty tough in alternate shot, but this year we hung in there with them and still had a lead going into the final round,” said Whitehead.
Spartanburg won the round 4 1/2 to 3 1/2 to take a four point lead into the final 16 singles matches. “They just played better than we did this year. I think the teams were pretty even on paper, but they were better on the course,” said Willis.
Last year a strong showing by the senior members of the Greenville team contributed to the 17 /12 to 14 1/2 victory. This year the Spartanburg seniors and Greenville seniors played just about even in the three rounds.
The twelfth renewal of the rivalry benefits the First Tee Programs in Greenville and Spartanburg. Players in the tournament help obtain sponsors for the tournament that goes to the youth golf program in each county.
“We did a little better this year than last year,” said Fran Dunn the Executive Director of the Spartanburg First Tee. “The money raised by each team stays in their county to help with their chapter,” she said.
A little over $32,000 was raised by the tournament this year to add to the total of over $200,000 raised by the first 11 tournaments.
Greenville leads the series with 6 wins to Spartanburg’s 5 victories, one match ended in a tie.
Categories: Upstate Amateur Golf