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After 25 years of memorable competition, Wilson’s top-tier golfers are embracing a new era for the Wilson Cup interclub golf competition.
With the closing of Happy Valley Country Club last August, the field has dwindled to three teams — defending champion Wilson Country Club, Willow Springs Country Club and Wedgewood Public Golf Course.
For the first time in the event’s history, medal or stroke play will be blended with match play. The dates are Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 28-29.
In Saturday’s opening session at Willow Springs, the format will be 36 holes of medal play — nine holes each of best ball and modified alternating shot and 18 holes of individual medal play.
Medal play will determine the two teams competing for the championship on Sunday at Wilson Country Club — where the format will be match play in the form of nine holes each of best ball and modified alternating shot and 18 holes of head-to-head competition.
Each team will number 12 members in the starting lineup. The breakdown: Eight players in the ages 22-54 division; two golfers in seniors (ages 55-64) and two competitors in the first year of super seniors (65 and up). An alternate or substitute will be available in Seniors and Super Seniors.
In Saturday’s session, scores will be counted for six participants in 22-54, one in seniors and one in super seniors. The two teams with the fewest cumulative strokes advance.
The 2019 game plan was devised by a committee of professionals Josh Price of Wilson Country Club, Jimmy Gurkin of Willow Springs and Brady Pinner of Wedewood and Wilson Cup founder and top official Kent Williams.
“One positive of medal play is that you absolutely control your own destiny,” Williams explained. “We still may do some tweaking, but the dates and format for this year are set.. It’s a lot of golf still.
“This keeps all the clubs starting together and staying together all day on each day.”
The only exception is that one club will not be around for competition purposes Sunday.
Willow Springs’ Gurkin revealed he’s not in favor of all the revisions, especially medal play.
“I’m just hoping we are going to win,” he declared. “We’ve got a good team and were are looking forward to playing and see how things work out.”
Williams noted his role was to provide guidance and pointed out all three pros were in agreement of not bringing in a fourth team from outside the county.
“This is on a trial basis,” Wedgewood’s Pinner reminded. “I think it’s fine but I don’t think it’s locked in stone.
“Most important is to make sure Wilson still enjoys it. I do think medal play will determine who is the best team. Maybe I’m crazy, but I think it will be OK.”
“Medal play the first day presents the best opportunity for the field to showcase their skills,” WCC’s Price contended. “All things considered for those who came together, we made the best decision for the community. We breezed through he roadblocks and are looking forward to this year’s event”.
Price emphasized the golfing community is not growing any younger and hailed the Super Seniors division “a very good addition.”
And as Williams pointed out: “There’s still a lot of interest.”