They started out strong and despite a valiant effort by their rival team the PGA of Ottawa Head Professionals won the annual PING Challenge Cup presented by Flagstick Golf Magazine.
The top players from the 2015 Flagstick.com Players Tour (PGA of Ottawa Zone) were invited to the Greyhawk Golf Club in Cumberland, Ontario on Monday, September 14th to decide team honours between the Head and Assistant Professionals. The 36-hole format saw team play for nine hole Four-Ball and Foursomes matches in the morning on the Talon course before Singles Matches between the twelve members of each team took place over 18 holes on the Predator Course in the afternoon.
In the five-year history of the event the Assistant Pros held a 3-2 lead over the Head Professionals. Until now.
With their eye on evening the score in the sixth year of the event the Head Professionals came out with their game faces on and took a commanding 5 point to 1 point lead after the opening Better Ball matches.
They continued that dominance through the Alternate Shot Format, picking up another 3.5 points while the Assistants could only scratch together two wins and a halve for 2.5 points.
With only the twelve singles matches left to play the Assistants were in tough, facing a 8.5 to 3.5 deficit. The Head Professionals would need just three and a half points to retain the PING Challenge Cup.
The Assistant Pros fought valiantly but Kevin Haime, playing in the 8th single match, closed out Marc-Andre Piette on the 16th hole to put the Head Professionals over the top, securing the victory. This despite the fact the Assistant Pros would eventually win the singles portion of the day by a score of 7 points to 5.
The overall final tally was 13.5 to 10.5.
The Captain for the Head Professionals team, Flagstick Publisher Jeff Bauder, was satisfied with the win. “There were a some surprising results today, some matches that I did not think would finish like they did but the fast start really set things up. You really don’t know what might happen when you get to the singles matches but I was glad to see a couple guys get out to a quick start and keep their momentum to the end. It’s a long day but the guys all gave it a great effort, on both sides. We’re happy to be able to tie up the overall total.”
Coming out on the losing end for the second consecutive year was Assistant Pro Captain Scott MacLeod. The Editorial Director of Flagstick was complimentary to the effort by the opposing team. “You can’t do anything but congratulate the Head Pros and how they played today. My guys gave it their best effort but just fell short. We saw a lot of great golf and camaraderie and that is what this event is all about.”
PING Representative Andre Borys was on hand for the event and had kind words for all the competitors at the concluding dinner. “Everybody did a great job representing their teams. We’re proud to sponsor this event and it was great to see so many great matches. Congratulations to the Head Professionals on their victory.”
The winning team of Head Professionals consisted of: Greg White, Sean Joyce, Chris Learmonth, Shawn Banfield, Dany Lacombe, Graham Gunn, Derek MacDonald, Kevin Haime, Colin Orr, Scott Mikkelson, Scott Johnson and Jeff Bauder (Honorary Captain).
Members of the Assistant Professionals team included: Terry Kolar, John Kelly, Luke Saunders, Marc Rouse, Dave McDonald, Dan McNeely, Joe Dubinski, Marc-Andre Piette, Greg Smith, Gregg Foley, Jason Winters, Ryan Hardy, and Scott MacLeod (Honorary Captain).