-Mustard Catches Up, Relishes Victory –
It took two extra holes but Robert Mustard earned a win on Sunday, May 25th at the Flagstick Shootout. The 28 year-old from Delta, Ontario (Rivermead GC) prevailed in a two man battle with Eric Macrow of Kingston (The Landings GC). The duel dominated the action in the first event of the 2014 BMG Cup Series.
Macrow, 19, was the first round leader after scorching the Smuggler’s Glen Golf Course in 66 strokes, tying the competitive course record. Right on his heels was Mustard who posted a 67 on day one.
Only four players from the elite field of 72 top amateurs broke par in round one, a day marred by a one hour and forty-one minute weather delay. Greg Knudsen of Black Bear Ridge Golf Club turned in a 69 while Carter Trevisani of the Greyhawk Golf Club signed for a 70.
The final round of the Flagstick Shootout played out with perfect weather conditions, allowing the players to fully dictate the final outcome.
Front nine stumbles by Knudsen and Trevisani left the fight for the trophy down to just Mustard and Macrow. It proved to be a back nine affair with never more than a stroke separating the duo all day long.
Mustard closed the gap with Macrow by the time they headed to the tenth tee and pulled ahead on the short 12th hole, “The Gambler” where he made a birdie to reach seven under par total.
Two holes later both players struck their approaches to less than ten feet. Macrow converted his longer putt while Mustard left his eight footer short, putting them back in a share of the lead with four holes to play.
Momentum swung back in favour of the younger golfer on the 450 yard par 4, 15th hole. Macrow reached the green in two and safely two-putted for par while Mustard’s approach found the cart path right of the green, leaving him a difficult up and down to a pin cut tight to the side of the green. He failed to make the par and Macrow held the lead again with three holes to play.
All remained the same through the 16th and 17th holes as a curious crowd of spectators grew.
The final hole of regulation, the 608-yard par five known as “The Green Monster”, served up all the drama you might expect of a closer. Macrow found the large water hazard that guards the last half of the course with his second shot, resulting in a bogey that left both players tied after regulation at six under par.
The competitors returned to 18 again for the 1st extra hole. This time Macrow found trouble with a tee shot that veered into the woods but he scrambled up the hole and capped it with a 20 foot par putt. That left Mustard with an eight foot par putt to extend play – which he did with success.
A crowd of fifty people then followed the twosome down the 11th hole. Mustard found the fairway with his drive while Macrow once again had difficulty with the tee shot, hitting it left into foot long grass near a hazard. From there he could only extricate his shot to within 50 yards of the green while Mustard knocked his approach just short and right of the green.
Macrow wedged up to 15 feet above the hole while Mustard deftly played his pitch to a foot. When Macrow failed to convert Mustard had won his first BMG Cup Series tournament.
“I had a blast,” said the elated Champion just after receiving the Flagstick Shootout trophy from Bauder Media Group President and Tournament Director Jeff Bauder. “Me and Eric had a great match the whole 18, neither of us were ever ahead of each other by a shot the whole twenty-holes today.”
Heading into the day Mustard knew that at one back he would have to catch Macrow but at the same time he was wary of others lurking. “I knew it was going to be close but there was still the others guy under par with us so I knew it was going to be a good battle. The front nine I was a little shaky but I got by. But the back nine, I don’t think I’ve ever been in that intense of a match ever where it’s that close all the way down to the end.”
Having witnessed the fine play of his teen competitor all day long Mustard was impressed again when he saw the par he was able to come up with on the first playoff hole. “That was an amazing par. I couldn’t believe he parred the hole from where he did. He was thirty yards behind me after his second shot and still parred the hole and made me make an eight footer to keep the playoff going where I thought that was going to be for the win.
Mustard says his driving was key in the playoff. By hitting the fairways he put the pressure on the younger player to match him. The strategy ultimately worked when Macrow could not make his par on the second playoff hole.
“I’m happy I had a good tournament,” said the elated champion. “I didn’t just shoot even par and win it by luck because other guys struggled. I played well and hopefully this will be a sign of things to come this summer.”
The second event of the BMG Cup Series, the Flagstick Open at eQuinelle, will be played at the eQuinelle Golf Club in Kemptville, Ontario on July 26/27, 2014. The concluding event, the Flagstick BCC Open will be played at the Brockville Country Club on September 13/14.