Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

September 29, 2013

KELLEY: Solid play sends KCC squad to Liberty Cup title


Kokomo Tribune

---- — The 2013 Liberty Cup was conducted recently at the Kokomo Country Club. This prestigious event, pitting 20-member teams from each of the local courses, was won by the host KCC team with a total of 534 points. In second place was the Chippendale team with 504, which barely beat third-place American Legion (503). Defending champion Wildcat Creek finished last with 497.

The KCC team won it with fine play in each of the divisions. KCC tied Wildcat Creek with 173 points from the scratch players. The KCC women posted 119 points, besting Chippendale by two points. But where the KCC team dominated was in the men’s net division, racking up 242 points. That beat Chippendale by 17 points, the Legion team by 22 points and Wildcat Creek by 29 points. With each division allowing the two worst scores to be dropped, Wildcat was hurt when three players in the net division had bad days meaning it had to count more bogeys costing it second place. If you sum up all eight men’s net players, the KCC team was seven-over par and everyone else was at least 35 over.

Looking into the statistics further, here are some observations. The KCC team had a total of 248 scores of par or better. Next best was Chippendale with 210, then Legion with 207 and Wildcat with 202. This meant that the KCC team had to count only 13 bogeys into its team total.

Overall, the KCC had four players shoot net under par. Cindy Harrold led the way with a net 63 with her career-best score of 85. Chris Linville was four-under net and Brian Cossell and Terry Heltzel were one-under. Chippendale had two players under par net. Maggie Pridemore was four-under as she shot a fine 87 with a 21 handicap for a 66 net. Steve Felix was one-under net. The Legion’s Bryan Foreman was two-under and Wildcat’s Mark Waldron was also two-under.

Top gross scores were 72s by KCC’s Mike Maddox, Chippendale’s Eric Tuchscherer and the Legion’s Kurt Koetter. Colby McIlrath and Dave Eikenberry scored 73s on their home course. Next best were 74s by KCC’s Chris Linville and Wildcat’s Jeff Rudolph and Ray Poat. Top women’s scores were the rounds by Harrold and Pridemore followed by Ellen Hart’s score of 88.

It appears it just came down to the KCC team playing its home course better than the other teams. Next year the event moves to Wildcat Creek where it will be aiming to capture its second Liberty Cup.

UNUSUAL OCCURRENCES

While watching golf a couple of weeks ago I saw something unusual happen, not once but twice in one weekend. In the PGA Tour Playoffs, U.S. Open champion Justin Rose was taking practice swings behind his ball in line with his target. Unfortunately, one of his swings hit the ground, made a divot and the divot flew forward hitting his golf ball causing it to move resulting in a penalty stroke. Then the next day on the Buy.com Tour, Hudson Swafford did exactly the same thing. So, if there is anything to be learned here it is to make sure you can’t strike anything that could hit your ball while taking practice swings. Better yet, skip the practice swings on full shots. You don’t really need them.

PLAYOFFS

The PGA Tour playoffs have concluded with Henrik Stenson capturing the Coca-Cola Championship and also the Fed-Ex Cup. The Swede racked up over $11 million on one weekend! The Buy.com playoffs conclude this weekend. Players there are fighting for their PGA Tour playing privileges for 2014.

Next on the 2013 golf schedule will be the President’s Cup. That should be entertaining as the competitive juices flow for one’s country or team. Hopefully the U.S. can make up for last year’s Ryder Cup defeat.

Then the PGA Tour begins their 2014 season. Yes, you read that right. The 2014 season starts this fall instead of in January. The big names may not be playing as much, but the other players will be aiming to bank some cash and Fed-Ex Cup points early.

Until next time, have more fun playing more golf!

Jon Kelley is an active golfer and local golf historian who contributes columns to the Tribune. He may be reached by email at jon_kelley@comcast.net.