E.A. Sports Today

Challenge Cup pairings set

[corner-ad id=2]Interclub series to promote camaraderie, growth of the game ready for weekend

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

The teams are set and the series-opening pairings for the East Alabama Sports Today Challenge Cup have been made. All that remains is for the teams to hit the course.

The four-match interclub series that carries the name of the local sports website gets underway Saturday at Anniston Country Club. Cider Ridge plays Silver Lakes and Cane Creek plays host ACC. The rotation will change throughout the series.

Unlike similar formats where the participating clubs send their top-ranked players to battle it out the entire series, this version of the Challenge Cup is designed to include players of varying skill levels in order to promote camaraderie among the clubs and interest in the game.

“I am really excited about the Challenge Cup being revived this year after the passing of Jeff Russell, who was instrumental in getting it started in the beginning,” East Alabama Sports Today publisher Kenny Wright said. “Anything promoting local golf is a positive thing and that’s why I felt strongly that EASportsToday.com should be a part of it.”

The matches feature the club pro and top qualifier playing a scratch best-ball match against their opposite numbers and the three amateur teams playing matches with handicaps. Each team must have two players 65 and older.

Teams score points for winning the front nine, back nine and overall match, plus bonus points for winning.

“I was telling a member the other day it’s not set up to be our best against your best,” ACC pro and interim general manager Jake Spott said. “It’s also not a player development program.

“It’s more getting some people who are maybe not largely competitive golfers but might want to give it a shot to represent their club and have some fun. I can’t say the word fun enough; it’s what we’re trying to accomplish out of this.”

Here are the pairings for the first match, which gets underway with a 1 p.m. shotgun start Saturday:

Cider Ridge vs. Silver Lakes

Doug Wert-Nate Pearce vs. Jordan Evans-Ethyn Roberts
Frank Toland-Landon Winfrey vs. Alan Darnall-Bobby Luttrell
Jake Goggans-Mark Lee vs. Tyler Davis-Dillon Davis
John Gasser-Ted Martin vs. Tim MacGaggart-Dr. Ted Klimasewski

Cane Creek vs. Anniston CC

John Michael Russell-Landon Straub vs. Jake Spott-Brian Woodfin
Chip Howell-Tim Turner vs. Kenny Wright-Eric Stringer
Janson Wilborn-Jackson Johnson vs. John Carrozza-Bob Kennamer
Bo Savage-Dennis Moyer vs. Bob Orchid-Don Whitlow

“For so long it’s been we’re competitive against one another and this is more a part of trying to come together and get golf back to where it was,” Silver Lakes director of golf Jason Callan said. “It’s about camaraderie and getting the guys who play golf in the area together to play golf and to know one another. That’s what it’s about.”

“When we all got together the first time that’s one of the main things we talked about — getting away from this competitive club situation and more of us working together on things in the area,” Cider Ridge director of golf Doug Wert said. “I came to these guys with this because it was something we did in Arizona and what I noticed it was an opportunity for my members to play at other facilities in the area and it builds relationships. Everybody has worked hard to bring this together.”

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