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As you can imagine, we have some pretty exceptional golfers who represent both the FootJoy and Titleist brands. When the two teams meet each year for The Tradition Cup, you're guaranteed to see some fantastic golf and plenty of drama. Well, this year, Hurricane Ida provided most of the drama. With the forecast calling for periods of heavy rain and wind gusts up to 30 m.p.h., it was uncertain if the Cup would even be played this year. However, the teams were determined to play so they suited up and teed off as scheduled. We were about to find out if FootJoy outerwear did, indeed, "Make Every Day Playable!"
While FootJoy had the advantage in team uniforms, thanks to a partnership with Ian Poulter who provided tartan pants and sweaters from his Ian Poulter Design clothing line, it was Titleist who came out strong to take a commanding 3-1 lead in the morning alternate shot matches. The teams of Colleen Walsh and Kim Kaye, John Screen and Rick Veitch, and Cory Cheesebro and Jordan Crandall all earned full points for Titleist while only Paul O'Reilly and Gene Boyer helped FJ avoid a total shutout. Fortunately for Team FJ, there was a lot of golf still to be played and 12 points still to be earned.
O'Reilly and Boyer led off the afternoon matches which was a simultaneous team best ball and singles format. Boyer continued his hot putting, and nearly aced the par-3 13th, to take control of his match with Tom Luoto despite Tom consistently hitting fairways and greens. Meanwhile, Paul O'Reilly was engaged in a battle with Justin Patrick that came down to the final putt. When Justin's putt lipped out, Boyer and O'Reilly had locked up 2.5 points for FootJoy and kicked off a comeback of epic proportions.
Chris Garrett and Kevin Borges followed and, like the previous match, came to the final tee box with 2.5 points on the line versus Colleen Walsh and Kim Kaye. Colleen and Kim had soundly beaten Garrett and Chris Kerr in the morning and provided very few opportunities for their opponents in the afternoon. However, Garrett secured a 1-up victory after Walsh found trouble off the tee on 18, and Borges blasted out of the greenside bunker to 6 inches to not only earn a dramatic halve with Kaye after being 4-down with four to play, but also a full point in the team best ball. FootJoy had earned five points in two matches.
After the teams of Rick Veitch and Jordan Crandall and Chris Kerr and Jim Ohlsen battled to a draw and earned 1.5 points for their respective teams, the score was 7.5 - 5.5 with four of the best players still on the course. The FJ team of Derek Roach and Whitney Trimble struggled in the alternate shot format but excelled playing their own ball in the afternoon. Even though the wind and rain had picked up, the pair continued to make pars that forced their opponents, John Screen and Cory Cheesebro to take risks. A sweep by Screen and Cheese would have given Titleist the required 8.5 points to win back the Cup, but Trimble and Roach were the anchor team for a reason. They played steady throughout the back nine and it was they who swept both the individual matches and team best ball to complete the FJ comeback and ensure FootJoy would retain the Tradition Cup for another year with a 10.5 - 5.5 final score.
The man of the match for Team FootJoy was Gene Boyer who was a
perfect 3-0 on the day! Honorable mention goes to Mike Lowe who braved
the elements to come out and photograph the action.
** Special thanks to Allendale Country Club for hosting the Tradition Cup and Ian Poulter Design for providing the FootJoy uniforms.