Intermittent showers, followed by sweltering heat, did little to dampen the spirits of the over 100 golfers who were out at McMinnville Country Club Monday.
The Industrial Appreciation Day tournament packed the course, with 26 teams vying for the title. The foursome of Andrew Brock, Matt Campbell, Dale Stubblefield and Micah Lawrence emerged victorious, shooting a 12-under, 60.
Unlike many local scramble tournaments, Monday’s setup didn’t allow teams to enter as a group. Instead, the layout seeded players and pairings in an attempt to even the playing field.
It worked out perfectly.
Five teams were separated by two strokes at the top, with the winning team earning the victory on the back of three eagles. Stubblefield recalled a smart usage of a red tee – each male was able to play from the women’s tees one time per side – on No. 16, a par-5, sealing the deal.
“Andrew took his red tee and smashed a drive. We were probably 40 yards out on our second shot,” said Stubblefield about his team’s approach on one of the course’s toughest holes.
The group was able to pitch within 10 feet of the cup and bury the putt, helping its team score dip further in the red.
Josh Taylor, John Flanders, Sam Martin and Peyton Haston teamed to shoot 61 and finish second. A scorecard tiebreaker was used to determine the third- and fourth-place teams, which each finished at 10-under.
The third-place team included Clayton Myers, Don Alexander, Kevin Sizemore and Anna Smedley. Matt Thomlin, Greg Smartt, Paul Moore and Ryan Williams finished fourth.
The closest-to-the-hole winners included David Costello (No. 2), Steve Sexton (No. 7), Lee Sperlazza (No. 14) and Dean Blankenship, who had to scale the giant hill to get within 10 feet on No. 17, scored as one of toughest on the course.
“I used a hybrid (to get it up the hill) - Just let it fly,” said Blankenship.
The event began at noon, but play slowed just a few minutes later as showers came over the course. Players on the back nine, in particular, took the brunt of the weather, fleeing for cover during a 15-minute downpour. The showers ultimately subsided and temperatures rose quickly, the heat only intensifying the pressure on players going for the win.
After play, tournament organizers served dinner and handed out over $10,000 in door prizes. The sentiment shared by many summed up the event – a bad day on the golf course beats a good day at work.