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Birch Ridge relishes victory in rivalry that is Walker Cup

Course also announces new version of Peninsula Amateur

Posted: July 28, 2011 - 8:00am  |  Updated: July 28, 2011 - 9:52am

Winning isn't everything; it's the only thing. Vince Lombardi, a mildly successful football coach, coined that phrase long ago. In recent years, we've distanced ourselves from that mentality. These days having "fun," win or lose, is the mind-set.

Maybe I'm old school, but losing has never appealed to me. What's fun about losing? Last weekend's Walker Cup is a great event, because both sides want to whoop each other's rear end. None of this cupcakes-and-sunshine, everyone-is-a-winner nonsense.

Last year, at Kenai Golf Course, those guys took us behind the woodshed and I don't remember being overly thrilled about it. This year, we returned the favor. I'm sure the boys from Kenai are already looking forward to hosting next year's competition, when they'll have an opportunity to take the cup back. That's how it should be. That's why we love the Walker Cup.

Kenai Peninsula Open at Birch Ridge

After 37 years of competition, the Peninsula Amateur is receiving a long overdue makeover. On Aug. 19, 20 and 21, Birch Ridge Golf Course will be hosting the Kenai Peninsula Open. So what's the difference? Well, for starters, professionals will be invited to the tournament. The prize pool and sponsorship money will increase. The food will taste better and the sun will be shining, we hope at least!

As the name suggests, this is an "open" tournament. Meaning any golfer can win the event. Amateurs will be flighted based on their handicap. As tournament director, it's my intention to grow this event into a fantastic tournament that will attract players from across the state in future years. If you're interested in playing tournament golf, call the pro shop for more details.

Senior League

Nine mudders slogged their way around the golf course for another week of scintillating senior league action. The pot was split among five seniors, ending Don McGhee's stranglehold on the winnings. Pat McElroy, no relation to Rory, tied for first with Tom "The Heckler" Boedecker and Chuck "Easy" Rider. McElroy also had the long putt at the ninth. Ed Robinson and Bill Groeneveld split the closest-to-the-pin prize with a pair of spectacular shots on Nos. 6 and 8.

Tuesday Morning Ladies League

Another week of exhilarating ladies league action resulted in a 4-hole card-off to determine the winner. The card-off was of even greater importance than usual this week because the ladies were actually awarding the winning team a prize. Goodbye mystery team!

Tanya Boedecker, Carol "Sunshine Scooter" Hussey and Sandi "Quoth the Golfer Nevermore" Poe proved to have the best hand when all the cards were put on the table. Leona Jackson, Shirley Johnsrud and Denise Cox finished in a distant second place.

Tuesday Couples Night

In yet another card-off, the wonderfully wacky Weimers, Charlie and Lori, crushed the competition with an impeccable performance. Dan "Dropkick" Murphy paired with his significant other, Linda, for a second-place finish and Birch Ridge power couple, George and Sue Stein, took the third fewest strokes during the competition.

Birch Ridge Golf Committee's Officially Unofficial Golf Rankings

With such a quiet week on both tours the Birch Ridge Celebrity Panel decided to leave the top 10 unchanged. We're back to actual events this upcoming weekend so we'll begin to see some movement in next week's column. Is Darren Clarke still suffering from a massive hangover that only an Irishman could produce? That's the only question that remains unanswered.

1. Rory McIlroy; 2. Luke Donald; 3. Lee Westwood; 4. Jason Day; 5. Steve Stricker; 6. Charl Schwartzel; 7. Dustin Johnson; 8. Phil Mickelson; 9. Graeme McDowell; 10. Darren Clarke.

Golf Trivia

Answer from last week: Jack Nicklaus finished second an incredible 19 times in majors!

Q. What famous golfer emphatically declared, "Even God can't hit a 1-iron!"

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