Kenai leads after 1st day of Walker Cup

Kenai Golf Course took a 4-2 lead over Birch Ridge after the first day of Walker Cup play at Birch Ridge Golf Course.

The Walker Cup is an annual match that pits players from both courses against each other in a three-day, team event.

Thursday was alternate shot. Today, there will be six best-ball matches starting at 5 p.m. at Birch Ridge. Then Sunday, there will be 12 singles matches starting at 3 p.m.

Birch Ridge captain Tom Walsh said the 4-2 deficit could have been worse.

“We’re lucky,” Walsh said. “Their whole team played really well.”

Kenai’s victories came from Gordon Griffin and Todd Eskelin beating Jeff Hetrick and Mike Chenault 3-up; Mark Griffin and Bob Sizemore beating Beau Forrest and Nick Beeson 5 and 4; Doug Jung and Chris Morin beating George Stein and Jesse Scott 3 and 2; and John Dahlgren and Derek Kaufman beating Steve Dexheimer and Dave Kerkvliet 7 and 5.

For Birch Ridge, Brennan Jackson and Josh Lansing topped Gilbert Arellano and Jack Darsey 4 and 3; and Jay Kriner and Mike Hollingsworth beat Doug Haralson and Greg Harrington 1-up.

Kenai captain Tom Carver said everybody had a good time Thursday, and that’s the goal of the event.

“We’re happy to be up 4-2 after the first day, but that doesn’t mean much in a three-day event,” Carver said.

Birch Ridge leads the all-time series 4-3-1. The home course has won the last three cups, including Kenai’s 17-7 victory last year.

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