Birch Ridge Report: Fourth goes good with golf

Posted: Thursday, July 10, 2003

How was your Fourth of July? Did you eat too much and drink too much, uh, punch? Good. Did you play nine after? Even better! Now, on with the show.

Last Wednesday's Men's Night caught teams playing in hurricane-force winds, but these guys are tough. Winning team members are George Stein, Al Dettmer, Mike Azzara and Dan Murphy. They blew through with a 4-under.

Following close on their heels with a 3-under was the team of Bob Sizemore, Dave Keating, Gerald Winkler and Mike Hollingsworth (who then shot closest-to on No. 6). Joe Blanchard got closest-to on No. 8. Caleb Sizemore out-drove everybody on No. 2 and Jonathan Thorpe scored a pure birdie on No. 7.

The Peninsula Junior Ryder Cup was another success here at Birch Ridge this year. Bill Engberg, Kenai Golf Course pro, and our own Tom Walsh have headed this up for the past three years.

Our own youngins won in 2001 and 2002 by a pretty fair margin; this year proved a little tighter. These junior golfers played an intense format two days a week for three weeks with six better ball matches with partners, six alternate shot matches with partners and a final week of 12 single matches.

Players from Kenai, with a total of 11 1-2 points, were Josh Lansing, C.J. Henley, Tyler Morris, Daniel Gutskey, Zach Beeson, J.D. Gray and Beau Forrest. Our Birch Ridge boys, winning by one point this year for a total of 12 1-2, were Tony Azzara, Zach Cowan, Ju Kim, Keaton Andrus, Aaron Andrus, Taylor Jackson and Michael Horton.

Birch Ridge proudly retains the Peninsula Junior Ryder Cup for 2003. Congrats and many thanks go to Tom and Bill for great coaching ... you make them all winners.

The 12th annual Red Cross Tournament hosted golfers from as far away as Oregon, Nevada and Arizona. (Come to think of it, every place is far away from here.)

A surprise to some (but not to me), the winning team was made up of Gary Dawkins, John Lansing, George Stein and Judi Christiansen. Apparently, Judi can give us all putting lessons. Where do I sign up?

Second-place kudos go to Carl Christiansen, Terry James, Larry Grant, Scott Kemp and Travis Pierce. Paul Nelson won long drive for men; Paula Crowley for women. Carl Christiansen beat out all the other men for closest to the pin; Pat Bird did likewise for women. The Red Lantern was cheerfully accepted by Gary Davis, Anna Prestwick, Spence DeVito and Phil Allen.

The Men's Birch Ridge Cup has been brewing for about five weeks now. The Red Division leaders thus far are John Lansing and Gary Dawkins (duh!). Two teams are tied for the Blue Division George Stein and his daddy, Dave, plus Phil Turkington and Jim McWilliams.

There are 14 two-man teams this year. After playing against teams in their respective divisions, matches will then by played Red against Blue. The season will end with the top four teams playing off for the cup championship. Good luck!

Monday Seniors only had nine players this last week; was it too hot or something? Dave Keating won the coveted first spot. Nobody came close on No. 6, but Chuck Rider won the closest-to on No. 8, while Don McKendry gave it his all for the long putt on No. 9.

Tuesday Morning Ladies and Seniors teamed up again. Lynne Reynolds, Pat Schmitz, Jo Briscoe and Gordy Briscoe came in as the winners of the day. Closest to the pin on No. 6 was Michele Klosson, Hazel Rainwater was closest on No. 8 and long-putt prize went to Jo Briscoe.

Don't forget the Family Affair Golf Tournament I told you about last week. Teams consist of family members one generation apart and in possession of a USGA handicap. The formats are Scotch twosome, scramble and best ball. Sign-up is no later than noon on Friday. You'll be notified that evening of your tee time.

One more time: The Wells Fargo All-Alaska Pro Skins Game will start here at Birch Ridge Golf Course at 6 p.m. Monday. The barbecue for all players and observers will precede this tee-off. The Pro-Am starts at 11 a.m. that same morning.

Two-time winner Billy Bomar will be competing again, so come out and watch. It's a great time for everyone. And to think, this all started with a fishing trip seven years ago.

More doings in July not mentioned yet: the Peninsula Senior Open Tournament scheduled for July 24 and 25, and the Alaska Junior Golf Association State Tournament scheduled for July 25. I'll have more info for you on these next time. 'Til then, enjoy the heat ... get a tan!

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