Former Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Don Gilman and his team stormed the competition at the first Mayors Cup golf tournament Saturday at Birch Ridge in Soldotna.
Gilman, along with Mike Chenault, Alan Weaver and Rusty Weaver carded a 33 to trounce four other mayors and other politicos from the Kenai Peninsula.
Soldotna City Manager Tom Boedeker said there was not much doubt about the outcome when Gilman's team showed up.
"Those sand-bagging North Roaders," Boedeker laughed. "We pretty much knew who was gong to win, (because) Rusty and Mike are pretty much in the top ranks around here."
The North Road Marauders, as Boedeker called them, won by two strokes in the nine-hole best-ball scramble, edging three teams tied at 35.
Squads lead by Soldotna city council member Jane Stein, borough Mayor Dale Bagley and Kenai Mayor John Williams were forced into a chip-off after nine holes.
Bagley's team, comprised of Max Best, Holly Montague and Richard Atuk got closest to the pin in the chip-off, though it wasn't easy.
"The chip-off was brutal," Boedeker said. "George Navarre picked the spot, and instead of from the fairway, he chose in the rough behind the green between two trees."
He said some of the players didn't even make the green from that spot.
The Stein and Williams teams tied for third.
Stein had her husband David and Kathy and Dan Gensel on her team. Williams played with his son-in-law Orlando Mena and the father-son team of Art and Mark McComsey.
Fifth place went to the team led by Homer Mayor Jack Cushing. On his team were borough assembly member Drew Scalzi, Luke Wells and Carey Meyer.
The team winning the red lantern award with a 40 was led by Soldotna Mayor Ken Lancaster, host of this year's event. With him were Boedeker, Navarre and Sen. John Torgerson.
"We couldn't putt for anything," Boedeker said of his teams loss. "But we had a lot of fun, and that was the objective here."
The red lantern award was a box of National Bank of Alaska golf balls.
"If I knew these were the prize, I would have played for last," Torgerson said.
"We worked really hard for those," Lancaster said.
Boedeker said the balls will be collector's items soon, since NBA was recently bought by Wells Fargo.
With all the politicians on the links at the same time, politics would be a natural topic.
"We barred political conversation out on the course," Torgerson said.
Photos by M. Scott Moon
Above, Luke Welles follows his shot out of the woods as his partners, Homer Mayor Jack Cushing and Kenai Peninsula Borough Assemblyman Drew Scalzi, watch the progress during Saturdays Mayors Cup at Birch Ridge Golf Course. Below, Sen. John Torgerson watches as Soldotna City Manager Tom Boedeker lines up a putt on the ninth hole.
Photo by M. Scott Moon
"But that didn't last," Lancaster was quick to add.
"Everyone had a fun time this morning," Boedeker said. "It was a group where most people have known each other over the years, so it was a little more casual than your normal tournament."
Each player paid a $50 entry fee, and proceeds will go to Special Olympics, which lost much of its equipment in a fire on July 21.
Next year's Mayors Cup will be hosted by Bagley. The charity has not be selected yet, but Boedeker said they may look at one that does not already hold its own charity golf tournament. Next year, organizers hope to field 18 teams and play 18 holes.
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