Meet Matt Bintzler

It seems almost silly to introduce Matt Bintzler. After all, he is the guy that adopted the “take no prisoners” approach to golf over the past couple of days and jumped from near obscurity into contention for the 2014 Inferno Cup. But just in case you’ve been in a cave or simply didn’t survive his onslaught, allow me to introduce him.

Bintzler bioMatt is another one of the “young guns” at Gainey Ranch. He is a pleasure to be around, a delight to golf with and passes out smiles like the widow on the corner passes out candy bars on Halloween night. (They tell me the widow doesn’t do that anymore, but she certainly used to when I was a kid and the buck stopped with Truman.) Matt hits a golf ball so far off the tee he has to dip it in salt to preserve it until he can get to it.

Matt is single, but is frequently seen decorated with his main squeeze Annie. She’s such a doll, she’s forced to carry an aerosol can of “anti-wolf” spray when she meets Matt in the Member’s Grill after golf.

Technically, Matt is an Arizona native. He was born on Luke Air Force Base. However, he left Arizona when he was a small child. His father went to work for Presidents Reagan and George “the elder” Bush in Washington. Matt probably has “a file” on half the members at the club.

Arizona State University to proud to claim Matt as an alum. He earned his Bachelor’s, Masters of Business Administration and his Masters of Science Information Management at Sun Devil U. He is currently the Manager of Web and Mobile Development at Honeywell Aerospace. He is also the I.T. User Experience Manager.

Matt is not without flaw. He is an avid Green Packer fan and has actually been known to travel to Green Bay for the games. There’s counseling for that, but Matt’s still young and may grow out of it. His favorite baseball team is the Baltimore Orioles. The Phoenix Suns is his favorite basketball team. He likes the Packers and the Sun Devils. He didn’t mention his favorite golfer, but he seems pretty smart. I’m sure it’s me.

Tip your hat to Matt Bintzler. He’s a great addition to the group.

Bintzler Brings Home the Bacon

Matt Bintzler Wins Big
Matt Bintzler Wins Big

When you’re hot, you’re hot! What more can be said? Matt Bintzler’s had a couple of days where he has ravaged the field. When Matt teed off Friday afternoon, he was in seventeenth place with 1,447.9 Inferno Cup points. By noon Saturday, he had lunged into seventh place with 2,052.7 points barely eighteen points behind Kris Rosser in sixth place.

Bintzler started his assault Friday by capturing 232.2 points with a second place finish along with Brian Dunigan and Mike Forde. They missed first place by only one stroke behind the team of Mike Miller, Dan Hourihan and Bruce Partridge. Partridge carried the day by carding a gross 86 from the championship tees. It’s a good thing the club suspended the operation of the Handicap Committee. It removed the catch limit on this fishing season.

Mr. Bintzler returned to the field of play Saturday to shoot a net 64 to beat the field by two strokes and earn 372.6 additional points toward the 2014 Inferno Cup. Rick Hurula who has also been on fire recently took second place and moved into the twelfth spot in the standings. Two weeks ago, he was in twenty-second place. Gary Graham tied Rickie Currens for third place, but Currens lost the scorecard playoff.

Here are the complete match results for both Friday and Saturday.

Bintzler HotSauceFriday

Low Gross

  1. Bailey Ogrin – 72
  2. Mike Nichols – 75
  3. Harold Hoeg – 76

Low Net

  1. Bruce Partridge – 65
  2. Jim Gabriel and Tom Hansen – 67


Low Gross

  1. Bailey Ogrin – 71
  2. Rick Hurula – 76
  3. Matt Bintzler and Mike Nichols – 77

Low Net

  1. Matt Bintzler – 64
  2. Rick Hurula – 66
  3. Rickie Currens – 67

There are still seventeen Inferno Cup matches remaining to be played. To some, it looks like Jones’ lead is insurmountable. However, Jones will be out-of-town for at least three of those matches. After playing six more rounds than the next closest competitor has played (Dan Hourihan – 26), his threshold for points is so high it will be difficult to advance in the late stages of the competition. And Matt Bintzler proved today that with focus and a good swing, it’s possible to make monster moves overnight. Hang on – this is going to be a tight finish.

Lock Up the Gold. Here Come Sheehan and León.

Patrick Sheehan shoots 74
Patrick Sheehan shoots 74

Patrick Sheehan and José León became the 32nd and 33rd Inferno Cup participants to claim first place in a Cup Event. Sheehan was hotter than the peppers Peter Piper ate. His 74 earned him not only low net honors (by five strokes), he also shared low gross with Harold Hoeg. León chipped in with a couple of net eagles and birdies when they were needed. Mike Nichols and his hit-man, Bruce Partridge finished in second place only two strokes back.

Sheehan’s performance earned him first place in the match, first place in the net category, first place in the gross category, first place in the skins category (he won two) and first place in the day’s Inferno Cup points category. Other than that, it was a rather routine day for Mr. Sheehan.

Low Net

  1. Patrick Sheehan – 62
  2. Mike Nichols – 67
  3. Pat Collins, Dan Hourihan and Bruce Partridge – 68

Low Gross

  1. Patrick Sheehan and Harold Hoeg – 74
  2. Mike Nichols – 76

At the other end of the performance spectrum, Heard Broadrick played poorly because he was rattled over the passing of his old high school sweetheart, Lauren Bacall. Howard Jones played poorly because he has little or no golf ability. George Stelmach didn’t play his best because he had to watch Howard Jones’ swing. Ron Dobkin started poorly, but then fell apart. Bruce Partridge played poorly (unless his ball was required for the team score). The playing stats for the day are shown below.


Everyone a Winner in the PGA Gainey Challenge

Matt Bintzler (left) and Rick “Sparty” Hurula

As of late Sunday afternoon, the PGA Gainey Challenge remains unsettled with the PGA players still on the field of play after a rain delay. However, the Inferno Cup portion of the challenge is history. It was an extremely competitive round. With a collective sigh of relief, Rick Hurula and Matt Bintzler walked off the final green with a one stroke victory and 308.4 Inferno Cup points. The victory moved both golfers into the top twenty in the standings well within striking distance of the money finishes.

Bailey Ogrin and Rickie Currens finished a stroke back and collected 236.4 points. One stroke behind them was Howard Jones who played alone. Oops – just kidding. Bruce Partridge was his partner and he actually did well OK.

The difference in the match was the eagle (net double-eagle) made by the Hurula/Bintzler team. There was a lot of great golf played out there over the weekend. It was a successful tournament and there’s still a lot of Inferno Cup golf to play. It’s still anybody’s Cup.

Meet Brian Dunigan

Brian DuniganThe Great Depression was taking the world economy into the depths of depression, but the oil industry was on the rise. Entrepreneurs saw opportunity in the oil rich Panhandle area of Oklahoma and Texas. Brian Dunigan’s grandfather was one of those entrepreneurs. Jim Dunigan moved from the southeast to Colorado, then to Oklahoma and finally found his home in Abilene, Texas. An oil field tool startup did well and led to cattle ranching and other successful ventures. The family businesses grew, but things took an unexpected turn when Jim’s son, Pat Dunigan, died. Pat’s youngest son was only twelve years old. Brian Dunigan had to grow up fast.

After studying at Abilene Christian University, Brian and his two brothers, Mike and Andy, moved to the family ranch, Baca Land and Cattle Co., in the Jemez Mountains west of Santa Fe, New Mexico. In 2000, the federal government purchased the ranch to create the Valles Caldera National Preserve.

With no more cattle to rope, elk to hunt or tours to guide, Brian focuses much of his time maintaining his mid-single-digit handicap. I had the pleasure of golfing with Brian recently and was impressed by his level-headed approach to the game. He doesn’t like bogeys any more than the next guy, but he keeps his wits about him and looks toward the next shot without dwelling on the past one. That’s a sign of a good golfer.Leaf Dunigan

Brian’s interests are not confined to the world of golf. He’s also an accomplished artist. You can peruse his work at Brian Dunigan Fine Art.

Brian lives in McCormick Ranch with his wife, Leaf, and his eight year old daughter, Bailey. He also has two children, Austin and Alexandra, that have grown up and left the nest. Leaf Dunigan is a holistic health coach and may be taking up the game of golf soon. Watch out; she’s got a pretty good coach.

Say hello to Brian and Leaf and let them know we’re delighted to have them in our midst.

PGA Gainey Challenge – Day One

Cup Players
Some of the Inferno Cup players at the pro selection party Friday afternoon. (Click to enlarge)

The first day of the PGA Gainey Challenge is in the book. In the Inferno Cup portion of the competition, Skyler Irvine together with Evan Carr, topped the field with a net 56. Bailey Ogrin and Rickie Currens were five strokes back in second place. There was a three way tie for third at 63. Tom Swan and Pat Collins won the scorecard playoff over Rick Hurula and Matt Bintzler who in turn beat Mike Nichols and Kris Rosser in their scorecard playoff.

With the victory, Skyler moved from 17th place into 11th place in the race for The Cup. Ogrin closed the gap on Jones in first place, but still has some work to do.

The teams play again Sunday in a scramble format. Skyler’s team has a big advantage in the PGA Gainey Challenge, but the pro’s scores are yet to be counted and anything can happen in a scramble.

Fodder for the Numbers Guys

Intended largely as a diversion from the actual match results for Wednesday, some of you with a propensity for numbers may enjoy this little peek into the performance of the players. The round was played on the Dunes/Arroyo course combination. The average gross score was 84.8. Here’s a detailed breakdown on how the course was played. Notice that the hardest hole on the Dunes sides was #1 which played to nearly a stroke over par (4.88). The toughest hole on the Arroyo course was the par 3 #6 hole which averaged well over bogey (4.19).Dunes-Arroyo 16

However, if you compare yesterday’s results with the last 844 rounds recorded on the Dunes/Arroyo course, they don’t line up very well. The average gross score is nearly four shots higher than yesterday’s round. The toughest hole on the Dunes side is #7 averaging over bogey (5.07). The hardest hole on the Arroyo side is #4 (5.11) easily explaining why it is the number one handicap hole on the nine.Dunes-Arroyo 844

With 844 rounds to base it upon, how would you rank the difficulty of the holes? How does your ranking stack up against the rank on the scorecard? What’s the significance of all this? I don’t know; ask a numbers guy.

Meanwhile back on the subject I was trying to hide, the Inferno Cup match was won by the team of Tom Swan, Howard Jones and Mr. Blind Draw. That strengthens Jones’ first place position in the standings, but there are still twenty-three matches yet to be played. Mike Nichols, Jose Leon and Pat Collins tied for first, but fell victim to the scorecard playoff. Bailey Ogrin and Mike Nichols shared low gross honors with 71s while Howard Jones took low net with a 65 narrowly edging Nichols by a stroke.

Low Gross

  1. Mike Nichols and Bailey Ogrin – 71
  2. Kris Rosser – 76

Low Net

  1. Howard Jones – 65
  2. Mike Nichols – 66
  3. Jose Leon and Bailey Ogrin – 68

Why was I trying to hide the results? Perhaps it’s because the irony strikes even me that Jones’ best golfing performances in over two years come at the same time his newest book has been published. Perhaps it wouldn’t look so bad if the title of the book wasn’t “How to Cheat in Golf”.

Still time to sign up for the “PGA Gainey Challenge”, but you’ve got to act quickly.