Eighteen of us left Scottsdale on the morning of January 2nd. We were bound for Puerto Peñasco, Mexico for a couple of rounds of golf at one spectacular Jack Nicklaus designed course. Thursday’s Tournament was won by Kathy Thompson when she ran away from the field winning by 10 points over second place finisher, Troy Jarvis. The second day’s tournament belonged to Samir Sleiman. He walked away from second place winner, Troy Jarvis, by 9 points.
However, steady wins the race. Troy Jarvis’ consistent play made him the overall champion. Troy averaged 79 in his two days of play. Troy easily outdistanced the second place finisher, Samir Sleiman, racking up 54 points to Samir’s 41.
This was no easy task. Jack Nicklaus was apparently fighting with someone when he designed the course. Although it is magnificently beautiful, it is a tough, tough track. There were only four birdies in two days of play. The average gross score was 102! The average to handicap was more than 11 strokes over the top. One and only one of the 28 rounds was at handicap. It is a great, but challenging course. One thing that all participants agree upon is that it takes balls, lots of them, to play Vidanta.
Here are some pictures of the tournament and a few thrown in of the dinners. Clicking on any of the images enlarges them for your viewing pleasure (or chagrin).
For the first time in three years, The Camel Cup has been brought home. With sixteen spirited and competitive individual matches and eight tough team matches, the team from Camelback Golf Club defeated Gainey Ranch 15-9 on the Padre course. Camelback golfers had the edge 9-7 in the individual matches. They also prevailed 6-2 in the team matches.
Gainey’s Sam Engel took home low gross honors with a strong 67 from the White tees. Sam’s opponent, Chip Nelson, threw four birdies at him, but he couldn’t quite overcome Sam’s six birdies and fell to Sam one down.
It came down to the last putt in the very last match of the day. With the first sixteen players resting after a day of spirited competition, the match was deadlocked. When Scott Hull knocked in his final putt on the eighteenth hole, it gave his team an 8-to-7 victory and possession of the Camel Cup. The boys of Gainey Ranch Golf Club defeated the team from Camelback Golf Club by the narrowest of margins.
Although a short par four hole, #14 sits atop of small plateau and is well guarded by five sand traps, it can be a tough hole to play. Getting the ball close to the hole on the second shot is a challenge. Nonetheless, Rick Brown, Brian Dunigan, Harold Hoeg and Vinny Sollitto all carded birdies on the hole. Brown, Hoeg and Sollitto had three birdies each in the round.
Certainly, one of the more exciting matches involved that between Mike Forde and Bruce Partridge on the par five #13 hole. Both were in the fairway after respectable drives. Many of the next fourteen strokes were more exciting. When the dust (and weeds and dirt and bird feathers and water splashes) had settled, Forde denied Partridge victory by running in a long putt for a triple-bogey. They tied the hole and the match. The competition remained at a feverish pitch until the last putt was missed on #18. Most other matches had to have been drab by comparison.
The Ryder Cup format seemed to be a big hit with everyone, especially the winners. Two man teams competed in head-to-head match play for one point on the front nine. Individuals then went mano-a-mano on the back nine for two more points. Gainey Ranch team captain Mike Nichols seems to be enjoying having possession of the Cup. The Camelback boys encourage him to relish the opportunity because they plan on bringing it home very soon.
Camelback Golf Club’s Ladies Champion for 2015 is Gail Kennedy. She lit it up with a two day gross of 159 to capture the crown.
Diane Hunter won the Championship in the Low Net category. Her two day total was a scorching 136. It was a super event. A tip of the hat to Matt Person for coordinating another great Camelback Golf Club tournament.
Here are some pictures of the action. Clicking on any image will enlarge it and put you into the “slide show” mode. Clicking on the “x” in the upper left corner will close the slide show.
Brad Sinclair captured the 2015 Camelback Club Championship by firing a seven over par 151 over two days of great competition on two of the Valley’s finest courses. He shot 75 on the Ambiente course in Friday’s round and carded a 76 on the Padre course Saturday. He all but took ownership of the three pars winning three out of the eight possible “closest to the pin” contests. Dave Allen and Ross Yeo finished in a tie for second place.
Frank Bogacz took the overall low net championship shooting an eight under par 136 edging out John Elick by a single stroke. Doug Hunter finished two strokes back while Dave Towers ended the tournament three back. It was a tight, extremely competitive match and everyone (except Bogacz) could look back with the “if only that one putt would have fallen” memory. Alright, maybe not everyone. I’m thinking I would have been in great shape if only about fourteen more putts would have fallen.
The Camelback Golf Club team of professionals and all of their staff again proved they’re the best in the business. The tournament was run without a hitch. The food was fabulous and the wait staff turned in another all-star performance. My only regret is that I didn’t join Camelback years ago when I first came to the Valley of the Sun. A special thanks to Shiloh Hagey for his tireless efforts and outstanding performance.
Enjoy some pictures from the 2015 Club Championship. Rudi provided us with some great golf “expressions”. The riddle of the day is “Who is that Championship Flight playing from the bushes and behind the tree?” Thanks also to Liz McCarty for taking six hours out of her day to take some super photos.
Everett Davis with his own special English.
Doug Hunter on #18.
Jeff Clark – Get in the hole you ####.
Rudi Barich – Apparently not the shot he had planned.
Dave Towers optimistically watches.
Dave Allen waits his turn.
Hans Schuetz – follows through.
Scott Schneider waits his turn.
Gene Anderson – no mulligans.
Frank Bogacz – expressive.
In the hole!
Frank Bogacz – Championship form.
John Elick thinks the food was fabulous.
Dick Reid follows through.
Gene Anderson – almost in.
Dan Bartlett – English is his first language.
Frank Bogacz holds the prize.
Frank Bogacz – low net champ with Brad Sinclair – low gross champ.
Rudi – Had better days.
Sure, I’d grin too if I’d just finished second like Mr. Elick.
Brad Sinclair makes the turn.
Rudi takes it to the hole.
Steve Finberg (I hope).
Sam – Just one of our champions.
Hans finishes #18.
Dan Barlett’s second shot on #18 Padre.
Dick Reid with a long putt.
Scott Schneider takes it to the hole.
Scott Schneider successfully out of the trap.
John Elick – The envelope please.
Doug Hunter – another winner.
Ross Yeo tied for second in the gross category.
Howard Jones – still knows how to thrown the knuckler.
Jeff Clark – premature smile?
Everett Davis – “Go Baby Go!”
Frank Bogacz wins with flair.
Dave Allen on the final hole.
Dick Reid follows his putt.
Hans Schuetz – fine form.
Looks like maybe Aare’s putt didn’t fall.
Rudi goes for the green.
Everett Davis – after the putt.
Ross Yeo looking for birdie.
Dave Allen collects in winnings
John Elick’s granddaughter celebrates with Grampa.
John Elick – for the want of but one stroke.
Pat Canavan watches the ball.
The Champion – Brad Sinclair
Scott Schneider on #18 Padre.
Aare Kuusk looks for the bottom of the hole.
Ross Yeo’s third shot on #9.
Championship Flight golfers aren’t supposed to be in this!
Everett Davis – mixed emotions.
John Rae – played well.
Jeff Clark strikes his putt.
Bogacz – the form of the low net champion.
Doug Hunter – a good attempt.
Gene Anderson – figuring it out.
Scott Schneider from the #18 bunker.
Bob Trees anticipates the fall.
Hans’ wins the award for “most charming”.
Towers takes the scenic route.
Ross Yeo bringing it home.
Dave Allen champion’s form.
Dan Bartlett – get in the hole.
Roland Eckert’s signature swing.
Frank Bogacz – one more time with feeling.
Shiloh passed out money to everyone but me?
Ross Yeo – finished second.
Roland Eckert – the twist.
Dave Allen – Get in the hole.
Phil Ortez follows the flight.
Dave Towers goes after the green.
Ross Yeo – his day is done.
Great staff – another perk for Camelback members.
Roland Eckert tends the pin.
Dan Bartlett tries to change gravity after a shot on #18.