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.
Frank Bogacz holds the prize.
Roland Eckert’s signature swing.
Dan Bartlett – English is his first language.
Everett Davis – “Go Baby Go!”
Pat Canavan watches the ball.
The Champion – Brad Sinclair
Doug Hunter – a good attempt.
John Elick thinks the food was fabulous.
Sure, I’d grin too if I’d just finished second like Mr. Elick.
John Elick’s granddaughter celebrates with Grampa.
Great staff – another perk for Camelback members.
Howard Jones – still knows how to thrown the knuckler.
Shiloh passed out money to everyone but me?
Frank Bogacz wins with flair.
Jeff Clark strikes his putt.
Frank Bogacz – one more time with feeling.
In the hole!
Hans finishes #18.
Rudi goes for the green.
Frank Bogacz – Championship form.
Hans Schuetz – fine form.
Rudi – Had better days.
Roland Eckert – the twist.
Doug Hunter – another winner.
Roland Eckert tends the pin.
Ross Yeo – his day is done.
Everett Davis with his own special English.
Scott Schneider successfully out of the trap.
Dick Reid follows through.
Dave Allen waits his turn.
John Elick – The envelope please.
Frank Bogacz – low net champ with Brad Sinclair – low gross champ.
Everett Davis – mixed emotions.
Brad Sinclair makes the turn.
Gene Anderson – almost in.
Dick Reid with a long putt.
Bogacz – the form of the low net champion.
Gene Anderson – figuring it out.
Jeff Clark – premature smile?
Ross Yeo – finished second.
Howard Jones – may not have made the putt.
Dan Barlett’s second shot on #18 Padre.
Everett Davis – after the putt.
Dave Allen – Get in the hole.
Gene Anderson – no mulligans.
Rudi takes it to the hole.
Scott Schneider from the #18 bunker.
Dave Towers goes after the green.
Aare Kuusk looks for the bottom of the hole.
Dave Allen champion’s form.
Rudi’s working on something.
Ross Yeo bringing it home.
Frank Bogacz – expressive.
Dave Towers optimistically watches.
Championship Flight golfers aren’t supposed to be in this!
Phil Ortez follows the flight.
Steve Finberg (I hope).
Scott Schneider takes it to the hole.
Jeff Clark – Get in the hole you ####.
Hans’ wins the award for “most charming”.
Bob Trees anticipates the fall.
Dick Reid follows his putt.
Ross Yeo looking for birdie.
Dave Allen on the final hole.
John Rae – played well.
John Elick – for the want of but one stroke.
Scott Schneider on #18 Padre.
Dave Allen collects in winnings
Looks like maybe Aare’s putt didn’t fall.
Ross Yeo’s third shot on #9.
Dan Bartlett tries to change gravity after a shot on #18.
Sam – Just one of our champions.
Doug Hunter on #18.
Dan Bartlett – get in the hole.
Rudi Barich – Apparently not the shot he had planned.
Two hundred six ladies competed in this Eighth Annual event and judging from the photographs, it couldn’t have been a greater success. For the fourth consecutive year, the tournament was held to benefit The USMC Wounded Warrior Regiment of AZ, Semper Fi Fund.
Laura Castellvi, the Senior Manager in charge of Community Outreach and Events for the Semper Fi Fund flew in from California to attend the opening reception and graciously welcomed the participants. Although the final tally isn’t complete, it appears the proceeds from this year’s spectacular bring the total raised for the Wounded Warriors to nearly $300,000. It was great fun for a great cause. (View Co-Chair’s summary.)
When the last putt was in the hole, after the last “free throw” from the bunker and the last kick on the green, the team of Cindy Schapira and Shar Tanouye had claimed the first prize for low net. Sue Clark and Debbie Murphy walked with low gross honors. There were ten flights with twenty golfers in each. The complete results can be seen here. There were no losers in this great tournament.
This was unquestionably one of the best designed and run tournaments I’ve ever seen. It was apparent that the Tournament Committee (Maddie Levy, Sue Clark, Lauri Allen and Marilyn Yeo) had poured heart and soul into creating a memory for everyone participating that would be long remembered. They were aided by countless volunteers and incredibly generous contributions from Marriott, Camelback Golf Club, Southwest Conference Planners and many others (see the complete list by clicking here). A special thanks go out to Jim Rose, the General Manager of Marriott Camelback Inn and Rob Barley, the Director of Golf at Camelback Golf Club.
This year’s tournament theme was “Game On”. Strategy and excitement were ratchetted up a notch by giving participants some very special sports linked tools. For example, everyone had an “instant replay”, i.e., a mulligan to be used anywhere on the course. One “free throw” translated into one free toss of the ball from out of any hazard on the course. As the tournament photographer, I was as amazed as the players when one of the ladies used her “free throw” to extricate her ball from the greenside sand trap by the #9 green and promptly threw the ball (with great form) into the lake on the other side of the green. Participants got to “punt” the ball once on a green of their choice. There were “field goals”, basketball shoots and “magic putts”. But in the final analysis, victory was claimed by those that played the best golf. Over the course of two days of play, I witnessed some great golf shots and some that had “room for improvement”. I saw so many smiles and happy participants, I’m wondering if I could shave my legs and don a miniskirt and get away with entering next year’s event. I might not stand a chance of beating some of these ladies, but maybe I could win the “cutest legs” contest. Scratch that thought; I just looked at the pictures below.
Photographer’s Notes: After taking more than 800 photos, I had to cut the number down before posting them here. If you’d like to see them all and/or get a printable copy of any of them without the copyright notice, just drop me an email and I’ll be happy to accommodate. For future reference, you can help the photographer by (1) wearing bright colors and (2) leaving the cart in a position where it is not in line with the camera. When looking for the best shots, a photographer is seeking “humanity”. By that I mean genuine feelings and emotions that are unscripted and spontaneous. This isn’t to say “posed” pictures can’t be great, but those I personally enjoy the most are those of subjects that “emote”. These are the shots where we can share in the joy or feel the pain. With that said, here are my personal favorites from the tournament.
Enjoy the rest of the images of the action. Click on any image to enter the full screen slideshow.