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Green’s Folly teams ready for County Cup tourney

Green’s Folly Golf Course teams are looking for a repeat sweep of all three competitions in the 21st Annual County Cup Golf Tournament this weekend.

The tourney, considered Halifax County’s version of the Ryder Cup, gets under way Saturday, with the men’s and senior teams from Green’s Folly and Halifax Country Club competing at Halifax Country Club and the lady’s teams from both golf courses playing “across the pond” at Green’s Folly Golf Course.

The competition does a reversal Sunday for the final day of play.

Green’s Folly won the men’s tournament for the first time in four years last year, and Captain Jimmy Clay likes his team’s chances this time around.

“You have to get off to good start in the mornings.  It’s 8 o’clock and everybody is kind of drowsy,” Clay commented.

“This is the time of year where 24 people, 12 on each team, don’t sleep much the night before, because they’re anxious to get out there.

“Pars are a big score in this thing.  When it comes down to match play, you make the other person beat you, and that’s difficult to do.

“You win your matches (with pars) unless somebody has a really good round.  If you make 18 pars in alternate shots, you win, and if you make 15 pars you’ll probably win.

“Best ball, you need to shoot four or five under with four or five birdies, but it’s all about getting off to a good start.”

Clay thinks his team’s strength lies in it’s length for the individual matches, particularly at Green’s Folly Golf Course.

“I think we have a little bit of an edge at the top, the first four or five,” said Clay.

“[Halifax Country Club] may have a little edge toward the bottom, and it’s probably going to boil down to these team matches.

“If we can get some good matchups in our favor and stay close over there on Saturday and come back here Sunday, we’ll be okay.”

Clay was a high school senior when he played in his first County Cup 20 years ago, and he added its importance has not worn off.

“It’s a big deal to me, because it’s a great tournament,” he explained.

“Chris (Dockrill) started the tournament and has done a great job with it, and it’s important for the older players to pass down the tradition to the younger players coming up, Clay pointed out.

“Eventually they’ll get into this, and it’s a tradition we want to pass down, and it’s important for both clubs.”

Neither club wants to lose, Clay emphasized.

“Chick (Ronnie Pate) said for 24 hours best friends don’t speak to each other, and that’s pretty close to the truth.

“There’s not a whole lot of chatter going on, but I can guarantee you on Sunday afternoon everybody will be hugging and shaking hands and saying see you next year.”

Seniors looking for repeat win

Green’s Folly Senior co-captain Bobby Wilborn also is looking for his team to keep its hold on the Cup after winning last year for the second time in a row.

Wilborn, who played with the Halifax Country Club men’s team last year, is serving as co-captain for the Green’s Folly Senior team this year along with Butch Cumbey.

“I think we have a good team, but it’s like all other teams, it depends on how people play, said Wilborn.

“I like the team I’ve got.  We’re missing three good players who didn’t qualify, but I’m sure they’re missing some too, so we’ll do the best we can.”

The senior teams play only best ball and singles but not alternating shots like the men’s teams, and like the men’s teams, they begin play Saturday at HCC.

Wilborn doesn’t see playing at Green’s Folly the final day of the tournament as a distinct advantage for his team.

“I don’t think that will be an advantage for any of the senior teams,” said Wilborn.

“It may be for them, because when I was over there (HCC) we played the blue tees all the time and never played the white tees.

“To me it would be easier on them to play over here than us over there, and that’s just my opinion.”

No one likes to lose, and the County Cup competition means a lot to everyone involved, but not to the point of hurting friendly competition, according to Wilborn.

“No one likes to lose,” said Wilborn.  Nobody remembers who finishes second, either.

“Everybody feels responsible for the team they’re playing for, and if they don’t play well they feel like they have let them down.

“To me, it’s no different in the County Cup than when you play any other day.

“I’m going out there to play the best I can, and I feel the team will, also, and if they don’t play well it’s just a bad day.

“I don’t think any of us will lose any sleep over it,” he added.

“It’s all about friends.  We congratulate them when they hit a good shot and they’re the same way with us.”

Ladies have blend of veterans and youth

Green’s Folly women’s team Captain Linda Collier has a good mix of youth and veterans on her team this year in an attempt to win their second straight County Cup competition, after Halifax Country Club had won the prior four in a row.

“We’re going to play really hard, and we have a lot of heart and soul,” said Collier.

“The ladies have worked really hard this summer because we want to win this thing two years in a row. “We’re going to do the best we can possibly do. We’re seeding it like we did last year, so it will depend a lot on the match-ups. I look forward to there being a lot of tough matches and a lot of close matches.”

The ladies start Saturday at Green’s Folly, and the objective is getting as big a lead as possible there, Collier explained.

“That’s the idea and hopefully that will happen for us,” she said.

“It gets a lot tougher when you go across to Halifax Country Club.

“Their greens are in such bad shape. They’re nothing like what our ladies are used to putting on, and it’s going to make it harder for them.”

The growth of the lady’s competition the last few years is good for both clubs and for lady’s golf in the county, Collier pointed out.

“We have two new players out here this year and one young player that is a repeat player from last year. “We’d like to see more young players from both clubs become involved so that it will grow even bigger.”

The competition itself has become more intense as the lady’s tourney has grown, Collier explained.

“It’s been really fierce, and we finally won one out of four. That just tells us we can do it and we’re going to do it again.”

“We are really excited about our County Cup team this year,” Collier added.

“We have two new players, Suzanne Stevens and Heather Dockrill, coupled with Kaitlin Fallen, who is playing for her second year.

“We call these three our ‘young bloods,’ and they can hit it a mile.

“Then there are the rest of us ‘wily veterans’, as I call them myself, that are not as long as the young bloods but are steady-eddie down the middle.

“As Norma Chaney would say, ‘Hit it and go find it.’”

“We are looking forward to this weekend,” added Collier.

“I love our chances and our team, so look out, Halifax, the young bloods and wily veterans are coming at you.”