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HCC looks to retake County Cup titles

21st Annual County Cup Golf Tournament tees off Saturday

To say that the three Halifax Country Club County Cup golf teams are ready for this weekend’s 21st Annual County Cup Golf Tournament may be something of an understatement.

Last year Halifax Country Club’s teams were victims of a sweep by their counterparts at Green’s Folly Golf Course. With a year of waiting now gone, the HCC teams are anxious to try to get back on top.

“We had a good run prior to that,” noted HCC men’s team captain Eric Arthur Jr.

“We hope we can come out this year and have a good showing. I think we will make a good showing. We had our last qualifying round a few weeks ago and everybody improved their scores to get on the team. We have some guys playing real well.”

Arthur said his team is looking to take the County Cup back this weekend.

“Nobody likes to lose,” Arthur pointed out.

“Everybody likes to win. That’s why you play. Are the guys that upset about it (last year’s loss), no. We’re all friends and we play golf with all of those guys (at Green’s Folly Golf Course) all the time.

“It’s not like a big Comets football rivalry or anything like that,” added Arthur, “but when you lose one year you want to come back the next year and win. When you win, you want to defend it.”

The men’s and seniors tournaments will begin on Saturday with competition at Halifax Country Club. On Sunday, the men’s tournaments move to Green’s Folly Golf for their conclusion.

Arthur said it is important that his team be able to leave its home course with the lead going into Sunday’s rounds.

“We definitely want to leave here Saturday with the lead,” Arthur said.

“We want to do well on our course. You consider it an advantage to play on the course that you play at all the time and you want to try to capitalize on that.”

Arthur has several players returning from last year’s team including Jay Burnett, Phil Rinker, Brad Mele, Tommy Daniel, David Meeks, Brad Thomasson and W.J. Long. Arthur is also a returnee from last year.

“We have a good group of players,” Arthur noted.

“We have some guys that have played in the County Cup almost every year, and we have some guys like myself who played in it only one year. We have one person, Joel Cunningham Jr., who has never played in it. He’s been playing well and we have a lot of confidence in him with the way he’s been playing. He will enjoy it.”

HCC ladies look to bounce back

Having lost last year’s tournament, the Halifax Country Club women’s County Cup golf team is looking to get back on track when the ladies tee it up Saturday at Green’s Folly Golf Course.

“There’s always a rivalry between Green’s Folly and Halifax Country Club,” pointed out Halifax Country Club captain Kay Burton.

“The ladies here at Halifax want the trophy back really bad.”

The Halifax Country Club team may be in a good position to reclaim the trophy.

The Halifax Country Club team has a familiar look to it as 11 players on the team return from last year’s team. Halifax Country Club’s returnees include Lorene Womble, Rita Compton, B.J. Compton, Carolyn Young and Pat Crew.

Also returning from last year’s team are Barbara Speece, Betty Caldwell, Debbi Wilkins, Teresa Pool, Linda Lumsden and Sharon Scott.

In addition, the Halifax Country Club will have Burton and Carol Gravitt back on its side. Both are also members of Green’s Folly Golf Course and both played for the Green’s Folly team last year.

“I think we have a really good team, and hopefully we will come home with the trophy,” said captain Kaye Burton.

“We have some great ladies, and they’re all good golfers. They’ve been practicing and working hard. We’re looking forward to this weekend.”

Burton said in no way is she or anyone else on the team discounting the ability and the quality of players from Green’s Folly Golf Course.

“The girls at Green’s Folly are always tough,” she noted.

“I think this year the two teams are fairly equal. Green’s Folly has excellent players including Suzanne Stevens, Brenda Graham, Linda Collier and Heather Dockrill. It’s going to make for an interesting weekend.”

HCC seniors want to break GF streak

The Halifax Country Club seniors aren’t taking it too well that their counterparts from Green’s Folly Golf Course have won the Seniors County Cup title for the past two years.

That is enough to provide the Halifax Country Club team with a good deal of incentive for this weekend’s tournament.

“I don’t think you can put it in front of your mind when you tee it up, but leading up to it (the tournament), I think it’s a factor,” said HCC seniors team captain Mike Hailey.

“The back end of competition is winning. If you like to compete, you like to win. These guys that competed last year and, for whatever reason, didn’t do so well, I think absolutely it’s at the front of their minds. Some of them are thinking ‘I want to redeem myself, I want to prove I belong, I want to prove I can handle the pressure.’”

Last year’s competition came down to the wire with the final group on the course. That, Hailey said, produced a lot of excitement.

“The more competitive it is, the more fun it is,” he pointed out.

“Last year we were all down at the 18th hole watching the last two groups come in. We didn’t know how they stood, but we knew if we (Halifax Country Club) swept we would win. There were a lot of different scenarios. It was a lot of fun. I think it’s going to be tight like that from beginning to end this year.”

The Halifax Country Club team returns a good handful of players from last year’s team. Among the returning players are Hailey, Jack Caldwell, Sammy Fisher, Jim Burton, Ray Green, Bob Tysinger, Joe Gasperini, Roy Bradley and Alan Gravitt.

Hailey said this year’s Halifax Country Club team is a good one.

“Through the front two-thirds of the lineup (last year) I felt they (Green’s Folly) were a little stronger,” Hailey said.

“It’s just the way it was. We had some guys that couldn’t play, guys that weren’t going to be in town that weekend. This year it’s about a 180-degree flip.

“I think we’re going to be a little stronger,” he continued.

“On paper, I like us a little better as far as matching up with their talent. I don’t think they (Green’s Folly) are any weaker. In fact, they may be a little stronger. It’s going to come down to who makes the shots and who makes the putts.

“It ought to be real competitive,” added Hailey.

“I hope it will be as competitive as I think it will be because it will make for a lot of fun.”

The Halifax Country Club Women’s County Cup golf team is composed of front row left to right: Lorene Womble, Rita Compton, Kay Burton, B.J. Compton, Carolyn Young and Pat Crew. Back row left to right are: Barbara Speece, Betty Caldwell, Carol Gravitt, Millie Witt, Debbi Wilkins, Teresa Pool and Linda Lumsden. Not pictured are team co-captain Joanna Blackstock and alternate Sharon Scott. (Joe Chandler/Gazette-Virginian photos)

The Halifax Country Club Men’s County Cup golf team is composed of front row left to right: Eric Arthur Jr., Brad Mele, Phil Rinker, James Lewis and Joel Cunningham Jr. Back row left to right are: Brad Thomasson, Rodney Watts, Jeff Barger, David Meeks and Drew Lewis. Not pictured are Tommy Daniel, Grayson Throckmorton, W.J. Long and Jay Burnett.

The Halifax Country Club Seniors County Cup golf team is composed of front row left to right: Jim Burton, Dr. Gerald Burnett, Nookie Green, Dennis Witt, Sam Fisher and Roger Long. Back row left to right are: Roy Bradley, Bob Tysinger, Gary Gupton, Mike Hailey, Joe Gasperini, Alan Gravitt and Jack Caldwell. Not pictured is Ray Green.