- Last Updated on 12:22 PM 04/23/12
- BY Doug Ford
Jimmy Clay played in the inaugural County Cup Golf Tournament in 1991 and has played each year since for Green’s Folly Golf Course, serving this year as captain.
Derek Mason played in his very first County Cup tournament last weekend as captain of the Halifax Country Club team.
Experience usually counts for a lot, but this time the rookie and his team came out on top, as Halifax Country Club maintained its hold on the Cup with a big comeback at Green’s Folly on Sunday.
This year’s win was the third straight and fourth in the last five years for HCC, the key to the win coming Sunday morning on the alternating shots and best ball matchups at Green’s Folly.
Trailing 18.5-17.5 entering Sunday’s play, HCC took the measure of Green’s Folly 14-4 in the best ball and alternating shot matches and did well enough in individual matches that afternoon to win by a 37-35 margin.
With Green’s Folly holding a 9.5-8.5 advantage in Saturday morning alternate shot and best ball matches at HCC, and with both teams compiling nine points in individual matches that afternoon and Sunday morning at HCC, the morning matches at Green’s Folly proved to be the difference.
“You always want to win, but hat’s off to those guys, they came over here this morning and handed it to us,” said Clay.
“That’s what happened, we lose five matches this morning and only come away with one win.
“Their pairings were good, and we did okay over there (HCC), but we got pummeled here.”
Noting the pressure that accompanied his first time as captain, Mason breathed a sigh of relief when it was all over.
“What a feeling, my first time as captain and to win the cup, it’s hard to put it into words,” Mason said.
“It was a tough road to hoe, and I agree with Jimmy. Our guys played so well this morning and unfortunately I had to play with Jimmy, but our play was solid across the board.”
A little gamesmanship always comes with the County Cup and Clay brought out some of his best golfers Saturday for individual matches at HCC, rather than save them for the final day.
HCC held it’s own, with each team compiling nine points, and that was another key, even considering that the individual matches were called off and completed Sunday due to inclement weather.
“He shocked me and put his big guns out there yesterday and this afternoon, but we ended up splitting the points at HCC with his best players, and that was huge,” Mason pointed out.
Mason estimated it would take 4.5 or 5 points in individual matches to clinch the win at Green’s Folly on Sunday, and HCC finished with 5.5 points, compared to 12.5 for Green’s Folly.
“The last three years we’ve gotten beaten right here, and our guys played pretty solid, but they outplayed us,” Clay said.
“We were up a point after one day, and I shocked Derek and put my five horses yesterday in individual matches at HCC and they did well.
“This morning cost us. No bad luck, we got outplayed.”
Clay noted the prestige that comes with playing in and winning the most anticipated golf tournament of the year in Halifax County.
“You want to win this, and hands down this is the best golf tournament that’s ever hit Halifax County, better than the member-guests, member-members, club championships,” Clay explained.
“People were out here watching from early this morning to when we finished.”
Except for winning five of six matches at Green’s Folly on Sunday morning, everything else was nip and tuck all the way around, according to Mason, who noted the fierce but friendly competition between the two golf courses.
“I’m so proud of the way our guys played, I really didn’t know what to expect,” he said.
“I’ve played in club championships and the like, but I was nervous watching these guys play, and winning it is a feeling I really can’t describe.”
Saturday At HCC
David Day/David Graham (GF) 3 W.J. Long/Nick Lumsden (HCC) 0
Kevin Haskins/Scott Martin (GF) 2.5 Gary Gupton/David Meeks (HCC) .5
Bobby Wilborn/Jay Burnett (HCC) 2 Richard Harrell/Mike Gregory (GF) 1
Rodney Watts/Jeff Barger (HCC) 2.5 Woody Clay/Sammy Puryear (GF) .5
Brad Mele/ Brad Thomasson (HCC) 2.5 Chris Young/Chris Melvin (GF) .5
Jimmy Clay/Tommy Daniel (GF) 2 James Lewis/Derek Mason (HCC) 1
Lewis (HCC) 2.5 Haskins (GF) .5
Mason (HCC) 3 Martin (GF) 0
Woody Clay (GF) 2.5 Watts (HCC) .5
Young (GF) 2.5 Meeks (HCC) .5
Burnett (HCC) 2.5 Graham (GF) .5
Jimmy Clay (GF) 3 Wilborn (HCC) 0
First Day Totals
Green’s Folly 18.5 HCC 17.5
Sunday At Green’s Folly
Meeks/Gupton (HCC) 3 Haskins/Harrell (GF) 0
Lewis/Burnett (HCC) 2.5 Daniel/Melvin (GF) .5
Watts/Wilborn (HCC) 2.5 David Day/Graham (GF) .5
Long/Barger (HCC) 3 Young/Gregory (GF) 0
Martin/Jimmy Clay (GF) 2.5 Mason/Lumsden (HCC) .5
Mele/Thomasson (HCC) 2.5 Woody Clay/Puryear (GF) .5
Puryear (GF) 3 Gupton (HCC) 0
Day (GF) 3 Barger (HCC) 0
Long (HCC) 2.5 Gregory (GF) .5
Harrell (GF) 3 Lumsden (HCC) 0
Melvin (GF) 2.5 Thomasson (HCC) .5
Mele (HCC) 2.5 Daniel (GF) .5
HCC 37 Green’s Folly 35