In dramatic fashion, the Kent-Essex Greenskeepers’ Society (KEGS) scored a final pairing victory to erase a one-point deficit, narrowly defeating the Greater London Association of Golf Superintendents (GLAGS) 11-10 at Kingsville Golf Club on Oct. 17 to claim the Syngenta Cup.
It marked KEGS’ second consecutive win in as many years to knot the series with GLAGS at five victories aside.
“It came down to the last group, and it was only a point, so you can’t get any better than that,” host superintendent Paul Lemieux said.
Trailing 9½ to 8½ after the first six of seven matches, KEGS’ anchor duo of Derek Brown (Talbot Trail Golf Club) and Greg Brown (Essex Golf Club) scored a decisive 2½ to one-half win over Jamie Spencer (Westminster Trails Golf Club) and Tim Hornick (Arkona Fairways) to claim the cup for the home team.
One point was awarded for each segment of the seven matches: best ball (first six holes), alternating shots (middle six holes) and scramble (final six holes).
GLAGS dominated the first four matches, winning 2-1 in each pairing to secure an 8-4 lead. But a 3-0 sweep in the fifth match by Richard Froese (Oxley Beach Golf Course) and John Pickard (Maple City Golf Club) over Patrick Brennan (The Fox Golf Club) and Mike Burch (Forest City National) gave the home team a fighting chance to come back.
The penultimate match resulted in a split of 1½ points apiece to set the stage for the dramatic seventh and final match.
As the event sponsor, Syngenta puts up a cash prize for the winning side to use in a charitable fashion, whether it’s to support an association’s endeavours or sponsor a group to participate in the Ontario Turfgrass Research Foundation’s annual fundraising golf tournament.
“This is all about giving back to the associations and trying to encourage people to play in the events,” Syngenta turf specialist Ryan Beauchamp said, noting both KEGS and GLAGS have monthly meetings and golf outings during the season. He said the Syngenta Cup has helped to boost attendance at both associations’ events.
Beauchamp addressed the assembled group at the post-tournament dinner, promoting a new superintendent university event in December offered by Syngenta and the Ivey School of Business.
“That’s been a fantastic thing we’ve done with superintendents from across the country,” he said. “Next year, in 2019, it looks like we’re going to do an assistant superintendent university event. They’re very high value experiences. I wish I had that training when I was a superintendent when you think about the different opportunities. It’s all about networking. That’s why we’re here.”
Next year’s Syngenta Cup competition will be played at the St. Thomas Golf & Country Club in Union where the event was first played in 2009.
- Match 1: Mike Jiggens (Turf & Rec) & Deana Dougan (River Valley Golf Club) of GLAGS 2-1 over Ryan Beauchamp (Syngenta) & Paul Lemieux (Kingsville Golf Club) of KEGS
- Match 2: Doug Wilson (Black Horse Golf & Country Resort) & Dan Lavis (Tarandowah Golfers Club) of GLAGS 2-1 over Dan Friesen (Orchard View Golf Club) & Vince Gagnier (Rochester Place Golf Club) of KEGS
- Match 3: Kyle Brodhagen (Stratford Municipal Golf Course) & Jason Pickering (Tamarack Ridge Golf Club) of GLAGS 2-1 over Chris Andrejicka (Essex Golf Club) & Jason Hebert (Roseland Golf Club) of KEGS
- Match 4: Eric Kirkpatrick (Pine Knot Golf Club) & Kent Rimmer (Redtail Golf Course) of GLAGS 2-1 over Steve Hatch (Seven Lakes Golf Club) & Gregg Menard (Wildwood Golf & RV Resort) of KEGS
- Match 5: Richard Froese (Oxley Beach Golf Course) & John Pickard (Maple City Golf Club) of KEGS 3-0 over Patrick Brennan (The Fox Golf Club) & Mike Burch (Forest City National) of GLAGS
- Match 6: Mark Trudell (Bluewater Golf Course) & Steve Phillips (Mt. Elgin Golf Club) of GLAGS halved 1½-1½ with Steve Percy (Ambassador Golf Club) & Josh Mallot (Belleview Golf Club) of KEGS
- Match 7: Derek Brown (Talbot Trail Golf Club) & Greg Brown (Essex Golf & Country Club) of KEGS 2-1 over Jamie Spencer (Westminster Trails Golf Club) & Tim Hornick (Arkona Fairways) of GLAGS.