Score one for the home team!
Ty Schatz's drive on the fifth hole Sunday epitomized the whipping the Black Rock Creek Golf Course team laid on a squad from Toppenish's Mt. Adams Country Club this past weekend.
In the second annual "Ryder Cup" style matches between the two Lower Yakima Valley men's clubs, Black Rock Creek handily avenged last year's defeat. The Sunnyside golfers won easily, 18-1/2 to 9-1/2.
The Toppenish golfers won the first ever "Ryder Cup" simulated event in 2003 by a neck-and-neck 14-1/2 to 13-1/2 score. This time around, the Toppenish linksters weren't any match for the high powered Black Rock Creek team.
"We stayed close with Sunnyside the first day at our place on Saturday," said Mt. Adams Club Pro Scott Galbraith. He explained that his team only trailed Black Rock Creek by an 8-6 score after the first 36 holes of play at Mt. Adams.
But when the venue for the match play competitions was switched to the Sunnyside course on Sunday, the Black Rock Creek team stepped to the plate and knocked one out of the park.
"We couldn't stay with them," said Galbraith, a Sunnyside High grad who once called the Sunnyside course home. "The Black Rock golfers kind of ran away from us," he lamented, explaining that his Mt. Adams team won only two of the 14 heads-up matches on Sunday.
"I don't want to say Jeff (Bender) loaded up his team this year," Galbraith wisecracked, "But next year I think you'll see a few more heavy hitters coming out of our camp."
Unfortunately for Galbraith, he may have to turn to the likes of an Ernie Els or Vijay Singh to get past the Black Rock Creek team in 2005. That is, if Ty Schatz opts to return next year to represent the Sunnyside golf course.
Schatz put the exclamation point on the outcome of this year's competition when he stepped up to the No. 5 tee blocks Sunday. A par-4, slightly dogleg right 326-yard hole, Schatz aced it with a drive that found nothing but cup.
"I know nobody has ever got a hole in one on a par-4 since I've been here," said Bender. "And I haven't had anyone come up to me since Sunday and tell me they've heard of that happening here before, so I've got to think Ty's is the first one ever here.
"The longer hitters usually leave themselves with a wedge into the green on No. 5," Bender continued. "It's pretty unusual for anybody, even our longest hitters, to reach the fifth green with their drive, because usually the ball doesn't get the roll out in front of the green.
"For Ty's drive to even make the green, then to drop it for an ace, it's pretty amazing," Bender said.
The golfer Schatz was pitted against Sunday, Mt. Adams' Eric Inions, could only marvel at what he saw. Asked after his round how he fared, Inions said he wasn't at all displeased with how he played. Unofficially, Inions carded a one-over 73.
"But when a guy shoots a 69 against you, and scores a hole in one on a par-4, what are you going to do?," Inions quipped with a shrug of his shoulders.
Schatz and his father, Bud, also claimed one team point for Sunnyside Saturday morning at Mt. Adams, in the best ball format. The father-son duo defeated Bob Girard and Dean Jorgenson 2&1. The Schatz's lost their alternating shot contest Saturday afternoon at Mt. Adams by a rather wide margin, 5&3 to Inions and Ben Comer.
Four of the Black Rock Creek golfers posted perfect 3-0 records in the Aug. 14-15 match-ups, one of whom was the club pro, Bender. He and Bob Hall didn't have to play past hole 14 Saturday morning, topping Galbraith and Comer by a 6&4 score in the best ball format. Bender also teamed with Hall to knock off Galbraith and Keith Grace 5&4 in the alternating shot match-up Saturday afternoon. In Sunday's heads-up match, Bender was a 3&2 winner over his club pro counterpart, Galbraith.
Hall, too, won all three of his matches. Besides teaming with Bender for two of the wins, Hall was a 3&2 winner over Bob Greene Sunday morning at Black Rock Creek.
Souta Nozaka was another of the three-time winners for Sunnyside. A former Gonzaga University men's golf team member, Nozaka made short work of Steve Smythe in Sunday's heads-up match, winning 6&4. Nozaka was paired with David Stokes in both of Saturday's matches. The duo was a 4&3 winner over Smythe and Inions in best ball, and won by the same score in the alternating shot format against Smythe and Jorgenson.
Black Rock Creek's other three-time winner was Juan Guerrero. He and Mike Clark defeated Greene and Kirk Komstadius by a 2&1 score in best ball play, and Guerrero and Clark bested Girard and James Rogers by a 3&1 score in the alternating shots contest. Heads-up Sunday morning, Guerrero ended his match against Stan Buckner on No. 14, winning 5&4.
The Toppenish contingent had five golfers who posted 2-1 records. The two-time winners included Rogers, Grace, Mike Barnick, Javier Valdez and Dean Schuler.
Besides tying the "Ryder Cup" series at 1-all and winning bragging rights for a year, the Black Rock Creek golfers will get to relish the thought that one of their flags is fluttering in the breeze over the ninth green at Mt. Adams.
"That's the payout," laughed Bender. "The losing team has to fly one of the pin flags from the winners' home course on one of their greens for a full month."
The Black Rock Creek flag officially went up at the Toppenish course this past Wednesday. Good naturedly, Galbraith allowed Bender to plant the flag on the ninth hole, "...so that Scott can look out his pro shop window every day for a month and see our flag waving on his course," chuckled Bender.
The bonus to the payout this year, added Bender, is that the flag will by flying this coming weekend, when the Toppenish course hosts its biggest invitational of the summer-the annual Round-up tournament for couples.
"When all those couples roll into Mt. Adams this weekend and see our Black Rock Creek flag on number nine, that should generate some questions for Scottie," Bender smiled.
"I had to answer a few last year when golfers at our course saw the Toppenish flag flying on number 18," Bender added wryly.
. Bob Story,can be contacted at
(509) 837-4500, or e-mail him
Bob Story/Daily Sun News
Mt. Adams Country Club PGA Professional Scott Galbraith (L) grudgingly assists Black Rock Creek Golf Course PGA Professional Jeff Bender with attaching a Black Rock Creek flag to the pin on the ninth green at the Toppenish course. Galbraith and his team lost this year's "Ryder Cup" matches and the payout included flying one of Black Rock Creek's flags for a full month.
2004 Lower Valley Ryder Cup results
Jeff Bender & Bob Hall (BR) def. Scott Galbraith & Ben Comer 6&4.
David Stokes & Souta Nozaka (BR) def. Steve Smythe & Eric Inions 4&3.
Ty Schatz & Bud Schatz (BR) def. Bob Girard & Dean Jorgenson 2&1.
Mike Barnick & James Rogers (MA) def. Andrew Michels & Pete Veliz 2&1.
Mike Clark & Juan Guerrero (BR) def. Bob Greene & Kirk Komstadius 2&1.
Keith Grace & Stan Buckner (MA) def. Jack Syverson & Buzz Blake 1 Up.
Javier Valdez & Dean Schuler (MA) def. Randy Boast & Rudy Fernandez 5&4.
Jeff Bender & Bob Hall (BR) def. Scott Galbraith & Keith Grace 5&4.
David Stokes & Souta Nozaka (BR) def. Steve Smythe & Dean Jorgenson 4&3.
Eric Inions & Ben Comer (MA) def. Ty Schatz & Bud Schatz 5&3.
Andrew Michels & Les Bender (BR) def. Stan Buckner & Javier Valdez 4&3.
Mike Clark & Juan Guerrero (BR) def. Bob Girard & James Rogers 3&1.
Bob Greene & Kirk Komstadius (MA) def. Jack Syverson & Buzz Blake 5&4.
Mike Barnick & Dean Schuler (MA) def. Randy Boast & Rudy Fernandez 5&3.
Jeff Bender (BR) def. Scott Galbraith 3&2.
Souta Nozaka (BR) def. Steve Smythe 6&4.
Bob Hall (BR) def. Bob Greene 3&2.
Pete Veliz (BR) def. Bob Girard 4&3.
Keith Grace (MA) def. David Stokes 4&3.
Bud Schatz (BR) def. Kirk Komstadius 4&3.
Mike Clark (BR) halved with Ben Comer (MA).
Ty Schatz (BR) def. Eric Inions 2 Up.
Andrew Michels (BR) def. D. Jorgenson 2&1.
Javier Valdez (MA) def. Randy Boast 1 Up.
James Rogers (MA) def. Buzz Blake 2&1.
Jack Syverson (BR) def. Mike Barnick 6&5.
Juan Guerrero (BR) def. Stan Buckner 5&4.
Rudy Fernandez (BR) def. Dean Schuler 3&2.