Men's Net Crowns Three Champions
Grand Cypress Golf Club, in Orlando, was in phenomenal condition for competitors for the Men's Net Championship on the first and second of October. Play was conducted on the challenging North and South nines while the New Course served as the final round. The field was separated into three divisions: the Under 50 Age Division, the 50-64 Age Division and the 65 and Over Age Division.
To go along with the pristine golf courses, the competitors faced mid 80 temperatures and light breezes throughout the weekend creating ideal scoring conditions. That being said, the North/South lived up to its billing as the more challenging of the two golf courses as we only saw seven under par scores across all divisions. Leading the way after one were Andrew Gordon with a 1-under 71, Tommy Briggs, also with a 71 and Art Mann with a 5-under 67 respectively in the Under 50, 50-64 and 65 and Over age divisions. The highlight of the day, however, came when Steve Westerlund holed out for an ace on number 4 of the North nine. Steve would go on to finish with an 81 for the day.
Play on Sunday, conducted on the New Course, saw similar conditions to Saturday's round, but the golf courses couldn't be much different. Modeled by Jack Nicklaus after the Old Course at St. Andrews, the New Course features wide open fairways, but challenging pot bunkers and shared green complexes. The more open of the two golf courses certainly ceded more birdies than the North/South as there were 22 under par rounds compared to the 7 on Saturday.
In the Under 50 Age Division, round one leader, Andrew Gordon, was unable to maintain that level of scoring as he closed with a 78 to finish in fourth place. Just one stroke behind Gordon on Saturday was the eventual champion, Freddy Tapanes. Playing in the final group, Freddy played the final nine holes at two under par to finish with a 74 and 146 total. Impressive rounds came from the second, third and fourth place finishers as Jackson Sampselle, 70, Trent Peake, 68, and Kris Vassallo, 71 all posted under par rounds.
The 50-64 Age Division, which only had one under par round on Saturday, saw a few players catch fire on the New Course. Eventual Champion, Todd Gilbert led the way with his sterling 62! That score would be the lowest of the tournament by 5 shots! Nipping at his heels all day Gregory Takacs as he could quite muster the same scoring as Gilbert, but still closed with a strong 69. Special mention needs to be made for Marvin Hyer Sr. as he improved on Saturday's round by 23 strokes from 91 to 68!
Finally, red numbers lit up the scoreboard on Sunday as a whopping thirteen players scored in the red. Leading the way was Ron Bauman, the only player in the field to post consecutive under par rounds with a 71 and 65 to total 136. Bauman beat second place finishers Giao Hoang and Donald Hennessy by five strokes.
Thank you again to Grand Cypress Golf Club for hosting the Men's Net Championship for the fourth consecutive year. We hope to see you all at the Men's Net Four-Ball Championship at Disney's Palm and Magnolia courses on December 3-4.