WAUSA — On a windy and hazy day earlier this fall, the team from the Hartington Golf Club headed to the Rolling Hills Country Club in an epic match play event to claim the coveted 2020 Ryder Cup.
This marked the 13th year the two golf courses have come together to play in a 27-hole winner-take-all golf match.
The day started with the four ball session.
The Hartington club had a couple of veterans paired up with a couple of young guys. That proved to be a good formula as the HGC went up 4 ½ to 3 ½ after that session.
Jason Dendinger and Dalton Lammers led the charge along with some stellar play from Corey Uldrich and Riley Kuehn.
“Putting some older guys with the younger guys to start the day really allowed those younger guys to get comfortable with the golf course and really settle in,” said Vice captain Jason Dendinger.
The next session of nine holes was an alternate shot format.
This proves to be one of the most challenging aspects of the Ryder Cup format. Each golfer must rely on their partner to make some shots.
Once again the HGC took advantage of some good match ups to extend the lead and get 5 ½ out of the 8 points available during this session and extending the lead to 10-6.
Todd Pinkelman/Matt Sudbeck and Mike Johnson/Riley Kuehn closed out their matches a little early with 3-2 and 2-1 scores, respectively. While the teams of Kelly Hammer/Brad Penlerick and Jason Morten/ Rob Howell were able to finish up their matches at 1 up.
“It’s always a little tougher to determine the matchups for alternate shot. You really want to put two guys together that can really compliment each other. We were able to do that and it truly showed during this session,” said Vice Captain Josh Morten.
The last session of the day are the singles matches.
There are a total of 16 points available to win during this session.
As proof in years past events no lead is too secure to guarantee victory after 18 holes.
At this point the HGC held a pretty comfortable lead at 10-6 but the RHGC came out swinging earning 2 ½ out of the 3 points early in the match with Chris Haberer, Nick Gilsdorf winning big and the one singles match we were all looking forward to between Gary Kuehn and Gary Eisenhauer.
The next couple of matches including Kevin Burns vs Grant Howell and Brett Klug vs Rick Eisenhauer proved to be why those 4 guys were put up against each other.
Both matches came down to the end with all 4 playing some very solid golf knocking down birdies left and right. Those two matches ended up splitting 1 for HGC & 1 for RHGC.
Ultimately the 10-6 lead for HGC just was too much for the RHGC to overcome in singles with HGC taking a total of 9 ½ points in the singles matches and finishing out with a big victory of 19 ½ to 12 1/2 .
HGC Captain Gary Kuehn was pleased with his team’s effort.
“I am extremely proud of this group of guys and what they were able to do today. After Losing last year on our own course for the first time in this Ryder Cup Series We really needed to pull this team together and play well today. We had beat RHGC the very 1st year of this Ryder Cup on their own course and haven’t been able to since, until today. With the idea of RHGC potentially winning 3 in a row today it was very nice to win to avoid that. When it comes to this Ryder Cup you want a group of guys that are excited to play and want to compete. This group came to compete today.”
In the post match press conference Vice Captain and RHGC Superintendent had this to say “Coming into today I felt we had an advantage with it being on our course and with the wind gusts the way they were. Sometimes it’s just not your day. This is a great thing that we have been doing for 13 years. It is a lot of fun for both golf courses & teams. We look forward to next year”
The series now stands at 7-6 in favor of the Hartington Golf Course. It will return to the Hartington Golf Course Next fall.
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