MICHAEL CARMAN’S GOLF COLUMN: Ryder Cup’s cousin, President’s Cup, starts action

THE BIENNIAL BROTHER of the famed Ryder Cup — the President’s Cup — returns this week to the 7,137-yard, par-71 Harding Park Golf Club just down the Pacific coast in San Francisco.

Just like the older and more well-renowned Ryder Cup, the President’s Cup uses the match play scoring system and 12-man roster format.

Unique differences arise in both roster composition and match scheduling, however.

The President’s Cup pits a team of United States golfers against a squad of International entrants, minus players of European origin.

All 12 players on each side play on Thursday in foursomes (alternate shot) and on Friday in four-ball (best ball) matches.

The same game formats continue on Saturday but with just five matches in the morning and five in the afternoon.

This means two players from each squad sit out each Saturday session. There are 12 singles matches on Sunday.

Seattle native Fred Couples is the non-playing captain of the United States team, and his counterpart as International team captain is Australia’s Greg Norman.

The United States team was selected based on earnings from the 2007 Wyndham Championship through the 2009 PGA Championship, while the Internationals were picked by their Official World Golf Ranking through the 2009 PGA Championship.

On paper, the advantage appears to point in the direction of a win by the U.S. team.

The American roster has the top three players in the World Golf Rankings in Tiger Woods, Phil Mickleson and Steve Stricker, and five of the current top 10 while 10th-ranked Australian Geoff Ogilvy is the only international in the top 10.

The Americans should also have boisterous crowd support while playing on home soil.

Other notables on the U.S. team are 2009 U.S. Open champion Lucas Glover, a captain’s choice by Couples, 2009 British Open Champion Stewart Cink, who also holds the highest winning percentage of the Americans in President’s Cup matches, and Jim Furyk, who is tied with Tiger Woods with most match wins in President’s Cup play (13).

The Internationals counter with their own pair of 2009 major winners, 2009 Masters champion Angel Cabrera of Argentina and the South Korean-born 2009 PGA Champion Y.E. Yang.

Other formidable International foes include Ernie Els and Retief Goosen of South Africa and Canada’s slimmer lefty, Mike Weir.

All three players are long-term veterans of past President’s Cups and all have winning records in Cup play.

An attractive aspect of this competition for me is the lack of a purse for the professionals.

The players play to represent their home countries and for personal pride, not a paycheck.

Net revenues are divided into equal shares that the players and Captains designate for charities or golf-related projects of their choice.

More than $20 million has been donated to charity as a result of this event.

Another appealing aspect is the team-oriented nature of this event.

It is such an intriguing departure from the normal PGA Tour grind, and any event that causes crowds to spontaneously erupt into chants of “U-S-A, U-S-A” fires up the jingoistic portion of my brain and is all right by me.

Hopefully the International Olympic Committee (IOC) approves adding golf to the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics when the IOC makes a final vote on Friday.

Sequim GolfToberFest

Cedars at Dungeness Golf Course in Sequim has a fun tournament for players of all handicaps coming up on Saturday, Oct. 17, called GolfToberFest.

GolfToberFest is a five-person scramble format golf tournament with a 10:30 a.m. shotgun start.

Players will receive 18 holes of golf, range balls, carts, beer on the course every three holes, cigars and a tasty German-style lunch, all for $70 each.

There will also be a K.P. contest and $1,000 in prizes (based on a 100-person field).

GolfToberFest will have two divisions, and if players choose to walk, the course the fee is $60.

For more information, contact the pro shop at 360-683-6344.

Local results

In honor of October’s status as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I will lead with results from SunLand Golf & Country Club’s Women’s Golf Association’s annual Rally for the Cure Tournament benefitting the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

SunLand’s ladies met and exceeded their fundraising goals by raising more than $3,000 for the foundation during the event.

The team of Marine Hirschfeld, Ruth Metzer and EB Merrit-Borah tied for first place with Dana Burback, Hilda Duncan and Julie Hightower with scores of 124.

SunLand also held its two-day Couples Championship Tournament last week.

Witta Priester and her husband, Richard Baughn, repeated as overall gross champions again this year after scoring a gross 155 during the two days.

Sue and Arlyn Nelson were the overall net champions with 124.4.

Over in Port Angeles, the Peninsula Golf Club lady golfers played Throw-Out Three/Two Worst Holes on Oct. 1.

The winner for the18-hole ladies was Doris Sparks with a 50 while Boots Reidel carded a 19 to lead the nine-hole women.

Play starts at 9 a.m. for the 18-hole players and 9:30 a.m. for nine-holers this Thursday with the annual awards luncheon following play.

Last Saturday’s seventh-annual three-person scramble at Skyridge Golf Course in Sequim produced a tournament record score and another first for the event.

Gross champions Mike DuPuis, Gary Thorne and Rob Botero set the tourney record with a 15-under 57, which edged first-place net winners Brian, Jeff and Neil Cays, score of 58.

The ladies of Discovery Bay Golf Club in Port Townsend held their last official competition of the season last Saturday, an Ambrose Scramble, followed by their fall meeting.

The team of Sally Riley, visiting from Phoenix, Diane Soli and Janet Nelson won the nine-hole competition with a 28.

Ladies club member Anne Meier hosted the end of season meeting and potluck at her home where the ladies’ ooh’s and aah’s were reserved for the tasty dishes the women were consuming instead of well-played golf shots.

A full list of end-of-season awards appears on Scoreboard on Page B2.

Port Ludlow Golf Club’s 18-hole women’s club played Medal Play last Tuesday.

Bonnie Vahcic’s 83 was low gross and Linda Aho’s 68 was low net.

Aho also claimed the nine-hole ladies Fairway shots game last Thursday with an 11 in the first flight.

Judy Smith’s 20 in the second flight and Bernie Robinson’s 22 in the third flight rounded out the flight winners.

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