The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Sports

July 14, 2013

Meadowlake retains Enid Ryder Cup

ENID, Okla. — Michael League, Meadowlake course superintendent, was delighted to see the skies open up Sunday giving the course some much needed moisture.

League, the player, wasn’t as enthused about playing the final day of the Enid Ryder Cup in the rain

“It was a struggle out there,’’ said League, who lost to Oakwood’s Tom Davis, 1-up on the 18th.

It wasn’t a struggle for Meadowlake as a team as it retained the Cup for the third straight year by winning eight of the 12 singles matches. Meadowlake won the overall championship for the third straight year, 161⁄2-71⁄2.

“It’s always nice to win,’’ League said. “It’s (the rains) going to give us another week of growth. It really helps the whole watering situation.’’

Meadowlake pro Cody Lack defended his decision to play in the rain, noting there was not an available makeup date.

“The main thing was there wasn’t any lightening,’’ Lack said. “It was just one of those things. It was wet for everybody.’’

Meadowlake’s Brandon Gainer, who beat Matt Parrish, 7-and-5, said “it was the hardest rain that I’ve ever played in.’’

“Anytime you get this kind of rain in Oklahoma, you have to be thankful,’’ he said. “I played well today, but I think it was a combination of weather and Matt having some bad luck.’’

Jay Betchan, who normally has trouble in the rain, thrived under the conditions with five birdies in 15 holes in his 4-and-3 win over Kyle Tefft.

“Normally, in this kind of rain, you struggle to hold on to the golf club,’’ Betchan said, “but I was able to hit my irons well and I putted great.’’

Meadowlake’s Darin Busch had to go home to change after his 6-and-4 win over Blake Thomas before coming back for the celebration.

“It was more survival out there today,’’ he said. “You don’t worry about what your score is. You just try to beat your guy and move on. This ranks up there with the worst weather I played in. I was soaked, but it helps when you win.’’

Taylor Randolph beat veteran Rod Billings, 5-and-4. Randolph said Billings’ grips got so wet at one point one of his drives went only 40 yards after the club came out of his hands.

“I was hitting balls with a towel wrapped up the club,’’ Randolph said. “I was able to get around and get some pars and get it done.’’

Randy Nunley finished 3-0 for Meadowlake by beating Oakwood captain David Morley 1-up. Morley conceded the hole after Nunley hit a chip to within a few inches of the cup.

“It was tough, but I thought the course handled it pretty well,’’ Nunley said. “It was a good battle all the way. I was ready to get dried out a little.’’

Meadowlake’s Josh Bugg was ready to get dried after beating Craig Collins, 4-and-3. The match ended when both players birdied 15.

“I just glad to be done,’’ he said. “It’s not a lot of fun, but there’s not anybody out here who hasn’t played in these conditions. It was good to win as a team ... we didn’t want another tie (Meadowlake retained the Cup with a 12-12 deadlock last year).’’

Josh Winfield was Meadowlake’s other winner, outlasting John Petersen, 3-and-2.

“Everything is soaked,’’ he said with a smile. “It just feels good to keep the cup.’’

Tobbitt, playing his second Enid Ryder Cup for Oakwood, beat Neil Oxford, 2-up by winning the 18th hole.

“It was difficult because a lot of us don’t play in these conditions when we don’t have to,’’ he said. “This competition gets better and better every year. I look forward to playing in many more of these.’’

Oakwood’s other winners were Jim Lack, a 2-and-1 winner over Eric Williamson and Walker Henson, 3-and-2 over Troy Rasp.

“There were a lot of close matches over the last three days,’’ said Morley speaking for Oakwood. “We came out on the short end on most of them. This was one of the wettest conditions most of us have played in, but we had fun.’’

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