Oregon grabs lead after Day One at PNGA Cup

by Brad Ziemer, British Columbia Golf

The Oregon Golf Association (OGA) has grabbed the lead after the four-ball and foursomes matches in Day One of the 11th Annual PNGA Cup, being held at Richmond (B.C.) Country Club. Heading into Friday’s 12 singles matches, the OGA has the lead with 7.5 points, followed by Washington State Golf Association (WSGA) with 6.5, British Columbia Golf (BCG) with 5.5 and Idaho Golf Association (IGA) with 4.5. In other words, Friday’s singles matches, which begin at 7:00 a.m. will decide the outcome of the event.

Craig Doell and Lance Lundy of BCG had a nice opening day at the PNGA Cup, but were left lamenting the half-point that slipped away.

After winning their morning four-ball match 5 and 3 over Jim Dunlap and Tom Greller of the OGA, Doell and Lundy had a one-up lead heading to the 18th tee of their afternoon alternate-shot match against Erik Hanson and Scott Johnson of the WSGA.

They had to settle for a halve in their match when Doell’s tee shot found a greenside bunker on Richmond Country Club’s par-3 ninth hole (their final hole) and Lundy’s bunker shot rolled about 30 feet past the pin.

“We played as well as we could today and we had the lead for most of the game,” said Doell, a longtime Victoria Golf Club member. “It is kind of disappointing not winning the full point when you were up all day.

“We played well, we combined nicely and certainly had a lot of good chances out there and we played some good golf.”

Doell and Lundy collected 1.5 of BCG’s 5.5 points on the opening day of the 11th playing of the PNGA Cup, a Ryder Cup-style competition featuring 12-player teams from the B.C., Washington, Oregon and Idaho golf associations.

With Hanson and Johnson safely on the back fringe, Lundy was left with a tricky bunker shot to a tight pin.

“I had a little bit of a downhill lie to a short pin and what I did not want to do is leave it in the front of the bunker,” said Lundy, a Pemberton resident. “I had to give him a chance, but I just hit it a little too far.”

B.C. had a tough afternoon. Its only win in the alternate shot format came from Adam Kernan of Kamloops and Greg Bismeyer of Pitt Meadows. They beat the IGA duo of Kenny Walker and Tanner Priest 5 and 4.

“Greg and I played well,” said Kernan. “There was a lot of getting it up and down and it was tough out there. It was windy.”

Kernan, a PNGA Cup rookie, had an interesting first day. He learned at breakfast Thursday morning that his partner, Patrick Weeks of Vancouver, was ill and couldn’t play. Bismeyer was called in to replace Weeks, but was committed to drive a school bus Thursday morning before he could head to the course. He joined Kernan on the 11th hole of their morning match, which they lost 4 and 3 to Sean Packer and Jake Koppenberg of the WSGA.

“I found out heading to breakfast that I’d be playing on my own this morning,” Kernan said. “I thought they were just messing with me. I just said, ‘yeah, yeah, whatever’. . .It was a little shocking. I hope Patrick is okay and feeling better.”

Each PNGA Cup team includes four mid-amateur men of 25 years of age or older, two men of 40 years or older, two senior men of 55 years or older, two mid-amateur women of 25 years or older and two senior women of 50 years or older.

The OGA led after the morning four-ball matches, collecting five of the 12 available points. BCG was second with 3.5 points, followed by the WSGA with two points and the IGA with 1.5.

BCG collected a half-point when Victoria’s Alison Murdoch and Holly Horwood of Vancouver battled back from 4-down to finish all square with the IGA’s Karen Darrington and Kristin Fenwick.

The Port Alberni pair of Jackie Little and Christina Proteau beat Abby Black and Kareen Markle of the IGA 2 and 1.

The PNGA Cup is the first event of the 2016 Pacific Northwest Golf Association championship schedule. The players love it.

“It’s lots of fun,” said Lundy, who is playing in his third PNGA Cup. “We meet great people every year, always go to good venues and have a great time. We love it.”

The WSGA won last year’s event, which was played at Columbia Edgewater Country Club in Portland.