Gardiner’s Bay Country Club held our Men’s Member-Guest Tournament last weekend.
After 45 holes of matchplay golf in teams of two, we hold a sudden death elimination playoff with the 10 flight winners playing an alternate shot format in the playoff. It was tremendously exciting and the playoff was filled with great golf shots.
The playoff is held in our “Cauldron of Pressure,” the amphitheater of the 9th hole and its fortress green. After two playoff holes only two teams survived — Jay “Jake” Card III and his perennial guest, Andy Adam, as well as Andrew Ward, and his inaugural guest, Scott Brittingham.
Andrew is better known for his world-wide sail racing on the J111 boat Bravo. He and Scott were a surprising yet popular addition to the Cauldron of Pressure playoff.
Ward and Brittingham had won the Phoenix Flight, and risen from their flames of day one The Phoenix Flight is a bonus flight where the poorest performing teams from day one are incentivized. The highest point scoring team from the Phoenix flight on day two are entered into the Cauldron of Pressure. Jake and Adam had won the Osprey flight, the top flight.
Jake and Andy Adam are regular entrants into the Osprey, but had never found themselves this deep into the playoff. On the third extra hole, Andrew Ward, playing superbly in the playoff, hit the green again with his tee shot with the hole back right.
Andrew’s golf ball climbed to the top of the ridge on the split level green — a terrific shot. Unluckily the ball teetered backward and reversed all the way back down the slope to about 50 feet from the cup. Jake stepped up to hit his tee shot with the wind strong left to right.
He nailed it, a sublime strike that exploded off the clubface, soared into the stratosphere and drew right to left ever so slightly.
The ball landed just past the hole and trickled off the back edge of the green leaving a fast and tricky downhill putt of 12 feet. It was a sensational shot of the highest quality.
Scott Brittingham then hit a beautifully weighted putt from 50-feet up onto the narrow ledge and the ball nestled within 3 feet of the hole, essentially securing a par.
The crowd of about 60 strong were anxious with anticipation as youngsters Jake and Andy stalked their putt, reading it from every angle. The onlookers fell silent as Andy addressed the ball, and smoothly stroked it down the slick green. They had read it perfectly.
The ball raced down the green, broke a little and fell into the bottom of the cup for a birdie two. Cheers roared into the air and there were high fives and hugs from the winners, and congratulations from the runners-up Andrew and Scott, who were the epitome of gracious sportsmanship.
It was another sensational sudden death conclusion to a marvelous Member-Guest. The second time in a row the playoff was won with a birdie. Please see below for a list of all the flight winners. Thanks to all the members and guests participating, it was a fantastic Osprey tournament.
Overall Osprey Champions: Jay Card III & Andy Adam
Flight Winners: Osprey Flight, Jay Card III & Andy Adam
Eagle Flight, David Doyle and Alex Rogers
Hawk Flight, J.P. Coviello and Matt Starker
Falcon Flight, Tim Ryan and Brad Dolny
Kestrel Flight, Ed Klaris and Matt Gorelick
Condor Flight, Patrick and Jack Rowe
Kite Flight, Chris McCarthy and Dick Sammis
Harrier Flight, Mark Goldstein and Steven Green
Vulture Flight, Kirk Ressler and Day Patterson
Phoenix Flight, Andrew Ward and Scott Brittingham