The SunBird Men’s Club again had a full calendar of events in January. The regular Thursday events included a team event of the best three net scores out of four, three gross/net events, and the start of the Match Play Challenge. The special event for the month was the Men’s Net Shoot Out.
Qualification for the Net Shoot Out took place during regular play on two Thursdays. The players with the 10 lowest combined net scores during the qualification rounds became eligible to participate in the shootout which was held on Sunday, Jan. 26. As mentioned above, this is a net score event which means the individual qualifying scores were the players’ actual gross scores minus their handicaps. The 10 qualifiers in order of their scores were Gordon Olson, Byron Hock, Dave White, Jim Croghan, Paul Golden, Dean Huyghebaert, Don Hunt, Bill Barkley, Gerry Tomlinson, and Gary Popelka. The format for a shootout is that all 10 players tee off on the first hole. The player with the highest net score is eliminated. In case of a tie, a chip off is held with the farthest from the hole being eliminated. The exception is the ninth hole where, in the case of a tie, the hole is replayed. The remaining nine players tee off on the second hole and so on until there are only two players left who compete for the championship on the ninth hole.
The SunBird/Valley of the Sun weather could not have been much better as the players teed off on the first hole. As usual, a good crowd of fans followed the play from start to finish. Chip offs on holes 1, 3, and 4 were needed to determine the player eliminated. The two surviving players going into the ninth hole were Dean Huyghebaert and Paul Golden who tied and had to replay the hole. Dean prevailed and was declared the winner. Paul finished second, and Gordon Olson finished third having been eliminated on the eighth hole.
We have mentioned in previous articles that players of all skill levels are welcome and encouraged to join the club and have stressed that the handicap system levels the playing field and allows all players, regardless of skill level, to have a chance of winning prizes. This shootout is a testimonial to this in that the two highest handicap players among the qualifiers finished in second and third place.
Events in February included the Men’s Gross Shootout, the first and second rounds of the SunBird Cup and Club Championship, and the start of home and homes with Palo Verde and Sun Lakes Phase 1 and the finals of the match play. Results will be posted in the April paper. The couples shootouts, net on March 8 and gross on March 22, are the main events in March.