St. Andrews takes Beau Pré Cup

Published 12:00 am Monday, September 22, 2008

NATCHEZ — For Team Carnoustie to win the Beau Pré Cup for the third year in a row, it would take a monumental effort in Sunday’s singles matches to make that happen.

Instead, Team St. Andrews carried its momentum from Saturday over to Sunday, winning nine matches and halving four other matches for 11 points as the team captained by Kurt Russ defeated Team Carnoustie, captained by Billy Ulmer, 21 points to 11 points.

The 10-point win by Team St. Andrews was the largest margin of victory in the history of the Beau Pré Cup, surpassing Team Carnoustie’s seven-and-a-half point win last year — of which Russ was a member of.

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“The teams were picked by captain Ulmer. He said, ‘What do you think about these teams?’ I said, ‘It looked like he had the stronger team on paper,’ and I took the people he didn’t want and as a team we stomped them.”

After the first three singles matches, both teams had one and one-half points. After that, Team St. Andrews went on a tear to take command of the action. Russ got things going for his team with a 4 & 2 win over Robin Punches.

“I hit the ball solidly. I made a few mistakes, but Robin didn’t play as solidly as he normally does. I putted extremely well,” Russ said.

Ulmer responded with a 2 & 1 win over Chad Huber. Unfortunately, that would be one of the few matches that Team Carnoustie would win.

“It was up and down. I had him 2-down after three (holes) and he came back at No. 8 I was 1-down. We were (all square) on 9,” Ulmer said. “Lost on 12 to go 1-down. We all hit it close on 13 and I made birdie to go even. Tied 14. Then I beat him on 15, 16 and 17.”

The match between Adrian Sandel and Bruce Reynolds ended up all-square, meaning both teams got a half of a point. Sandel almost had a miraculous par when his fifth shot on the par-5 18th hole hit the flagstick. Even though he made the ensuing putt for bogey, he lost the hole to Reynolds.

“I hit my ball left in the thick grass on my tee shot. Took me two shots to get it out,” Sandel said. “Laid up on my next shot. I nearly made a miracle shot for par.”

But any chance of Team Carnoustie ended when Team. St. Andrews won five of the next six matches. Craig Bradford stared it with a 3 & 2 win over Chris Kelley. Joel Dupre’ had the most lopsided win in the singles matches, defeating Bobby Meason 6 & 5.

Mark Carter won the cup-clinching match as he defeated Mel Beltzhoover 3-up. Even after Team St. Andrews had already won the Beau Pré Cup, it won three more matches and halved three others.

One of those wins belonged to Chuck Fields, who defeated Gary Farmer 4 & 3.

“It was a struggle for both of us,” Fields said. “Neither of us played well. I played well enough to win. It was a fun match to play with friends.”

As for how the team played in the singles matches, Russ said, “Our team played with a chip on their shoulders. They put their nose in the ground, played hard and got the job done.”

The only other players for Team Carnoustie who won their match were Mitch Ashmore, who defeated Cliff Cavin 4 & 2, and Jay Lessley, who defeated Bill Byrne 2-up.

Ulmer was gracious in defeat, saying, “Kurt’s guys played flawlessly all weekend and straight up beat us.”