By Taylor Albritton, Boatwright Intern
Every season the UGA and Utah PGA come together to play in a one day event against each other. Branded as the Governor’s Cup, this team Ryder Cup style event has been pitting the top amateurs versus the top professionals in Utah since 1984. This year’s Governor’s Cup featured 16 golfers on each team, 12 at large members and four senior members, and began August 9, 2017 at the Dye Canyon course at the prestigious Promontory Club.
The morning round kicked off with 8 foursome matches with team members alternating each shot. The first match off swung in UGA’s favor as Peter Stuhr and Kurt Jamison earned the first point of the day with a 4 and 3 victory over PGA’s Scott Smith and Tom Rogers. The PGA then took a little bit of a lead and clenched the next few morning matches over UGA alums such as Pat Murphy, Dan Horner, and Preston Alder. However, the UGA finished strong with Rhett Rasmussen and Patrick Fishburn producing a 3 and 1 victory over PGA’s Shawn Edwards and Zac Johnson and then UGA’s Kelton Hirsch and Dane Nelson halving an intense match on the 18th green against Davis Garner and Dustin Volk.
Falling behind 2 ½ to 5 ½, the amateurs needed a comeback. In the 8 afternoon matches, four-ball and singles matches took place simultaneously. The amateurs were victorious in the afternoon four-ball matches, winning 6 out of the 8. Top amateurs like CJ Lee, Ryan Brimley, Dan Horner, and Preston Alder were able to half or win their match. Horner’s afternoon round was featured by a hole-in-one shot on the Par-3 Hole 16. Of the afternoon singles, UGA was able to secure 7 ½ points while the PGA gained 8 ½.
In doing the math, the score after both rounds was 16 to 16. For the second year in a row and after a storming come back by the amateurs, UGA and the Utah PGA would face off in a playoff for the Cup. Returning to the foursome style of the morning matches, each team player would alternate shots. Up on the par 4, Hole 1 tee for UGA was CJ Lee and Rhett Rasmussen trying to take home the title for the amateurs. For the PGA, Zac Johnson and Tommy Sharpe would try to win it for the professionals. Unfortunately, the stunning comeback for the amateurs would fall just short as Lee and Rasmussen would bogey Hole 1 while the professionals would make par to win the Governor’s Cup.
Despite the loss, the UGA is extremely proud of the amateurs’ effort, and will continue to look forward to this event every year as the top amateurs and top professionals face off for both pride and glory. Next year hopefully the Governor’s Cup will return to its rightful place with the amateurs.