11th Annual Friendship Cup Recap

Friendship Cup

Once again a successful Friendship Cup is in the books as the trophy plates are being engraved to proclaim the achievements of our 2017 Friendship Cup Champions – Ryan Ford and Samir Parekh! This was the fifth year attending the cup for this “Bad Hombres” team from Atlanta. They tackled Nicklaus’s Turtle Point on day one shooting a team net score of 69 and wrapped up the win with their 62 score on Dye’s Ocean Course on day two. Ford and Parekh’s win earned them first choice from the prize board donning fantastic trips from all over the country or Southwest air tickets. They also received a trophy and at the 2018 Friendship Cup, they will stay in the presidential suite at The Sanctuary and be inducted into the Hall of Fame and presented their coveted navy champion’s blazer.

The event opened with registration on March 8 where attendees received the “best ever” amenity bag including a Peter Millar golf shirt, Callaway golf balls, Kettle One vodka and Woodford Reserve mini bottles, Back Nine head covers, and Ahead hat, golf towel, water bottle, koozie, sunscreen and several other surprises. In addition to those goodies, each attendee chose a larger gift prior to the tournament that was also available for pick up at registration. The choices included a Callaway driver, wedges or putter/bag package, a $400 Peter Millar voucher, or a Bose headphone/speaker with Tumi duffel package. These gifts along with many other on course competitions, hospitality suite games and raffles made it easy for everyone to be a winner at the 11th Annual Friendship Cup no matter what your score!

Attendee Jason Bergman proclaimed the Friendship Cup is the, “Best amateur golf EVENT in America.” Old friendships are rekindled and new friendships are always made at the opening reception and dinner honoring the past champions. An aerial bartender dazzled guests as they arrived as she served a Kettle One Arnold Palmer cocktail upside down. Another performer acted as a living table offering Woodford Reserve manhattans from her “skirt” and many fun photo opportunities. After a delicious meal, the 16 past champions in attendance were recognized and gifted an engraved bottle of Woodford Reserve and a custom head cover bearing hilarious resemblance to them. A bagpiper then led in the jackets with much anticipated pomp and circumstance and the 2017 champions in attendance were honored and inducted into the Hall of Fame. The first night of the hospitality suite is always lively as the fun continues and guests enjoy live music by Johnny Breeze, the Tru Golf simulator competitions, and other games including a putting contest, pool table, ping ping, pop-a-shot, Pacman, Golden Tee and fierce corn hole battles on the ocean front lawn.

This was one of the largest fields ever with 90 two man teams competing split between two courses each day – the world renowned Pete Dye masterpiece The Ocean Course – home of the 2021 PGA Championship and the newly renovated Jack Nicklaus designed Turtle Point. Warren Snead said, “Great golf, great prizes and amenities, great location.” The weather was perfect for golf with temps in the low to mid 70’s as competitors teed off for a 9:30am shotgun each morning. Each day after the round, players competed in a closest to the pin shoot out at The Ocean Course and a putting contest at Turtle Point. Boston Beer, Southern Eagle Distributors and Kettle One vodka kept these competitions as well as on course play relaxed and lively with sponsored libations.

Friday night is always the favorite dinner as all gather at Mingo Point for a Lowcountry oyster roast, whole roasted pig BBQ, freshly prepared steak, chicken and shrimp and grits and all the Southern fixings including pecan pie. The sunset over the marsh is a magical background to the roaring fire, Milagro margarita bar, cigar roller, first round scoring display, and live music with the Travis Allison Band. The hospitality suite continued after dinner with a DJ and more fun and games.

The tournament committee continued with traditional paper scoring this year instead of live scoring to uphold the integrity of the tournament and to keep the element of surprise for the awards dinner. A red carpet welcomed everyone to the final hurrah and after another delicious gourmet meal, prizes and trophies were awarded. The Top 10 net teams got to choose from the prize board following Ford and Parekh, as well as the Senior Division (both members 50+), Pub Cup (media teams) and Lower Division Team Champions (anyone 77+ net after first day). We look forward to seeing loyal attendees like Robert Poli back next year who said the cup is, “by far the best golf outing, vacation, tournament, and all around fun time I have ever been a part of. I will never miss a year.”

The Top Ten Net Team Results are as follows: If there is a score in parenthesis it means there was a tie and the Ocean Course round was used to break the tie:
1. Ryan Ford & Samir Parekh – Tam Bad Hombres – 131
2. Geoff Hayden & David York – Team Get Rich or Die Tryin’ – 135
3. John Minner & Scott Renda – Team Bogeys & Beers – 136 (68 Ocean)
4. Brad Kuester & Sam Neill – Team Fairways & Green – 136 (71 Ocean)
5. Sean Black & Walt Phillips – Team Vape – 138
6. Edward Acosta & Steven Wheeler – Team Making Kiawah Great Again – 139 (70 Ocean)
7. Dean Ferrara & Bill Hampton – Team Free Time 101 – 139 (76 Ocean)
8. Jerry & Brendan Czarnecki – Team Pops & Caddie – 140
9. Travis & Ken Bleile – Team Lucky Buckeyes – 142 (67 Ocean)
10. Clay Setzer & Bill Thomas – Team I Like Big Putts & I Cannot Lie – 142 (73 Ocean)

Senior Division Champions
Dave Bouchard & Mike Chaney – Team The Road – 144 (74 Ocean)

Low Gross Team
Cole Island & Dave Olson – Team Pardsie Arguments – 146

Pub Cup Winners
Mills Goodloe & Brian Katrek – Team Chocolate Thunder – 149

Lower Division Net Winners (77+ after Round 1)
Brian Bacik & Jeff Mitz – Team The Flying Wasp – 146

Low Gross Individual
Cole Isban – 152

Low Net Individual
Brad Kuester – 147

Last Place Winners
Karl Colasante & David Graeber – Team Julio…Get the Stretch – 169

After Round Par Three Shoot Out Winners
Friday Winner – Dave Grubic – 2’7″
Saturday Winner – Paul Sadjewski – 1’3″

After Round Putting Contest Winners
Friday Winner – Grady Sheldon
Saturday Winner – Travis Bleile

Longest Drive Saturday – The Ocean Course – Hole #9 – Josh Sandman

Longest Drive Saturday – Turtle Point – Hole #10 – Spencer Percy

Longest Putt Saturday – The Ocean Course – Hole #18 – Kevin Althouse – 20′

Longest Putt Saturday – Turtle Point – Hole #18 – Josh McCauley – 17’2″

Friday – Closet-To-The-Pin Ocean Course
Hole #5 – Blair Jennings – 8’5″
Hole #8 – Ken Bleile – 4’6″
Hole #14 – Brett Fodiman – 10’9″
Hole #17 – Brian Katrek – 3′

Friday – Closet-To-The-Pin Turtle Point
Hole #4 – Steve Colnitis – 4’11” – Ogio Bag
Hole #7 – Michael Graham – 8’9″ – Ogio Bag
Hole #14 – Brad Kuester – 6’4″ – Nicklaus Print
Hole #16 – Cole Isban – 1’10” – Nicklaus Print

Friday Turtle Point Skins – $450
Chol Kong – Hole #9
Keith Dull – Hole #11
Kevin Andrews – Hole #16
Neelesh Nundkumer – Hole #8

Saturday Turtle Point Skins – $262
Bill Hampton – #2
David Han – #3
David Bouchard – #9
Kevin McMahon – #10
Geoff Hayden – #12
Bill Thomas – #17

Friday Ocean Course Skins – $175
Matt Mixon – Hole #9
Spencer Percy – Hole #4 and #10
Philip Couri – Hole #17
Clyde Hiers – Hole #2 and #7
David York – Hole #3
Joe Cecere – Hole #12
Dean Ferrara – Hole #18

Saturday Ocean Course Skins – $243
Christopher Keen #3
Jeff Mitz #6
Brian Bacik #11
Kevin Althouse #12
Michael Atkins #13
Doug George #14
Samir Parekh #17

Hospitality Suite Contest Winners
Putting Contest Thursday – Joshua McCauley
Putting Contest Friday – Jay Kirkpatrick
Simulator Contest Thursday – Lee Bentsen – 3′
Simulator Contest Friday – Karl Colasante – 5′