Duo aims for ‘three-peat’ at best-ball tournament
They’re already in the record books.
When they successfully defended their title last summer, Kevin Temple and Jamie Welder became just the second duo — and first since the 1970s — to repeat as main-event champs in the Rileys Best Ball tournament.
Now, they’re shooting to have a slice of history all to themselves.
“Nobody has ever won three in a row,” Temple said. “We’re going to give it a good shot and see what happens.”
“To three-peat, that would be special,” Welder agreed. “It would be awesome. It would be a big party.”
The 42nd instalment of the Rileys Best Ball tees off Monday with the annual draw party, and you can bet every other team on the men’s side is hoping to avoid a date with Temple and Welder in the opening round. Or the second round. Or ... well, you get the idea. After all, the top-notch tandem from Country Hills has won a dozen consecutive matches in the bestball showdown and both seem to relish the idea of wearing the bullseye again this summer.
“I love the pressure,” Welder said. “And sometimes it counters on the other team, because they have more pressure thinking, ‘We want to beat these guys.’ We just have to put the last two years behind us. It’s a new year, but let’s just do it the way we did it the last two years. And the other teams are going to be thinking, ‘Hey, these are the defending champs the last two years. We can’t let them win three years in a row.’
“As long as we play our game, it’s going to have to be a very good team to beat us.”
Ninety-five other teams will try to knock Temple and Welder from that perch.
With a May 9 deadline for the first round of main-event and senior matches, there isn’t much time for competitors to find their form.
“We structured it this way purposely 42 years ago,” said Tony Krivoblocki, a longtime organizer of the Rileys Best Ball. “It’s the beginning of the year and everybody’s game is a little rusty, so we came up with this two-man, best-ball format. If you make a mistake, your partner can help. Or if your partner makes a mistake, you can help him. It’s a good event for people that aren’t on top of their game right at the beginning of the year, because it gives you a bit of leeway.
“Being a two-player best-ball, it’s give and take. If you can ham and egg it, you can both shoot some bad scores and still win the game.”
Jana Johnson and Andrea Kosa (Glencoe) are the defending champs on the women’s side, which has a full slate of 48 entries for the eighth straight year.
The finals for every division will once again be contested at Canyon Meadows, while title sponsor Rileys is continuing its incredible support. The printing and graphic communications company has backed the event since its inception in 1975.
The reigning senior champs, Al Dowdell and Pat McGowan (Heritage Pointe), are not signed up for 2016.
HOLE-IN- ONE REPORT
If you bump into David Deane, ask if he has any advice for the rest of us. A member at Silver Springs, Deane dropped his fifth career ace last week, completing No. 17 at the private hangout with one crack of a four-iron from 160 yards away.
Also at Silver Springs, No. 13 turned out to be lucky for Mark Stobart, who finished his business with a sweet six-iron from 152 yards out.
Bill Stamile, a longtime member at Pinebrook, celebrated his second ace with a pin-seeking seven-iron on the 155-yard eighth hole.
Shawn McCrea was the toast of the clubhouse at Bearspaw after he was one-and-done on No. 17 with a five-iron from the 164-yard blocks.
Rene Abella aced the second test at Fox Hollow with one swing of a seven-iron from 155 yards away, while Craig Maciver skipped the putting portion on No. 4, sinking his 115-yard tee-shot with a sandwedge for his second hole-in-one.
Peter deKlerk made short work of the fifth hole at Shaganappi Point. Six-iron was the right choice from 126 yards out.