The 20th annual Gibson Cup matches came down to just one shot – one swing – after two days of competition between Southern Arizona’s top professionals and amateurs, Dec. 13 and 14 at Sewailo Golf Club in Tucson.
The professionals overcame a big deficit while winning the cup by one point, 27 ½ – 26 ½ after trailing the amateurs by three points on the first day of Four Ball matches on a cold, wet and windy day at the course, 10 ½ – 7 ½.
“Saturday’s weather was a little rough with the groups playing in a cold rain, making for challenging conditions, but we got it in,” said PGA Director of Operations Rick Price at the awards ceremony Sunday at Casino Del Sol.
Day two consisted of singles matches with the scoring based on a point system; one point for the front nine, one point for the back nine and one point for the eighteen.
And when amateurs Tom Beach and Tom Sweigart won the first two matches of the day with a three-point sweep, the deficit swelled to nine, 16 ½ – 7 ½.
But the professionals came roaring back, outscoring the amateurs 20-10 over the last 10 matches to regain the cup won by the amateurs in 2013.
Stone Canyon’s Mike Russell, Forty Niner CC professional Derek Deminsky and El Rio and Silverbell pro Robert Moreno led the charge with three-point wins, while J.D. Lindberg and Chris Dompier collected 2 ½ points each on the day.
With the cup on the line, the last three matches came in as ties between the amateurs and pros, securing the professional’s win.
Price started the event 20 years ago while working as the head pro at Rio Rico CC, south of Tucson.
The top 12 professionals in Southern Arizona, based on their points from tournament play throughout the year, and the top 12 amateurs from the Arizona Golf Association made up the teams.
“We take the top eight professionals and four senior pros and AGA picks their team,” he said. “It was obviously very close and amazingly came down to just one shot, one hole to determine the winning team.”
The amateurs will get their chance for revenge in 2015 for the 21st consecutive year of the tournament. The professionals now lead the amateurs 12-8 over the 20 years of competition.