There had been a five-year drought for the Buffalo Dunes Golf Course team in the annual Brookover Cup Matches against The Golf Club at Southwind.
Since a third-round format had been added several years earlier, the Ryder Cup-style matches had seen Southwind’s team dominate over the past four years in the friendly, but competitive matches that determine ownership of the E.C. Brookover Cup, named to honor the memory of the founder of Southwind and the donor of the land on which Buffalo Dunes was built.
That drought now is officially over, much like the welcomed July rains dropping much-needed moisture on the golf courses and surrounding areas. Final score was a dominating 51.5-32.5 victory for the Dunes, leaving the nearly two-decade old event with Southwind ahead 11-8.
So on Saturday after two rounds of team match play, the Dunes squad found themselves in the not-so familiar position of leading, 26-16, with each match being worth three points. There were 7 matches in the alternate shot (Foursomes) format and 7 in the Four-Ball matches. The Foursomes matches had been played at the Dunes with the Four-Ball matches moving up the highway to Southwind in the afternoon Saturday.
That left the final singles matches, 14 in all, going back to Buffalo Dunes.
Getting 8.5 of a possible 9 points in the first three singles matches catapulted the Dunes into a commanding lead, and they went in front 34.5-16.5.
In the middle portion of Sunday’s singles, Southwind made its biggest move, winning 12.5 of the next 18 points to close to within 40-29. But that would be the bright spot of the day, as the Dunes won 11.5 of the final 15 points for the final 19-point margin.
Six Dunes players captured all three of their singles points on Sunday while Southwind had but two who swept their 3-point matches.
Seniors Jim Claussen and Phil Adams were two of those who swept their matches, toppling Butch Nally and Jim Cornett. Jamie Warren, Trent Specht, Clay Payne and Jake Bay all went 3-0. Eric Larsen and Bobby Lewton were the two 3-0 Southwind players.
One of the top matches came with Specht taking on Southwind’s Taylor Larsen, who had won the recently-conducted Garden City Men’s City Championship by three strokes over Specht and two-time City champ Sion Audrain.
In Sunday’s battle, Specht captured the front nine by one hole and did the same on the back nine, to help the Dunes team en route to the victory.
“I don’t think the players take the event too seriously, and there’s a lot of pride that the players have in their own club,” Specht said. “But I also know that we’re all competitive and want to win. But I think you just keep things friendly.”
Specht, who recently was named the new girls and boys coach at Garden City High School, said the number of good players representing both teams is just indicative of the quality of depth in the community right now.
“We’ve got a mix of high school and college players, and we’ve got some of the older guys who can still play and compete,” Specht said. “I think you see that when you think about how Garden City golfers did at the state amateur a couple of weeks ago.”
Specht was referencing Sion Audrain’s Kansas Amateur Match Play victory, only the second Garden Citian to capture the most prestigious amateur title in the state. Six other Garden golfers made the 64-player match play bracket with Logan Durst, another former GCHS golfer, reaching the Sweet 16 round.
The younger Larsen, who will be entering his sophomore year at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, said despite losing to Specht on Sunday, he had enjoyed the two days of the matches.
“Not sure I’ve had more fun getting my (tail) kicked,” Larsen said. “I didn’t have my best game, and neither did Trent. But you go out and play, compete, and let the results take care of themselves.”
There also was some consolation from the Southwind side that the lopsided loss came without five players who finished among the top 15 at the City Championship — Sion and Shawn Audrain, Jake Juhl, Connor Schultz and Bob Beymer. Three of those — the two Audrains and Beymer — have accounted for four City titles in the past decade.