“Horse Race” Comes Down To The Wire
Hands flew high Friday evening, July 22, at Five Island Golf Course as eager bidders placed their bets before the 5th Annual Horse Race; however, bidders were not placing their bets on horses, and this competition was not your typical run-of-the-mill pony show.
In the weeks leading up to July 23, golfers paired up for a two-person best shot and attempted to attain a low qualifying score in order to achieve placement into the “Elite Eleven,”
The “Elite Eleven”?were the eleven teams with the lowest qualifying scores that would compete in the final Horse Race.
In order to create a team, members of Five Island Golf Course needed established handicaps, and team pairs were required to have a combined total handicap of eleven or higher.
This year, to attain a position in the prestigious “Elite Eleven,” teams needed to post a score as high as thirty-four, on Five Island’s nine hole, par thirty-five course.
The night before the Horse Race, an auctioneer’s booming voice filled the clubhouse, as animated bidders attempted to buy the team they believed would emerge victorious. Furthermore, golfers also placed side bets on teams they believed would either win, place, or show in the competition.
With earnings over $600.00 for the owner of the winning team, bidders’ eyes set ablaze with determination and persistence during the auction to purchase as many teams as possible.
On the day of the competition, eleven teams teed off on hole one with a crowd of optimistic spectators at their backs. The rules were simple. All teams played a round of two-person best ball. Furthermore, all teams started together at the same hole and the team with the highest score per hole was eliminated from the competition.
If there were multiple teams with the same high score per hole, a pitch off commenced in which the team farthest from the hole after the pitch off would be eliminated.
The ambience of the course was somber as spectators were on pins and needles throughout the competition as some members of the crowd watched their money walk off the course as team after team was eliminated.
After a nail-biting pitch off to end the competition, the results were posted: Marc Riley and Ron Seaman placed third, Rick Bird and Todd Ditch followed in second, and Ben Hofstad and Max Strube triumphed in the 5th Annual Horse Race.
After the competition, clubhouse manager Vicky Van Oosbree let out a chuckle and commented, “If this sort of excitement and anticipation follows an actual horse race, I might be buying my own horse very soon.”