2017 World Golf Teachers Cup®
USA WINS TEAM EVENT; MASIH TAKES INDIVIDUAL TITLE
BOULDER CITY, NV – Getting back into the winner’s circle after a six-year absence, Team USA won the team portion of the 13th biennial World Golf Teachers Cup at Boulder Creek Golf Club, here Thursday, October 19. Nursing a two-stroke lead over Team Canada entering the final round, Team USA fired a record 9-under-par 351 to win by five strokes over International 1. Team USA’s two-round score of 9-under-par 711 is also a team record, which features six players on each team with five scores counting each round. Team Canada couldn’t maintain its first-round pace but ended up in third place at 724, followed by International 2 at 765 and Team Europe at 792.
Team USA last won the team portion of the event in 2011 at Orange County National in Orlando, Florida.
The individual championship was hotly contested, as well. First-round leader Shafiq Masih from Canada by way of Pakistan fired rounds of 67-70 – 137 to edge defending champion Rebecca Samuelsson by two strokes. Masih had a comfortable three-shot lead heading into the ninth hole of the final round when disaster struck. Sitting only 100 yards from the hole, Masih managed to take five shots from there to make double bogey, cutting his lead over Samuelsson to one, with reigning United States Golf Teachers Cup champion Matt Smith another stroke back.
Masih birdied #10 and eagled #13, but Samuelsson hung tough, birdieing #14 to Masih’s bogey, and the two were tied with four holes to play. Both parred the 15th, but a Masih birdie on #16 and a Samuelsson bogey on #17 sealed the deal.
“It feels special to win this tournament,” Masih said afterwards. “I was dying to win this and worked very hard, and this is a dream come true.”
Masih was happy with his play, but a few loose shots made it closer than he wanted. “I feel good about the way I played, but could have saved a couple shots more,” said Masih. “I was confident about what I was doing and was comfortable with my game, and was focused on my own game and getting the job done. My short game was very good this week.”
He also had high praise for Samuelsson. “Rebecca is a wonderful player and I appreciate the way she plays the game and her mental composure,” Masih remarked. He also thanked his sponsor, Techaccess, a Dubai company and its owner Shumail Ghalib, who provides Masih the opportunity to play. Masih is also coached by Canadian Golf Teachers Federation member Dr. Tariq Malik, who said, “I have known Shafiq since he was eight years old. It felt wonderful to win and we wanted this to happen. We worked very hard on this and I’m very proud of the way he performed.”
Smith finished third with 70-70 – 140, while Cole Golden was fourth at 70-75 – 145.
Harman Wins Inaugural Senior Cup
Thirty-six holes weren’t enough to decide the championship of the inaugural World Senior Golf Teachers Cup, and a sudden-death playoff ensued between Mark Harman and Kacey Tyler. Both fired 6-under-par 138 over the two rounds, necessitating the playoff. On the first playoff hole, #9 at the Coyote Run nine at Boulder Creek, Tyler hit his tee shot into the water on the left side, with Harman playing safe down the alternate fairway on the right. Harman hit his second shot on the par-4 to 15 feet while Tyler’s third shot left him 20 feet. Tyler lipped out his par putt, and Harman two-putted for the victory.
“Harman entered the final round after a 72 and was in fifth place, tied with Dave Belling and newly-minted United States Senior Golf Teachers Cup champion Grant Gulych, three stroke behind first-round leader Mark Shimamura, who was in with 69. Douglas Firth was another stroke back at 70, with Tyler and Keith Renton in at 71. Harman blitzed the first six holes in 4-under-par on his way to a first-nine 31, giving him a one-stroke lead over Shimamura and Firth, and two over Tyler. A double bogey on #10 harmed Firth’s chances, and Shimamura faded with a 38. Tyler, meanwhile, fired a 3-under-par 33 to come in at 67 for the day, second only to Harman’s 66, which was matched by third-place finisher Bing Qin.
Pam Montgomery completed a U.S./World Cup sweep in the Ladies division, overtaking first-round leader Mary Peter-Wolf to win by one. Anthony Benny edged Bill Hardwick and first-round leader Carlos de Barros by one in the Super Senior division, shooting 72-71 – 143.
Ray Holder won the Legends division’s shooting 75-77 – 152.