Resorters golf: Mike Golden makes late rally to defeat Harris
Golden wins four of his last five holes to avenge a finals loss in the Grand Masters Division from 2021.
ALEXANDRIA — During the 2021 Grand Masters final at the Resorters, Mike Golden of Alexandria had a heartbreaking loss on the 18th green when he missed a birdie putt while his opponent, Jerry Gruidl, made his putt to take the championship.
The 2022 tournament was Golden’s time to shine.
Trailing the entire match except after the first hole against Dave Harris of Alexandria, Golden tied the match on No. 15 with a par, grabbed his first lead with a birdie on No. 16 and then won No. 17 when he made a bogey putt under pressure.
“It’s my first Resorters title,” said Golden, brushing back tears after the match. “And it meant a lot considering what happened last year.”
Both golfers made par on the first hole. Harris did it by getting up and down after landing in the bunker. Harris then took No. 2 when Golden ended up in a big puddle in the middle of the left bunker and had to settle for bogey.
Harris parred the next two holes to go 3-up. They halved Nos. 5, 6 and 7 before Harris struck for another par win on No. 8 to go 4-up. Golden won his first hole of the day with a par on No. 9 but trailed by three at the turn.
Harris had trouble on the back nine when his usual solid putting game faltered, leading to seven bogeys – Nos. 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 and 17.
“That’s not like Dave,” Golden said. “But that’s golf….I started hitting it better on the back nine. I was more accurate and was making better contact.”
“I played really well on the first eight holes,” Harris said. “But I missed short putts on 9 and 10 and it kind of snowballed from there….Mike’s a good player and he’ll take advantage of mistakes.”
Harris and Golden are old friends. They’re both from Montevideo. Golden’s daughter, Heidi, was on the Alexandria golf team when Harris was coaching. “He’s a great guy,” Harris said. “I’m happy for him.”
Although Harris said he would have liked to have added a fourth Resoters title to his trophy case, he’s glad that he was able to get so far in the tournament, which included a big comeback against Jerry Gruidl in the semifinals, and felt good for Golden.
Golden, the division’s medalist, has been golfing in the tournament for more than 35 years.
Will he be back next year to defend his title? “Oh you bet!” he said with enthusiasm.