Resorters golf: Under pressure, Golden and Harris deliver
Both are going for their first title in the Grand Master Division, while Harris tries to grab his fourth Resorters title overall after winning two in the Senior Division and one in the Masters.
ALEXANDRIA — Who will stand at the top of the Resorters Grand Masters Division this year?
Dave Harris of Alexandria has a shot. He’d like to add a fourth Resorters title to his trophy case. He won the Men’s Senior Division in 2006 and 1998 and was the champion of the Masters Division in 2014.
Harris is coming off a fresh 2-up victory over the division’s defending champion, Jerry Gruidl.
But standing in Harris’ way is Mike Golden, the division’s medalist who qualified with an 81. Golden, who gutted out a victory over the always tough Gene Sipe in an extra hole Friday, is looking for his first Resorters’ title. He was the division’s runner-up last year when Gruidl took the trophy, 1-up.
Harris and Golden will tee it up Saturday from No. 1 at 11:30 a.m.
Here’s a look back at Friday’s semifinals.
Golden def. Sipe in 19 holes
The Golden-Sipe match was a pressure-cooker from the start.Golden grabbed the first lead, a birdie on No. 2, but Sipe came right back with a bogey win on No. 3.
Golden won the next two holes with pars to go 2-up but Sipe whittled the lead down to one with a nifty birdie on the par-3 7th hole. After halving No. 8 with bogeys, Sipe birdied the 9th hole to get back to even at the turn.
Sipe took his first lead of the match with a bogey win on No. 10. It held for a couple of holes until Golden put together back-to-back wins on Nos. 13 and 14 with two bogeys to go 1-up. Both competitors tied on the next three holes, going par, bogey, par.
The 18th hole was do-or-die time for Sipe and he delivered, knocking in a clutch birdie to tie the match and send it into overtime. Golden, however, was able to survive by winning the first extra hole with par.
Stroke wise, Golden shot close to his medalist round – he was 10-over-par after 19 holes – but more importantly, he was able to rescue a win under pressure to keep his title hopes alive.
Harris def. Gruidl, 2-up
In a battle between two Resorters legends, this time it was Harris who pulled off a big win, toppling Gruidl by taking the last three holes.
Harris took the first lead in the match by winning No. 2 with birdie and No. 3 with par. Gruidl, who also has Men’s Division Resorters titles from 1977 and 1994, responded with back-to-back par wins on Nos. 5 and 6 to tie it. Harris won the next hole, the par-3 7th, with a par to regain the lead. Gruidl came back with a par win on the 9th hole to draw even.
After Harris won No. 10 with par to take the lead for the third time, Gruidl got his game going. He won No. 12 with a birdie to tie it and moved into the lead with a par on the 13th hole.
Harris didn’t cave. He bounced back with a birdie win on No. 14 to tie it. Gruidl pulled off a par win on the next hole to go 1-up, but that’s when Harris staged his comeback – winning Nos. 16, 17 and 18 with pars to clinch a 2-up victory.
MEN’S GRAND MASTERS FINAL PAIRING - SATURDAY FROM THE FIRST TEE
11:30 a.m. - Mike Golden vs. Dave Harris