It was a difficult day to try and make up a seven-shot gap at the Peach Blossom Tournament at Idle Hour Club.
The wind was blowing up to 25 mph at times, and the pins were in difficult Sunday placements. And, as hard as Michael Standard and Rick Cloninger tried, it was evident by the beginning of the second nine that they were not going to be able to make a run at the Columbus duo of Adam Cooper and Bubba Gallops, who were victorious in their first Peach Blossom entry.
Both teams shot 3 under for the day, giving Cooper and Gallops a seven-shot victory.
“I never felt like we were in trouble, really,” Cooper said. “There were a few times when we struggled a little bit, but I thought we stayed in control.
“It was a great weekend for us on a great, great course, and we will be back next year. Idle Hour put on a great tournament, and it is probably one of the top tournaments I have played in. Everything is top notch.”
Standard and Cloninger had managed to cut the lead to six, but any hopes of a comeback were soundly ended on the 13th hole, when Gallops hit the pin on his tee shot from 293 yards out and promptly eagled the hole.
“I knew it was good when I hit it,” Gallops said. “It was downwind and a little too much for driver, so I moved back as far as I could and just hit a very good shot. I really thought I had hit it over the hole when we were driving up to it. I guess you could say that was the nail in the coffin.”
Cloninger and Standard said they were very happy with their round.
“If you are trying to run somebody down and having to make birdies, it’s always difficult,” said Cloninger, who had shoulder surgery in November. “We need them to make some mistake, and they just did not cooperate. With the wind, par was really a good score (Sunday). There were a lot of pin placements that you just couldn’t go after (Sunday), and that made it difficult to score much better then we did.”
Said Standard who won the 2001 Peach Blossom with Allen Peake, “It was fun to watch. I don’t think we were ever in a position to make a move on them. They weren’t making any runs at it, but they were in the fairway all day. If there was any momentum, they definitely took it away on 13. They just had a very impressive performance.
“The golf course is just in unbelievable shape. If you would have told me we would shoot 10 under at the beginning of play, I would have told you I would be happy with it. Their 63 (Saturday) in the conditions was just a special round of golf, and that was probably the key to the weekend,”
For Idle Hour’s director of golf operations Ray Cutright, it was another great weekend.
“We love hosting the Peach Blossom, and I cant wait for the next one,” Cutright said. “It’s really the players who make this tournament, so special, and this year was no exception. This tournament has been around for over 60 years, and it was amazing that those guys shot 17 under in these conditions this weekend. That is some excellent golf at any level. I am glad I’m not a betting man because I really did not think that 17 under was possible, especially in their first tournament here.”
The team of Tripp Kuhlke and Jeff Knox finished third, while Peter Persons and Jack Larkin finished fourth. Last year’s champions, Ryan Blackburn and Bill Jones, shot 68 on the final day to finish sixth.