Apparently twice is just as nice for the crew from The Links at Riverlakes Ranch. With little to no wind and below normal temperatures in the Coachella Valley, the club from Bakersfield defeated Red Hill CC 26-22 on the Players Course at the Indian Wells Golf Resort to capture their second SCGA Saturday Team Play Championship in the last three years. Despite trailing 10-2 early on, the team from Riverlakes managed to capture the next eight points to draw the matches at 10-10 on the 6,316 yard John Fought layout. The match was close all the way until the very end when Riverlakes team members Kevin O’Malley and Mike Flanigan secured four points in the last group to help clinch the title.
“It feels good,” said Riverlakes captain Scott Anderson about securing another title. “It was a lot of hard work that paid off.” When asked what the key to their success was, Anderson stated that “it was important to have the right guys play together.” The Links at Riverlakes Ranch opened in 1999 and was developed on former cotton and vegetable fields. The Division 4 Saturday winners are the first team since Balboa Park in 1992 & 1993 to win two championships in the span of three years.
Chula Vista Golf Club captured the SCGA Thursday Team Play Championship in dramatic fashion by defeating Spanish Hills Golf & Country Club 26 -22 Friday at the Indian Wells Golf Resort – Celebrity Course. Dealing with winds that reached gusts of 30 miles per hour at times, the Division 26 winners battled back from an early 17 – 9 deficit to capture the title on the 6,339 yard, Par 72 Clive Clark design.
“This title is very big for our club,” Chula Vista Team Captain Doug Hawkins stated. “We came here as individuals and played as a team. We salute the game of golf and the SCGA for having us.” When asked if he had any idea how close the matches were out on the course, Hawkins simply stated that “we had no clue what was going on, we just kept playing.” Hawkins and his partner, Randy Sherman clinched the title by earning four points in the last group. Located near the Sweetwater River in Bonita, this is the first SCGA Team Play for Chula Vista since they won the Saturday Team Play title in 1996.
The annual Stagecoach Country Music Festival will not be the only exciting event happening in the Coachella Valley this weekend. After weeks of play, the 2011 SCGA Team Play Season draws to a close at Indian Wells Golf Resort this Friday and Saturday. One of the most popular SCGA programs, SCGA Team Play began in 1900 and has grown to include more than 246 clubs and 8,000 participants each year.
Thursday Team Play Finals
Spanish Hills Golf & Country Club and Chula Vista GC square off in the Thursday Team Play Finals. Based in Camarillo, Spanish Hills is making its first visit to the Thursday Team Play Finals. They navigated their way through the bracket by defeating Montecito CC, Bakersfield CC, Rolling Hills CC and finally Oakmont CC in a close semi-final match. Chula Vista GC is also making its first appearance in the Thursday Team Play Finals, after defeating Cottonwood GC, Lomas Santa Fe CC and Mission Viejo CC, Chula Vista beat Bear Creek GC in a playoff.
The teams will be playing the Indian Wells Golf Resort’s Celebrity Course. The 6,339-yard Par 72 Clive Clark design opened in November of 2006, and served as the site of the 25th Anniversary LG Skins Game in 2007 and 2008. The players from both teams will be challenged by the Celebrity’s course beauty and distinct layout.
Saturday Team Play Finals
Red Hill CC and The Links at Riverlakes Ranch will face off in the Saturday Team Play Finals on the Players Course at Indian Wells. Red Hill CC has previously won two Thursday Team Play Finals (2005 & 2008) and one Saturday Team Play Finals (2007). The club, which is based out of Rancho Cucamonga, defeated South Hills CC, Santa Ana CC, San Juan Hills GC and Bonita GC to reach the finals. The Links at Riverlakes Ranch won its only Saturday Team Play Final in 2009, defeating Fullerton GC. The Bakersfield based club defeated Tierra del Sol GC, La Purisima GC, North Ranch CC and perennial Team Play powerhouse Brookside GC – Cardinal to reach the finals.
The teams will be competing on the Players Course. Opened in 2007, the John Fought’s design is a stark contrast to the Celebrity Course, featuring dynamic bunkering and generous fairway corridors – a fascinating combination to challenge these players.
About SCGA Team Play
This competition is open only to regular member clubs maintaining at least one 18-hole golf course of at least 5,000 yards in length. Participating clubs may enter one 16-man team in a Thursday league, a Saturday league or both for each qualifying course they maintain. Clubs are arranged in groups of four, and their respective 16-man teams play a series of six home and away matches within their assigned group. All competition includes both single and four-ball match play. Group winners then meet in single elimination play-offs, culminating in an 18-hole championship.
Find out more about Indian Wells Golf Resort in our Course Directory.