Hillsboro golfers will have an advantage as they defend the Bruce-Crofoot Challenge Cup on Saturday and Sunday in their annual matchup with Marion — they will be playing on their home course.
Ordinarily, the Challenge Cup rotates between Hillsboro Municipal Golf Course and Marion Country Club, and last year the event was at Hillsboro. However, damage to the Marion course led organizers to keep the tournament at Hillsboro for a second year.
Hillsboro co-captain Anthony Thiessen said that in recent years, the home team has generally won the Challenge Cup. He hypothesizes that is because golfers are more familiar with their home course.
Because of the change of venue, Marion will host the tournament the next two years.
This will be the 12th year golfers from Marion and Hillsboro vie for the Bruce-Crofoot Challenge Cup, named after longtime golfers Bud Bruce of Hillsboro and John Crofoot of Marion.
The event was created to foster friendly competition and camaraderie among golfers, Thiessen said. Throughout the year, the golfers from the two towns get to know one another at tournaments, and they sometimes partner up, he said.
“But when it comes down to it, we want to beat each other pretty bad,” he said.
The tournament format is match play divided into three different events split between Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday, the captains divide their golfers into teams of two, and each team is matched up against a team from the other course.
In the morning, they play 18 holes, and the team with the lowest score wins the hole. If there is a tie, nobody wins that hole.
A team earns 1 point for their home course for winning the most holes in the first nine, the final nine, and the full 18.
“Even if you get smoked on the front nine, it’s still not over,” Thiessen said.
Saturday afternoon is similar, except golfers on a team alternate shots. Scoring is the same as in the morning.
On Sunday, golfers are matched up one-on-one for 18 holes of match play. The scoring system remains the same as Saturday: a golfer wins 1 point for his team for winning the most holes during the first nine holes, final nine holes, and the full 18.
Whichever team has the most points at the end of Sunday’s matchups wins the Challenge Cup for the year.
Both teams choose their roster based on a combination of top finishers at the respective club championship tournaments, as well as captains’ picks.
Gary Andrews, Russ Cain, Doug Dick, Roger Fleming, Brice Foth, Rod Hamm, Tim Hein, Ken Johnson, Lonny Kent, John Knaak Jr., Brock Neiman, Scott O’Hare, Mike Padgett, Clint Seibel, Max Terman, Anthony Thiessen, Phillip Thiessen, Mike Unruh, and Stan Utting.
Gerald Anderson, Kevin Burkholder, Greg Carlson, Mitch Carlson, Tim Christiansen, Jeff Goering, Tod Gordon, Russ Hake, Bryan Hess, Jerry Hess, Aaron Hett, Dusty Hett, Nickolas Hett, Joe Lovelady, Stu Meador, Pat Moore, David Shiplet, Jerry Smith, Tyler Smith, Bernie Waner, and Tim Young.