Yesterday in singles play the West “open” division team continued their recent mastery over the East team with a 7.5 to 2.5 point total leading to a 13 to 7 overall total and retention of the “open” division Hieronymus Cup. However, eight of the ten singles matches came down to the 18th hole and made the final point total not as lopsided as it might appear. The East needed to “flip” a few matches from one down to a halve or win in the late stages–and simply couldn’t get that done.
West Captain Antonio Serrano of Springfield was happy with the hard-fought win and didn’t relax until the cliching point total was reached. “I guess we did just enough in those close matches–including mine,” he said. (Serrano and Buddy Allen battled down to the last as Allen missed a birdie putt on 18 that would have resulted in a halved match.) Antonio said “it was a real team effort with everyone, rookies and Cup veterans alike, chipping in.”
The West “open” squad entered Sunday’s singles play with a slim 5.5 to 4.5 lead over Skip Berkmeyer’s East team.
The East senior team built up a commanding 9 to 1 lead after the Saturday partner sessions and cruised to a 15 to 5 win for their Cup win. The East avenged a close loss to the West last year at Jeff City CC.
The senior teams appeared to be as evenly matched as the “open” division teams before the start of the weekend competion. “That’s match play for you,” said East Captain Jeff Johnson. “We could play again next weekend and the results could be totally different. You just never know. Both teams played hard from start to finish, and that made for a fun weekend of golf.”
The Cup Matches were begun in 1994 by the MGA and were renamed the Hieronymus Cup Matches after the late Damon Hieronymus of Sedalia. He bequeathed funds held in trust to the MGA after his death in 1997 “to be used for the betterment of amateur and junior golf in Missouri.” The Missouri Golf Asssociation has used these monies to offset some of the expense in staging the yearly matches that now include 10 “open” and 10 senior players from the East and West.
Senior West Captain BJ Curry spoke about Hieronymus at the Saturday evening players’ dinner. “I owe my start in golf to Damon. He was a great friend and supporter of me and also Joe Bellmer as we were growing up. He was a passionate supporter of amateur golf and we owe a lot to him. A wonderful, wonderful man…”
For full results of the matches go to www.mogolf.org