Amateurs keep Honors Cup

Bob Collar fretted again Monday in the golf shop at Callawassie Island Club.

As co-captain of the amateur team for the Honors Cup, Collar had already faced one setback to the event, having to move it from Indigo Run earlier in the year. A thunderstorm was the culprit then. On Monday, it was darkness.

The amateurs were going to win their third consecutive Honors Cup, but there was a lot of hand-wringing before the outcome was declared.

As groups made the turn in the middle of the afternoon, few thought the last players would finish. Collar and the amateurs needed 9 1/2 points to retain the Cup, which they had won the previous two years. Those who were finished mulled the possible options for rescheduling or cutting short the event, which pits the area's best amateurs against area golf pros in a Ryder Cup-style match. The running points were tallied at 6-6 at one point in the golf shop with groups left on the course.

Visibility was low. Eventually, players left on the course could not see their ball.

"Our drives we could barely see," amateur Jon Piccione said of his group's closing holes. "Second shots were rough."

Collar, standing outside awaiting word, could barely make out Piccione as he pulled up in a cart. The amateur brought good news. He and partner Ken Kroupa had beaten the dark and their pro counterparts for three big points.

Piccione reported that the amateurs in the group behind him had won their morning match, bringing the running tally to 10 and allowing Collar a celebratory fist pump after proclaiming the amateurs third consecutive win in the Cup.

"It's nerve-racking," Piccione said. "Because you don't know what your other teams are doing."

The final group lost its race with darkness and declared a half point for each side. The final total was 11-7, in favor of the amateurs.

The victory was only the third for the amateurs in the event's history. Amateurs won the first Honors Cup and the past three. Pros won 21 in between.

Collar attributed the amateurs recent success to the team caring more about winning the event.

"I think the difference is pairings, camaraderie, really kind of getting gunned up and giving a (darn)," Collar said. "You know what I'm saying? The whole thing."

The 2010 Cup almost didn't happen. After a severe storm halted play in September, captains from each side were forced to find another venue and deal with lineup changes after some cited conflicts on the new date. Players earn their spot on the team based a points system used during tournaments throughout the year. But this year, Collar had to scramble to fill open spots.

Among those he called was Beaufort County Sheriff P.J. Tanner, who brought in a point by defeating pro Andy Hinson in their afternoon singles match.

2010 Honors Cup

Callawassie Island Club

Team matches:

Jeff Wong and Matt O'Quinn (a) def. David Rogers and Mark Tomodolsky (p)

Bubba Jacoby and John Patterson (a) def. Colby Wilson and Tom Logue (p)

Bryan Bessinger and Derek Lafferty (p) def. Daniel Cort and Pratt Reed (a)

Mike Harmon and Andy Hinson (p) def. Bob Collar and P.J. Tanner (a)

Jon Piccione and Ken Kroupa (a) def. Ed Brill and Doyle Ricks (p)

Jim Ferguson and Joe Brown (a) def. Franklin Newell and Chris Byrd (p)

Singles matches:

Jeff Wong (a) def. David Rogers (p)

Matt O'Quinn (a) def. Mark Tomodolsky (p)

Colby Wilson (p) def. John Patterson (a)

Tom Logue (p) def. Bubba Jacoby (a)

Bryan Bessinger (p) def. Daniel Cort (a)

Pratt Reed (a) def. Derek Lafferty (p)

Mike Harmon (p) def. Bob Collar (a)

P.J. Tanner (a) def. Andy Hinson (p)

Ken Kroupa (a) def. Doyle Ricks (p)

Jon Piccione (a) def. Ed Brill (p)