Beaufort County amateurs retake Honors Cup from pros

A team of top Beaufort County's amateurs wrested the Honors Cup back from their professional counterparts, putting an end to their four-year losing streak in the annual competition with an 11-7 triumph Sunday at Moss Creek Golf Club.

The amateurs clinched the victory by winning four of the final six singles matches at Moss Creek's North course, with Beaufort's Benji Gecy notching the winning point with a 3&2 victory over Jason Cherry of Haig Point Club in the penultimate match.

A few minutes later, Hilton Head Island amateur Trent Hoisington provided the capper with a 2&1 triumph over Derrick Garrou (Colleton River).

It was just the fifth victory for the amateurs in a rivalry dating back to 1984, but the fourth in the past eight meetings. Amateurs captured three straight from 2008-10 before the professionals went on their recent run.

"I'll have fun with that," amateur captain Bob Collar said of the recent 4-4 split. "That's a lot better than five out of 32."

The entire rivalry seems to be one of streaks. After the amateurs won the inaugural meeting in 1984, the professionals took the next 23 before the run came to a halt in 2008.

The competition pits 12 players from the Hilton Head Island Amateur Golf Association against a dozen from the Carolinas PGA's Hilton Head Island chapter. Pairings are made for six matches of four-balls in the morning, followed by 12 singles matches in the afternoon.

Moss Creek GC's Heidi Wright Tennyson served as the professionals' captain.

The amateurs held a thin edge of 3 1/2 to 2 1/2 after the morning session, with Gecy and Hoisington playing a factor again by teaming up to win the final match.

The teams then split the first six singles matches, with amateur Charlie Hall (Hilton Head Island) providing a key point when he came back from a 3-down deficit to beat Colleton River's Mark Reilley, 1-up. Bluffton amateur Jeff Wong sent the winners on their closing flourish by beating Matt Lucchesi (Colleton River).

Bluffton's Bubba Jacoby joined fellow amateurs Gecy and Hoisington with a perfect 2-0 record. Scott Hunter (Wexford Plantation) and Tom Logue (Moss Creek) led the professionals with 1-0-1 marks.