GCWGA Crowns Four Fall Team Champions
By Marc Hardin
Pardon the ladies at Wetherington Golf And Country Club and Coldstream Country Club if they exhaled mightily following the completion of Fall Team play.
The two member clubs staged one of the more thrilling finishes since the GCWGA established the autumnal event in 1996 with less than a point separating the two in the final Division II Fall Team standings. Following five weeks of play, Wetherington prevailed with 103 points. Coldstream was runner-up with 102.5.
"It was really close," said a relieved Diane Stevens, Wetherington's captain. "Coldstream was the front runner for several weeks. We were in third place then first then second then first, and it came down to half a point."
Wetherington joined Hamilton Elks Golf Club, Losantiville Country Club and Wyoming Golf Club as 2017 Fall Team divisional champs. Hamilton Elks repeated in Division I. Losantiville won a championship for the second successive season, taking the Division III title one year after moving up a division thanks to capturing the Division IV crown. Wyoming won a tight race in Division IV.
Hamilton Elks, led by a group including team captain Lori Roberts, Vicki Felver, Sandy Roark, Hilda Hodges and Tina Davis, added to its trophy case with yet another Division I championship by a wide margin, this time 26 points in the six-team upper division race. Kenwood Country Club finished runner-up with 96, representing a big leap. Kenwood placed fourth last year as Hamilton Elks won the division by 36.
Losantiville, captained by Sally Cuni and anchored by Lisa Thal and Carol Sarver, received key contributions from Susan Routh, Shelley Tarshis and Monica Weakley while winning Division III with 120 points, good for a 20-point margin over runner-up Western Hills Country Club (100).
Division IV chair Patti Horne captained Wyoming to the Division IV crown with 89 points in the other hotly contested six-team chase. O'Bannon Creek Golf Club finished runner-up with 85 points, edging third-place Triple Crown Country Club (80.5). Stalwarts for Wyoming include Sharon O'Dowd, Elaine Bartlett and Julie Zennie.
"To my knowledge, I don't think we had won in the Fall and I think it's great," Horne said. "Wyoming was one of the founding teams in interteam play so we go way back. For a long while we were Spring Team only."
Wetherington won a 2017 Spring Team championship, giving the club a rare double: a Spring and Fall Team crown in the same year. Coldstream led Wetherington by two points heading into the final week of Division II play Oct. 6 at Coldstream but Wetherington came out on top with 21.5 points the final day compared to 19 for Coldstream. Key players for Wetherington include Sherry Pedoto, Sandy Stuckert, Rosemary Haddad, Kris Perrin, Cathy Barlow and Valerie Barth.
"It was a great season," Stevens said. "It's pretty cool that Wetherington won in the Spring and the Fall, amazing actually."
Other Fall Team play highlights included a hole-in-one by Diane Vermeil for Oasis Golf Club in a Division IV match at O'Bannon Creek and consistently great weather.
"The weather was magical. We didn't have to use one rain date," Fall Team chair Renee Obial said. "It was perfect almost every time we played."
The top two teams in Divisions II-IV are slated to move up a division for next year, and the bottom two in Divisions I-III are expected to move down, but those changes won't be made official by the GCWGA until later in November.