After three years of the City Cup golf tournament, we know one thing: No lead is safe.
The Blackthorn Club team won the cup for the first time Sunday, doing it with a dramatic comeback reminiscent of the first two editions of this friendly competition between Blackthorn and Johnson City Country Club.
Blackthorn wound up running away with the final day, scoring 411â„2 points out of a possible 60. That left it with a 65-55 victory.
“I just told them to play hard,” said Blackthorn pro Graham Enloe, who is undefeated in this event since this was his first. “It’s important enough to them that they were motivated. It matters a lot to everybody. It’s a great event and it’s great camaraderie, but it is a competition. And we wanted to win. Anybody will tell you that.”
The final outcome wasn’t determined until the next-to-last match when Rick Storey and Ed Gibbons posted a three-point sweep for Blackthorn.
“I didn’t know how we stood,” Storey said. “I found out when we got in. We’ve had three great matches with Johnson City Country Club and a lot of great fellowship. This was just our day to win. They came back the last two years. We played well.”
Matches were scored with one point for the front nine, one for the back and one for the overall. Storey and Gibbons’ card pushed the Blackthorn total over the edge and gave the club its first title after it blew big leads the previous two years.
“That was something,” Enloe said. “How much fun is it having everybody back here watching the scores come in, cheering each other on?
This time it was the Country Club team’s turn to wonder “what-if?” After overcoming large deficits in each of the last two years, the JCCC men couldn’t protect the 13-point advantage they built the first day at their own course.
“Our guys tried hard,” JCCC pro Mike Crowe said. “That’s all you can ask from them. There were a lot of close matches. My hat’s off to them. It’s a great event. There’s a lot of camaraderie here and it’s getting better every year.
“I’m tickled to death for them. They worked hard for it. Both teams played better at their home place like you would expect.”
Blackthorn posted 10 sweeps out of 20 matches on Sunday. Lewis Songer and Steve Silvia teamed up to win all six points over the weekend. They were the only two players to post perfect scores.
Other sweeps on Sunday for Blackthorn came from Brian Bonfardin and Tom Frazier, Randy Harkleroad and Russell Ingram, Jeff Blake and Mark Skeen, Pete Cholerton and John Fenley, Bill Schaefer and Duke Ingram, Tommy Burleson and Brandon White, Richard Corpening and Nick Clay, and Shawn Bright and Grant Summers.
Bill Stewart and Phil Waters posted JCCC’s only sweep on Sunday.
“It was our high handicap guys today,” Enloe said. “They came up huge for us. In our last four groups, three teams had shutouts. It was just a good team effort and a lot of fun.”