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With chill in the air, the 36 participants of the 2017 Estabrooks Cup would challenge the par 72 Petitcodiac Valley Golf & Country Club in an effort to claim the 20th Estabrooks Cup for their side.

As the day would heat up, so would the matches and at day’s end it was playing captain’s Mike Breen & Leanne Richardson’s Southern squad that would take 13.5 of the 18 available points through team play to take a nine (9) point lead entering Sunday’s singles matches.

Named after New Brunswick Golf Association Past President John Estabrooks, the Estabrooks Cup was first played in 1998.  Between 1998 and 2008 the Estabrooks Cup was a “best on best”, Ryder Cup style, event for New Brunswick’s best male amateur golfers.  In 2009 the format changed to incorporate Amateur Men (8), Senior Men (4) and Ladies (4) onto both the North and South teams.  The 2017 version of the Estabrooks Cup would see the event increased to 36 participants, Amateur Men (2), Senior Men (8) and Ladies (8) onto both the North and South teams, and guided for the first time by “Playing Captains” Herrick Hansen (Aroostook Valley Country Club) and Margo Dickinson (Covered Bridge Golf & Country Club” for the North and Mike Breen (Hampton Golf Club) and Leanne Richardson (Country Meadows Golf Club) for the South.

Day one would see players compete in two sets of 18 hole matches with the morning draw consisting of Fourball play and the afternoon draw being played in a Foursome, or alternate shot, format.

The opening, Four Ball, draw was a seesaw battle between that would see the teams trade points for the entire morning.  The day’s first match would see the Country Meadows tandem of Sandy Comeau & Shelley Thomas battle from three down to half their match with the North’s Paula-Napke Flannagan (Miramichi Golf & Country Club) & Mary Walton-Rossignol (Fredericton Golf Club), before Bob Gray (Maplewood Golf & Country Club) & Jean LeBlanc (Fox Creek Golf Club) would draw first blood for the South in match #2, with a 3 & 2 victory over 2017 NB Senior Men’s Champion Wilfred Pilgrim (Kingswood) & Gerry Duguay (Restigouche Country Club).

Match #3 would see the North’s Kingswood duo of Gordon Kay & Scott Lockhart earn draw the North back to all square, with their 2 & 1 victory over the South’s Hampton paring of Gary Swain & Tim McRae, before Kathy Grebenc (Gowan Brae Golf & Country Club) & Penny Dickeson (Fredericton Golf Club) would give the North their first lead at 2.5 points to 1.5 points, with a 2 & 1 victory over the South’s Allison Chisholm (The Riverside Country Club) & Pam Cossey (Rockwood Park Golf Course) in match #4.

As quickly as the North would take the lead they would give it right back again, as match #5 would see the South’s Dana Murray (Moutain Wood Golf & Country Club) & Bob McIntyre (Hampton Golf Club) hand the Fredericton pair of Greg Blake & Bob Maher a 3 & 2 loss, drawing the South back to even on the day.  The draw would not last long as South Playing Captain Mike Breen (Hampton) & his partner Kevin Farmer (Herring Cove Prov. Park Golf Course) would hand a lopsided 5 & 4 loss to North Playing Captain Herrick Hansen and his partner, 2015 NB Senior Men’s Champion Sonny Phillips (Fredericton), giving the South a 3.5 to 2.5 advantage with three matches left on the course.

Match #6 would provide some breathing room for the South as the Country Meadows team of Playing Captain Leanne Richardson & Sue Godin would hold off the North’s Playing Captain Margo Dickinson and her partner Charlotte Evans (Kingswood) 2 Up.

Match #7 would also go the distance as the North’s Gary Melanson (Covered Bridge) & Garry Jenkins (Fredericton) would halve the 18th to hold off the Southern pair of Guy MacKnight (Country Meadows) & Louis Boudreau (Pine Needles Golf & Country Club) 1 up and cut the South’s lead to one point (4.5 to 3.5) through eight matches.

The mourning draw’s final result came from match #8 that would see the Southern team of Andrea Boucher (Moncton Golf & Country Club) & Erin Musgrave (Country Meadows) facing off against the North’s pair of Kathy Meagher (Fredericton) & Maureen O’Donnell (Fredericton) in the fourth morning match to go the full 18 holes.  In the end it was the team of Boucher & Musgrave claiming the morning’s final match, 1 up, and earning the South side a two point lead (5.5 to 3.5) entering the afternoon foursome (alternate shot) matches.

With a slim two point lead entering the afternoon draw Team South would come out firing with Leanne Richardson & Sandy Comeau carding an early 4 & 3 victory over Margo Dickinson & Paula Napke-Flanagan and the pair of Louis Boudreau & Dana Murray easily handling the North’s Wilfred Pilgrim & Greg Blake 6 & 5, in match #14, to stretch the South lead to four points through 11 completed matches.

The South’s early dominance in foursomes play would continue with the pair of Bob Gray & Tim McRae handing Gary Melanson & Scott Lockhart a 1 up defeat in match #11 with a victory on Petitcodiac’s par four 18th.  Following the Gray / McRae lead was the Southern pair of Pam Cossey & Sue Godin who would handle the Fredericton duo of Mary Walton-Rossignol & Penny Dickeson 2 up in match #12.

Keeping the South Train rolling would be Andrea Boucher & Kevin Farmer as the pair would top Sonny Phillips & Maureen O’Donnell 4 & 3 in match #17, pushing the South’s lead to seven, 10.5 to 3.5, through 14 completed matches.

The South’s march towards a clean sweep of the foursome matches would continue in match #13 as Bob McIntyre & Jean LeBlanc would hand Gerry Duguay & Bob Maher a 2 up defeat before the North’s Gordon Kay & Garry Jenkins would stop the slide, and “close the gap” with a 3 & 1 victory in match #16 over the South’s Gary Swain & Guy MacKnight.

Despite the “blemish” the South would bounce back and claim the day’s final two matches as Allison Chisholm & Erin Musgrave would claim match #15, 1 up, over Kathy Grebenc & Charlotte Evans, and Mike Breen & Shelley Thomas would conclude the second round route with a 4 & 2 victory over the North’s Herrick Hansen & Kathy Meagher.

Entering Sunday’s singles matches Team South holds a 13.5 point to 4.5 lead over Team North, but with 18 points up for grabs in singles play it is still anyone’s game.

Sunday tee times are schedule to begin at 8:00am and run to 10:16am.

Golf New Brunswick (Golf NB), a not for profit organization founded in 1934, is the official governing body for amateur golf in New Brunswick.  In January of 2006, the New Brunswick Golf Association (NBGA) officially merged with the New Brunswick Ladies Golf Association (NBLGA), resulting in one united governing body for amateur golf in the province.  Programs offered by Golf NB to its 10,000 members include: 12 provincial events, rules of golf education, course rating and handicap services, junior golf development programs and member club marketing initiatives.For more information on the 2017 Estabrooks Cup, please visit www.golfnb.ca or CLICK HERE.

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