For the Green’s Folly Golf Course and Halifax Country Club county cup teams, last weekend’s 29th Annual County Cup Golf Tournament was a tale of two contrasting days and one of the closest and toughest battles in the long-standing history of the tournament.

The Green’s Folly Golf Course team won for the 10th straight year, but not before overcoming an eight-point deficit it faced after the opening round at Halifax Country Club and having Nick Thompson, Woody Clay and Scott Vaughan pull off big wins in the final three singles matches in Sunday’s round at Green’s Folly Golf Course.

“It was a dogfight,” Green’s Folly Golf Course co-captain Jimmy Clay said, “and our guys played their tails off. Halifax played really well over at Halifax Country Club. They beat us badly Saturday morning. We had a huge deficit. I told the guys (in a text message) at five o’clock in the morning we can do this. We have the fight to come back and beat those guys. I told them if we play like we are supposed to at this place (Green’s Folly Golf Course) we’re going to win, and we did.”

“I can’t say enough about our guys,” added Green’s Folly Golf Course co-captain David Graham.

“They went out there with determination and heart and grinded it out against some very good players from Halifax. To come back from eight points down, you just don’t have that happen many times in golf.

“The guys played real good golf against a very good team from across the street,” Graham added.

“It was a dogfight all the way, and I am so proud of the way these guys played golf today. I am proud to be a part of this team.”

Graham said everyone’s attitude heading into Sunday’s decisive round was upbeat.

“I got texts, and it was nothing but positive, ‘we can do this,’ ‘let’s go do this,’” he said.

“It got me believing.”

For the Halifax Country Club team Sunday marked another tough loss.

“The last two years we’ve been really close,” said Halifax Country Club captain W.J. Long.

“This year we had a big lead and were sitting pretty, and somehow or another it got away. We never thought it was over with. We knew we had to come here to Green’s Folly and play solid golf. We just didn’t do it. We got beat. Guys like me who are supposed to get points didn’t get many points. We had some guys do real well, but at the end it was too little too late.”

The Halifax Country Club team emerged with an eight-point lead after Saturday morning’s alternating shots and best-ball matches. The two teams broke even in Saturday afternoon’s series of singles matches.

Facing a big deficit, the Green’s Folly Golf Course team started making up ground in Sunday morning’s series of alternate shot and best-ball matches. By the time the Sunday morning matches ended, the Green’s Folly Golf Course team had cut its deficit from eight points to three points, and team captain Jimmy Clay had made a hole-in-one on the par 3 fifth hole to aid in the team’s comeback effort.

The Green’s Folly Golf Course team continued to surge in Sunday afternoon’s six singles matches. Halifax Country Club led 32 ½ to 30 with the last three singles matches on the line, only to come up short at the end.

Nick Thompson’s 3-0 win over Richard Harrell gave Green’s Folly the lead. Woody Clay edged Bryan Allen 2-1 to pad the Green’s Folly lead, and Scott Vaughan closed out the tournament for Green’s Folly with a 2 ½ to ½ win over Chris Coleman.

Green’s Folly Golf Course team member Matt Hunt, who was playing in his second County Cup, said it was all about heart.

“You keep fighting until it’s over,” he pointed out.

“That’s what we did today. What a lot of fun the grind was. You support each other and fight and push until you just can’t push anymore. “

At the end of the day, Clay and Graham said this year’s tournament was one of the best, if not the best.

“I think it was the best one,” Clay said.

“They (the Halifax Country Club team) put up a heckuva an effort.”

“This was the closest one I’ve played in,” Graham chimed in, “and I have played in over 20.”

COUNTY CUP GOLF TOURNAMENT RESULTS

Score – Green’s Folly Golf Course 37 ½ Halifax Country Club 34

Saturday Round – Halifax Country Club

Alternate Shots

Kim Houseal/ Phil Rinker (HCC) 3 Scott Vaughan/Matt Hunt (GFGC) 0

Brad Hoppe/Chris Young (GFGC) 1 ½ Rodney Watts/Eric Arthur Jr. (HCC) 1 ½

Chris Coleman/Bryan Allen (HCC) 3 Kelly Puryear/Jeff Shumate (GFGC) 0

Best Ball

Jimmy Clay/Sammy Puryear (GFGC) 2 W.J. Long/Jay Burnett (HCC) 1

Nathan Lantor/Kwang Kim (HCC) 2 ½ Nick Thompson/Kevin Haskins (GFGC) ½

Richard Harrell/Bruce Stone (HCC) 2 Woody Clay/David Graham 1

Singles

Chris Young (GFGC) 3 Kwang Kim (HCC) 0

Nathan Lantor (HCC) 2 ½ Brad Hoppe (GFGC) ½

Kevin Haskins (GFGC) 2 Kim Houseal (HCC) 1

Phil Rinker (HCC) 3 Kelly Puryear (GFGC) 0

David Graham (GFGC) 2 ½ W.J. Long (HCC) ½

Eric Arthur Jr. (HCC) 2 Jimmy Clay (GFGC) 1

Sunday Round – Green’s Folly Golf Course

Alternate Shots

David Graham/Brad Hoppe (GFGC) 1 ½ Kim Houseal/Phil Rinker (HCC) 1 ½

Sammy Puryear/Jeff Shumate (GFGC) 1 ½ Rodney Watts/Eric Arthur Jr. (HCC) 1 ½

Chris Coleman/Bryan Allen (HCC) 2 ½ Kevin Haskins/Scott Vaughan (GFGC) ½

Best Ball

Woody Clay/Chris Young (GFGC) 2 ½ W.J. Long/Jay Burnett (HCC) ½

Matt Hunt/ Nick Thompson (GFGC) 2 ½ Nathan Lantor/Kwang (HCC) ½

Jimmy Clay/Kelly Puryear (GFGC) 3 Richard Harrell/Bruce Stone (HCC) 0

Singles

Bruce Stone (HCC) 2 ½ Sammy Puryear (GFGC) ½

Jeff Shumate (GFGC) 2 ½ Rodney Watts (HCC) ½

Matt Hunt (GFGC) 1 ½ Jay Burnett (HCC) 1 ½

Nick Thompson (GFGC) 3 Richard Harrell (HCC) 0

Woody Clay (GFGC) 2 Bryan Allen (HCC) 1

Scott Vaughan (GFGC) 2 ½ Chris Coleman (HCC) ½

Joe Chandler is the sports editor for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact him at jchandler@gazettevirginian.com.

Joe Chandler is the sports editor for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact him at jchandler@gazettevirginian.com