HARBOR SPRINGS — Team Boyne rookie captain Josh Richter couldn’t be any happier than he was Tuesday afternoon.
Nor could the 13 other Team Boyne members who put together a solid team performance at the 16th annual Harbor Cup at Boyne Highlands Heather Course.
After jumping out to a commanding 9 1/2 - 2 1/2 lead after Monday’s opening round best ball and alternate shot, Team Boyne kept the momentum going in singles matches as they cruised to an 18-6 victory over Team Harbor to capture their second straight Harbor Cup title.
Team Boyne — which won nine singles matches in Tuesday’s final round and halved another — now leads the all-time series at 9-7 in the annual 54-hole Ryder Cup style tournament which pits 12 Boyne golf professionals against 12 area golf professionals.
“It’s just nice being a part of Team Boyne,” said Richter, who took over as team captain for Bernie Friedrich. “I just felt like a group, we go through the summer and the grind together and when it comes down to it it just shows in our effort out here.
“The support we have for each other and from our membership is really why we’re so successful.”
It helps to have solid play from a myriad of veteran players as well.
Team Boyne took a 4-2 lead after best ball Monday at Boyne’s newest course in the Hidden River Golf and Casting Club, then added 5 1/2 more points in the afternoon alternate shot, limiting Team Harbor to just a half point.
“We set the tone and today (Tuesday) we wanted to come out and finish,” Richter said. “We came out relaxed and we just looked at the day as a day to come out and finish the job. We really set ourselves up for success and just finished the job.”
In Tuesday’s singles matches on The Heather, Barry Redmond defeated Brian Jakeway; Dan Turcott def. Matt Adamski; Brian O’Neill def. Matt Shalhoup; Jerry Roman def. Harry Dixon; Dave Trudell def. Keith Grunch; Mike Fay def. Dave Mocini; Casey Powers def. Brian Sanderson and Steve Good def. Cris Cavitt.
Mike Chumbler and John Wilson halved their match, which was the final match of the day and the board with Team Boyne having already comfortably earned the 12 points needed to reclaim the Cup.
“I though Steve Good, Bernie Friedrich and Mike Chumbler really went above and beyond,” Richter said. “But in the end I truly believe it’s a team. It’s great to go to battle with these guys all year long both in our professions and out here. I couldn’t be happier right now. I’m floating.”
Richter, who arguably had the shot of the day Tuesday as he chipped in a shot from a deep green side bunker on No. 16, said he and his team will start looking forward to next year’s tournament “by this afternoon.”
“All year long we look forward to this event and we can’t wait to get out there and do it again in 2013.”
For Team Harbor, Shaun Bezilla def. Kyle Roman, while John Myers def. Richter and John Paul Westbrook def. Friedrich.
“Yesterday we were down 4-2 going into alternate shot and boy, we only just eked out a half a point,” Team Harbor captain Shaun Bezilla said. “Several of those matches we had leads in, but they (Team Boyne) turned them over and made it points for them.”
Bezilla credited Team Boyne’s solid shot making throughout the tournament.
“They made some great shots like Josh Richter chipping one in from the bunker and John Wilson chipped one in, but most of the shots and putts were made by them.”
Bezilla thought prior to the tournament it could come down to who could hole the most putts. He was right.
“They made more putts than we did for sure,” Bezilla said. “Collectively as a team they played great. They really didn’t have a weak link on their team at all this year.”
Course set-up helped Team Boyne as well, Bezilla believed.
“The course was shorter and it took the driver out of the hands of some our guys like Harry Dixon,” Bezilla said. “They have a lot of good players over there, but I still think we have the best player in Harry Dixon. We’ll just get back to the drawing board and I think we’ll take a few days to kind of reflect a little bit.”
Team Boyne also raised upwards of $22,000 for local charities including The Manna Food Project and The First Tee of Boyne Highlands. Team Harbor also raised between $5000-$6000 for its two charities in The First Tee and Hospice of Little Traverse Bay.
“The charities are the real winners,” Richter said. “It’s a humbling experience to be able to help contribute to them and it’s great to come out and get a ‘W’ for them as well.”