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Mesa Verde dominates for second straight Jones Cup golf win

Mike Fergin of Mesa Verde Country Club, center, walks off the green after sinking a birdie putt.
Mike Fergin of Mesa Verde Country Club, center, walks off the green after sinking a birdie putt in the 22nd annual Jones Cup community golf tournament at Big Canyon Country Club on Thursday.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

It is certainly an advantage to have a scorching hot player at the Jones Cup community golf tournament.

Last year, Mesa Verde Country Club’s Kim Izzi made nine birdies to help her club earn a victory at its home course.

This year, it was another member of Mesa Verde who stepped up to the challenge.

Professional Mike Fergin seemingly couldn’t miss. At one point, he hit an eagle and three straight birdies in a four-hole stretch on Thursday at Big Canyon Country Club.

Mesa Verde cruised to its second straight victory in the two-best-ball format, with a team score of 15-under par.

“It’s a lot of fun for us,” Mesa Verde team captain Heidi Wright-Tennyson said.

“It was supposed to be here last year, and we hosted during the pandemic. It was so much fun to have something positive happen during the pandemic. Then to come over here and win back to back is just fantastic ... Any time you have one player who’s hot, it keeps everybody else super-excited to rally around them and want to play well.”

Host Big Canyon and Shady Canyon tied for second with a seven-under par team score, followed by Santa Ana (-5) and Newport Beach (-2) country clubs.

Fergin had six birdies and an eagle at hole No. 2 during his individual round of 65 for Mesa Verde. Ryan Knapp, the men’s club champion playing in his first Jones Cup, also had six birdies to aid Mesa Verde’s cause.

Ryan Knapp from Mesa Verde Country Club smiles after sinking a long putt on Thursday.
Ryan Knapp from Mesa Verde Country Club smiles after sinking a long putt on Thursday.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

Izzi, team captain Heidi Wright-Tennyson and senior men’s champion Eric Woods chipped in one birdie each for Mesa Verde, which recorded its only bogey that counted at hole No. 7.

The teams all started on the back nine. By No. 7, Mesa Verde had its eighth Jones Cup victory in the bag. Only Big Canyon has more, with 10 wins.

“It was a good team effort,” Fergin said. “We all blend together, we all have a good time, so that’s what’s important too. Everyone contributed.”

Fergin, who has been a part of each of the five Mesa Verde wins at the Jones Cup since 2010, said he hit a good drive on the par-five No. 2 that left him about 160 yards into the flag.

“It was a perfect eight-iron,” Fergin said. “I hit it maybe just a little thin, but it was a good yardage. It went eight feet past the hole, and I made a putt.”

Members of the Santa Ana Country Club golf team watch as teammate Diane Booth putts on Thursday.
Members of the Santa Ana Country Club golf team watch as teammate Diane Booth putts.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

Knapp said he had fun playing in front of his grandfather, Gordon Bowley, who has been a volunteer helping put on the Jones Cup since the beginning. Now 30 years old, Knapp added that he had caddied in a Jones Cup when he was still in college.

“I was caddying on a winning team, now I’m part of a winning team,” Knapp said. “Moving up the ranks. I’m just trying to keep up with Mike, to be honest with you. It was a very fun day. The course was in great shape; the greens were incredible.”

Taylor Wood, the men’s club champion, led host Big Canyon with four birdies. Men’s champion Eion Middaugh and ladies club champion Kelly Ly each had three birdies for Shady Canyon.

Big Canyon captain Robert Pang made sure to congratulate all of the Mesa Verde players after the host club, which was the last to tee off, exited the ninth green to conclude play.

“When you hear someone tearing it up like [Fergin], you’re really happy for them,” Pang said. “Kim did it last year. When people play that well, you’re happy for them. The outcome is what it is. We didn’t play well enough. We didn’t make putts and they did.”

Members of the Shady Canyon team smile as they walk onto the tee box on Thursday.
Members of the Shady Canyon team smile as they walk onto the tee box.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

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