Four-way rivalry

Defending champions Mesa Verde Country Club of Costa Mesa will host the 11th annual Jones Cup golf tournament at 1 p.m. Tuesday.

The three-time winner will compete with three other teams from area country clubs — Big Canyon, Santa Ana and Newport Beach — for the trophy that carries with it the bragging rights for being among the best golfers in the Newport-Mesa area.

"Whoever comes away with the Jones Cup takes pride in being the top club in the circulation area," said Paul Hahn, head professional of the Newport Beach Country Club. "I get a little amped up because it's fun, and it's a nice chance to represent our club."

Hahn has been with the club for 21 years and has played in every Jones Cup, which is sponsored by Fletcher Jones Motorcars of Newport Beach, since the inaugural event in 2000, he said.

The Daily Pilot is also an event sponsor.

While the Newport club has not won since 2004, Hahn said that this year the team — which has two members new to the tourney — has a fighting chance.

Last year, the Mesa Verde team finished at 14-under par, with Big Canyon following three shots behind. The team consisted of head professional Tom Sargent, assistant professional Mark McDonough, women's club champion Madelaine Campbell, men's club champion Preston Murray and member Bryan Rolfe.

Each local club team is comprised of five golfers: head professional, assistant professional, ladies' champion, men's champion and senior men's champion.

Team scoring is based on two low gross balls of each five-player team.

To further pump up the day's excitement, Fletcher Jones Motorcars, a Mercedes-Benz dealership, is giving a car to the golfer who hits a hole-in-one at either of the two designated holes on the course — an accomplishment not yet seen in Jones Cup history.

The prizes and respective holes are a Mercedes E350 Cabriolet valued at $65,000 on the front nine and a S400 Hybrid valued at $90,000 on the back nine.

"This is truly a local event," Fletcher Jones General Manger Garth Blumenthal said. "It's a great opportunity for the dealership to support the local clubs and become more involved in the community. It's something that we look forward to every year."

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