NUMBER ONE — After a cool drenching of champagne members of the Conrad Rider Cup team pose for a picture with the silver Rider cup after winning the 54-hole tournament in Cut Bank on Sunday. Friday teams from Conrad, Cut Bank and Shelby played 36 holes at the Pondera Golf Club to get the annual three-city tournament underway. Photo for I-O by Judy Ellis
By Buck Traxler, I-O Editor
After taking a hiatus for one year the Rider Cup is back in Conrad.
The annual golf tournament between the cities of Conrad, Cut Bank and Shelby was played out over the weekend.
Shelby was out to defend their title after taking the “Cup” away from Conrad who had won the year before.
On Friday the teams hit the course at the Pondera Golf Club and played out 36 holes of nonstop golf over the stretched out course of 6,416 yards.
The morning matches had two man teams competing in best ball competition and in the afternoon the golfers played a Chapman format.
In the best ball, the best score of the two team players is what counts. Loosely, in the Chapman, players alternate hitting shots until the ball is holed out.
After the morning round, the scores looked like this: Conrad 6, Cut Bank 5, and Shelby 4.
Winning their matches were Dr. Jay Taylor-Lane Judisch, Rhett Orcutt-Nate Gage, Tom Billings-Don Dutro, Scott Arvidson-Wyatt Frydenlund, and Howard Bouma-Greg Orcutt.
Gaining a split, or half point were the teams of Dave Orcutt-Nick Hofstad and Casey Vandenacre-Buck Traxler.
Suffering losses were Ryan VanDyke-Mark Gage, Tyler Eisenzimer-Scott Newmiller, and Lyle Orcutt-Dave Howard.
Playing on your own course is always a slight advantage and the home boys used that leverage to pad their lead in the afternoon. They won the Chapman segment as well with scores going this way from the two man teams: Conrad 6-1/2, Cut Bank 4, Shelby 4-1/2.
Team totals at the end of the first day looked like this: Conrad 12.5, Cut Bank 9, and Shelby 8.5.
Sunday the Cut Bank Chamber of Commerce couldn’t have ordered up better weather for a final match.
Golfers played each other, heads up, in a match play format over 6,113 yards at the Cut Bank Golf and Country Club.
While Conrad held on to a comfortable lead, in order to bring the “Cup” back to the Promised Land, they would need to win at least 10 matches on the day.
The parings on Sunday proved to be as close as they possibly could.
Conrad racked up 10 wins, Cut Bank, on their course, got 10-1/2 points and Shelby also picked up 10 points.
The final scores for the three rounds saw Conrad on top with 22-1/2 points, Cut Bank next with 19.5 markers and Shelby in third place with 18 points.
Conrad once again has bragging rights for the next year as having the best overall golfers from the three cities.
Winning their singles matches were N, Gage, Kyle Ellis, M. Gage, Howard, Arvidson, Vandenacre, Dutro, Traxler, G. Orcutt and Carmen Jenson.
Taking a loss were Taylor, VanDyke, Newmiller, Hofstad, D. Orcutt, Billings, R. Orcutt, Duane Gjesdal, Frydenlund, and L. Orcutt.
The tournament loosely resembles a class reunion. Golfers see each other once a year, tell golfing stories that would rival a fishing camp and generally have a fun time with the winning team having an awesome time.
Who’s your daddy? Just ask any Conrad golfer who played on the Rider Cup team.