FOUR PEATS — The Conrad golfers begin to celebrate after winning the Ryder Cup for the fourth year in a row. In an exciting finish, the home boys won the 54-hole two-day tournament by a half point over Cut Bank. This year, Choteau jumped into the competition, adding a fourth city to the tournament. Photo courtesy of Brian Kavanagh-Pioneer Press
Conrad golfers are simply the best in the Golden Triangle.
For the fourth year running the team from Conrad have beaten up Cut Bank and Shelby and get to put their name on the trophy as the best-of-the-best in northcentral Montana.
This year for the first time, Choteau was added to the list of wanna be’s to hold the cup.
Conrad’s glory didn’t start until 2008 when they won their first title. Shelby took it way in 2009 but the last four years were all Conrad.
Cut Bank won the first title in 2001 and 2003, but since then it has been a battle between Conrad and Shelby for bragging rights.
The match is played over two days, 36 holes on Friday and 18 on Saturday covering three different format of play.
This year, Conrad hosted the opening round, 36 holes of play on the home front.
Winning matches in the best ball play were the two man teams consisting of Howard Bouma-Scott Arvidson, Mike and Carmen Jensen, Todd Truscott-Nick Hofstad, Jer Pearson-Dave Orcutt, Lyle Orcutt-Dave Howard, Greg Orcutt-Don Dutro, and Nate Gage-Jay Taylor, all first round winners.
Suffering a loss were TJ Bennyhoff-Ryan VanDyke and Lane Judisch–Joe Pearson.
After the best ball matches, Conrad led the way with seven points. Cut Bank and Shelby each scored four points and newcomer Choteau put up three markers.
The afternoon matches featured Chapman play where both players tee off and then alternate hitting their next shots until they hole out.
The home boys picked up 5-1/2 points to lead the other three cities with a 12.5 score overall. Choteau moved up a spot to third place with 4-1/2 points and a 7-1/2 point total. Cut Bank scored five points and Shelby three.
Conrad led with 12-1/2 points. Cut Bank was in second with nine points, Choteau was in third place with 71/2 and Shelby was at the bottom looking up with seven points.
Picking up wins for Conrad were Dutro-Bouma, Arvidson-C. Jensen, Van Dyke-Truscott, Gage-Judisch, D. Orcutt-Howard and L. Orcutt-G. Orcutt halved their match. Bennyhoff-Pearson, Scott Newmiller, Taylor-J. Pearson suffered a loss.
The final match was a head-to-head 18 match played in Cut Bank on their 6,113 country club layout.
Van Dyke commented, “It was really tight on Sunday and the title wasn’t decided until the final two of the final four match ups was won by Conrad.”
The home boys didn’t fare well in the final matches, getting seven points, but that was enough to give the team 19-1/2 points overall. Cut Bank came onto pick up 10 points on Sunday, only to finish in second place with 19 points. Shelby also scored 10 points to finish in third with 17 points and the new boy on the block, Choteau rallied for nine points, but was still in fourth place with 16-1/2 points.
Winning their matches on Sunday were D. Orcutt, Van Dyke, Truscott, Bennyhoff, Judisch, Hofstad, and Howard.
Taking a loss were C. Jensen, L. Orcutt, Jer Pearson, Rhett Orcutt, Dutro, Newmiller, Taylor, Bouma, G. Orcutt, and Joe Pearson.
Next year Choteau will host the opening round with the Sunday match going to Shelby. In the meantime, bragging rights stays in the center between the two cities.