Pinehurst proved to be a gracious and accommodating host. The golfing weather cooperated nicely, with warm days and gentle breezes. We were also treated to the occasional afternoon and evening thunder shower, and even got to see ‘tornado watch’ on the television screen. For those of us from Southern California, that’s a unique experience! All in all, the 26th Annual TaylorMade Father and Son Invitational was blessed with many things, but most of all, with great people and lasting memories.
Chris Chase has been chasing the title for 25 years; first playing with his step-father in 1988. He watched his brother-in-law and father-in-law win the following year in Hawaii. His youngest son, Rob, first played with his grandfather in 2004 (Hawaii) at the age of 14. He’s competed admirably with his oldest son, Ryan, on several occasions. Pinehurst, however, proved to be the right location for ‘Team Chase’. Playing once again with Rob (fresh from three months in South America), the Chase team played inspired team golf from day-one, and finished the week off with a sparkling 64 on the famed Pinehurst No. 2 to capture the title the family has been eyeing for over two decades. Congratulations to Chris and Rob Chase, 2013 Overall Net Champions.
The Earle’s are no strangers to the victory platform. Steve has been joining the event for a number of years as a non-competing participant, and supporter. This year was to feature Tony with his oldest son, Ken, entered as ‘Team Earle’. Tony, who has participated in all but one Father & Son event, determined he was not up to playing all the rounds required this year, and ‘Uncle Steve’ was the approved and welcomed substitute.
The Earle’s came into the final round three shots behind the team of Rich and Rich Pell, and two shots behind Steve and Jonathan Goldstein. Pinehurst No. 2 proved as challenging as advertised. The Earles missed some short putts early, but rallied to finish with a 72 for a three-round total of 216. The Pell’s and Goldstein’s also struggled home, but the Pell’s managed to also finish at 216, forcing a sudden-death playoff with Steve and Ken for the title of Low Gross Champions.
The playoff began on hole number one on Pinehurst #5. It was not without drama! Rich Pell, III holed a must-make 20 foot putt on the first hole to advance play to hole number 2. Hole number 2 was equally as intriguing. Ken Earle drove out of bounds, and it appeared Rich Pell, III followed suit. Rich’s ball, however, was in by a matter of inches. With the weight of the team on his shoulders, Steve hit a beautiful Rescue-club shot within 15 feet of the pin. Not to be outdone, Rich III went from under the trees to nearly the same distance from the hole. Both players' putts stopped less than ½ inch from the hole. The battle continued…
The playoff ended on the third hole, where both Pell’s struggled somewhat and carded bogey 6’s. Steve was able to two-putt from short distance to nab the title for ‘Team Earle’.
A great week was had by all, southern style. We missed those of you who couldn't join us, but look forward to hosting you in 2014. The tradition continues ....