The Broadmoor Golf Club overcame a finish in near darkness, some "crazy" pin placements and a major challenge from Rifle Creek Golf Course to win the CGA Team Interclub title for the second time in five years on Saturday.
The Broadmoor, competing in the finals of the season-long Team Interclub for a record fourth time, defeated Rifle Creek at the CGA-owned CommonGround Golf Course in Aurora 13-11 in Saturday's championship match.
Coincidentally, The Broadmoor beat Rifle Creek in the finals the other time it won the Interclub title, in 2014.
The only other club that has captured the CGA Team Interclub championship twice is Lone Tree Golf Club, which prevailed in 2011 and '12.
The eight Broadmoor players all wore black on Saturday in honor of prominent club member Char Berglund, who unexpectedly passed away on Oct. 10. Berglund was the wife of Art Berglund, a longtime hockey executive and former general manager of the U.S. hockey team who is a member of the International Ice Hockey Federation Hall of Fame.
"We won today for Char," said team captain Mike Allred. "(Her death) was a shock to the golf club at The Broadmoor. We all wore black because the funeral was today."
Four players won both their singles and concurrent four-ball matches on Saturday, two from each side: Allred -- who scored crucial 1-up singles and four-ball victories by sinking a tough 5-foot par putt on No. 18 -- and Tom Haggard from The Broadmoor, and Tod Smith and Mark Sours from Rifle Creek.
Joining Allred and Haggard on the championship-winning team from The Broadmoor were Curtis Olson, Ron Crowder, Luke Travins, Joe Diver, Roger Perry and Scott Meagher. Allred, Crowder, Perry and Meagher have been on both Broadmoor teams that have won Team Interclub titles. (This year's champions are pictured above.)
In fact, in every year The Broadmoor has competed in the CGA Team Interclub since 2013, it's made the finals. The club didn't entered the competition last year.
"It feels pretty good, right boys?" Allred said, speaking to his teammates. "Every year we've played (in the last five) we've made it to the finals. We've won two and lost two. Not bad." (Allred, left, and four-ball partner Curtis Olson are pictured.)
As noted, Rifle Creek has been on the losing end both years The Broadmoor has prevailed, and it also fell to Lone Tree in the 2012 title match.
"The Broadmoor is a good team and they came out on top," acting Rifle Creek captain Jeb Savage said. "But we'll be back next year. We love playing in this. It's a fun format. It's good to play other teams -- guys you don't know. It's good to play other competition and at other courses. We enjoy it a lot and like traveling. It was an all-around good season."
A frost delay at CommonGround caused tee times to be pushed back for the Interclub finals on Saturday afternoon, and for the second straight year many of the matches finished in near darkness. This time around, the final group concluded its round at 6:45 p.m., a half-hour past sunset.
In addition, a "Heaven and Hell" tournament held earlier in the day led to some wicked pin placements for the Interclub finals at CommonGround.
"It was a funky golf course today," said Savage (pictured in green with four-ball partner Manuppella). "We all played the (same pin placements) but it was tough."
In one case, on No. 10, the cup was located on such a slope that offline putts in the 5-7-foot range were making 180s and ending up in nearly the same place where they were initially stroked.
"On hole 10, I honestly felt in the spirit of competition, we'd just say 'Good, good, good, good' (conceding all four players' putts) and get out of there. Just pick 'em up," Allred said.
But despite the darkness and hole locations and some solid play from Rifle Creek, The Broadmoor kept its perfect record for 2018 intact, finishing the season 7-0. Rifle Creek, which was making its third finals appearance, ended up 5-1-1.
"We're all super competitive," Allred said of the players from The Broadmoor. "The weird thing is we all play against each other all year. I hate losing to all these guys. But they're all really fun, good golfers."
The CGA Team Interclub stands apart among CGA championships. Every other championship on the schedule is contested over the course of one to four days. The Team Interclub, on the other hand, typically lasts five months or more, with a regular-season round-robin of geographically-linked groups of teams going from May through July, then a 16-team single-elimination playoff from August to October.
Both in the regular season and the playoffs, teams of eight golfers each -- of widely varying abilities -- square off, with net singles and net four-ball matches held concurrently. Each individual match is worth two points -- two for a win and one for a tie. Rosters can vary throughout the season.
This year's original CGA Team Interclub field featured 32 teams, six more than last year. Rifle Creek and The Broadmoor came from the two round-robin groups that were the furthest from Denver.
As part of the Team Interclub, the CGA will donate $500 to each of the junior golf programs at the clubs which qualified for the finals.
The ninth annual Team Interclub finals concludes the 2018 CGA championship season.
CGA Team Interclub Finals
FINAL SCORE: THE BROADMOOR GC 13, RIFLE CREEK GC 11
Singles (The Broadmoor 9, Rifle Creek 7)
Mike Allred (B) def. Cole Manuppella (RC), 1 up
Jeb Savage (RC) def. Curtis Olson (B), 3 and 2
Tod Smith (RC) def. Ron Crowder (B), 6 and 5
Luke Travins (B) def. Eric Copen (RC), 3 and 2
Joe Diver (B) def. Michael Higginbotham (RC), 2 up
Mark Sours (RC) def. Roger Perry (B), 1 up
Tom Haggard (B) def. Tim Roe (RC), 3 and 2
Scott Meagher (B) halved with Pat Hayes (RC)
Four-Ball (The Broadmoor 4, Rifle Creek 4)
Allred/Olson (B) def. Manuppella/Savage (RC), 1 up
Smith/Copen (RC) def. Crowder/Travins (B), 2 up
Higginbotham/Sours (RC) def. Diver/Perry (B), 2 up
Haggard/Meagher (B) def. Roe/Hayes (RC), 3 and 2
Road to the 2018 CGA Team Interclub Title
Regular Season (3-0 with 57 points)
-- Defeated The Club at Flying Horse 18-6
-- Defeated Garden of the Gods Club 15-9
-- Defeated Colorado Springs Country Club 24-0
-- Round of 16: Defeated Lone Tree 14-10
-- Quarterfinals: Defeated Elmwood 14-10
-- Semifinals: Defeated The Meadows 16-8
-- Finals: Defeated Rifle Creek 13-11