June 13, 2004
RADIUM RESORT, BC. -- It's official. Team Gems can no longer be considered the underdog when it comes to the Gems Newton Cup.
Throw out the world rankings, disregard major championship wins. As Team Gems showed with their thrashing of Team TNT in the final round of the Gems Newton Cup at Radium Resort, they are the undisputed world leaders in team golf competition.
And if this whipping didn't prove Team Gems domination, a second win in the last three Gems Newton Cups surely did.
Gerry Imbery -- who was 4-0-1 this week -- closed out Neil Korchinski with a par putt on 16, earning a 3-up win to put Team Gems within a half-point of winning the Cup. Minutes later, Dave Lockhart made a par putt to win his match with Rich Fontaine 1-up, giving Team Gems the point it needed to win the Gems Newton Cup.
"The truth is that Team Gems were the best players this week," Team TNT Captain Neil Korchinski said. "This is golf. You want to win badly, but you understand that losing is part of it."
"We came here again as underdogs. It's amazing how well we do," Scott Follett said. "I don't know how it happens."
Team TNT did not go quietly in front of a lively gallery of 40,000-plus spectators, but the record 5-1 deficit faced by the team proved to be insurmountable at the Radium Resort on a sunny late-summer Sunday.
Needing to put points on the board early and often, Korchinski put his top guns out first. It looked like the strategy might pay off, until they got obliterated.
Team Gems Captain Larry Gems predicted on Saturday that his team would win two of the first three matches, and he was right. Team Gems first point of the day came courtesy of Steve Furze, who beat Urquhart 3 and 2. Urquhart got off to a quick start against Furze, opening a 2-up lead after Furze shanked an iron shot on No. 8. But Furze parred three straight holes to take a 1-up lead after 11 holes, then extended his lead to 2-up after Urqhart quadruple bogeyed the par-4 13th. Urquhart hit his approach on No. 16 into the condo's, and Furze holed his par putt to slam the door on Urquhart -- who finished the 2005 GNC Macthes with a 1-3-1 record.
"I got 2-down early, but I fought back," said Furze. "All my teammates were behind me and I really felt the push. I wanted to finish off the match because I wanted to go watch my teammates."
"It looked like we had a chance. There was a time when the leader board was in our favour, but we just didn't keep it rolling," Matt Armour explained.
Team Gems will have an opportunity to defend their cup in 2005, when the 2005 Gems Newton Cup matches commmence on June 25, 2004.