GEMS NEWTON CUP 2005
JUNE 24 - 26, 2005
RADIUM GOLF RESORT, RADIUM BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA
Club Z wins 2005 Gems Newton Cup
Radium Hot Springs, BC. – Jamie Kureluk was flattered, not flustered when Trevor Zeck decided to send him out last in the singles competition on Sunday at Gems Newton Cup. In an unfortunate circumstance, Club Z gunner Patrick Reilly was sidelined with an acute case of vaginitis, which meant Kureluk got the cue.
Captain Trevor Zeck and the winning Team.
“To tell you the truth, I thought our team was going to come out and do so good that my match wouldn’t even matter,” he said.
For a while, it looked like Kureluk would be right. Although Team Newton got ahead quickly in their first two matches at the Radium Resort Golf Course on Sunday to break what began as a tie in a big way.
The comfort zone for Team Newton was short-lived, though. By the time Kureluk and Tyler McRae came to the 18th green, Club Z & Team Newton were tied at 2.5, and the disposition of the Gems Newton Cup hung squarely in the balance.
In a moment Kureluk would later describe as “pure exhilaration” he made the 4-footer that gave Club Z their first win in an GNC team competition since 2001. He greeted it with a fist pump and then cast his arms skyward in jubilation as Club Z celebrated the 3.5 – 2.5 win.
“Fitzmartyn, my playing partner for the day, says go ahead and hit that putt,” said Kureluk, who had hit a heroic shot from the fairway, after McRae had stuffed one to 3 feet. “It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for your whole life. Go ahead and do it, and you know, I did.
“I did it for 5 other guys counting Travis Rowden and Mr. Zeck -- let alone the whole Country. It’s unbelievable. We needed this Cup, we needed it. We really did. When people get down on us and say we don’t care, I can tell you one thing, we care.”
Had Kureluk not made the putt, he and McRae would have marched down the 10th hole in sudden death.
“For Jamie to win it was just so fitting this week,” said Travis Rowden. “Even though he won it for us, I still felt that pressure on 18, and I take away a memory and a finish that I’ll always remember....
“It’s not just the winning, it’s the sharing of the week. It’s the process of each match. It’s the shots throughout the match, the things that were said, the camaraderie that was felt, and it’s amazing how these relationships last throughout our careers.”
With a tie between teams with one active match still on the course, though, the possibility of a tie had loomed large. Until Kureluk stepped up and rolled in a putt he said he was so nervous over that he was afraid he might whiff, that is.
“Any time you have a Gems Newton Cup on the line when you go to the 18th green, I mean, golf is the winner,” Newton Team Captain Paul Newton said. “It was absolutely unbelievable. “
“Kureluk’s 3 on No. 18 – to play the hole the way he did, you have to take your hat off to him. He is some competitor.”
Kureluk’s match was the last to reach the 18th hole on Sunday -- and the Club Z team had lost their 1st 2 pairings, but were able to pull 3.5 points in the last 4. Bill Ivany’s 4 and 3 win turned back his old nemesis Shawn Eltom, while David Newton sent Colin “The Taxman” reeling after a 1 up win on the 18th.
But it would be the heroics of a strong Club Z finish, which elicited chants from the crowd of “Z-Man, Z-Man.” Kureluk’s was the punctuation mark for the team in an individual showdown that saw neither player lead by more than two holes -- and the Club Z rally from 1 down with two remaining.
“It was a great match today,” McRae said graciously. “Jamie just played a tiny bit more solid, and I had to weather the storm. I just kept hanging in there. I knew it was match play -- be aggressive, be aggressive.
“I knew the guy was putting great, doing everything great. It was a real thrill. Jamie and I have had some good matches, but this was by far the best.”
As had been the case throughout the tight competition -- where no team trailed by more than a point -- Sunday’s singles were a veritable highlight reel of stellar shots.
Witness the wedge to 3 feet that polished off Bob Fitzmartyn’s 3 and 2 victory over Jamie Newton. Or Travis Rowden seven pars, as he finally put points up for his team with a half vs. Captain Paul Newton.
“To come up the fairway, everybody chanting ‘Club Z, Club Z -- it gave me goosebumps,” Rowden said. “Just brought tears to my eyes. I’ve never experienced anything like that in all of my years on the golf course.”
Almost lost in the exciting ending was the hard-fought match between – Captain Trevor Zeck & Peter Newton, won by the Captain who hails from Ottawa, 3 and 2 for the first Club Z point of the afternoon.
“I had opportunities to take control of the match,” said Newton, who wrenched his back en route to a double bogey on the 15th hole that gave Zeck the victory. “I just didn’t make the putts. Z made a bunch of them on me and consequently, he won the match.”
Of note, Newton Captain Paul Newton didn’t lose a match this week at Gems Newton Cup. He won four and halved one playing with Travis Rowden, who certainly would have missed the 1.5 footer that was conceded on 18.
“I’ve been putting very well all week, seeing the greens very well,” said Newton, who won two of his last three individual starts. “I started playing better in the last few events. It was nice to have a good week.”
2005 MVP Bob Fitzmartyn
At the conclusion of the event, Bob Fitzmartyn was awarded the Most Valuable Player trophy, the decoration most honoured right behind the actual Cup itself. Fitzmartyn earned the award with a 3-1-1 finish, which was his best performance since 2001.
Struggling with his emotions, Fitzmartyn was only able to capture the moment in a few short words.
“Wow, was I ever happy to win that.”
But who needs long winded speeches after a performance like the one exhibited by GNC veteran Fitzmartyn. It is courageous efforts like that which epitomize true champions.
Fitzmartyn joined Shawn Eltom, Jamie Newton & Captain Paul Newton, who were the first to reach five year anniversary status at the Gems Newton Cup.
Club Z will have an opportunity to defend their title, when matches will commence once again in late June, 2006.