JUNE 22 - 25, 2006



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The 2006 Gems Newton Cup – Final Recap

Radium Hot Springs, British Columbia. (AP) – Kevin Miller likened the Gems Newton Cup to playing golf in the middle of the Super Bowl. The only thing missing were goal posts for Team Gems to tear down after their inspired victory which secured their second Gems Newton Cup title in three years.

In an event that has become the biggest in golf, equal in intensity and pressure to any other sports event, cheering and clapping doesn't cut it anymore.

Instead, during a semi final playoff on Saturday evening, players, wives and caddies climbed over and piled on Bob Fitzmartyn as if he had just cracked the end zone…his astounding putt going from one end of the 1st green to the other and disappearing into the hole.

It proved to be the first chapter of an exciting Team Gems victory on Sunday, and the last chapter which contained the final blow that knocked out TNT, who had just completed the greatest comeback in the 6-year history of the annual matches. Trailing 6-2, they won 5 points from the 6 singles matches on Saturday afternoon against Club Z to put themselves in a playoff to contend in the cup final on Sunday.

"We almost pulled it off," captain Loren Brown said. "It was unbelievable."

So, too, was the celebration that followed Fitzmartyn’s putt.

Loren Brown was lining up his putt when Club Z stormed the green.

Once order was restored -- no small task -- the Calgarian missed from 12 feet, and a finals berth was officially granted to Club Z.

The controversy may drag on for months, and surely will be remembered next year when TNT get their chance to get even.

"That kind of behaviour is not the one anybody expects," Brown said. "It was very sad to see. It was an ugly picture to see."

Fitzmartyn took the blame, saying he should have kept his cool the way Corey Pavin did in the 1995 Ryder Cup after chipping in on the 18th hole at Oak Hill.

Trevor Zeck apologized. So did Tony Pozdin, although his came with an asterisk.

"We probably wish we all have jumped up and down in place instead of running down the side of the green," he said. "But I'm not going to apologize for being excited. It was a great evening for Club Z, and I guess memories are somewhat short. Besides, if you recall, the first round of the tournament wasn't exactly a cake walk for us. We took some aggressive ribbing after that 0-3 start."

Fitzmartyn’s putt was about 30 feet, and the ball was sitting against the back collar of the green.

"I was trying to make it, but I was also trying to get the ball close. That was probably my first goal," he said. "It's a putt we had all as a team hit during practice rounds. Everybody knew it came right down when it reached the top of the  hill. It was just one of those things. I think the ball was destined to go in."

Indeed, destiny played a huge role in the Club Z playoff victory.

"Now, if you don't believe in fate ... I do," Trevor Zeck said. "I could feel it."

But perhaps the excitement of the Saturday evening playoff was a bit of a drain for Club Z, who came up short on Sunday morning, losing the Cup to Team Gems.

Team Gems proved to be too mighty on that glorious Sunday morning, winning the title by a 4 point margin.

But although the margin of defeat was wide, the reality is that it was a lot closer than the point margin reflected.

3 of the 6 matches ended on the last hole, and could have easily gone in Club Z’s favour.

Jim Trehas closed out Tony Pozdin, after Pozdin 3-putted 18 for bogey.  More shockingly, after hitting his drive within 75 yards of the green, Trevor Zeck made double bogey to lose to Kevin Miller.  Those two points essentially sealed it for Team Gems, as Dave Lockhart and Gerry Imbery had already closed out their matches in the final group.

Although he was focused on his own match, Jim Trehas could not control his emotions after Zeck dropped his second in the greenside pond.

“I turned to Trevor and said, I can’t believe you just put it in the water.  Then I yelled to the rest of the guys who were watching by the green…ZECK JUST HIT HIS SHOT IN THE POND!”

“NO SHIT!” yelled TNT’s Tyler McRae.

“It was a great moment,” Trehas continued, “because it made up for the fact that my wallet got stolen the day before.”

One of Club Z’s bright spots on Sunday was Travis Rowden, who defeated the always tough Steve Furze, posting his low round of the tournament, which was also his low round in 5 years at the tournament.

Rowden tallied four wins over the weekend, his best result ever at the GNC.

Team Gems pretty much sailed to victory, maintaining a convincing point lead throughout the whole weekend.  Key to their victory were stellar performances from all six players, but particularly from Don Manery, Kevin Miller & Gerry Imbery.

Manery posted a record of 4-1, his best over his three year history at the GNC.  Miller posted a 3-1-1 record, cementing himself as having the best match play record of any active player at the Gems Newton Cup.

Gerry Imbery, Captain of the Gems side, was named Most Valuable Player after winning his last four matches of the tournament.  Imbery, who holds a lifetime record of 14-10-1, is well deserving of the MVP award.

“It’s great to win this award.  Five years of hard work, and it’s a great feeling to be recognized for this.  Especially when it’s coming from a Newton.  I love those guys.”

2006 will be remembered as one of the most exciting GNC’s in recent history.  The intensity that was experienced in the semi-final playoff established an electrifying Sunday morning, where we saw a vast cross section of great shots and close matches.

The 2007 edition of the Gems Newton Cup commences on June 22, 2007.