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Virginias Win the 75th Captain’s Putter Matches


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By Chris Lang

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W. Va. — Cam Roam is a scoreboard watcher, so he had a pretty good idea that his match Saturday at The Old White Course TPC at The Greenbrier Resort would prove meaningful in the final outcome of the 75th Captain’s Putter Matches.

The result of his match was amplified when his Virginias’ teammate—Dustin Groves—rallied from 4 down on the back nine to win his match, meaning Roam needed only to tie one of the final two holes of his match with the Carolinas’ Robert Lutomski to bring the trophy back to the Virginias.

Roam’s up and down for bogey on the 17th Saturday afternoon gave him the tie he needed, and the Virginias ended a two-year losing streak in the series by defeating the Carolinas 24½- 23½ to reclaim the Captain’s Putter.

Roam was one of three West Virginia players on the roster to secure the full three points this weekend, playing a huge role in the Virginias’ victory. Seniors Tim Mount and Pat Carter also won twice on Friday and won their respective singles matches on Saturday.

Considering the The Old White is a regular host of the West Virginia Amateur and is considered the home of West Virginia golf, that shouldn’t come as a surprise.

“Absolutely,” Roam said. “We only get seven players to play in this, but this is our home course, and we feel like our top-level ams can play with anybody. We wanted to come prove ourselves and show that we belonged here.”

The Virginias won the only other time a West Virginia course hosted the event, defeating the Carolinas 27-21 at The Resort in Glade Springs in 2012. This was the tightest victory for either side since the Virginias won by the same 24½-23½ score in 2014 at Creighton Farms, which was also the last time the Virginias defended home turf in the series.

Saturday featured dramatic swings, none bigger than Groves’ win over Ryan Reynolds, who was 4 up through 11 holes and seemed to be cruising to a key Carolinas’ point.

But Groves made birdie on 12, and Reynolds lost a ball on 13, and suddenly just 2 down, Groves’ hill seemed less steep to climb.

“I had been really up and down all week, and finally played some good golf yesterday afternoon,” Groves said. “But I got off to a slow start. The body was feeling good, and I knew if I could just win one hole and flip the momentum, it would be huge. I was just going to try to win one hole at a time, that was my goal.”

Groves tied the match with a par on 16, went ahead with a bogey on 17 and made par on 18 to win it when Reynolds’ tee shot ended up way left of the flagstick. Reynolds’ attempt at getting to the green was short into a bunker, and he couldn’t punch out close.

The victory was cathartic for the Virginias’ side. The Carolinas not only won the last two years, but won comfortably, winning by 14 points in Greensboro last year and 10 points at Spring Creek in 2018.

“It’s fantastic,” Groves said. “It makes me want to cry, to be honest. We just weren’t in it the last two years, and I knew this team was really good. So, gosh, this feels great.”

Also securing wins among Virginias regulars on Saturday were Jordan Utley, Blake Carter and David Stanford, the 17 year old from Vienna who went 2-0-1 on the weekend.

The Virginias’ seniors played a huge role in Saturday’s singles triumph. It started with Steve Serrao topping Carolinas’ legend Paul Simson 2 and 1 in the first senior match. Buck Brittain, Matt Sughrue, Carter and Mount won their matches as well. Bowen Sargent and Jon Hurst tied their matches for important half points. Super senior Steve Fox, another West Virginian, won his match Saturday as well.

It all added up to a thrilling victory and a great celebration on the 17th green for the Virginias.

Lang is the VSGA’s manager of media and communications.

75th Captain’s Putter Matches

At The Old White TPC Course, White Sulphur Springs, W. Va.

Friday’s four-ball matches

Kyle Bearden/Jordan Sease (C) vs. Mark Lawrence Jr./Peter Gasperini, tied

Chad Wilfong/Robert Lutomski (C) def. Jordan Utley/Dustin Groves, 3 and 2

Davis Womble/Dan Walters (C) def. Blake Carter/Justin Young, 3 and 2

Scott Harvey/Tim Driver (C) def. Philip Reale/Sam O’Dell, 2 and 1

Ryan Bishop/David Stanford (V) def. David Gies/Thomas Owen, 3 and 2

Ryan Reynolds/Daniel Neveu (C) def. Tim Pemberton/Marshall Tinsley, 3 and 2

Pat Carter/Tim Mount (V) def. Paul Simson/Sherrill Britt, 3 and 2

Keith Decker/Jon Hurst (V) def. Pat Thompson/Todd Hendley, 3 and 2

Matt Sughrue/Buck Brittain (V) def. Steve Harwell/Johnny Elam, 2 and 1

Eddie Hargett/Walter Todd (C) def. Steve Serrao/Bowen Sargent, 4 and 3

Jack Allara/Steve Fox (V) def. Evan Long/Tim Pope, 1 up

Cam Roam/Chris Williams (V) def. Jamie Lightsey/Raymond Wooten, 2 and 1

Virginias leads 6½- 5½ after four-ball


Friday’s foursome matches

Simson/Britt (C) def. Decker/Hurst, 5 and 4

P. Carter/Mount (V) def. Thompson/Hendley, 3 and 2

Serrao/Sargent (V) def. Harwell/Elam, 3 and 1

Hargett/Todd (C) def. Brittain/Sughrue, 2 and 1

Long/Pope (C) def. Allara/Fox, 1 up

Lightsey/Wooten (C) vs. Bishop/Stanford, tied

Utley/Groves (V) def. Bearden/Sease, 1 up

Wilfong/Lutomski (C) def. Lawrence/Gasperini, 1 up

Womble/Walters (C) def. O’Dell/Reale, 3 and 2

Harvey/Driver (C) vs. B. Carter/Young, tied

Gies/Owen (C) vs. Pemberton/Tinsley, tied

Roam/Williams (V) def. Reynolds/Neveu, 4 and 3

Matches tied at 12 after foursomes


Saturday’s singles matches

Stanford (V) d. Bearden, 2 and 1

Lightsey (C) d. Tinsley, 3 and 2

B. Carter (V) d. Gies, 3 and 1

Walters (C) d. Gasperini, 1 up

Sease (C) d. Young, 2 up

Wooten (C) d. Pemberton, 2 and 1

Utley (V) d. Womble, 1 up

Driver (C) d. Bishop, 2 and 1

Harvey (C) vs. Lawrence, tied

Groves (V) d. Reynolds, 2 up

Roam (V) d. Lutomski, 2 and 1

Willfong (C) d. O’Dell, 5 and 3

Serrao (V) d. Simson, 2 and 1

Brittain (V) d. Thompson, 2 up

Walter (C) vs. Hurst, tied

Sughrue (V) d. Hendley, 2 up

Fox (V) d. Long, 3 and 2

Pope (C) d. Allara, 3 and 2

Britt (C) vs. Sargent, tied

Hargett (C) d. Decker, 3 and 1

P. Carter (V) d. Harwell, 4 and 3

Mount (V) d. Elam, 6 and 4

Owen (C) d. Williams, 3 and 2

Neveu (C) d. Reale, 4 and 3

Virginias wins Captain’s Putter Matches 24½-23½

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