Southern Arizona Amateurs Capture Gibson Cup

Congratulations to the Southern Arizona Amateurs for a Great Victory!

Tucson, Ariz. (December 21, 2009) — For the fourth consecutive year, the Southern Arizona Amateurs defeated the Southern Southwest PGA Professionals in the Gibson Cup. The Gibson Cup annually pits the best amateurs from Southern Arizona against the best SWSPGA Professionals.

The Gibson Cup took place December 19-20, at the Westin La Paloma Golf Resort. The AGA Amateurs defeated the Southern Chapter 27.5—26.5 to retain the trophy. This was the 15th Annual event this year.

The members of the AGA Open team include: Cyrus Whitney, Pat Geare, Matt Bergstrom, Radd Lukas, Morgan Brown, Tom Sweigart, Erik Nielsen and Greg Cesarek.

The members of the AGA Senior team include: Armen Dirtadian, Rich Morrison, Jim Pierce and Gregg Dennis.

Each year the top Southern Chapter Southwest Section PGA club professionals and Southern Arizona AGA amateurs compete in the Gibson Cup matches, which is a match play format to promote competition between the two associations to see who has the better team for that year.

The format for the first day was a Four Ball competition, with two players from each team paired together playing their best ball against the other team. The final round matches were single matches. The point system was (1) point for the low front nine, (1) point for the low back nine, and (1) point for the overall low eighteen hole total.

After the first round the PGA Professionals, scored (10) points to the Amateurs (8) to take a (2) point advantage into the final single round matches. A crucial swing in the first round matches was professional Glen Griffith sinking a 40-foot birdie putt on the eighteenth hole to tie the match at 1 ½ to 1 ½ against a daunting match with amateurs Eric Nielson and Pat Geare. Glen’s partner Rich Elias was happy to say the least when the putt dropped into the hole.

Elias said, “That was one of the hardest and best putts I have ever seen made on the eighteenth hole to tie a match.”

During the start of the final round matches, the professionals really struggled and lost their lead in the early matches. The amateurs collected 5 straight wins and 12 ½ points to the professionals 2 points. As the matches progressed the professionals started playing very well, dominating their matches, limiting the amateurs to only (2) points for their final four matches to the professionals (10) points. However, it was a little too late to make up the difference in the points from the earlier matches.

In came down to the final hole and to the second to last match when amateur Eric Nielson, who had a 40 foot birdie put made on him the day before returned the favor and birdied the last hole against professional Brandon Smith. Nielson was able to sneak out a ½ point to Smiths 2 ½ points, but it was good enough to push the amateurs over the top for 27 ½ to 26 ½ victory over the professionals.

The name "Gibson Cup" was in honor of long time local PGA club professional and UofA Golf coach John Gibson. This now completes four wins in a row for the amateurs. The overall record stands at nine wins for the Southern Chapter Southwest Section PGA Professionals and six wins for the Arizona Golf Associations Southern Arizona Amateurs.