Mids Fall Short in Men’s Golf Star Match
ANNAPOLIS, Md. — The Army West Point men’s golf team won four of the seven singles matches on Sunday at the U.S. Naval Academy Golf Club to defeat Navy in the annual Star Match, 6.5 - 4.5, in what was the first competition of the 2017 Army-Navy Star Series presented by USAA. The two teams entered the day with the Black Knights holding a one-point advantage (2.5-1.5) over the Mids following Saturday’s four-ball matches.
For a second consecutive day temperatures were mild in Annapolis and one of the largest crowds in series history was treated to an entertaining finale.
While the Black Knights pushed their lead to three (4.5-1.5) after winning the first two singles matches of the day (Doyle over Starobin, 2-up and Sakata over Mauer, 4-and-3), Navy came charging back to win two in a row. Sophomore Thomas Garbee (Asheville, N.C.) never trailed in his match and picked up a 4-and-2 victory over Army’s Justin Williamson, while Charlie Musto (Sterling, Va.) claimed a 2-and-1 victory over James McKee in not only his first Army-Navy competition, but his first collegiate competition. After early bogies by both players, Musto played under par on the last 16 holes to secure his win. The two were tied after 15 holes, but pars by Musto on 16 and 17 were enough for the point.
Also making his debut this weekend was Ward Wilkinson (Ashland, Va.) who fell shy in his match to the veteran Matt Plunkett of Army. Wilkinson birdied the 16th hole to pull within 2 holes of Plunkett, but a Plunkett par on 17 gave Army a 3-and-1 victory.
Navy again came back to get within one point when junior Griffin Peters (Fountain Hills, Ariz.) rallied from an early deficit to deal Army sophomore Max Messner a 5-and-4 loss.
That left Army junior Nick Turner and Navy team captain senior Thomas Fricke (Haymarket, Va.) to battle it out with Navy having a chance to tie the match and send it into sudden death overtime. The two golfers traded the lead throughout the day, setting up a nail-biter to the finish. Fricke lost the 15th hole to a birdie to go 1 down, but a Fricke par on 16 put the match back to even with two holes to play. On the 17th, Fricke was unable to convert from off the green for par, and Turner two-putted to win the hole. Leading by one on 18, Turner rolled in a long putt for birdie to secure a point and win the match, 2-up.
“Thomas did a great job of leading the team all weekend and we had the right guy playing for us at the end,” said 28th-year Navy head coach Pat Owen.
“We knew we would have an uphill battle today, and we actually put ourselves in the position where we had a chance to win. We are very proud of the team for its preparation and hard work leading up to the match and throughout the weekend. There were some terrific highlights, and we are excited for the future.”
The Mids return to action next Saturday and Sunday where they will compete in the David Toms Intercollegiate hosted by LSU.
Army 6.5, Navy 4.5
Gunnar Doyle / James McKee (A) def. Thomas Garbee / Ward Wilkinson, 2-and-1
Matt Plunkett / Justin Williamson (A) def. Griffin Peters / Ryan Hicks, 1-up
Nick Turner / Joe Gerardi (A) halved Matthew Starobin / Charlie Musto
Thomas Fricke / Paul Mauer (N) def. Dean Sakata / Max Messner, 4-and-3
Gunnar Doyle (A) def. Matthew Starobin, 2-up
Charlie Musto (N) def. James McKee, 2-and-1
Matt Plunkett (A) def. Ward Wilkinson, 3-and-1
Thomas Garbee (N) def. Justin Williamson, 4-and-2
Dean Sakata (A) def. Paul Mauer, 4-and-3
Griffin Peters (N) def. Max Messner, 5-and-4
Nick Turner (A) def. Thomas Fricke, 2-up
### Go Navy ###