Golf: Midwest Cup goes to Illinois
Woodbury's Greg Murphy and Team Minnesota couldn't defend their Midwest Cup title against an expanded field and a red-hot Team Illinois.
Murphy and Minnesota finished seventh out of eight teams in the 2013 Culver's Midwest Cup Golf Tournament - a team and individual amateur tournament pairing some of the best amateur players from the states of Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri and South Dakota.
The event, held this year from Aug. 1-4 at Wildhorse Golf Club in Gothenberg, Neb., is a Ryder-Cup Style invitational for amateur golfers, from the age of 25 and over. Players are chosen from the state golf association points list, with captains from each team determining who to invite and how the players will be paired against one another.
In last year's four-team tournament, a 36-hole team and 54-hole individual competition, Minnesota upset Iowa in Hastings. In a close contest, Team Minnesota won four of the final 12 matches to post a score of 264 points, six more than two-time defending champion Iowa, which had 258 points, and Nebraska at 246. Wisconsin scored 192 points.
This year, however, the Midwest Cup expanded to eight states — adding Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, and South Dakota to the fold to create the only eight-team amateur tournament in the United States.
Illinois, which was led by the individual champion — Todd Mitchell — scored 404 points to win by a decisive margin. Kansas finished in second place with 358 points. Minnesota was seventh with 327 points.
In the individual tournament, Minnesota's top finisher was Johnny Larson, who shot a 36-hole 218 with rounds of 71, 74 and 73 to finish in 10th place overall. Mitchell won the title with three straight 68s to total 204.
The Midwest Cup has now earned the title as the premier amateur team golf tournament in the United States and it is the only major regional amateur event in the Midwest. Over one-third of the 72-man field have won or are currently state amateur champions.
The tournament has been going on for eight years. Minnesota has taken part the past three years. Minnesota finished third out of four teams three years ago and fourth out of four teams two years ago.
Other players on Team Minnesota this year were Jesse Larson, Leif Carlson, Jordan Hawkinson, Andy Jacobson, Steve Hjortness, Tony Vincelli and Scott Thomas.