2023-HARBOUR CUP/STATracker SEASON PREVIEW (2/27/2023)
The 2023 race for the HARBOUR CUP, begins this Wednesday, March 1st!!!
STATracker III SEASON SET TO BEGIN
Believe it or don’t but, Spring is due to arrive in just a couple of weeks in the month of March, and… with March’s arrival, the HPGC/MGA/BaldEagles/STATracker season, will start up once again. To be exact, Wednesday, March 1, 2023 will be round one of the third STATracker season at the club. The season’s first week begins with an MGA individual net playdate on Wednesday followed by a Bald Eagles team event on Friday… and the points will start accumulating for the participating players and continue to so until Friday, Oct. 27, 2023. On that date, the player with the most points for the season will be awarded the “Harbour Cup.” However, STATracker also offers a one round playoffs for the top 20 point-getters, and that has been scheduled for Wednesday, November 1st this year. The winner of that round will be crowned the STATracker Playoffs Champion. But… were getting a little ahead of things. Let’s take a quick look back for some reference before getting to the preview.
There have been two previous seasons in STATracker history (2021, 2022).
In 2021, 94 sanctioned rounds were played. In 2022, 91 rounds were played.
Mark Carmichael has won the Harbour Cup in both of the first two seasons. He accumulated 1,149 points in 2021 and then broke that record with 1,178 in 2022.
Bob Gillham was the runner-up in 2021 finishing with 857 points.
Stan Koonce finished in the runner-up position in 2022 with 994 points.
Joe Pillow won the inaugural playoffs championship in 2021 with a 71.
David Ross won the 2022 playoffs championship also finishing with a 71.
The STATracker system is also responsible for running a 4-round Masters tourney in April and the 4-round Broad Creek OPEN in September.
Bruce Hice was the first Masters champ in 2021 finishing at 9 under.
Jim Furman won the Masters crown in 2022 with a 4-round score of 9 under as well.
Mark Carmichael won the first two Broad Creek Open championships.
The MGA sanctions its own major championship, the MGA.
The 2021 winner was George Leslie. In 2022, it was Sean Mulhall taking the title.
The players who finished in the top ten positions in each of the first two seasons, were:
Mark Carmichael, Bob Gillham, Stan Koonce, Jim Rosania, C.A. Smith, Brian Sandall and Tom Caruso.
Some notable players who joined the field and finished in the top 10 last year were;
Paul Cormier, Frank Amato and Keith Swan.
Now that we have some reference, STATracker News will now put out some thoughts on the upcoming 2023 season…
Can CARMICHAEL 3-peat?... All indications are that this focused player is still going to be in the mix at the top. He was king of the “hole-outs” in 2021 with 33.
Will this be the year KOONCE hits the top position?... In 2021, Koonce played in 80 rounds and scored 518 points, finishing in the 4th position. In 2022, he played in 71 rounds and scored 994 points, finishing in 2nd place, falling just short of becoming only the 2nd player to ever reach the thousand points mark. He seems pretty determined to make another run at the Harbour Cup and has the goods to deliver.
Will GILLHAM be able to take the top spot?... Gillham appeared in 52 rounds in 2021 to finish in 2nd place with 857 points. In 2022, his appearances dropped to only 45 starts. However, he scored more points finishing the season with 894 points for a third place finish. He did not participate in the playoffs in either 2021 or 2022, withdrawing from both of those contests.
It will all hinge on how his back heals up. If he could squeeze an additional 20 rounds in 2023, he could very well capture the title.
Can PILLOW return to form?... The imposing player who runs the Bald Eagles component at HPGC, had a bit of difficulty in 2022 with some physical issues. It did present a challenge during the season. Pillow finished in 3rd place in 2021, but fell to 13th place for his 2022 season. However, he rallied for a great second half of the season which included a hole-in-one, maintaining a playoff spot and then finishing just 2 strokes behind ROSS in the playoffs, as he valiantly attempted to defend his 2021 title. He will be a force to be reckoned with in 2023.
How will newbie CORMIER fit in?... In this reporter’s eyes, the scariest player in the 2023 field is this one. With a laser-focused attitude and an amazing all-around game, Cormier jumped into the STATracker scene with a fantastic 5th place finish in his first season, accumulating 754 points in 59 starts. Cormier was just a stroke or two off in all the major tournaments and in the playoffs. He’s going to have to be dealt with for anyone trying to win anything!!
…Coming up this week…
The MGA holds an individual format playdate on Wednesday, 3/1/23 (first round of the season)
Bald Eagles on Friday, 3/3/23.