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  • Tom Caruso

July MGA Update

Updated: Aug 10, 2023


2023-HARBOUR CUP/STATracker Week-19 Highlights

(thru: 7/7/2023… 48-rounds)


The 2023 race for the HARBOUR CUP, completed its 19th week of play.

Here are some notable Week-19 highlights…

***GILLHAM SETS NEW BIRDIE RECORD***

Shoots 64… Cormier Shoots 72… Weather Wipes Out Founders Day Tournament

In a recurring theme, or maybe, nightmare, another tournament and round was scrapped from the 2023 season due to another severe weather circumstance. On the night of the 4th of July, a substantial thunderstorm system moved through the area and that made more trees come down on the course, causing the cancellation of last Wednesday’s Founders Day tournament. So week-19 had only two rounds, on Monday and on Friday. Let’s get to the fun that did happen last week…


Last week ended with a round for the ages (no pun intended) by BOB GILLHAM. Gillham, a multiple time club champion, back in the day when they had such a thing, fired an out of this universe 64 in Friday’s round, which included a record setting 9 birdies!! The 79 year old Gillham scored five birdies on the front 9 and four on the back. He birdied 4 of the 5 par 3’s and 4 of the par 5’s. He also captured both of the CTPs that were in the offering that day… and had a sandy to boot. All in all, Gillham had 49 points for the week (9-40) which included 11 birdies and 2 T-wins as well.


And speaking of great rounds, the Cormier Cruiser seems to have solidly corrected its trajectory. For the 3rd week in a row, the #1 ranked player, PAUL CORMIER, had another productive week. Cormier had 37 points for his week (13-24) which included 4 birdies, a holeout and a sandy. He extended his 1st place lead in the Combined standings by another 5 points over #2 ranked STAN KOONCE. Cormier fired a 72 on Friday, which is the second time in 2 weeks that he has accomplished that. Koonce made it back to the lineup on Friday and got 19 points (x-19) on a holeout-birdie and a third place team finish. Also back in the lineup, STATracker welcomes back the MacSTER…


BRIAN MacDOWELL returned to action this past Friday after a long hiatus from STATracker play. He was right back at it getting his first points of the season, 13 (x-13) and his first T-win of the season. His round included that team win and a sandy. So a big “welcome back” to the native North Carolinian.


Part-time player RICK MILLER had his best day ever on Monday, getting 21 points (21-0). Miller helped his team to a 1st place finish with a birdie and a holeout. It was Miller’s 2nd T-win of the season.


MARK CARMICHAEL, the 2-time Harbour Cup champion, moved past the 600 points mark on Friday. He had an 11 point week (0-11), good enough to reach that mark. He’s on target to break his own STATracker points record, but… sits well behind Cormier and Koonce, in that race.

The FOUNDERS DAY Championship will be re-scheduled for Wed., August 9, 2023


2023-HARBOUR CUP/STATracker Week-20 Highlights

(thru: 7/14/2023… 51-rounds)


The 2023 race for the HARBOUR CUP, completed its 20th week of play.

Here are some notable Week-20 highlights…

***PILLOW LANDS EAGLE***

Koonce Recaptures Top Spot, Gets 3rd I-win ~ Swan Nails Down 1st I-win Of Season

Week-20 had all three rounds completed and it was a “hole-out fest…” but more about that in a bit.


During Wednesday’s individual playdate round, JOE PILLOW sent his approach shot on the par-5 second hole, to the fringe, just 20 feet from the upfront pin placement. Using a putter, Pillow nailed the holeout AND the eagle for a 30 point play. It was Pillow’s 2nd STATracker career eagle which includes his hole-in-one last year. It was the club’s 4th eagle of record this season. Pillow’s week was another productive one (11-33-8/52). He continues to own the #4 spot in the Combined standings.


As predicted by this reporter back in February, boy… do we have a pennant race going on here this summer between the Koonce Comets and the Cormier Cats. And… while the big cat was away, the Koonce did play! PAUL CORMIER was out of the lineup all last week and STAN KOONCE took full advantage of the situation. Koonce had one of his best weeks enabling him to retake the top spot in the Combined standings. Koonce piled up 75 points in week-20 (21-33-21/75) which included two trips to the Winner’s Circle, 3 birds, 3 holeouts and a sandy. Koonce had a holeout in each round last week tying BOB REIVIK’s recent record-setting accomplishment. Koonce had the team win on Monday but the I-win on Wednesday, was his third I-win of the season making him the first player to accomplish that this year. So Koonce has also taken over the 1st place spot in the Winner’s Circle race, as well.

Earlier, we mentioned that last week was a holeout fest. Well, there were 14 holeouts scored last week, tying the record for such a thing. Both ED EDMUNDSON and 2-time major winner MARK NOLAN had double holeout rounds on Friday. Nolan is comfortably in the top ten at the #6 position while Edmundson is poised to break into the top 16, which would mean his first invitation to the playoffs in November, for the big guy from Iowa. After last week, Edmundson sits at the #17 spot.

He had his best week thus far scoring 43 points (x-11-32/43).

Part time player, RICK MILLER beat his personal best weekly score that he achieved just last week. This time Miller scored 30 points in his 2 rounds in week-20 (2-x-28/30) beating his “old” mark by 9.

MGA president, DAVE LANGE put together a solid week of play getting 29 points for the week… (9-10-10/29). Lange bagged a couple of sandies during week-20.

KEITH SWAN, last year’s inaugural Winner’s Circle Champion, got his first I-win of the season on Wednesday with his 3 stroke victory over JIM ROBINSON. For Swan, known for his numerous team wins, it was his second I-win of his career.


2023-HARBOUR CUP/STATracker Week-22 Highlights

(thru: 7/28/2023… 57-rounds)

The 2023 race for the HARBOUR CUP, completed its 22nd week of play.

Here are some notable Week-22 highlights…

***KOONCE BREAKS H.O. RECORD***

VILLANOVA, CORMIER GET B-to-B HOs ~ HARRELL, FURMAN GET 1st I-WINS ~ EDMUNDSON MAKES MOVE

The final full week of July/2023 saw all 3 rounds completed and it was another historic one.

The “excavator” know as STAN KOONCE, set a new mark for the number of holeouts in a season.

In Friday’s round Koonce broke the season holeout record with a slam dunk on the 15th hole and with that, moved past the old record of 33 holeouts in a season, set in 2021 by Mark Carmichael. Keep in mind, there’s still another 3 months left in the season! The number one ranked player has been a scoring machine and last week was no different. Koonce totaled 67 points for the week (2-34-31) which included 4 birds, 2 holeouts and 2 sandies. In other holeout news, GUS VILLANOVA and PAUL CORMIER, both in Monday’s round, scored back-to-back holeouts. For Villanova, it was a big day as he had 36 points for his week (34-x-2). For Cormier, the #2 ranked player lead all scorers for the week with 76 (42-10-24). Cormier added a third holeout for his week when his last stroke in week-22, on Friday, sailed over the greenside bunkers on #17, his final hole that day, and bounced and clawed its way to the bottom of the hole for a dramatic finish. Cormier continues to keep pace with Koonce as their Harbour Cup dance, remains quite entertaining.

For the third Friday in a row, JOE PILLOW put together another strong closing round. Pillow had 48 points for the week (4-21-23). He moved past the 500 points mark in the Combined standings for the 2nd time in his career. The #4 ranked player and STATracker’s inaugural playoffs champion, had 4 birdies for the week along with 2 holeouts.

On Wednesday, JIM FURMAN and JOHNNY HARRELL scored their first individual wins of the 2023 season. For Harrell, it was his first career STATracker I-win as he got the victory in a playoff with FRANK AIUTO. Both players finished with 70s on the card, but Harrell eeked out the victory. It was Harrell’s 6th trip to the Winners Circle this season. Now… in the case of Furman, battling knee challenges this season, it was another win in the long line of many. Only one other player has had more trips to the Winners Circle than Furman, as he is #2 on the All-Time Winners Circle standings. On Wednesday, Furman got his 8th All-time individual win (I-win)… and again, only one player has more than that, All-Time. His one stroke victory over Jim Robinson was a satisfying one for the former Ohioan.

Speaking of the Winners Circle… MARK NOLAN (#6) found himself back on top of the 2023 Winners Circle race when he helped his team on Monday to a first place team finish. The two-time major winner now has 13 points in those standings, leading by one point. Nolan had 32 points for his week-22 (12-0-20).

There’s a freight train coming down on the 2023 STATracker season… and his name is…

ED EDMUNDSON. Now in Edmundson’s rookie season last year, he played in 42 rounds, visited the Winners Circle 8 times (2 I-wins, 6 T-wins) had 2 holeouts and achieved 89 points. Fast forward to this season, and one can see what we’re talking about. Edmundson scored his 2nd holeout of the week on Friday and with that sits just 4 points behind Tom Caruso for that 16th playoff spot in the Combined standings. Edmundson now has 214 points for the season which includes 7 trips to the Winners Circle and 7 holeouts! Watch out… they say there’s no stopping a freight train.


2023-HARBOUR CUP/STATracker Week-21 Highlights

(thru: 7/21/2023… 54-rounds)

The 2023 race for the HARBOUR CUP, completed its 21st week of play.

Here are some notable Week-21 highlights…

***CARMICHAEL CLIMBS TO TOP***

Koonce Extends Lead~ Pillow, Robinson & Koonce Score Double H.O. Rounds~ Nolan Gets Another Win

All week long, players on the STATracker tour battled the heat and fatigue as temps stayed in the 90s for all three of last week’s rounds. By week’s end, there was another hostile takeover but this time it occurred in the Tournaments Standings. Last year’s inaugural Tournaments Champion, MARK CARMICHAEL, pushed past PAUL CORMIER in those standings when he snared a sandy in Wednesday’s MGA Shamble-Deluxe tourney, giving him enough points to take over the first place spot in the T-standings. Cormier had held the top spot there for most of this season, but Carmichael has been nibbling away these past nearly 5 months of the 2023 season. Carmichael played in 2 rounds finishing with 28 points for the week (16-12-x). The tournament was not a STATracker friendly game format. CHARLIE HENKE led all scorers that day with a lone holeout for 15 points. Cormier was able to get only one birdie in the round. He did have a decent week (8-3-13/24) but found himself not only losing the top spot in the T-standings, but falling 74 points behind C-standings leader STAN KOONCE. This reporter is confident however, that this pennant race is far from over. Getting back to the Koonce comet, the number one ranked player led all scorers for the week collecting 62 points (15-12-35) which included a double-holeout round on Friday. Koonce also had another holeout on Monday, a CTP, a sandy and a 2nd place team finish. Koonce has smashed through the 800 points mark currently sitting in 1st place with 828 points and continues to threaten the Harbour Cup points record of 1,178. Who will break the record first…??... Koonce or Cormier…??

And speaking of double holeout rounds, not only was Koonce guilty of it but JIM ROBINSON and JOE PILLOW got in on the act. In the case of Robinson, his double H.O. round happened on Monday and was a personal best for him as he finished with 31 points for the day. For Pillow, once again, he finished his week on a strong note as he achieved his double H.O. on Friday along with a sandy for a 40 point day. For the week, Pillow finished with 46 points (6-x-40).

In what some are calling the “season of the Nolan,” two-time major winner MARK NOLAN added another win to his expanding empire when he closed out week-21 helping his team to a 1st place finish on Friday. Nolan, currently ranked #6, was briefly ousted from the top spot in the Winners Circle race by Stan Koonce, but with Friday’s win, he pulled back to even things up with Koonce as both players are tied at the top with 12 points.

Last week also saw the return of BRIAN MacDOWELL to the field of play. MacDowell made an immediate impact upon his return when he helped his team to a first place finish in the tournament round on Wednesday. STATracker welcomes back the big guy from Pittsburgh.


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