October MGA Update
2023-HARBOUR CUP/STATracker Week-27 Highlights
(thru: 9/1/2023… 69-rounds).
The 2023 race for the HARBOUR CUP, completed its 27th week of play.
Here are some notable Week-27 highlights…
***KOONCE OFFICIALLY DECLARED BALL OF FIRE***
BLOWS PAST 1100 ~ WINS TWICE ~ CARMICHAEL PULLS EVEN WITH CORMIER ~ SEYERLE WINS AGAIN
Only 2 rounds in Week-27 were completed as Friday’s round was cancelled due to the aftermath of a storm.
STAN KOONCE seems like he has taken possession of this 2023 STATracker season. He has opened up a 234 point lead in the Combined Standings and sits only 28 points away from tying Mark Carmichael’s single season record of 1178 points… and all this with 8 weeks to go in the season. Koonce racked up 74 points in his 2 rounds last week (42-32-x) which included 3 holeouts. This season Koonce has owned the holeout category currently having done it 45 times. In addition, in Wednesday’s MGA individual playdate round, Koonce got his 4th I-win of the season, which leads all players this year. His blistering 65 gave him a convincing 6-stroke victory over runner-up LARRY ERVIN. That put Koonce in the top spot in the Winners Circle competition. Last year, in the pre-season preview, this publication labeled Koonce the “dark horse.” Well, we were right as he nearly hit a 1000 points in 2022, finishing 2nd in the standings, and now, look at the record this year. As we await his vaporization of Carmichael’s points record, the next big thing is can Koonce add a major title to his stack of accomplishments. With that in mind, we now take you to the start of the month-long Broad Creek OPEN, the season’s final major. Ooops…the first day of the tournament was cancelled. The Bald Eagles round on Friday, which would have been the opener for the tourney, was cancelled as the course was considered not at the right conditions to play. So…the players will have to wait for Monday, Sept. 4th for the first round of the BCO. Mark Carmichael is the 2-time winner of this event and is determined to get the hat trick.
DAVE SEYERLE hit the Winners Circle again with a lights-out round of 69 and a playoff victory over the Furnace… the hot-handed JIM FURMAN. Right from the beginning of this 2023 season, Seyerle has maintained a ranking in the top 16. He has impacted the field right from the get-go. With his 2nd I-win of the season, Seyerle is tied with the likes of Stan Koonce and Jim Furman, with 16 points, at the top of the Winners Circle list. In 51 starts, he has reached a first place finish 14 times. He is currently ranked #13 out of 45 players in the 2023 field.
And speaking of JIM FURMAN… as mentioned, he’s at the top of the Winners Circle with Koonce and Seyerle after another productive week (21-22-x). The Furnace helped his team to a 1st place finish in Monday’s round and then he just missed an I-win when he lost the playoff with Seyerle. He had holeouts in each of his two rounds last week. Furman has hit a groove of late. The second most winning-est player, All-Time, and 2022 Masters Champ, has climbed into the top 10, at #10 in the Combined standings.
As mentioned earlier, the 2023 Broad Creek OPEN is officially underway. A quick look at the calendar shows that there are now 10 scheduled, eligible rounds for players to try to get their 4 best lowest net rounds. This major championship will conclude on Friday, Sept. 29th
Looking ahead to this coming week, there is a change in Wednesday’s MGA tournament, “GridIron Golf.”
It had been previously stated that no handicaps would be involved, however, after a conference on the upcoming tourney, the teams will now be handicapped going into the round. More on that, on Wednesday.
2023-HARBOUR CUP/STATracker Week-28 Highlights
(thru: 9/8/2023… 72-rounds)
The 2023 race for the HARBOUR CUP, completed its 28th week of play.
Here are some notable Week-28 highlights…
***SEYERLE SNARES BHO ~ HICE MAKES MOVE***
ALL THREE ROUNDS COMPLETED FOR THE WEEK ~ BROAD CREEK OPEN COMPLETES FIRST WEEK
Generally speaking, it was a kind of quiet week as the summer slides into its final days. Many players taking breaks and the heat index has once again affected participation. It is anticipated that things will be getting back into high gear as the 2023 STATracker season has only 7 weeks to go before the Harbour Cup, the Tournaments Champion, the Winners Circle winner and the STATracker Playoffs Champ are determined.
Definitely in high gear during Week-28 was rookie sensation DAVE SEYERLE. He has shown an uncanny ability to play consistently and score the points necessary to get the job done. Seyerle had one of his best weeks thus far getting 44 points for the week (25-2-17). In Friday’s round, on the par-3 17th Seyerle had hit his tee shot into the right-side bunker. He then proceeded to hole it out from there getting a rare Bunker Holeout, his first, and only the 3rd one this season by the club overall. Incredibly, Seyerle found himself the runnerup in all three rounds last week, narrowly missing adding even more wins to his already impressive record this season. Seyerle sits in a tie for first at the top of the Winners Circle competition. Its been just amazing how this guy is always circling the Winners Circle every week. He could be a real surprise in this year’s Playoffs. Currently ranked as the #9 player in the field, he seems like a shoe-in to make the playoffs, in his first season in the field.
Another player in high gear last week was 2-time major winner, BRUCE HICE. Playing in just two rounds last week, Hice scored 33 points (30-3-x). In that Monday round, Hice hit the trifecta getting a birdie, a holeout and a sandy along with a 2nd place team finish. In Wednesday’s MGA tournament, Hice was part of the winning team along with JOE PILLOW and DAN ENGELHAUPT. Hice has only started in 42 of the 72 rounds played so far in 2023 and yet sits just a few points outside the playoff pool at the #17 spot. Hice has made the playoffs every year. He had an exciting finish last season making a big push in the final week to secure a playoff spot. Seems like history may repeat with Hice.
Wednesday’s MGA tournament was an experiment of sorts. An untried format was installed for the tourney.
It was called “GridIron Golf.” As the name indicates, it was based on football characteristics. While nobody was tackled on the fairways or caught an 80 yard touchdown pass, the team of Hice, Pillow and Englehaupt won by a “field goal…” 30-28 over runnerups Fahrmeier, Bedenbaugh, Carmichael & Seyerle. When polling the players afterwards, it was discovered that this would be a tournament that would be shelved for the forseeable future. Last week was the opening week of the season’s final major, the Broad Creek OPEN. The month-long tourney will require the 4 best rounds by each player, played in an eligible MGA or Bald Eagles sanctioned round. This year there would be 11 eligible rounds. However, one round has already had to be cancelled due to the weather. After the first week of play, C.A. Smith, Brian Sandall and 2-time defending BCO champ, Mark Carmichael are tied at the top of the leaderboard with opening rounds of 70. Smith is looking for his 2nd major after his MGA victory earlier this year. Sandall is seeking his first major. The big question is… How did Grand Slam Seeker MARK NOLAN do in his opening BCO week? Unfortunately, Nolan is currently sitting with an 84, well off the lead… BUT… one must remember… Nolan can come from behind in a heartbeat and get it done, like he did to win the Masters back in April.
2023-HARBOUR CUP/STATracker Week-29 Highlights
(thru: 9/8/2023… 72-rounds)
The 2023 race for the HARBOUR CUP, completed its 29th week of play.
Here are some notable Week-29 highlights…
***KOONCE BREAKS POINTS RECORD!!***
FURMAN BECOMES ALL-TIME I-Win LEADER ~ SANDALL LEADS BCO at HALFWAY MARK
It was supposed to be a nip and tuck nail-biting, down to the finish pennant race this year between Stan Koonce and Paul Cormier… and was exactly that until the beginning of August when Cormier suffered a back injury that has put a severe impediment to his participation for the remainder of this season. It has left the Virginian alone at the helm.
In a nutshell STAN KOONCE is achieving what he set out to do this season. It was no secret that he wanted to stop Mark Carmichael from winning a 3rd straight Harbour Cup… and it appears likely that that will happen, as of now. There are still 6 weeks to go in the 2023 STATracker season. The Koonce Comet clearly broke free of the Earth’s orbit this past week when he broke the single season Harbour Cup points record of 1178, previously held by the aforementioned 2-time major winner Mark Carmichael. Koonce scored 48 points in week-29 (15-18-15). The record breaker actually occurred during Wednesday’s MGA individual playdate round. Koonce started the round needing 14 points to tie Carmichael’s record. On hole #3 Koonce secured the CTP for 2 points. Then, on #12, he secured a sandy to pull within two of the record. Two holes later, on #14, Koonce pounded a huge drive down the fairway leaving him only 90 yards from the green. He hit his approach shot to within 8 feet of the cup. He then proceeded to hole it for his birdie and another 3 points, giving him the record breaking number. When the smoke cleared by week’s end, Koonce was sitting with 1198 points in first place in the Combined standings. He appears poised to enter into unchartered territory when proceedings resume on Monday.
Speaking of unchartered territory… JIM FURMAN crossed that line as he became the first player in STAT history, to gain his 10th career individual win (I-win), this past Wednesday. Furman’s 2 stroke victory over runner-up Dan Engelhaupt, put him where no man has gone before. It was Furman’s 3rd I-win of the season and that has put him in the lead in the 2023 Winners Circle competition. Playing in just 2 rounds last week and getting only 5 points for the week (x-5-0) the big guy from Ohio did all his damage in the Wednesday round. Furman is second on the All-Time Winners Circle list with a record of 10 individual wins and 38 team wins (10-38).
BRIAN SANDALL has jumped out of the gate to take a 2 stroke lead, at the halfway mark, in the season’s final major, the Broad Creek OPEN. Sandall scored rounds of 70 and 69 to land at 5 under halfway through the month long competition. He has that 2 stroke lead over 2-time defending champion, Mark Carmichael, who is currently in second place at 3 under. (see the current leaderboard below). He and Carmichael are currently the only players in the field at below par. Sandall is seeking his first major title. Sandall has had a “quieter” year this season. He has made the playoffs each year in his stint in STATracker. This season, the points have been harder to get. However, Sandall had a banner week getting 43 points in all which included a double holeout round on Friday (13-0-30). In the grand-slam watch on MARK NOLAN, he put together quite a day on Monday piling up 46 points for the round with 2 birdies, 2 holeouts and a sandy. It was a 51 point week (46-0-5) as he also was part of a team win on Friday. However, he is not faring well in the OPEN.
GREGG MACAULAY got his first ever individual win on Wednesday firing a hot 69 to out duel Carmichael and Brian McDowell. The part-time player was all smiles as he secured his first trip ever to the Winners Circle.
We mentioned last week how BRUCE HICE (2-time major winner) has always found a way to make the playoffs. Well last week, he was just outside the playoff pool, but, once again, in the 3 rounds he played, Hice picked up 26 important points (12-0-14). He just bumped himself up to the #15 spot in the top 16 playoff positions in the Combined standings.
….Coming up this week…
Bald Eagles will play on Monday, 9/18… and on Friday, 9/22
On 9/20 the MGA hosts its version of the RYDER CUP in its 12 tournament of the season
BROAD CREEK OPEN LEADERBOARD… as of 9/15/23… Tournament ends on 9/29/23
01- SANDALL 70-69 -5
02- CARMICHAEL 70-71 -3
03- McDOWELL 72-72 E
04- HICE 71-73 E
05- REIVIK 72-73 +1
06- SMITH 70-77 +3
07- MULHALL 71-76 +3
08- ROBINSON 74-73 +3
09- HARRELL 74-73 +3
10- SWAN 74-74 +4
11- CARUSO 75-73 +4
12- PILLOW 75-73 +4
13- WELCH 72-77 +5