Southern Side Takes Back Cup in Battle of Texas' Best

Jeff Strong with the Cup Since being cast as the determining factor of home field advantage in the World Series, Major League Baseball’s All Star game has become significantly more meaningful when compared to the other elite professional team sports, which remain rather inconsequential year after year.

The same cannot be said for golf, where team competitions like the Ryder Cup, President’s Cup and Walker Cup pit countries vs. continents in golf wars for global supremacy among both amateurs and professionals.

In Texas the yearly tussle between Northern and Southern PGA known as the Texas Joe Black Cup Matches is just as important as any of those aforementioned competitions to the peers involved. The Cup is also a celebration of golf in the Lonestar State and an affirmation that this region can stand up against any section of PGA professionals in the nation.

“It’s the highest level of competition that you’ll see among PGA Professionals,” said Jeff Strong, Southern Texas PGA Captain, who was recently named 2009 STPGA Golf Professional of the Year.

This year the STPGA proved it was indeed performing on a slightly higher level than the golfers of the NTPGA.

Using a strategy that placed an onus on the alternate shot format and demanded that every man carry his own weight by achieving at least one point the Southern Texas PGA was able to survive a spirited contest and emerge victorious by the score of 13-11. The win evened up the all-time standings in the long-running series 14-14-1.

“It’s fun to beat your fellow professionals, but there really isn’t too much ribbing or trash talk from either side,” said Strong. “The matches occur every year, and we just want it to be close.”

Southern Side Takes Back Cup in Battle of Texas’ Best

Redstone Golf Club’s Head Professional Bret Nutt had the honor of closing out the NTPGA with a par on the 16th hole at Miramont Country Club to finish off Gilbert Freeman 3&2 in their singles match.

“It was a great week of fun and competition,” said Nutt, whose golf club annually hosts the PGA Tour’s Shell Houston Open. “Marc DeWall, our president, asked me if there was any additional pressure being the Captain’s Pick, and there was. I didn’t want to let Jeff Strong or our section down.”

While Strong declined to name a team MVP, he did acknowledge DeWall’s point as a crucial part of the STPGA victory.

“We decided at the beginning that every man should walk away with at least one point,” Strong said. “And we accomplished that goal. I talked to the other guys and we all knew that if Mark DeWall earned a point, that there was a good chance we would win the matches. Randy (Jones) and Mark got their point in alternate shot and our team won.” Going into the competition it appeared that the Northern section had an edge, at least on paper. The NTPGA’s roster combined for 82 years of appearances in the event, while the South had 42 collectively.

“It was a whole team effort,” said Strong. “Everybody did their job and took care of business. I’m proud of all those guys. We had a great time and I made some good friends during the process.”

Members of the victorious Southern Texas PGA team were Ken McDonald, Toby Grubert, David Lundstrom, Matt Trevino, Randy Jones, Jesse Horner, James Brown, Marc DeWall, Justin Orbin, Bret Nutt and Wes Skaggs.

The Northern Texas PGA was represented by Ronny Glanton, Carl Worley Jr., Perry Arthur, Larry Bryan, Mike Wright, Britt Patton, Chad Williams, Mark Viskozki, Jim Stalder, Gilbert Freeman and Cameron Doan.


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