The Northern Nevada Golf Association team won the 2019 Oliver Cup, beating the Southern Nevada Golf Association team, 13-11. With the victory, the NNGA team snapped a three-match losing streak in the Ryder Cup-style event, which was held June 26-28, 2019, at Genoa Ranch Golf Club in Northern Nevada. –By Bill Bowman, Las Vegas Golf Insider staff.
The bi-annual event features 12 senior players from the SNGA against 12 senior players from the NNGA in four-ball, alternate shot and singles play. The event was created to honor the memory of long-time Southern NEvada and Nevada State volunteer Lou Oliver. The teams tied 12-12 in the inaugural event in 2008 before the SNGA squad won the second event. The NNGA won in 2011 before the SNGA rattled off three straight victories.
The 2019 NNGA team featured: Sheldon Kop, Tito Delaparra, Bruce Jackson, Jason Buckholz, Rick Green, Chick James, Ron Percivalle, Steve McIntyre, John Montross, Kirk Schwoyer, Andy Vesco, Mike Vadnais.
The 2019 SNGA team was comprised of: Al Kueker, Loren Little, George Yocum, Chris Boyer, Gordon Schiring, John Garrett, David Golder, Walter Sabati, Chris Whatley, David Koch, Jim Burger, Michael Manthey.
The NNGA came out Thursday morning and led 3½-2½ after the morning session’s four-ball round. The NNGA squad won three matches (including the final two), the SNGA won two matches and one match was halved.
The afternoon alternate shot portion saw both teams earn three points with three match victories by each team. That gave the NNGA squad a one-point lead, 6½ -5½, heading into the final day’s 12 singles matches.
On the final day, the teams split the first six matches, each picking up three points. The NNGA sealed the victory, 6½-5½ points for the day, by winning three of the final four matches to post just their second victory in the event.
“It all came down to the last couple of matches,” said Percivalle, the NNGA team representative. “We had guys make a couple of good shots and a couple of good putts. It definitely could have gone either way.”
Percivalle added the event is a testament to the determination golfers have to be competitive.
“The guys from the north and the south may be getting a little older, but the drive is still there,” he said. “A lot of us are in our 70s but we still get out there. It’s nice to be able to hit the ball, chip and putt and make a few birdies here and there.”
Percivalle added the victory all came down to the singles matches.
“Everyone knew one point could be the difference and a lot of the singles matches went down to the wire,” he said. “Having that one point lead heading into the singles definitely gave us a little confidence.”
In the end, Percivalle said the event serves many purposes. “It’s always a fun event for the seniors,” he said. “The guys come out and it’s North vs. South. There’s always a drive to win. But, it’s also the camaraderie. In the end, there are a lot of great guys here having fun playing golf.”
Chris Whatley, the SNGA representative, said the chances were there for the South squad.
“We had a lot of opportunities,” Whatley said. “It was definitely nip and tuck. A lot of the matches could have gone either way. In fact, a lot of the matches came down to 18. If we had gotten one or two of those matches to go the other way, it could have been a different story.”
But he added it was a bonding experience for both teams.
“These guys just love to compete,” Whatley said. “And it’s an honor to represent Southern Nevada. These guys play against each other all the time and it’s great to play in events like this when they have a chance to be teammates and compete with each other rather than against each other. I love that.”
For the NNGA, Kop, Montross and Vesco all went 3-0 for the event while Yocum was the only SNGA player with a perfect record.
Click here for for complete event results.