Playing in the Oliver Cup is an honor for Silver and Senior golfers from the Southern Nevada and Northern Nevada golf assocations. The South team breezed to a 19-5 victory in the 2021 Oliver Cup over the North squad. The tournament was held Nov. 4-5, 2021, at CasaBlanca Golf Club in Mesquite. –by Bill Bowman, Las Vegas Golf Insider staff. Video by Brian Hurlburt, Dave Meador.
The Oliver Cup showcases 12 of the best senior golfers from the North against 12 of the South’s top senior players. The Ryder Cup-type event, which debuted in 2008 with a 12-12 tie, is held every other year.
The event was created to honor long-time state and SNGA volunteer Lou Oliver. He was honored as the top volunteer many times and worked to promote the sport state-wide during his time.
With this year’s victory, the South now owns a 7-2-1 edge. The North won the 2019 event 13-11 snapping a South victory streak that had reached three in a row.
In this year’s event, the South put the first three points on the scoreboard in Thursday morning’s four-ball session before the North rallied to close the gap to 3½-2½.
In the afternoon’s alternate shot portion, the South took control and won the session 5½-½ to take a commanding 10-2 edge heading into the singles finale.
The North won two of the first three matches in Friday’s singles matches but the rest of the day–the final nine matches–were all South victories as the South rolled to a 10-2 edge in singles play.
Tim Brand, captain of the South squad, said he liked his team’s chances to win but was definitely surprised at the margin of victory.”
“My guys obviously played very well,” Brand said. “But those guys played well, too. We just had a solid team. We had guys who hadn’t played in the last couple of (Oliver Cup) events for one reason or another but this year we had all the top points earners here and they all played well.”
Brand said two of his players, despite not earning a win in the two team sessions the first day, set the tone for the rest of the squad.
“Dario Gonzalez and John Kelley really showed a lot,” Brand said. “They were down three with three holes to play in the morning session and fought back to get a half-point. Then in the afternoon session they were down four with five holes left and came back to again get a half-point. They could have mailed in each of those matches but they fought back to get a half-point in each of them.”
Andrew Workman, the North captain, said his team just ran into a buzzaw.
“They weren’t very friendly hosts, were they?” said Workman with a laugh.
The final score may have been lopsided but Workman said the golf played by both squads was impressive.
“Both teams had golfers who were real grinders and solid players,” he said. “Everyone gave it their best effort. The South had a little stronger finishing power than we did and it showed in the end.”
Workman added his squad didn’t lose the Oliver Cup.
“The South team had a great team, there’s no doubt about that,” he said. “But I don’t think we lost a lot of our matches. In the end, they just played a little better than we did. We had one match where (the South) started off with four straight birdies. That’s impressive golf in these type of formats.”
The 2023 event will be held in Northern Nevada at a to-be-determined site.
2021 South Team Members
2021 North Team Members