The Southern Nevada Golf Association team made it two straight victories in the Oliver Cup, racing to a 15-9 victory in the 2023 session over the Northern Nevada Golf Association. The two-day tournament was held Sept. 24-26, 2023, at Toiyabe Golf Club in Washoe Valley, NV.–by Bill Bowman, Las Vegas Golf Insider
The Oliver Cup features 12 of the best senior golfers from the North against 12 of the South’s top senior players. The Ryder Cup-type tournament debuted in 2008 with a 12-12 tie. It is held every other year and features foursome matches, four-ball matches and singles matches. The event honors longtime Nevada State Golf Association rules official and leader Lou Oliver.
The South won the title the last time the teams met, a 19-5 victory in 2021. With this year’s victory, the South now owns an 6-2-1 edge. The North won the 2019 event 13-11 snapping a South victory streak that had reached three in a row.
In the 2023 matchup, the teams split the first six matches in the opening session’s foursomes. The South grabbed an edge with a 4-2 edge in the afternoon four-ball matches by winning the final three points of the day. That gave the South a 7-5 edge after the first day.
That set the stage for the final day’s singles matches where the South took control, winning four of the first five matches in cruising to the victory. The South won the singles session, 8-4.
“We played well, especially down the stretch in the singles,” said Tim Brand, South captain. “We had strong players in both the gross and net and we also had some teams that ended up working very well for us.”
Brand added the South’s experience was also a key.
“We’ve got a fair amount of guys who have played at least two of these and a few guys who have played four,” Brand said. “With these formats, if you haven’t played them before, it can be intimidating. But with the guys we have they were all very comfortable. And you really want to play well because you never want to let your partner down.”
Having a two-point lead heading into the singles, Brand knew anything could happen during the final round.
“We sent Todd (Roberts) and Brady (Exber) out as the first two in singles,” Brand said. “We knew if we lost early, that two-point lead could be gone in a hurry and the scoreboard could be flipped. Todd and Brady lost their team matches and those two guys are used to winning. We thought they would have a little extra motivation. And it’s not like they played badly, they just ran up against teams that played very well.”
Andrew Workman, captain of the North squad, said his team ran into a tough opponent…especially in the singles.
“In the team play we were tied 3-3 after the morning matches and then they had the edge, four-to-two, in the second session so we were in pretty good shape heading into the singles,” Workman said. “But their players really played well in the singles. Eight-to-four in the singles is pretty impressive work by them.”
Workman concluded that the outcome could certainly have been different.
“We were right there,” he said. “I thought we had a good chance but their players really stepped up. Sometimes you just run into a buzzsaw. I’m proud of the way our guys battled but their guys were just a little better. Four or five of the matches went to the 18th hole. It’s match play and you just never know what is going to happen.”
The 2023 South team: Todd Roberts, Brady Exber, Glenn Hogle, Patrick Woerner, Chris Whatley, Gordon Schiring, Michael Haas, Brian Freymueller, Tony Troilo, Jeff Coppens, George Yocum and Jimmy Bradley.
The 2023 North team: Eric Larson, Gregory Whitt, David Gray, Clifford Smith, Mark Moore, Kirk Schwoyer, John Tovar, Dennis Rash, Bill Ruprecht, Richard Florez, Bruce Jackson and Martin Ruiz.
The 2025 Oliver Cup will be held at a to-be-determined site in Las Vegas. For complete results of the 2023 event, go to this link: