By Andrew Glover
STILLWATER, Okla. —
Last year, Lakeside Golf Course won their third straight Stillwater Cup from the Stillwater Country Club. On Saturday, Lakeside starts its journey towards a four-peat with the City Four-Ball Championship.
“It’s a fun time of year,” Lakeside Golf Pro Michael Henderson said. “This is the first qualifier and the top 12 point getters will qualify for the cup. We’ve had a fortunate run and hope to keep the streak going.”
Golfers earn points based on how they finish in the qualifier. A second qualifier, the City Championship will occur in July.
“It’s a very democratic process,” Henderson said. “We don’t pick our teams, they have to earn their spot.”
Henderson said he has a good turnout for the four-ball championship.
“I have about 25 to 26,” Henderson said. “The deadline is today, so I’m sure I will probably get a few more. ... Every year (for the Stillwater Cup) we have a core of eight players and the other four fluctuate. I expect the same group this year.”
In the four-ball format, golfers are paired off and play their own ball. The partner that shoots the lowest ball will be recorded as the team score.
The golf pro added most of the players that competed last year are returning including the championship flight winner Aaron Thomas, who was partnered with Oklahoma State University golfer Sam Lee. The Cowboy golfer is not returning to the competition and is golfing in Fiji. Thomas will compete with R.C. Cathey.
“He’s a fun guy to play with,” Thomas said. “He’s a great player.”
Thomas won by a stroke and said he is looking forward to helping Lakeside win another cup.
“The great thing about it is it’s a three step tournament,” Thomas said. “It’s a great three to four day competition.”
Pedro Velasco, one of the net flight winners is also returning but will have a different partner as Aravind Seshadri isn’t returning. Last year’s four-ball winner said he enjoys the fellowship.
“Everyone is really nice and gets along,” Thomas said. “We do battle each other but afterwards, everyone is talking and laughing with each other.”
Henderson said even though it’s a competition, the Stillwater Cup and the qualifiers bring great camaraderie.
“It’s great time to celebrate golf,” Henderson said. “Not just golf at Lakeside or the Country Club, but golf in Stillwater.”