Monday, September 26, 2011

The Wallace Challenge Cup Remains in Monmouth

This past pleasantly cool and sunny weekend (9\24\11)  the Columbia Golf Club,  just outside of St. Louis, hosted the world famous Wallace Cup Challenge.  

And once again the squad from Monmouth, IL managed to give the St. Louis contingent a good case of   the blues.

Monmouth Captain Bill Wallace and the St. Louis team of Mike Flood and John Holtschlag  look ready to go on Saturday morning just before the opening round tee time. (photo by Jim De Young)

If you are among the uninitiated in regard to this stellar event,  a capsule history might help. Three years ago Bill Wallace and Mike Flood, two old St. Louis high school buddies, started a friendly inter-city golf match. Each man chose a friend with Wallace picking Jim De Young for the Monmouth side and Flood choosing John Holtschlag for the St. Louis contingent. The matches are then played alternately in the Monmouth or St. Louis area.

It's a spirited but also fun-filled rivalry. Each new meeting is preceded by extensive re-working of the plethora of special rules. There are always intense discussions about strokes, putts, mulligans, and relief from nasty trees or the ferocious wild bears that might be lurking in them.

Currently the competition is played out in two 18 hole matches on succeeding days. Day One features a best ball competition between the two squads and Day Two is match play with each participant going against someone from the opposing team. The winner receives custody of the famed WC cup (no poddy jokes please; this is serious business), which was designed and built by Mike Flood.

This year, fighting hard to keep the honor of Illinois intact in spite of the dismal record of the Bears and the Cubs, the Monmouth crew took a best ball victory on day one and followed it with a split in the match play on day two to retain the cup for another winter.   Below you see Columbia Club Pro, Jon Charpentier, presenting the trophy to the Monmouth team of Bill Wallace and Jim De Young.

The first two competitions in 2009 were won by the St. Louis team, but since then the Monmouth team has dominated.  They took the cup for the first time in 2010 and now have defended it successfully through four meetings.  

Here are all four of the competitors at this year's Victor's Lunch.

And here the valiant warriors are meeting a screaming mob of adoring fans in De Young's driveway upon returning home to Monmouth.  

The cup will be defended again in the spring of 2012 at Gibson Woods in Monmouth.

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