RBC I “It was by far the closest cup we’ve had to date,” Robby Elam, captain for the Rangely team said.
The “cup” Elam spoke of is the Rio Blanco County Cup, a traveling trophy which is displayed in the clubhouse of the winning team of a match-play formatted tournament played between golfers from Meeker and Rangely.
The Rio Blanco County Cup was first hosted in Rangely in 2007 and remained at Cedar Ridges after the Rangely golfers won the tournament on their home course. Meeker won the cup back the next year, then Rangely won it the next time it was played on their course, before Meeker had the honors of displaying the RBC Cup for three years in a row, including a victory in Rangely in 2011. Back on their home course, Rangely dominated Meeker in 2013 to win the cup back.
There was media buildup before the 2014 Rio Blanco County Cup, which would be played in Meeker. Rangely has never won the cup in Meeker and Meeker captain J.C. Watt, who did not play in 2013, was quoted in the Herald Times, saying his team was the “heavy favorites.”
“That one almost came back to bite me,” Watt said with a laugh, of his predictions.
Meeker won the 2014 Rio Blanco County Cup by one point, 30-29.
Saturday morning, players were matched up in pairs and played nine holes in a scramble format, then re-paired and matched differently to play nine holes in a best ball format.
There were 14 matches in the scramble and Meeker took an early 8.5-5.5 lead after nine holes of play but Rangely came back to tie the score after best ball.
A barbecue was held Saturday and many of the Rangely players camped at the golf course in order to get a good night of rest before championship Sunday. Thirty matches would be played in a Ryder Cup format, where a point is given for winning a hole outright.
“I want to thank Robby for putting together a great team,” Watt said “Rangely brought 30 golfers and some really good players. Several matches came down to the last hole, one switch from a win to a tie, a half point, and the up stays in Rangely. It was really fun to know every match mattered because it was so close.”
“I want to congratulate the Meeker men and women and thank them for the hospitality we all enjoyed,” Elam said. “We were a half a point away from retaining the cup. Overall, I was proud of our team, we gave them a battle. I would also like to thank my team for representing Rangely with class. It is the most fun of any tournament to play, in my opinion. I can’t wait to do this again next year.”
Watt also wanted to thank his team and “appreciated Rangely’s participation,” saying it is the most golfers to ever play in the Rio Blanco County Cup.
“I also want to thank Chris Arnold (Meeker course manager) and his staff as well as Larin Crase and Danielle Feola (owners of Chippers) and their staff for their hospitality,” Watt said. “It was fun.”