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For the past five years, golfers from Meeker and Rangely have played matches against each other, alternating courses each year. Never before has the visiting team won the coveted Rio Blanco County Cup, until this year.
The Meeker Golf Course has safely guarded the RBC Cup after winning on their home course last year. The cup will remain in the Meeker clubhouse after Meeker upset their western neighbors last weekend. Twenty golfers from Meeker traveled to Rangely last weekend to match up and play against 16 golfers from Rangely.
Meeker jumped ahead 5-3 Saturday when teams of two from each course played against each other for nine holes of best ball.
Greg Ackerman and Clint Chappell defeated Emery Bear and Terry Lancaster; Pat Hughes and Bryce Ducey beat Justin Halcomb and Terry Richardson; Norbert Boes and J.C. Watt scored a point for Meeker by beating Bernie Shafer and Jeff Bell; George and Peggy Back defeated Rob and Leilanie Morgan and Meeker’s Irv Griffin and Dave Brown also scored a point when Olynna and Matt Pierson played for the town in the western end of the county.
Rangely’s three points in the best ball were earned by James Maybury and Ryan Haugh defeating Harry Watt and Larin Crase; brothers Chris and Eric Hejl beat Meeker’s Lex Collins and Pat Walsh and La Vella Justus and Donna Hayden beat Danielle Feola and Jill Massey.
Rangely took the lead on the back nine when the game was changed to alternate shots. Rangely won five and tied one of the eight matches played. The Hejl brothers won their match, as did Bear and Lancaster, Halcomb and Richardson, Maybury and Haugh, and Justus and Hayden. Ackerman and Chappell, and Harry Watt and Brown were the only teams from Meeker to win their matches. Crase and Feola tied with the Morgans and each team earned a half point, leaving Meeker to trail by one point after the first day of play.
Sunday’s game was straight-up match play, with 17 players from Meeker matching up against 16 from Rangely. Rangely’s team captain Robby Elam played both Hughes and Brown and lost both matches.
“I was disappointed more of our guys didn’t want to play, it’s sad Meeker brought more players than I could find,” Elam said. “All in all, they just outplayed us.”
Walsh, Crase, the Watts, Collins, Griffin and Peggy Back all earned points for Meeker with wins, as did Trey Morris, who played Sunday.
Rangely’s Ellen Boudreaux, Eric Hejl, Bryan Mackey, Rob Morgan, La Vella Justus and Ryan Haugh all earned a win point, while Ryan Kennedy of Rangely and Chappell tied, for a half point each.
Eric Hejl, Justus and Haugh won all of their matches for Rangely, while only Brown won all three of his for Meeker. Chappell did not lose a match but tied one and Morris won his only match played.
“It’s a fun tournament,” Meeker captain J.C. Watt said. “They are great hosts and the course is in fabulous shape.”