New cross-border competition starts up

Published on Thu, Jun 17, 2010 by By Jerry Huls

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golfDave Charbonneau calmly lashed a luscious tee shot that slightly hooked into the center of the first fairway in a soaking rain at Semiahmoo Golf and Country Club. His first stroke was a shot across the bow, so to speak, as it commenced Semiahmoo’s first Peace Arch Cup event, Friday, June 11, between teams of club members from Canada and the U.S.

The event is 54 holes in three formats. On Friday, golfers played a round of two person/one net best ball. On Saturday, the second and third rounds consisted of two person modified alternate shot and then singles matches.

The eagerly anticipated tournament was the brainchild of Semiahmoo’s director of golf, Brett Eaton.
“Sixty percent of our membership here is Canadian,” explained Eaton. He was awakened to the latent rivalry between golfers of the two countries during the Olympics when Canada and the U.S. played twice against each other in hockey, with Team Canada winning the gold medal in a thrilling finale.

“When the Americans won, they were so excited,” Eaton observed, “and so were the Canadians when they won. How cool was that?”

Eaton developed the idea similar to the Ryder Cup where a U.S. team of golfers play golfers from Europe and the world. Each team has a captain and nine qualifiers who are members at Semiahmoo. Donning bright blue or red golf shirts, the teams braved a slow, steady rain to begin play Friday. Was the rivalry between the two country’s golfers intense?

“No question,” assured Eaton, “it’s not chippy. They’re friendly enough but very competitive.” Eaton hopes to continue the event annually.

The Canadians handled the American team 124 1/2 to 91 1/2, despite U. S. team member Drew Ferron who won all 27 points.