LAKE TAHOE, Nev. — Weekender 2017. Team Black vs Team Red. The Dragons converged upon scenic Lake Tahoe, Ryder Cup style. By day, the Dragons squared off 12 vs 12, each team member fighting for a point. In the evenings, the 24 Dragons came together as a family: sharing meals, stories, good and bad luck at the tables. Each Weekender is memorable.
Day 1’s format featured 6 matches of Four Ball Team Play. Team Red, Captained by Mike Lum, featured most of the low handicappers in the club, and he paired similar players together. Team Black, led by Davis Lee, went with steady and high variance player teams. The matches were played at Genoa Lakes and Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course, the latter of which hosts the American Century Celebrities Tournament each year. The highly anticipated course conditions along Lake Tahoe did not disappoint.
At Edgewood Tahoe, Team Black had great synergy among its team pairings, and came away with a large 5–1 points advantage after Day 1. The teams of Chris Chong/John Park and Tom Yee/Mike Gui played very well as expected for Team Black. Jon Chiu/Rob Dang and Davis Lee/Po-Jen Lin had close victories, but points nonetheless for Team Black. The bright spot for Team Red were the pairing of Chris Wong/Brian Fong, who played exceptionally, winning their match 7&6. The upset of the day belonged to Team Black’s Steve Tsang/Carol Lee, who took down the powerhouse team of Mike Lum/Peter Lyu, 2&1.
The Saturday members dinner was hosted at Toast Tahoe, which provided everyone a great chance to unwind with drinks and food. After the dinner was served, wine and cocktails were flowing, laughter was prevalent, and smack talk could be heard from Jon Chiu. He called out Chris Wong for his Sunday Singles Match, and he got what he wished for. In what was a very entertaining Singles Match Selection Process, it looked to be an exciting Sunday. There were many ooh’s and ahhh’s as Mike and Davis announced their matchups. Many of the matches were too close to predict and there were a few fantasy pick’em pools that sprung up. The smart ones retired for rest at their magnificent lodge cabins, while the die-hards tried to recoup some funds from the gaming establishments.
Team Red was attempting to come back from a 5–1 deficit. They would have to win 8.5 out of 12 points on Sunday to win. Virtually insurmountable, unless Team Red swept most of the 12 matches. Sunday’s matches were played at Genoa Lakes Resort. Both teams felt the heat from the competition and the conditions. Somehow Paul Loui rose above the heat and also overcame severe motion sickness at the start of the trip to shoot 74 and win 3&1 over Tom Yee. And, of course he doubled the 18th.
Chris Wong was fired up by getting called out by Jon Chiu. Chris struggled mightily, but regained some form to take a narrow lead late into the match. Jon capitalized on a few key errors to snatch a 1up victory. Chris Chong and Jason Kung battled to a draw, each scoring a half point. RookieTim Wei beat Tim Lohse 4&2 for a good initial showing. Veteran Jonathan Wong prevailed over Ken Leung, 2&1. Match Play Warrior Mieko Sugimoto does what she does, beating Carol Lee, 5&3.
An extremely confident Mike Gui built up on big lead over Brian Fong early. Brian gamely chipped away to even the match. Mike’s clutch play on the 18th hole sealed the victory 1up in the exciting match. Rookie of Year Monster, John Park, was too tough, beating Peter Lyu, 3&2. Po-Jen Lin, played well all weekend, dispatching Karen Fong, 4&2. Wyatt Lin also played very well throughout the weekend, winning his match handily over Rob Dang, 5&3. The captains squared off, with Davis having a great day with the short game and putter, to defeat Mike 4&2.
The matches were much closer on Sunday, but Team Black’s 12.5 points to Team Red’s 5.5 were plenty to win the Weekender 2017 competition. Win, lose or draw, the event was a big success. All the planning by the Board Members, extra volunteer work by other members, and the participation by the Teams made it enjoyable as always. Make no mistake, everyone was there to compete on the course and try to win. But, in every other moment, Dragons were quick to help out fellow members on the range, even as they were scheduled to face them. They made sure everyone had enough snacks and hydration. In these moments, the true spirit of the Weekender was felt.
Team Black received Dragon Logo patches and wine glasses to commemorate their victory. All team members also earned 150 Dragon Cup points, while Team Red members earned 50 Dragon Cup points for their participation. All that was left was for the captains to choose their Team MVP’s. Team Black’s standouts were Po-Jen Lin and Steve Tsang. Po-Jen’s solid play during Four Ball, carried their team to victory. He also had an impressive 4&2 victory in singles. It was a tough call, but Steve Tsang was awarded Team Black MVP, based on his play with Carol Lee to upset Mike Lum and Peter Lyu. He also played very well in beating Jon Chong 6&4 in singles.
For Team Red, captain Mike Lum also had a difficult selection to make. He decided on Brian Fong, based on helping Team Red with their only point on Saturday, and coming so close to defeating Mike Gui in singles. Steve and Brian were both well deserving MVP’s and were awarded a very swanky Dragon engraved whiskey decanter.
Congratulations to both teams that competed and had such a great time in Weekender 2017: Lake Tahoe.