CLEMENTON, NEW JERSEY | Veteran Mike McCoy, soon to turn 48, wore down the younger and much longer Scott Rowe to claim his fourth Crump Memorial Cup since 2004 at Pine Valley GC on Sunday. McCoy beat the former Northwestern University All-American 2 and 1 in the match- play final in one of the most prestigious amateur events in the country.
McCoy, who hails from Iowa, is now third on the all-time list of Crump Cup winners. He is tied with William Hyndman III and is one victory behind O. Gordon Brewer. Jay Sigel won the title nine times before turning pro and joining the Champions Tour.
The McCoy-Rowe match changed hands five times on the front nine and McCoy took a 1-up advantage at the turn. Bogeys by Rowe on 11 and 12 gave McCoy a 3-up advantage, a lead he never relinquished. A member at Pine Valley, McCoy relied on local knowledge and his vast Crump Cup experience to outlast Rowe, who was making his first championship match appearance.
McCoy was runner-up in the stroke-play qualifying with a 6-over-par 146 on a golf course that played lightning fast. He beat Craig Nichols 3 and 2 in his first match, and then downed former champion Randy Haag 5 and 4 to advance to the semifinals. McCoy then had to go 22 holes to get past putting wizard Kevin Marsh for an appointment with Rowe.
Marsh’s putting display had everyone talking at Pine Valley, as he seemed to make every clutch putt he looked at. To no one’s surprise, he canned a twisting 12-footer on the 18th hole of his semifinal match to force McCoy into extra holes. However, that overtime match was his third in two days, and Marsh ran out of luck on the fourth hole when he couldn’t get up and down from behind the green. McCoy’s two-putt bogey enabled him to move on.
Rowe, 35, shot 8-over 148 to comfortably qualify for the championship flight. He knocked off defending champion Skip Berkmeyer in 21 holes, and then scorched a tired Glenn Smeraglio to advance to the semifinals. Rowe downed stroke-play medalist Michael Muehr 1-up to set up his match with McCoy. Muehr, a former PGA Tour player who regained his amateur status, shot an impressive 2-under-par 138 to pace the stroke-play qualifiers.
McCoy heads to California for the U.S. State Team Championship this week, and then to New York for the U.S. Mid-Amateur championship, where he will be among the favorites. After a summer he characterized as “disappointing,” he seems to have found some momentum late in the year.
Vinny Giles, who won the 1990 Crump Cup title, took the senior division for the fourth time, defeating Jeff Burda 1-up. Prepping for his U.S. Senior Amateur defense at Lake Nona next month, Giles played solidly all week. In a battle of Walker Cup captains, Giles, the 1993 captain, defeated 2011 captain Jim Holtgrieve 4 and 3 in the semifinals of the senior flight.
CRUMP CUP NOTES
France’s Romain Wattel, who won the European Challenge Tour event last week, crept up to No. 3 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, slightly ahead of former No. 1 Jin Jeong of Korea. Italy’s Nino Bertasio used a strong performance at the Omega Masters to jump 19 places to No. 26, while Argentina’s Emiliano Grillo moved up 10 places to No. 27 based on his T2 finish at the AJGA Junior Players Championship. U.S. Amateur champion Peter Uihlein continues to hold the top spot, more than 100 points ahead of David Chung.