QUARRYVILLE — Ahead by a point over rival Lancaster heading into the final day of the 23rd annual War of the Roses golf tournament, the York squad was cautiously optimistic.
A short yet fast Tanglewood Manor Golf Club in southern Lancaster County, however, never allowed the local squad, captained by Jay Kostenbauder, to exhale easily all day.
In the end, however, the Yorkers did just enough.
It all came down to next-to-last match of the day between York’s John Lowder Jr. and Lancaster’s Marlin Detwiler. With the match all square through 17 holes, Lowder was able to hit his fourth shot on the par-5 18th to within about a foot of the pin. Detwiler missed his par putt before he conceded to Lowder, who claimed a 1-up victory.
That final point pulled the York side even with the Red Rose outfit for a 12-12 split, the first-ever draw in tournament history. Because the event has a Ryder Cup-style format, however, the York team will retain the championship cup after winning it last year.
Lancaster now leads the overall series, 14-8-1.
“Hard to believe that this was the first time we’ve ever had a tie,” Kostenbauder said. “All the guys played fantastic this weekend. I couldn’t ask for anything better.”
There were a couple of real bright spots for the York side in the event. Besides Lowder, whose down-to-the-wire finish clinched the tie, alternate Randy Grim stepped up and earned a possible two out of three points this weekend.
Grim, who downed Kostenbauder in a playoff to capture the Cool Creek Golf Club senior championship this summer, filled in when Steve Goodley was unable to participate. Having never played in any of the previous War of the Roses events, Grim sure didn’t play like a first-timer, according to both Kostenbauder and Scott Knouse.
“He was my co-captain and alternate pick,” Kostenbauder said. “I didn’t know until Thursday night that I would have to use him, but he came through real well.”
Knouse took it one step further when talking about Grim, who won his match Sunday against Matt Turner, 5&4.
“I gave my vote for most valuable player to Randy,” Knouse said. “When Steve couldn’t make it, Randy stepped in. And Randy’s no young pup, but we went out and won two matches.”
Grim was paired with Scott Dobak, another first-timer, for Saturday’s alternate-shot and better-ball rounds. They led most of the match against Lancaster’s Corey Gast and Jarred Texter in the alternate-shot before the Red Rose duo tied it on No. 11 and won it on No. 17.
The better-ball format proved, well, better for the local pairing. Grim and Dobak claimed a 3&1 victory over Tyler Wassell and Turner.
For his part, Dobak downed Derek McCarty, 3&1, to also pick up two points for the weekend.
Knouse, who is a veteran of many of these events, enjoyed himself. He was especially excited to play Saturday’s rounds with Central York senior Joe Parrini. Parrini and Knouse cruised to a 7&6 win over Turner and Wassell in the alternate-shot event before halving the better-ball event against Ken Phillips and Daryl Denlinger.
“I’ve seen a lot of good players over the years,” Knouse said. “And that young man has a great deal of talent. He hit shots that I never could hit back in my days. Good swing, good short game, good putter … he’s got all of the tools.”
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.