McCardle returns home to win 5th straight WG&CC Invitational

Eric McCardle tees off on the way to winning his fifth consecutive Whidbey Golf and Country Club Men
Eric McCardle tees off on the way to winning his fifth consecutive Whidbey Golf and Country Club Men's Invitational.
— image credit: Jim Waller / Whidbey News-Times

Eric McCardle is glad he changed his mind; 153 other golfers wish he hadn’t.

After winning his fourth consecutive Whidbey Golf and Country Club Men’s Invitational championship last year, McCardle said he planned to move out of town to sharpen his game and most likely wouldn’t be back to defend his title.

However, he reconsidered and journeyed from his current home in Las Vegas to snare the 47th annual WG&CC event with a two-round gross score of 141 on a gorgeous Memorial Day weekend Saturday and Sunday, May 26 and 27.

Andy Bullington captured the low net title with a 137.

McCardle, 22, began playing in the WG&CC Invitational when he became eligible by turning 18 and hasn’t lost. He primed for this year's event by winning the Southern Nevada Golf Association Amateur Qualifier last weekend by three strokes. Earlier this year he just missed qualifying for the U.S. Open. The top six in his qualifying match earned berths; he finished seventh.

After shooting even par in the first round Saturday, McCardle was joined in Sunday’s featured foursome by Robert Tercero, John Matzen and David White.

McCardle graduated from Oak Harbor High School in 2008 and was a Wildcat teammate of Tercero. Both played for Matzen, the longtime OHHS coach who retired two years ago.

McCardle said “it is fun” to play against his former coach and added that they have been competing long before the Invitationals. During high school matches, the opposing coaches play a round while the high school kids are competing, and McCardle said he was always trying to top his coach’s card. The reward, he said, was that the winner got to pick where the team stopped to eat on the trip back to Oak Harbor.

Matzen echoed McCardle’s comments and said he enjoyed playing against his former athletes. He added, “It is interesting to see how they turned out as fine young men.”

McCardle is living in Las Vegas with another former OHHS golfer, Phil Reedy, and works at a course there. Though his future plans aren’t set in cement, he is considering returning to Skagit Valley College where he previously completed a year of work and played on its golf team. From there he would like to go to a four-year school and play golf to further hone his skills and possibly become a professional.

McCardle and Tercero entered Sunday’s round tied, then McCardle birdied the first two holes to go up two and slowly pull away. McCardle finished three under for the round and 141 overall (matching his score of 2011), while Tercero shot six over and finished with a 150.

Tim Wyer, playing in the second group Sunday, shot a 70 and finished in a tie for second with Tercero. Rob Bringardner was one stroke back at 151, and Mike Horrobin carded a 152.

Matzen started Sunday one stroke behind the leaders with a 73, shot an 80 and finished tied for sixth with Tracy Voss and Austin Beatty at 153.

White, a former OHHS baseball player who graduated in 1991, started Sunday in fourth with a 74, but struggled through the second round with a 90.

Other results:

Flight 1, low net: 1 (tie), Roger Pierce and Mike Horrobin, 140; 3, Matzen, 143; 4, Jay Whittles, 144.

Flight 2, low gross: 1, Arik Dahlen, 159; 2, Martin Pool, 162; 3, Jeff Stone, 163; 4 (tie), White and Mel Elvebak, 164.

Flight 2, low net: 1, Gary Helwig, 140; 2, Ryan Elvebak, 143; 3 (tie) Eric Gentry and Marcus Cushway, 145.

Flight 3, low gross: 1, Rodger Johnson, 171; 2, Harold Olson, 174; 3, Jeff MacDonald, 176; 4, Jimmy Lopez, 180.

Flight 3, low net: 1, Doug Brown, 139; 2, Mike Johnson, 144; 3, Joe Beatty, 146; 4, Keith Larsen, 148.

Gold Tees, low gross: 1, Gene Cushway, 154; 2, Marv Anderson, 163.

Gold Tees, low net: 1, Denny Behrman, 137; 2, Bob Greathead, 141.

Sunday’s deuce pot: Dahlen (2), George Schmidt, Bryce Hobbs, Jim Chambers, Johnson, Marcus Cushway, Beatty, Pierce, Horrobin, Bringardner.

Sunday’s gross skins: hole 2, Pierce, 2; hole 5, Dahlen, 2; hole 6, John Geragotelis, 3; hole 15 Marcus Cushway, 3.

Sunday’s net skins: hole 5, Dahlen, 1; hole 6, Geragotelis, 2.

Saturday’s gross skins: hole 11, Brannon Stone, 3; hole 14, McCardle, 3; hole 17, Wyer, 2.

Saturday’s net skins: hole 1, Terry Johnson, 2; hole 12, Chuck Yurcina, 3; hole 16, Dave Wichers, 2; hole 18, Dave McCool, 3.

Sunday’s deuce pot: Dahlen, Pool, Philip McKee, Larsen, Horrobin, Chuck Flajole, Ron Coleman, Billy Van Cleef, Terry Armstrong, Chambers, Schmidt, Marv Anderson, Kevin McKeown, Wyer, Yurcina, Vass, Matzen.

Sunday’s closest to the pin: hole 2, Bringardner, 13’7”; hole 7, Schmidt, 11’; hole 13, Dahlen, 1’11’; hole 17, Chambers, 3’.

Saturday’s closet to the pin: hole 2, McKee, 4’5’; hole 7, Vass, 2’4’; hole 13, Ron Bates, 4’11’; hole 17, Wyer, 2’7’.

Sunday’s long drive: white tees: Whitley; gold tees, Greathead.

Saturday’s long drive: hole 12, Jim Boyle; hole 18, Duane Hagstrom.

Saturday’s two-person best ball: 1, Dahlen/Dave Smith, 60; 2, Flajole/Bob Wilzen, 62; 3 (tie), Yurcina/Schmidt, Gary Boonstra/Jerry Hammerle, Chambers/Cam Cleeland, Boyle/Brent Knudson, 63.

Calcutta payout (owners): 1, Paul Schuller; 2, Norman Walters; 3, Pool; 4, Boyle; 5, Pool; 6, Poole and Willie Sprague.

140 Club: Bullington, Brown, Pierce, Horrobin, Helwig.


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