GREENSBORO – A tiny Scandinavian country held off the rest of the world last Tuesday at Mountain View Country Club as Denmark crowned themselves the 2022 FIFA World Champions.
The Denmark representatives, Aaron Molleur, Colton Niemi and Nick Crum, had a slim grip on first place coming into Tuesday’s final two rounds, but they putted like champions to secure the coveted FIFA World Cup trophy. In Round Two last week, they scored on 19 of 24 chances and then secured the title by hitting 20 of 24 chances in the final round. Overall, they took first place with 72 goals.
With 14 different nations chasing the FIFA title, each foursome had to complete two more rounds of putting through six nets, all at different distances, prior to their round and again right after their round. A total of 54 golfers arrived for this prestigious tournament and, after a brief rain early, they were treated to clear skies throughout the remainder of the evening.
Denmark was tied with France for first place coming into Tuesday, and while the French team of Bill Richardson, Pete DesChamps and Shayne Carr struggled to a fifth place finish, the Danes held strong with two solid rounds. And it’s a good thing they did because they were being chased hard to the end by the North Africans from Morocco.
The foursome of Rob Montgomery, Nate Brown, Dan Judkins and Tim Bellavance, just two goals behind Denmark coming into Tuesday, matched Denmark’s brilliance in the final two rounds. They also hit 19 shots in round two and 20 in round three and ended up in second place with 70 goals.
Bulgaria had the biggest surge on Tuesday. They were mired in sixth place with 28 goals coming into the night, but the Balkan nation made a key move after the team from Italy failed to show. Bulgaria pulled Dan Hudson away from the Italians, gave him a spot on their team and they surged through the final two rounds. Also on the Bulgaria team were Mike Cloutier, Roger Boone and Brian Niemi.
They rose to third place with 68 goals, scoring 19 times in the second round and then posting the night’s best performance in round three, hitting on 21 of 24 chances. The Netherland team of Wyatt Bellavance, Randy Bellavance, Adam Whitney and Cole Leroux quietly stole fourth place. They also made a move, and sat in third place just four points out of first after round two, but lost their momentum in round three.
In addition to completing FIFA on Tuesday, teams were also chasing down the weekly championship in a battle of points. With Rob Montgomery leading the charge, the mighty Moroccans destroyed the competition.
Each player is awarded one point for a bogey, two for a par and three for a birdie as each player has a quota of points to meet. Montgomery was on fire, shooting a 45 that would net him a 30, and he was six points over his quota, best of the night.
Morocco won the points contest with a plus 14 as Tim Bellavance’s 43 left him a plus four, Dan Judkins was plus-three and Nate Brown plus one. Montgomery’s round won him the low net title, tying with Shayne Carr for that honor.
Back in second place in points were the Jamaicans with a plus nine. Dale Rowell had only scored one point for Jamaica going into the eighth hole, but he put his approach to five feet there and nailed the birdie putt, then parred nine for two more points. He ended up leading the team at plus four. Also for Jamaica was Pat Hussey at plus three, Kip Doyon plus two, Kerry Sheedy plus one and Rowdy Doyon was minus-1.
In third at plus eight was the foursome representing Costa Rica. Richard Coolbeth paced the Central Americans with a round of plus five points. Dennis Pudvah chipped in with a plus three, Karl Ferland was a plus one and Dave Campbell was -1. France, with Richardson, Carr, DesChamps and Ian Drown, were fourth at plus-seven.
Carr, in addition for tying for the low net with his 45, had a round of plus five points, the night’s second best. Also at plus five was Carl Edwards from Ireland, who shot a round of 40. Denmark’s Aaron Molleur, who would win the MVCC Club Championship over the weekend, had the night’s low round, a 39.
Molleur also won closest to the pin on three, driving to within 16 feet, four inches of the pin. John Hogan won closest on five, landing his drive four feet, eight inches from the pin.
Bill Jenkins got inside Rowell on eight, chipping to four feet, four inches of the pin. Edwards won on nine, hitting his approach to eight feet, two inches.
The Tuesday golfers were treated to a night of free beer Tuesday from the family of Richard Brochu, a longtime league member who passed two months ago.