The second annual Short Par 4 Cup was hosted over the weekend of June 25th and 26th at the Ritz-Carlton Members Golf Club in Sarasota, Florida. Two twenty-player teams, 36 holes, and four formats, led by their fearless Captains, Bobby Dimeo and Ceci Rezk. After a disappointing positive COVID diagnosis, Bobby stepped in at the last minute to replace Karen Lotta, the Captain of the inaugural event's winning team. Although she may not have been able to defend her title this season, we can rest assured that she will be back.
The festivities truly began in the SP4 Clubhouse on Friday where players gathered for food, drinks, and comradery as the team pairings were pulled at random. Once the teams were officially formed, the trash talk began with winners and losers from last year's event staking their claim on the cup this time around. Stories of last year’s pairings and predictions for the upcoming weekend were plenty.
Like any proper team golf event, team uniforms were a must. We have to give a special thank you to 1764 Golf and Graham Luxe for going out of their way to set up each team with matching uniforms for both days of play. For the first day, Team Ceci was scripted the ‘Greenhouse Polo’ in light pink with the black ‘Eagle Shorts’ from 1764 Golf as well as the black/white ‘Weave Belt’ from Graham Luxe. Team Bobby was gifted the ‘Greenhouse Polo’ in midnight blue with the super pink ‘Eagle Shorts’ as well as the blue depths/white ‘Weave Belt’.
On the second day, Team Ceci was fitted with the ‘Under the Sea Polo’, the ‘Eagle Shorts’ in navy, and the 'Weave Belt’ in brilliant white/blue depths. Team Bobby was rocking the ‘Cinco De Mayo Polo’ with the ‘Eagle Shorts’ in light grey as well as the ‘Weave Belt’ in blue depths/white. If you’re looking for a fresh new fit this summer, you can’t go wrong with any of these combinations.
As players arrived on Saturday morning, they were greeted by the incredibly friendly outside services staff of The Ritz-Carlton Members Golf Club who pointed them in the direction of their assigned cart. In that cart, players found a brand new Short Par 4 tumbler as well as our brand new magnetic Blast X speaker. Two essential items for enjoying a summer round of golf.
Players made sure to spend enough time on the range to shake the morning rust off and get warmed up for the day without wasting too many decent shots. Both teams learned quickly that the greens this weekend would be lightning fast so hitting a few practice putts was a necessity. One by one, the pairings met on the first tee, shook hands, and got their rounds underway. As players walked past the trophy into the mouth of the beast, they envisioned themselves being the ones to hoist it on Sunday afternoon but there was a lot of golf to be played before then.
Saturday’s round was played shamble on the front nine followed by best ball on the back. Each hole of the tournament was worth one point so it was important to never give in, even if the odds weren’t in your favor. The shamble format gave players the freedom to bomb it off the tee once their partner was safe in the fairway. The back nine was played in best ball format which tested the skills of both A and B players and forced them to rely on one another when things went south.
The groups that did the best job of picking up their teammates when they needed it would undoubtedly be the leader by the end of the day. When Saturday ended and all of the scores were tallied up, Team Bobby was out to an early 9-point lead, leaving Team Ceci with a lot of work to do on Sunday. The post-round gathering was filled with stories from that day; the good, the bad, and the ugly. To round out the afternoon, we played a one-club skins game from the back patio to the putting green which brought even more excitement.
As Sunday morning came around, the practice area and of course the bar once again filled with players who were anxiously awaiting their tee times. Naturally, trash talk began early in the day with Team Bobby leading the charge. Team Ceci may have been 9 points behind but the format of Sunday’s round left them with a chance to win the cup.
Sunday’s format consisted of modified alternate shot on the front nine and singles matches on the back. All 18 holes were once again worth one point each. The alternate shot format gave the partners the choice of either tee shot followed by alternate shot in. Like the shamble, once a player was safely in the fairway, their partner had the option to go long but the alternate shot meant relying on your partner to put you in a good position.
As the day went on, the storms came rolling in slowly. A slight sprinkling and stiff breeze kept the players cool throughout the day but Team Ceci was heating up. As the last groups came through the turn and restocked on cocktails and hotdogs, the cup was anyone's to take home. The singles matches were an accumulation of 27 holes and the moment that all of the players were waiting for.
Slowly, pairings finished their rounds and gathered at the leaderboard behind the 18th green. The match appeared to be dead even as Bobby and Ceci lead the final groups through the pouring rain up the 18th fairway. This match could be the deciding factor but it wasn’t playing out the way they had all hoped. A few water balls from each side led to a concession for one group but was great entertainment for the crowd that had huddled under the canopy.
The scorecards were all turned in and the players had gathered inside for dinner and the final announcement. For the second year in a row, two days of golf had ended neck and neck but against the odds, Team Ceci came back and won by three points. Team Ceci will forever be remembered as the winners of The 2022 SP4 Cup.
We once again want to give a big thank you to 1764 Golf and Graham Luxe for the fresh outfits and The Ritz-Carlton Members Golf Club for their gracious hospitality. It was another successful year and we can’t wait to do it again next year. Be on the lookout for an announcement next summer because there’s a chance that you could be joining us out there!