By Rob Kiser
Sometimes it is not about how — but how many.
And it was that kind of day Sunday for Chad Sherrill and Paul VanDeventer in the championship match of the Piqua Country Club President’s Cup.
And in the end, Sherrill had enough to hold off VanDeventer 3-and-2 to defend his President’s Cup title.
“I wouldn’t say that either one of us played what I would call ‘great golf’,” Sherill said. “I would say that I scraped it around pretty good today. Paul (VanDeventer) made a few mistakes around the green and I was able to take advantage of them.”
VanDeventer didn’t disagree.
“I don’t know, sometimes when you are friends, it is tough to play against each other,” VanDeventer said. “It was a tough day. There were times when the golf just wasn’t real good.”
Not, that there weren’t some highlights as well.
VanDeventer had battled back from two 3-down deficits and found himself just one down after a par-4 on the 400-yard third hole, the 21st hole of the 36-hole final.
But, three holes later, Sherill went 2-up after VanDeventer faced a difficult 40-foot putt from the fringe on the 434-yard par-4 sixth hole (24th hole) and took four to get down.
“He had a really difficult putt there,” Sherrill said.
And VanDeventer didn’t dwell on that mistake.
“I think in a 36-hole match, there isn’t one hole that makes a difference,” he said. “There were a couple times where three-putted or made mistakes around the green and he was able to take advantage of that.”
After they matched pars on the 225-yard par-3 seventh, Sherill delivered the shot of the day on eight.
He hit his second shot on the 516-yard par-5 eighth hole to 15-feet and two-putted for birdie to go 3-up.
“When I got to my ball (on the drive) I told Doug (caddie Doug Borchers) I had 245 (yards to the hole),” Sherrill said. “He said that sounded like hybrid. I think that was as hard as I can hit a hybrid.”
Sherrill didn’t make any mistakes from there.
He parred the first six holes of the back nine, but VanDeventer didn’t go down without a fight.
He had two-putt birdie on the 501-yard par-5 11th and on 15 (a 436-yard par 4)— he needed to roll in a 20-foot par putt from the fringe to extend the match — and did exactly that.
“Thanks,” DeVenter said with a smile when complimented on that putt.
But, Sherrill would finish things in style with a birdie on the 555-yard par-5 16th to close out the match.
Amazingly, Sherrill missed every fairway of his second 18 and was just seven of 27 on fairways hit for the day.
“I thought I hit my irons pretty well,” Sherrill said. “But, my biggest problem was just getting the ball in play off the tee. I really struggled with that.”
Sherrill hit 16 greens on the day to VanDeventer’s 15 and both had 60 putts for the 34 holes of play.
After being all square on the first nine holes, Sherrill birdied 11, 12 (423-yard par 4) and 16 to open a 3-up lead he would never completely relinquish.
“I definitely played better on the back nine today,” Sherrill said. “I think was two under for the 16 holes on the back nine. I think I had six birdies and Paul (VanDeventer) had one. I played really well against Fish (Scott Bradley) in the first round. I think was three under for 13 holes. Then, I was even against Tom Christy yesterday (in the semifinals). It is tough to win and I feel good about that.”
And VanDeventer felt the same way in his first President’s Cup.
“I didn’t play last year, because I didn’t have my amateur status back yet,” VanDeventer said. “There are some really good golfers out here. I had a tough match with Kasey Carter yesterday (in the semifinals). This was a lot of fun. I had a blast.”
On a day when it was all about how many — not how.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.