9 Pints* & A Blazer dethroned RWTW to win this year’s Kendallville Open Team Championship and they will remain together next year to defend their title. There wasn’t much of a competition, as 9P*AAB steam rolled their flights on Saturday morning. Given the miserable scoring conditions during the scramble, no one was able to make a charge at them. With Asian James & Greg both winning their flights (2nd and 4th respectively), this brings the juggernaut’s new total up to 11 pints*, but still only one blazer, despite a valiant effort from Tall James. Immediately after the draft, Team 9 Pints* was the early favorite and they certainly talked the talk and walked the walk. Even though not a single team picture of them exists, they donned new swag for every single round, sponsored by FreshFin. Living up to the mantra “look good, feel good. Feel good, play good.” With RWTW breaking up for tKOXII, it will be interesting to see if anyone can compete with 9 Pints*, they have a Golden State Warriors kind of feel to them.
Even though they finished a bit further down the leaderboard, the Kendallville Open Team Spirit award easily goes to Wally & The Whales. While they weren’t best dressed (that obviously goes to the Marlboro Men ), you only needed to take a look around the course to see their impact on the tournament. Legends.
On to the flight winners…
Championship Flight Champ – Robinson
After going 9 years without a flight championship, Robinson has now gone back to back in the championship flight (and back to back backdoor 2nd place RDGC finishes). However, neither flight wins were enroute to an RDGC title, which will be 5 years ago (?!??!) at tKOXII.
1st Flight Champ – Nathan
We’re all assuming that is a styrofoam cup that was once full of brown liquor here, right? Not hard to tell what’s going with Nate in this picture. Sure a flight win is nice, but when you are used to hoisting the RDGC Cup over your head, it’s probably not quite as fulfilling, not to mention when your 3rd flight pint is from the first time you didn’t play in the championship flight. I think we’ll see a renewed Nate at tKOXII.
2nd Flight Champ – Asian James
In an all-time tKO stunt, Asian James had a custom Flight Pint case built before tKOXI in expectation of winning his fourth flight and being the first to achieve the Dinner Party (aka the lifetime achievement award). Not only did this complete the set, it’s the third year in a row he’s won the 2nd flight. It’s only a matter of time before AJ knocks down the 2nd round wall and wins a blazer.
3rd Flight Champ – Ben
If you don’t remember, RWTW was really big on the team concept, as you can see here. While they most likely won’t be together next year, the bonds formed here won’t be going away anytime soon. Somehow, this is the first pint Ben has ever won. Big things were expected of Ben at this year’s tournament, but the weather seemed to stall any momentum he could get going until the final round.
4th Flight Champ – Greg
Another win for team 9 Pints*, as Greg took home not only the 4th flight pint, but also won the cherished Dunlop bag for highest point winner at tKOXI. Shocking what not having to sleep under a tree between rounds can do for one’s game. I can only imagine the things Greg will fill that bag with at next year’s tournament. This brings Greg’s career total up to 3 pints, joining Nate and Jeremy as next in line for the Dinner Party.
5th Flight Champ – Bryce
This man was born to intimidate like this. Just look at him. Wear this gear all weekend, instead of just during the scramble, and he’s probably winning the second flight instead of the fifth. Bryce went directly from tKO to his kid’s christening on Sunday. If the holy water wasn’t poured onto Emory directly from this flight glass, then I’m pretty sure that blessing is null and void.
Trash Flight Champ – Pete
I think I figured out why Pete struggled so much during day one of tKOXI. This picture is from the Champion’s Dinner on Thursday night. Pete hitting that “clutch my pearls” look when Nate’s belly button made an appearance. Probably struggled to focus on golf a mere 12 hours later. I know Pete was pretty disappointed with his performance at this year’s tournament, but that’s the mark of true champion. Tiger Woods often would say the difference between him and the rest of the field is that he could grind out wins when he didn’t have his A+ game. Not sure he was referring to winning the Trash Flight, but a win is a win is a win.
That just about wraps up all the highlights from this year’s Kendallville Open. I’ve updated both the Player Bio’s and History pages. Don’t forget to get your sponsorships on the Wait List. Just like every year, I’ll push the Board on expansion to 68 once the embargo on tKOXII talk has expired. There are already a few things in the cooker for next year (and they are huge), but as always, I’m all ears to your suggestions, so if you have any, shoot me a message.
Until then, I’ll see you guys on Fairway Files.