In what has become Tyler's annual version of the golf's Ryder Cup, Hollytree Country Club surprised their rival hosts Willow Brook by taking a 3 ½ to 1 ½ lead in the 21st Triggs Cup after the first day of play at Willow Brook Country Club on Friday.
Hollytree got off to a good start when the team of Ryan Slaughter and Jason Clarke posted a convincing 7 and 6 win over Willow Brook's Luis Correa and Derek Mitchell. That win set the tone for the day as the match was over after 12 holes. Hollytree used that momentum to win two more matches against a tie and a loss.
"It was a convincing performance by Hollytree today but there is a full day of golf still left to be played (Saturday)," Hollytree's Wes Alexander said. "Ryan and Jason got us going early and I have to tip my hat to our opponents, Eric Joseph and Jacky Lee, who played real well."
Alexander and his partner Brandon Johnson lost their match to Joseph and Lee 1 down. The halved match was between Hollytree's Paul Manziel and his partner Chris Ewert and Willow Brook's Joel Hackney and Jarred Green. The halved match resulted in a half point for each team.
Last year, Willow Brook defeated Hollytree, so to retain the cup, 11 points are needed while Hollytree needs 11 ½ to win.
Perhaps the upset of the day was when Willow Brook's team of Aaron Hickman and Brian Adams fell to Jerry Hudgins and Drew Gillen of Hollytree, 2 and 1. In the final match of the day, Hollytree's Reggie Howell and Joel Freeman earned another point with a 2 and 1 win over Willow Brook's Ryan Hill and Jason Mills.
Saturday's play features 36 holes of competition with five alternate shot team matches in the morning followed by 12 singles matches in the afternoon.
The 2015 Triggs Cup is the first playing without the presence of the event's namesake, A.J. Triggs, who passed away in early May. Triggs was elected to the Texas Golf Hall of Fame in 2013 and as Alexander said, "touched every amateur who has played in Tyler the past 55 or more years."