SANTALUZ — In only their second year of participating in the Valley Cup golf tournament, Santaluz was the underdog with little expectation or hope of winning, but they brought home the gold April 10. The annual tournament has been played for more than 20 years between four exclusive golf clubs. The competition is respected in the golf community and play is rigorous as the tournament is San Diego’s Ryder Cup equivalent.
Based on a similar format to the Ryder Cup, the tournament is all match play with each team playing on every team’s home course. This year Santaluz captain Kerry Garza and co-captain Mark Mugerditchian, led a team of 24 golfers.
The tournament included the four teams from The Farms, Fairbanks Ranch, Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club and The Santaluz Club. After the first day of singles matches, Santaluz was dead last and determined to earn as many points as they could the second day of the tournament which was played in an alternate shot format. Santaluz earned 76 percent of the possible points for the day, setting a tournament record and positioning them in first place.
The third and last day of play was the better ball format, made up of two-man teams, and the title was still anyone’s for the taking. Santaluz played well throughout the day but were neck-in-neck with The Farms and it came down to the final two groups on the course to determine the winner.
The final members of the Santaluz team to golf were Jeff Bush and Shawn Turner. With the title on the line, the players bottled their nerves and Bush made the 5-foot putt for par, making Santaluz the tournament victor.
“We’re very proud of how the Santaluz Club pulled together to lead the team to victory,” said Santaluz Director of Golf, John McCook. “As our membership continues to grow, the strength and skills of the golfers do as well.”
Santaluz will proudly display the Valley Cup trophy at its club until next year, when they will play to defend their title. The final Valley Cup tournament scores were Santaluz, 172; The Farms, 154; Fairbanks, 125; and Rancho Santa Fe, 125.
Visit www.Santaluz.com for memberships and information.