August 30, 2018 - 8:02 AM EDT
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Team Rick Retains The Hotze Cup After Battle At Carnoustie

Match comes down to the last putt on final hole; Captain and Compressor Engineering Corp. President and COO Rick Hotze preserves Cup

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland, Aug. 30, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- In the 22nd annual Hotze Cup, players wrestled it out Tuesday under perfect Scottish weather conditions on the final day at the Championship course at the world famous Carnoustie Golf Links. 

Victorious Team Rick poses after third straight victory. (Left to right) Doug Wrinkle, Captain Rick Hotze, John D. Sullivan, MVP Mike Hartman.

The annual match is conducted by a pair of Houstonian business doyens, political activists and brothers, Rick and Steven Hotze. This is the first time in history that the yearly tournament was contested outside the United States. The event consisted of 54 holes of alternating-shot, four-ball and individual matches between two teams of 4 men each. 

Day one of the tournament was held at The Renaissance Club in North Berwick, host to the 2019 Scottish Open Tournaments. After completing the alternating shot and 4-ball competition on the classic link style course along the Firth of Forth, the match was all square.

Day two was played at Gullane Golf Club. Gullane No. 1, built in 1884, was host to the 2015 Scottish Open and has also previously hosted Local Final Qualifying for the Open Championship, and now the Hotze Cup.

Disaster on the first tee box nearly doomed the chances of playing Gullane. Tempers ignited when one team captain dismissed the other team captain's caddy. Quite a kerfuffle ensued, almost ending the day's matches before they began since the starter threatened to kick the entire group off the course.  Cooler heads prevailed, meaning one captain went without a caddie.  After the day was finished, Team Rick posted 4 ½ wins, leaving his team up 1.

The third and final day started with a nearly 3 hour trek to Carnoustie for the teams. Team Rick was leading Team Steve by only the width of a blade of heather.  The calm but overcast skies made for nearly perfect play conditions for the deciding round. 

Team Steve battled back. It all came down to the final hole in the final match.  Steven Hotze was laying one in the center of the eighteenth fairway.  He was separated from the hole by nearly 180 yards. The green is protected by the oft calamitous Barry Burn crossing in front.  That is the same Barry Burn that spelled the demise of Jean Van de Velde in The Open Championship in 1999.  Handicaps had Steven spotted a stroke against his opponent. Steven's ball had come to rest in a shallow divot.  His opponent had lain up short of Barry Burn, and Steven chose to do the same thing.  But in a most uncharacteristic move, he bladed the ball dead ahead, dunking it into the shallow waters of the steep rocky burn. 

After taking his drop and a penalty, Steven was able to put his ball on the green, 2 putting for a six, net five. This is where Hartman earned his MVP award.  He stood over his second putt just over 4 feet away and drained it for a tying five, halving his match with Steven and securing the Cup for Team Rick.

The lineup for both Team Rick and Steve were pared down substantially this year due to the short notice. Perennial players Doug Wrinkle and John Sullivan contributed outstanding play and point production. The MVP award, however, rightfully belongs to Hartman.

Team Steven consisted of Steven Hotze, Houstonians Paul Lewis and Judicial candidate Terry Yates.  From Saint Simon's Island, GA and also playing on Team Steven was the returning Ben Lee. Team Steve, having been defeated for the third year in a row, leaves the long-running series all square at 11 wins each.

Both team captains are considering late April next year for the 2019 Hotze Cup to be held at The Lodge at Sea Island, GA.

Marilyn Medina
[email protected]

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SOURCE Compressor Engineering Corp.

Source: PR Newswire (August 30, 2018 - 8:02 AM EDT)

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