As last reported on The Virtual 19th Hole, our 8-Man Senior Team had gotten their 2023 season off to a blistering start by winning their first four matches in a row.  Capping off their regular season play with a 5 and 1 record, that great start propelled the team into the play-offs.  But because both Meadowbrook and Braemar finished with 5 and 1 records, a first-round bye, based on most points won during the season, went to Meadowbrook. Nevertheless, our senior squad continued their stellar play in post-season action– all the way to the finals.

On August 8 and August 22, we played home and away matches against Edinburgh– and won with an aggregate score of 15-9.  That victory led to single elimination play on September 5 against Pebble Creek.  Neutral sites are selected for single elimination play, so that match was conducted at Oak Marsh. From the white tees, Oak Marsh that day stretched only to 5,777 yards, but the par 70 layout offered its fair share of challenges, with an unusual combination of four par-5s and six par-3s, and water on eight holes.  The competition against Pebble Creek was heated but, once again, our guys prevailed, with a final tally of 7-5.  And that victory led Braemar to the finals, the first time in memory (mine, at least) that our 8-Man Team had reached that milestone.  Held on September 19, the finals were played against Columbia, a consistently strong opponent in recent years.

Despite a strong effort by our talented Braemar team, Columbia won this year’s championship, with a final score of 8-4.  But, by all accounts, 2023 was a banner year for the 8-Man Team, and reaching the finals should again be a realistic goal for next year, with the team expecting only to get stronger moving forward.

The format for these competitions consists of 8 players on each team squaring off in four separate matches.  Points are awarded for each individual match and aggregated to comprise the team score.  All competitions are match play.  For each competition, team captains select their best eight players, taking into account availability and other factors.  This year our 8-Man Team has consisted primarily of thirteen guys who have rotated in and out during the regular season and the playoffs.  Led by team captains Mike Kavanaugh and Dave Draxler, the rest of the squad consisted of Tim Smith, Mike Longman, Jeff Roseland, Steve Bloomquist, Steve Devolder, Hans Rasmussen, Bill Angel, Scott Eckes, Joe O’Neill, Steve Olsonoski, Dave Bell and Mathias Von Heydekampf.

Congrats to the entire 8-Man Team for a great 2023 season!

Dick Helde
Past President, BMC
Editor, The Virtual 19th Hole