TaylorMade captures Industry Cup for second time
PHOTOS: Industry Cup, Final round
A look at final-round action at the Oak Creek GC in Irvine, Calif.
IRVINE, Calif. -- In the fourth edition of Golfweek's Industry Cup, which ended Sunday at the par-71 Oak Creek Golf Club, TaylorMade accomplished what no other golf company had done -- win a second Industry Cup title.
In the prior three years of Golfweek's event, the winners had been Callaway, TaylorMade and Titleist, in that order. Every year the showdown is held among employees of companies involved in varied aspects of the golf business.
No, the competition will not be renamed the Joe Ryon Cup, although Ryon, a research analyst for TaylorMade, makes a habit of bringing his best game to the Industry Cup.
This year, Ryon posted a spectacular 4-under 32 on the final nine holes. "It could have been 29," said playing partner Pete Roberts.
Consider this: If Ryon had played those nine holes in even par, his team would have been tied with another team representing TaylorMade.
"Joe is the man," said TaylorMade's Patrick Baxter, a member of the second-place team. "This doesn't surprise me in the least."
Ryon was joined on this year's winning team by Roberts, Greg Cesario and Frank Firman. Two years ago in TaylorMade's first Industry Cup victory, three of the four players were the same.
Only Firman was new to the 2013 team. He replaced Tom Kroll, who did not play this year at the Tom Fazio course that is open to the public.
Firman was particularly articulate about successful team golf: "Being passionate about golf is part of the culture at TaylorMade (and other golf companies, too). We think about golf and talk about golf all the time, and we are proud to be able to play the game with a certain amount of skill."
PHOTOS: Industry Cup, Equipment on the range
With many major manufacturers playing in the Industry Cup, there was plenty of new gear in play on the driving range at Oak Creek GC.
TaylorMade's new JetSpeed driver was in Firman's bag. The other three players on the winning team were using SLDR drivers.
Firman is manager of TaylorMade's 32 different Performance Labs, where golfers are fit for clubs using motion analysis technology. Roberts is a research engineer, while Cesario is a regional staff manager.
Ryon shot 32 despite missing a 3-foot putt and two other putts inside 8 feet. When TaylorMade was victorious two years ago, Ryon was a pro. This time he was an amateur, having been reinstated by the U.S. Golf Association.
"I qualified for the U.S. Mid-Amateur (this year)," said Ryon, who shot 152 at the Mid-Am to miss match play by four strokes.
The format for the Industry Cup includes four different forms of competition -- shamble, four-ball, Pinehurst and medal play. The medal play portion is crucial, because each four-member team must count its three lowest 9-hole scores among four players.
Callaway took the lead after the opening day, as two Callaway teams were tied at the top. Eventually one of them -- Marc Zien, Gregg Hemphill, Matt Haneline and Luke Williams -- finished third.
The second-place TaylorMade team included Baxter, Bucky Coe, Brian Coffman and Mike Samoles.
The defending champions from Titleist finished 22 strokes behind the winners. Members of that team were Scott Oxandaboure, Kevin Tassistro, Brice Waddell and Tom Sugameli.
For TaylorMade, Brian Bazzel served in the same leadership capacity and once again was relishing his acknowledged role as the Vince Lombardi of big-time industry golf.