West rolls past East at Winn Junior Cup
Brad Dalke remembers looking at the temperature right before the final day of play at the Winn Junior Cup Sunday at Rio Secco Golf Club in Henderson, Nev.
"Twenty-five degrees," Dalke said. “We were all bundled up. It was rough out there.”
But despite the frigid conditions, Dalke and the West team rolled to a 22-9 victory over the East. It was the second straight title for the West, as well as for Dalke and teammate Alison Lee.
Lee won both of her singles matches on Sunday, beating Nicole Morales, 7 and 5, and Casey Danielson, 5 and 4, while Dalke chipped in for a victory over former U.S. Junior Amateur champ Jim Liu.
“It feels good,” said Dalke, who, along with Lee, also played in this event last year. “They have some great players, but we did, too. They actually played pretty well, but we were able to barely outplay them in most of the matches. There were just some great matches out there. It was really fun.”
The West, captained by LPGA player Natalie Gulbis, took a 10-5 lead after Saturday’s first day of competition, rallying back from an early 5-0 deficit to Butch Harmon’s East squad after the morning scramble matches. But in the afternoon four-ball matches, Lee and partner Andrea Lee (no relation) topped Morales and Danielson, 2 and 1, while Dalke and partner Cameron Champ came away with a 1-up victory over Liu and Adam Wood.
“We got to 2 up on them and kind of took command of the match,” Dalke said of Saturday’s four-ball match. “But then we hit a rough stretch before finishing it out.
“It seemed like whenever Cameron made bogey I made birdie, and whenever I made bogey Cameron made birdie. We kind of saved each other.”
Even with the low temperatures on Sunday, the West remained on fire. The only points they lost were to Wood, who beat Dalke and Champ in singles, 5 and 3 and 2 up, respectively.
“The environment is so fun here, it’s hard not to like this tournament,” Dalke said. “It’s cool playing for Natalie, and seeing Butch. The course, I feel like I play pretty well on it and can make a lot of birdies. I like this event a lot.”