Titleist runs away with Golfweek Industry Cup title

TEMECULA, Calif. -- In the last three years, three different golf equipment manufacturers have won the Golfweek Industry Cup. In 2010, it was Callaway. In 2011, it was TaylorMade. This year, in a 36-hole competition that ended Dec. 9, Titleist captured the annual showdown among employees of major golf companies.

The event was held at Pechanga Resort & Casino, and the field consisted of 25 four-person teams representing 11 different golf companies. Members of Titleist’s winning team were Scott Oxandaboure, Tom Sugameli, Kevin Tassistro, and Brice Waddell.

Make that Scott Oxandaboure, Tom Sugameli, Kevin Tassistro, and Brice Waddell.

“Well, they certainly outplayed everybody else,” said TaylorMade CEO Mark King, conceding defeat. “They were very impressive.”

It was serious competition on the Journey at Pechanga course, designed by Art Hills and Steve Forrest -- so serious, in fact, that several of the companies held qualifying tournaments to determine their representatives. Titleist, for example, played an 18-hole qualifier on the same Journey at Pechanga course.

Oxandaboure and Waddell were captain’s picks for the winning Titleist team because neither could attend the qualifier. Oxandaboure had a note from his doctor or some excuse that sounded more or less believable, while Waddell checked in with a different kind of excuse: He was getting married.

Marriage obviously fits him well. He shot a 1-under-par 35 on the final 9 as his team pulled away from its closest pursuers.

The format included 9 holes of shambles competition, 9 holes of better-ball, 9 holes of Pinehurst and 9 holes of individual gross play. The lowest three of four gross scores were counted in the concluding 9-hole segment, and the winning Titleist team had three scores better than par. Oxandaboure joined Waddell at 35, while Sugameli shot 32.

Adding together those three scores, the 100 total was eight strokes lower than any other team in the event.

The four winners are hardly household names, but such is the nature of this annual event. Golf companies historically have many employees who love golf but are relatively unknown outside their respective compounds.

The job titles of the Titleist winners: Oxandaboure is senior lab technician, Sugameli is senior supply planner, Tassistro is senior product development engineer, and Waddell is marketing manager.

Several golf equipment manufacturers -- Titleist, TaylorMade, Callaway, Cobra Puma, Ping and Fujikura -- entered more than one team. In fact, the winning team from Titleist was the company’s No. 3 team. Titleist No. 1, No. 2 and No. 4 all finished outside the top 10.

TaylorMade No. 1 was second, six strokes behind the winners. Cobra Puma No. 1 was third, 18 shots back.

Although his True Temper team finished 11th in the golf competition, Chad Hall finished first in the Industry Cup Poker Tournament held at the Pechanga Casino. Hall was heard to say that his poker game, if not his golf shaft, was Dynamic.

Of special note, TaylorMade’s Stephanie Johns, one of two women in the tournament, shot a 2-under-par 34 in 9-hole individual play. Johns and Titleist’s Stephanie Bezilla played a 6,100-yard golf course.

The Journey at Pechanga golf course features a demanding mountainside layout with some amazing panoramic views of the landscape encompassing greater Temecula. For the Industry Cup, length of the par-72 course for men was about 6,800 yards.

“A lot of people really love this course,” said director of golf Scott Mallory. “You’ve got all this scenery, and you’ve got a really interesting golf course.”

And you’ve got Titleist on top of the Golfweek Industry Cup.

• • •

Top 10 finishers

306: Titleist No. 3 (Brice Waddell, Tom Sugameli, Scott Oxandaboure, Kevin Tassistro)

310: TaylorMade No. 1 (Tom Kroll, Greg Cesario, Frank Firman, Joe Ryon)

324: Cobra Puma No. 1 (Dan Ladd, Roger Teat, Preston Fugate, Luke Epp)

325: Fujikura No. 1 (Kellen Tallada, Marshall Thompson, John Hovis, Dave Schnider)

326: Callaway No. 2 (Jay Poletiek, Matt Haneline, Luke Williams, Mike Sposa)

326: TaylorMade No. 2 (Pete Roberts, Keith Sbarbaro, Brian Bazzel, Mark King)

329: Callaway No. 1 (Mike Soroka, John Degen, Greg Sabella, Randy Peterson)

329: Callaway No. 3 (Nick Raffaele, Johnny Thompson, Corey Newman, Gerrit Pon)

330: TaylorMade No. 4 (Stephanie Johns, Garrett Brewer, Joe Smith, Sean Wischmeyer

330: Adams (Blair philip, Scott Kraul, Blanton Hansen, Ryan Sasser)

• • •

Par breakers in the 9-hole scratch portion of the competition (par 36)

32: Tom Sugameli, Titleist

33: Danny Le, UST

34: Stephanie Johns, TaylorMade; Mike Sposa, Callaway

35: Scott Oxandaboure, Titleist; Brice Waddell, Titleist; Marty Jertson, Ping; Cory Bacon, Ping; Joe Ryon, TaylorMade; Randy Peterson, Callaway

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