The 2018 Bird Golf Invitational

The golf courses at Whirlwind were never in more amazing condition. Having just hosted the Q-school finals the previous month, Cattail and Devil’s Claw were the spectacular setting for the 17th and final Invitational.  

The winners of Day 1’s Scramble were the family team of Jim and Carol Crawford, their son, Steve and their professional Shawn Scott who played brilliant golf and recorded a score of 51.5.

Jerry Dominic, Brad Shaw, Craig Waryan and Phelan Shaw

Lee Maiden, Bill Lauginiger, Mac and Sue Campbell

In second place were Mike Gelinas, Pascal Cornaz and David Schwan (Mike and David were two of last year’s defending Champions) with professional, Mike Passmore shooting a team score of 53.35. That was a fraction better than the day’s third place team of Brad and Phelan Shaw, Jerry Dominic and their professional, Craig Waryan who shot 53.7. The difference of .35 of a stroke would prove very pivotal at the end of the event.

For the first time in the history of the Invitational our Putting Contest ended in play-offs for both the Men’s’ and Women’s divisions. Sharon Kline edged out Karen Estabrook and Belinda Keever in the first hole of sudden-death while Pascal Cornaz bested Charlie Jones on the first hole of their play-off for the Men’s crown.


Day 2’S Two-Low Net format gave us some more great golf. The winning team on the day, Sue Lawless, Jan Harris and Adam Ruggles with their professional, Lee Maiden were one shot better at 130 than the Gelinas, Cornaz and Schwan trio and their professional, Jim Samsing. A further stroke behind in third place were the Shaw and Dominic team setting up what would be a very exciting last day on Sunday.

“Girls Rock” Our all ladies team of Michele Dunkerley, Sandra Palmer, Karen Estabrook and Jane Hickie

“Old and New Friends” Charlie Jones, Judy Waryan (subbing for Barb Raymond), Don Raymond (playing in his 15th Invitational) and Jim Samsing

Sunday’s final round format of One Low Gross/One Low Net would be setting for one of our closest and most thrilling finishes in 17 years. The Day’s winners were the Shaw and Dominic team with their professional, Jim Samsing (Jim was also the Champion in this year’s Professional Division) with a score of 137. They finished one shot clear of Gelinas, Cornaz and Schwan with their professional, Craig Waryan. Third place on the day was claimed by the Lawless, Harris, Ruggles team and their professional Mike Passmore. By the barest of possible margins, the fractional difference on Day 1 meant that Gelinas, Cornaz and Schwan edged out the Shaw and Dominic team by 0.35 of a stroke. It is, as they say, a game of inches.

Spectacular golf

A coyote joining in the fun

It was an amazing 4 days of golf filled with highlights and laughter and the perfect way to close out a very special chapter of Bird Golf. The Invitational was created to be a celebration of this grand pursuit and a venue for people to make life-long friends, and we feel that we have accomplished both of those objectives in spades. Thank you to all of you who have given us 17 years of incredible accomplishments, magical moments and indelible memories.

The Bird Golf Professionals

The winning teams and their professionals were: (All pictures are listed from Left to Right)

SIXTH PLACE: Greg Hightower, Amy Benz, Shirley Furlong, Mike Passmore, Sharon Kline, Randy Hockenberry and Jay Ewing

FIFTH PLACE: Shirley Furlong, Belinda Keever, Jim Wolf, Perry Sprague, Amy Benz and Tim Peightal

FOURTH PLACE: Lee Maiden, Jim and Carol Crawford, Steve Crawford, Shawn Scott and Amy Benz

THIRD PLACE: Lee Maiden, Shirley Furlong, Mike Passmore, Jan Harris and Sue Lawless (not pictured, Adam Ruggles)

RUNNERS-UP: Craig Waryan, Jim Samsing, Jerry Dominic, Sandra Palmer and Jay Ewing (not pictured, Brad and Phelan Shaw)  

CHAMPIONS: Craig Waryan, Jim Samsing, Mike Passmore, David Schwan, Pascal Cornaz and Jay Ewing (not pictured, Mike Gelinas)


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