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BOB WEST ON GOLF — Hunter Huff paces Zaharias to Aquila Cup victory

To play or not to play the 2020 Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin is a decision still very much up in the air. There is, however, no question about the status of the Aquila Cup. Matter of fact, it was played this past weekend.

With Nederland ex Hunter Huff adding the flair, Babe Zaharias rolled over Idylwild Golf Club 14-10 in matches contested Friday and Sunday at Zaharias and Saturday at Idylwild. Huff, who went 3-0 in the competition, put an exclamation point on the matches by shooting a blazing eight-under-par 64 on Sunday.

Zaharias now leads the interclub competition 2-1. The inaugural Aquila Cup matched Bayou Din against Zaharias, with team Zaharias also winning that one. It changed to a Zaharias-Idylwild matchup when Aquila CEO George Brown sold Bayou Din and began operating Zaharias for the city of Port Arthur.

Although flooded out one year, the Aquila Cup has become a highlight of the local golf calendar. Former Bayou Din and Zaharias pro Ed Campbell strikes a ceremonial first shot when the play is at Zaharias, while Idylwild owner Ronnie Pfleider does the same when the golf moves to Sour Lake.

Each club fields a 12-man squad, with Mitch Duncan a playing captain for Zaharias and Pfleider a non-playing captain for Idylwild. Two-man teams compete in best ball the first day, alternate shot the second and singles on Sunday.

Zaharias took control early this year, getting out front 4½ to 1½ in best ball. The teams halved alternate shot 3-3, then Zaharias scored a 6½ to 5½ advantage in singles to set the final total at 14-10.

Five of the Zaharias players – Huff, Ralf Barbaso, Nathan Romero, Jordan Leger and Ralph Fournier went a perfect 3-0 in their matches. The remainder of team Zaharias included Ross Robichau, Trey Fournier, Cody Thompson, Brandon Soileau, Seth Corkran, Freddy Frederick and Duncan.

Huff’s 64 was uber impressive because of brutal pin placements the final round. In addition, Idylwild’s Everett Nini never gave him any breathing room. Huff birdied the final hole to win the match 2 up. Nini is probably still talking to himself after shooting 64.