Army Dominates Navy

Matt Philie

Matt Philie

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PARAMUS, N.J.  - Never before has the Army vs. Navy golf match been decided by such a wide margin. Army won all but one singles match and cruised to a dominating 8.5-2.5 victory, Sunday at Ridgewood Country Club.

The Black Knights lost just one four-ball match over the weekend to win the annual service academy rivalry by the most points. The match was first played in 1939 and the winning team earns a "Star" and bragging rights.

Army halted a two-year losing streak and clinched the victory after the first three Black Knights posted wins in the Ryder Cup-formatted match play event. The Black Knights' last victory over Navy was a 6-5 triumph in 2009 in Annapolis, Md.

"We battled hard all day," said Army golf coach Brian Watts. "With the exception of two matches, they all went 18 holes. The match was a lot closer than the score indicated. The guys played hard and made putts when they needed to make them. It was fun to watch."

Needing just three points to win the match, Army won four matches and halved the other three during singles play Sunday morning.

The match was played at Ridgewood Country Club, a venue that has hosted the 1935 Ryder Cup, 1957 U.S. Senior Amateur, 1974 U.S. Amateur, 1981 LPGA Classic, 1990 U.S. Senior Open, 2001 Senior PGA Championship and the 2008 and 2010 Barclays.

"The support of Ridgewood was incredible," said Watts. "The course was in fantastic shape and both teams really enjoyed the opportunity to play on a championship venue. We can't thank the members enough for allowing us to compete on such a wonderful golf course."

Marcus Plunkett, Harrison Florence, Matt Philie and John Lee won matches for Army while Eric Peng, Robby Hill and Anthony Kim all halved their match-ups.

"Having a 3-1 lead going into singles we were able to jockey or line-up around a bit," said Watts. "We were able to maneuver a few guys in singles matches where we felt they were key and they had to win. We ended up doing that and it helped. Really the key for us today was the first three guys. It ended early but it was a great effort from everybody."

Army lost just one match over the weekend.

Plunkett, a freshman, got Army off to a great start with a 3&1 victory. Florence, a junior in his first season on the roster, posted a 1-up victory.

Philie, a senior co-captain, clinched the victory with a 3&2 win. Lee, a freshman, was also successful in his first service academy competition with a 1-up win.

Kim, a junior co-captain, Hill, a sophomore and Peng, a freshman, all halved their matches to help Army to the victory.

Army will return to action Oct. 10 at the three-day Bank of Tennessee Intercollegiate in Jonesborough, Tenn.

MATCH NOTES: Army senior captain Matt Philie went 4-0 in four-ball matches during his career against Navy ... Navy leads the all-time series 41-31-1 ... Army head coach Brian Watts is now 1-2 vs. Navy ... the match has been contested each season since 1939 except for the 1943 and 1944 seasons when Army discontinued golf.

Army 8.5, Navy 2.5
Four-Ball Matches
Marcus Plunkett and Eric Peng (Army) def. Brad Elder and Chris House (Navy), 5&4
Matt Philie and Harrison Florence (Army) def. Garrett Moyer and David Hall (Navy), 2&1
Anthony Kim and John Lee (Army) def. Bobby Keating and August Jonas (Navy), 1-up
Staton Pruitt and Drew Selby (Navy) def. Robby Hill and Brandon Baerwaldt (Army), 1-up

Marcus Plunkett (Army) def. Bobby Keating (Navy), 3-1
Harrison Florence (Army) def. David Hall (Navy), 1-up
Matt Philie (Army) def. Colby Lederer (Navy), 3&2
Eric Peng (Army) halved Chris House (Navy)
John Lee (Army) def. Staton Pruitt (Navy), 1-up
Robby Hill (Army) halved August Jonas (Navy)
Anthony Kim (Army) halved Drew Selby (Navy)

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