EATON — Sunday, Sept. 3, brought a new era to Eaton Country Club as the Club Championship golf tournament had two new participants in the finals.
The tradition is nearly 100 years old and the highlight of men’s golf at ECC.
Tim Garber & Doug Haston both reached the finals for their first time. Garber’s route included a win over seven-time Club Champion Sean Maggard, and Haston defeated 13-time Club Champion John Kramer.
Both earned the right to be in the finals the hard way and seemed to enjoy the day’s match as they played in front of a gallery of 30 members and friends. Following the final twosome is a long standing tradition at Eaton Country Club that goes back over 65 years. The comradery of members and guests adds to atmosphere of the championship, and provides a little more pressure to the players.
Garber recently retired from Henny Penny and it must have been good for his golf game, as he held off an aggressive Haston for 37 holes before winning the match 1 up after 38 holes. The championship finals is a 36-hole match play format, which was all square after 36 holes, and went into sudden death when Haston, with his back up against the wall, won 3 of the final 4 holes of regulation to force sudden death.
Garber had a shaky start and was 3 down after the first four holes of the match, as well as at the end of the first nine holes, but he came back and fired a 2 under par 34 the second nine to even the match after 18 holes. The third nine also belonged to Garber, even though Haston won the first and fourth hole, but Garber won the third and then three in a row starting at hole number five, to take a 2-up lead after 27.
The fourth nine belonged to a charging Haston. In sudden death, both men parred the 37th hole, then Garber sank a 3 foot putt for par to win the match on hole #38.
Garber’s wife Barb manages the club’s restaurant and entertained the gallery after the match with a victory celebration. The Clubhouse is open to the public for lunch, dinner and rentals. Call 937-456-6922 for information about the restaurant, golf course or membership.