Eddie Neer of Lyndhurst captured his first-ever season-long championship at the Greater Cleveland Skins Game on Thursday, and with that honor took home the Thompson Cup.
Neer held on to win the Thompson Cup after none of the top challengers made a move on the final night of the season at Erie Shores Golf Course in Madison. For the year, Neer walked away with a season-record 10 skins and a $1,787.87 Leaderboard total.
Dave Sotka of Chardon made a big move up the Leaderboard on Thursday, and because of his strong finish earned second place on the season with $1,387.57.
Mark Julius of Painesville was one of the players who had a chance to catch Neer, but he had to run the table on Thursday to do so. Nevertheless, in his first year of Skins Game competition, Julius finished in third place on the season with $1,300.09, a very successful season.
Neer’s victory ended the hopes of 2008 and 2009 Champion Steve Blackburn Jr. and his effort to “three-peat”. Blackburn Jr. of Willowick finished in fourth place with $1,212.16.
Geoff Nicely of Concord was the “Pin Shot” leader in 2010, winning eight pin shots on the season to finish with $465.50 in pin shot payouts and a total take of $1,181.70 for fifth place on the Leaderboard.
After his victory, Neer exclaimed, “My motivation for 2010 was to not let Blackburn Jr. win again — and it worked!”
Complete results for the 2010 season below.
The year-ending event at Erie Shores was not without its share of excitement, as lightning bolts off Lake Erie rattled the nerves of players finishing on the 18th hole. A last-minute change in venues due to weather issues allowed the players to take advantage of the excellent course conditions at Erie Shores, and the birdies were flying.
Steve Blackburn Sr., who qualified for the 1973 PGA Championship at Canterbury won by Jack Nicklaus, showed some of that old-time magic by making five birdies on the back nine and claiming a skin with a birdie on the 176-yard par-3 16th hole, worth $199. Blackburn Sr. also claimed the pin shot there, hitting it 8-feet away to earn an extra $91.
But the shot of the year may have been delivered by Joe DiDonato on the par-3 16th hole — and it resulted in no payoff! DiDonato of North Olmsted flew his tee shot directly in the hole on the sixteenth hole and watched in astonishment as the ball splash the water out of the cup, rattle the pin and bounced out 25 feet away from the hole to the front of the green! Ironically, DiDonato captured the pin shot and $91 on the other par three on the back nine: the 190-yard 12th hole, hitting it 18 feet away with a shot that can best be described as “off the center of the club.”
Dave Sotka claimed his $199 skin with a birdie on the par-4 11th hole, and Mike Angie finished up the season with an excellent birdie skin and $199 on the par-4 18th hole.
Niedzialek, the Greater Cleveland Skins Game Tournament Director, noted, “2010 was a record year of participation. Our thanks go out to Mulligan’s Tavern in Highland Heights for sponsoring one of the competitions within the 2010 Greater Cleveland Skins Game. Many of the area courses also offered us reduced green fee rates for the competition — eight different courses were used in 2010 — and we thank each one of them.”
The first ever Mulligan’s Cup was also awarded to Eddie Neer on Thursday, thanks to the sponsorship of Sean Kreft, the owner of Mulligan’s Tavern. Players earned points for participation as well as “skins & pins”, and a bonus award totaling over $1,100 was paid out through the “Mulligan’s Tavern Competition” for Greater Cleveland Skins Game players.
All amateurs are welcome to participate in the 2011 edition of the Greater Cleveland Skins Game, which has been held annually since 1990. We look forward to 2011, when we will all be chasing Eddie Neer!
2010 GREATER CLEVELAND SKINS GAME LEADERBOARD: FINAL
|PLAYER||TOTAL||Skins||Skins $||Pins||Pins $|
|Steve Blackburn Jr||$1,212.16||6||$977.16||4||$235.00|
|Steve Blackburn Sr||$699.78||5||$608.78||1||$91.00|