Homegrown Cup makes for family tradition

12 Jul

By ALEX MATTHEWS–Commentary | Posted: Tuesday, July 12, 2011 12:39 am

HUDSON FALLS — Friends through the years and competitors by design, two father/son teams descended on Kingswood Golf Club on Sunday for an annual event.

Months ago, 23-year-old Ian Mikutel marked his calendar and arranged to fly nearly 3,000 miles home from his Microsoft job in Seattle for the summer classic. His father, Gary, fit the 18-hole tee time between being regional manager of Xtra Mart convenience stores and co-owner of Sprinkles Ice Cream in Queensbury.

Gary Mikutel, left, and his son Ian, second from left, pose with the winners of the 2011 Kenutel Cup, Brian Kenyon and his father, Doug, far right, at Kingswood Golf Club in Hudson Falls on Sunday.

Their opponents and the defending champions, Doug Kenyon, the executive director of Section II Athletics, and his son Brian, a web program manager, also made time for the Kenutel Cup (pronounced ken-you-tell, a combination of Kenyon and Mikutel).

Brian, 33, drove from Somerville, Mass., with his pregnant wife, and Doug coordinated her baby shower so as not to conflict with the Cup.

Thank goodness Derek Jeter hit 3,000 on Saturday, when the Mikutels were sitting about 12 rows behind home plate at Yankee Stadium. They couldn’t have watched baseball on Sunday.

“It’s one of the things I look forward to most every year,” Ian said of the annual golf match that involves no money. “Especially because we’ve been losing.”

Heading into Sunday, Team Kenyon had won the Cup six out of seven years. After they won the first in 2003, Doug bought a trophy and engraved the two family names on the side to keep a running tally.

On the left, the Kenyons owned a long list, while 2004 went in the Mikutels’ right-hand column. The Cup was not contested in 2006 because, frankly, “life happened,” the group agreed.

Upon greeting the Mikutels to start the day, Doug held the golfers’ trophy in a hand towel.

“I brought the Cup,” he said. “The Cup is here, baby!”

Doug put it in the back of his golf cart and the four proceeded to the driving range. Twenty minutes before their 9 a.m. tee time, the Mikutels wasted no time practicing their swing with a bucket of balls.

The Kenyons, meanwhile, appeared more relaxed. Doug was considered the best player in the group, and Brian hadn’t played a round of golf in nearly a year.

On the second hole, Brian, who said his job at COMSOL Multiphysics catered to rocket scientists, pulled out his phone and checked into Facebook’s Foursquare location application. The last time he played golf was seven months ago, he said.

“Every year, I really look forward to (the Kenutel Cup),” Brian said. “At least I get one competitive game of golf in.

“As social media progresses, the trash talk might slightly advance,” he said.

“I send (Brian) messages on Facebook all the time,” Ian said. “Like, ‘28 days ’til the Kenutel Cup.’ ”

Whatever form of intimidation Ian initiated petered out by the 16th hole, where the Kenyons secured possession of the Cup with a three-stroke lead in the match play/scramble format.

Even if the Mikutels won the last two, they couldn’t catch the reigning champs. The Cup would probably return to the Kenyons’ home in Glens Falls, but there was talk of displaying it in Sprinkles.

“It’s more bragging rights than anything,” Gary said. “Competition is fun, I guess. Like Ian, he’s already thinking about next year and how he can win this thing.”

“I have to put a lot more hours in,” Ian said.

A former Glens Falls basketball player and teammate of Jimmer Fredette, Ian spent the last few years getting golf tips from high school coach and golf pro Stephen Zurlo. With a camera on his golf bag, Ian filmed his swing and sent the video to Zurlo to critique.

“I practice a lot,” Ian said.

“I’ll try to do even less,” Brian said.

As for the future of the Kenutel Cup, the four planned to keep it going, even with Brian’s baby coming in October.

Doug suggested bringing other families in.

“We can expand it into a little father/son tournament,” he said.

Brian wanted to invite Fredette and his dad.

“I think I can beat Jimmer at golf,” Doug said, laughing. “I know I can.”

Original story: http://poststar.com/sports/columns/anything-active/homegrown-cup-makes-for-family-tradition/article_5f6e3744-ac41-11e0-965a-001cc4c03286.html#ixzz1SMcv3BCK

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