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Ryder Cup-inspired Silver Cup matches form bond between North and South

When it comes to women’s amateur golf in Nevada, the annual Nevada State Women’s Golf Association Silver Cup played among 20-player teams from the Northern Nevada Women’s Golf Association and the Women’s Southern Nevada Golf Association is as good as it gets.

This week at Boulder Creek Golf Club, the event is being played for the 24th time. The South team is looking to win for the fourth straight time when the matches are played in Southern Nevada.

The Silver Cup originated in 1993 to help heal a fracture between state representatives from the North and South, and was inspired by professional golf’s Ryder and Solheim cups. Many believed the matches would bring golfers from the opposite ends of the state closer together, while others thought the matches would only worsen the divide.

More than two decades later, the Silver Cup has proven successful, and earning a spot on the team is a goal for women amateurs throughout the state. The competition is spirited, and the camaraderie is appreciated by the competitors.

“I believe the history of the event is what makes it special,” Southern Nevada co-captain Ronda Henderson said. “The fact that we are in our 24th year and two founders of the Silver Cup from Southern Nevada, Brenda Knott and co-captain Sue May, are still involved speaks volumes about the importance of this event.

“It’s a fierce but friendly three days of match play golf. The Silver Cup is amateur golf at its finest, whether the matches are between two 15 handicappers or two single-digit handicappers. Each player is grinding it out, giving all they have, to win that point for their side.”

Southern Nevada founders Knott and May worked with Pam Whalen from Northern Nevada to create the Silver Cup. The inaugural cup was hosted and won by the North. The Southern Nevada team hosted and won in year two. Overall, Northern Nevada leads the series 13-10.

“Players definitely feel a letdown if their team loses and perhaps they personally didn’t perform as well as they would have liked,” Henderson said. “But after it is all over, we pat the opponents on the back and call each other friends. I believe there is a sisterhood among the players who have competed on multiple Silver Cup teams. It is a wonderful shared experience of great and not so great golf shots, fun memories and laying your competitive heart on the line to get the win.”


Veronica Joels and Morgan Goldstein, two local junior and high school golf stars, qualified for the 2017 USGA Women’s Four-Ball Championship from May 21 to 27 in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, by winning a qualifier at Park Meadows Country Club in Utah last weekend.


Michael F. Parco Sr., who lived in Las Vegas for 30 years before moving back to Bend, Oregon, at age 98, died recently at 101. Parco was a PGA of America professional and led the first 45 holes of the PGA Tour’s 1948 Western Open when he was paired with Ben Hogan.


Golf Jam returns to TaylorMade Golf Experience from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. With a $10 admission, attendees receive unlimited range balls for the day, a ticket to the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open and a certificate for a two-for-one round of golf at TaylorMade. Club deals and demos also are available both days, and Bob May will custom fit golfers from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday.


Eight courses will host weekly Southern Nevada Junior Golf Association clinics starting the week of Oct. 17. The First on Course level is for beginners, and the Second on Course level is available for kids who graduated from a clinic last session. Visit SouthernNevadaJuniorGolf.com for reservations.


LPGA Tour player Natalie Gulbis watched Luke Bryan at the Route 91 Harvest in Las Vegas.

The golf notebook appears each Thursday. Freelance writer Brian Hurlburt is a two-time author who has covered golf in Las Vegas for more than two decades. He can be reached at bhurlburt5@gmail.com or @LVGolfInsider.

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