By Kevin Wilson
Being a couple at the Portales Country Club this weekend is unlike being a couple anywhere else.
Under most circumstances, a couple is considered to be a husband and wife, boyfriend and girlfriend. At this weekend’s Portales Country Club Couples Tournament, the only requirement is that one member of the team be a man and one be a woman.
The two-day tournament saw interesting combinations in its first day, as married couples competed against combinations like father-daughter, coach-student, and friends that teamed up.
There was something to be said for the success of spouses, as Shawn and Kristen Scanlan led the field with a 66 after the first day.
The 39 teams were separated into five different flights following Saturday’s action. The top eight scores were part of the championship flight, with the remaining four flights following suit.
Of the eight teams in the championship flight, four were husband-wife combos. Jimmy and Michelle Warnica are tied with Ron and Linda Smith for second place at 67, one shot behind the Scanlans.
“We played OK, for us,” Michelle Warnica said. “I know a lot of people don’t like playing with their spouses, but I do because he’s a good coach.”
Among the other combinations in the championship flight were former Portales High boys golf coach Pat Crowley and former PHS golfer Sara Archibeuq. They shot a 68, good for a tie with Greg Poynor and Brenda Gomez.
Poynor and Gomez were playing together because their spouses don’t play and they’re used to working together — they are the current golf coaches at PHS.
The third flight is populated by some of their players. Michelle Miller and Oma Creighton, along with their fathers, are in a tie at the top of the third flight with a 74.
The tournament is a two-person scramble, which includes teammates taking alternating shots. Teams are required to take at least two opening drives from the female player every nine holes, but Oma accounted for every drive with father Gary on Saturday.
Mike Miller, meanwhile, spent most of Saturday evening talking about how Michelle carried him throughout the day — including a putt on the second hole to save a bogey.
“She played well,” Mike Miller said. “The high school girls played good today. They carried their dads.”
Since they ended up in the third flight, both teams have to finish their golfing early. Players from the championship, first and second flights start play at 1:30 p.m. today, while players in the third and fourth flights tee off at 8 a.m.
“My biggest regret is that I don’t get to go to El Rancho for breakfast in the morning,” Gary Creighton said. “If Mike Miller and Marvin Foster play up to their potential, I shouldn’t have any problem.”