Eighty golfers from the United States and Europe recently teed it up at the fifth annual Montecristo Cup in Puerto Rico for three days of golf, cigars and camaraderie, all of which have come to mark this tournament as many people’s favorite pro-am.
The tournament, held in early December at the Hyatt Dorado Beach Resort & Country Club, was also attended by 19 Champions Tour golfers and one PGA Tour player, Brett Quigley, who is the nephew of Dana Quigley, the holder of the longest consecutive starts record on the Champions Tour, which reached 233 after his second-place finish in January’s MasterCard Championship. Other senior golfers included Montecristo Cup champion Alan Doyle, who defended his title, previous winner Jim Thorpe, Jay Sigel, Tom Wargo, Walter Morgan, Tom Shaw, Larry Ziegler, Jerry McGee and Gibby Gilbert.
The tournament began in typical December Caribbean weather: highs in the 80s, sunny skies and light winds. The first day was a modified scramble, with foursomes able to use the pro’s drive and score on every hole, but with each golfer playing his own ball to the hole from the best drive location. The foursome switched pros after nine holes. The second day followed the same format, except that the same touring pro was assigned to a foursome for the entire day. The final day was a full scramble, again with the pro’s drive and score available to the foursome on each hole. But each shot was played from the best location of the previous shot in the foursome. Each foursome had a different pro that day.
Thursday’s winners were Gary Brown, Michael Uffner, Dan Jones and Dave Clery. Friday’s victors were Cigar Aficionado editor and publisher Marvin R. Shanken, Jack McGowan, Bill Terlato and Dick Pfeil. The Saturday winners were picked by lottery at the closing banquet, however, as the final day fell victim to the rainy weather that had plagued the entire Caribbean for the previous month. More than 30 inches of rain had fallen on Dorado during November, and the rainfall tally for that final Saturday was six inches. The tournament was rained out by 10 a.m., after an hour of play, and the course was closed for the day. Doyle was declared the overall professional winner, and the foursome of Steve Eiseman, Marty Nitz, and Carla and Jack Wintermans won the amateur tournament based on their cumulative performance over the two days.