Dick Shelton didn't want to get wet, even though it was a warm afternoon in the valley.
But tradition is important. Shelton didn't want to buck it.
So Shelton did what nearly all winners of The Valley Club's Moose Madness golf tournament have done over its 13 years—he got wet.
Without hesitation Sun Valley resident Shelton and his playing partner Mike Davis of Hailey dove into the lake near the West Nine ninth green Saturday afternoon.
In full view of 150 spectators, they took a quick dip together to celebrate winning the 14-team Moose Chase five-hole shootout. It capped the three-day, 13th annual Member-Guest tourney for 164 players, always a highlight of The Valley Club summer schedule.
Shelton said, "It's kind of a tradition at the club, a fun thing that I think all the winners should do. And the water is surprisingly cold."
Blazing hot with his chipper, Shelton won the tiebreaking chip-off with Richard Brown at the West Nine #9 hole to seal the victory. Second-place Brown and Bill Hill had made it to the final hole on the strength of Hill's marvelous putting.
Saturday's alternating shot Moose Chase sent the winning teams of all 14 flights from Thursday and Friday's best-ball round-robin play to the tee at the Tom Fazio West Nine's 410-yard par-4 #5 hole.
Four teams were eliminated on the #5 and #6 holes, and two more teams on each of the #7 and #8 holes. It left two teams still standing on the #9 hole.
On those teams were Shelton and Davis, and Hill and Brown.
Shelton, 70, who retired 11 years ago after spending 36 years in worldwide sales and services with Milwaukee-based Rockwell Automation Allen-Bradley, was paired with Davis. He is a young, long-hitting Sun Valley Ski Patrol member who now works for Sun Valley Company.
"He's a fine young man who hits the ball a long way," Shelton said about Davis.
Paired in their first Moose Madness, the teammates complement each other. Shelton said, "Chipping and putting have always been the strength of my game. It's the old ham and eggs story. But we were very lucky to be able to win."
Spectacular drives by Davis on the 410-yard and 333-yard fifth and sixth holes gave Shelton a couple of easy pitches to the greens of the par-4 challenges and they advanced.
The eighth hole, a 420-yard par-4, is always a tough hole, Shelton said. Shelton drove 230 yards, leaving Davis about 190 yards. Davis grabbed a five-iron and belted a beauty, about 10 feet below the hole. Shelton rolled in the putt for a birdie.
Meanwhile, Bill Hill was performing magic with his putter to put his team in the final group. Shelton said Hill made a putt that "had to have been 30 feet on the seventh hole, and made another that must have been 25 feet on the eighth."
Stoney Brown, Valley Club golf director and Moose Chase announcer to a gallery that included up to 40 golf carts, said, "Mr. Hill made a great putt on the seventh and a great putt on the eighth to continue on."
Davis stepped up for his team's tee shot on the ninth and final hole of the Moose Chase, a 565-yard par-5.
"He drove it into the water and felt terrible about it," said Shelton. Fortunately for the eventual winners, Hill and Brown encountered trouble off the tee—an unplayable lie.
Lying three in the fairway and cognizant of the lake to the left of the green, Davis took Shelton's suggestion and aimed short of the green. He hit an iron up to the front fringe, leaving Shelton with a relatively easy chip. Challenging the water, Brown launched his iron shot pin high. It landed on the green and backed off with spin to the short fringe, safe.
Chipping first, Shelton lifted it with perfect pitch onto the green and it curled leftward to five feet from the hole. Hill used his putter from off the green and was nearly perfect, less than two feet away.
Shelton and Davis lay with five strokes, Hill and Brown with seven, but Hill and Brown had a one-stroke handicap.
Davis, putting for bogey and the match, left it high and to the right. Shelton said, "My fault. I misread it for him. I thought it would break and it stayed straight to the right of the hole." Shelton tapped in for a seven. Brown also tapped in for an eight, or a net seven.
By tournament rules, a chip-off settled the tie. Valley Club head pro Jamie Sharp directed the chip-off. He found a spot behind the front sand trap with the lake at the back of the two golfers in the tiebreaker.
Shelton went first. He checked the ball nicely onto the green from the long grass and it rolled up to about three-and-a-half feet from the hole. Brown took a little more grass with his chip and it rolled to five feet.
Minutes later Shelton and Davis dove side-by-side into the lake.
"I'd just like to mention what a magnificent job Stoney Brown does at The Valley Club," said Shelton. "He has a wonderful staff, and seems to put everybody in the right place where they can do the best job."
Third place in the Moose Chase five-hole shootout went to David Hennessy and Jeff Russell, and fourth place to Roger Miller and Louie D'ambrosio. Tying for fifth were Lou Mace and Sid Mace, and Henry Burdick and Dick Bermingham.
Here are results of the 14 flights in best ball, round-robin play Thursday and Friday, and also the special competitions:
Dallas National (Texas): 1—Robert Allen and Lori Goetz 26.5 points. 2—John Ashton and Harry Burn 26. 3—Roger Brown and Ross Williams 23. 4—Jim Latta and Mike McCann 22.5. 5—Todd Peebler and Alex Brown 20.5. 6—Larry Stevens and Lee Landon 16.5.
Quarry (California): 1—Jim Sedin and David Sniff 25.5 points. 2—Ron Fields and Marc Fields 24, Steve Malkmus and Tony Moiso 24. 4—James Will and Jay McDonald 21.5. 5—John Kelly and Mac Joye 20, Phil O'Reilly and Steve Daffer 20.
Sand Ridge (Ohio): 1—Thomas Held and Rick Flickinger 25 points. 2—Dave Almond and Peter Almond 25. 3—Paul Willis and Dennis Gonzales 24.5. 4—Hanley Dawson and Albert Furman III 22.5. 5—Doug Rhymes and Jamie Henwood 22. 6—Bryan Evans and Ken Pierce 16.
Flint Hills (Kansas): 1—David Hennessy and Jeff Russell 26 points. 2—Foster Lund and Gary Morgan 24.5, Mike Quinn and Bob Dunn 24.5. 4—Matt Murray and Nicholas Glass 21.5. 5—George Benter and Gary Nunnelly 19.5. 6—Dick Powers and Mark Bedner 19.
Butler National (Illinois): 1—Roger Miller and Louie D'ambrosio 24. 2—Dave Berman and Kevin Cincotta 24. 3—John Shoemaker and Ernest Rosato 23.5. 4—Jack Dies and Bill Rosato 23. 5—Papa Manchester and Bob Lovell 20.5. 6—Gene Juarez and Jim Tweten 20.
Victoria National (Indiana): 1—Dick Shelton and Mike Davis 28.5 points. 2—Dick Toomey and Jim Toomey 23.5. 3—George Rizzo and Ross Westbrook 23. 4—Sean Terry and Buzz Franklin 22. 5—John Martinson and Jeff Rawson 21. 6—Tullio Celano and Terry Thiessen 18.
Shadow Creek (Nevada): 1—Jeff Mansoor and Jim Curran 28.5 points. 2—Latham Williams and Peter Palmedo 25. 3—Jerry Boas and Bob Phillips 23. 4—Bill Morrison and Rick Filkins 22. 5—Mike Jones and Gerald Olmstead 19. 6—Scott Rogers and Gordon Burns 17.5.
Wade Hampton (North Carolina): 1—Scott Lucas and Phil Bachler 27.5 points. 2—Todd Conklin and David Bill 26. 3—Mike O'Neil and Bill Pirzynski 23.5. 4—Curtis Gardner and Bill Bentley 22.5. 5—Richard Emery and Richard Emery II 18.5. 6—Jamie Everitt and Paul Herzog 17.
Galloway National (New Jersey): 1—Ned Sachs and David Sachs 24.5 points. 2—Jim Schultz and Howard Dixon 24. 3—Roger O'Connell and Arthur Wahl 22, Nacho Lozano and Don Edwards 22, Ron Brown and Ryan Brown 22.
Hudson National (New York): 1—William Pierpoint and Alan Kessler 29 points. 2—Greg Swink and John Allen 25.5. 3—John Haskell and Al Coyte 22. 4—Jeff Rust and Lyman Rust 21. 5—Dean Hovencamp and David Kempken 19.
Black Diamond (Florida): 1—Tom Lenze and Eric Lenze 28.5 points. 2—Bob Cook and George Hubman 26.5. 3—Harold Tollerup and Donald Cornett 21.5. 4—Don Bauermeister and Tom Griffin 20, Rob Reeves and Fritz Peters 20. 6—Vic Carlson and Larry Baum 18.5.
Preserve (California): 1—Bill Hill and Richard Brown 29 points. 2—Jack Hoffman and Dave Almquist 25. 3—Doug Christie and Michael Christie 24. 4—Mitch Milias and John Seiter 23.5. 5—Jim Jacobson and Brandon Jacobson 21. 6—Tom Mistick and Jeromy Richey 12.5.
Sage Valley (South Carolina): 1—Lou Mace and Sid Mace 25.5 points. 2—David Pyles and Charles Capute 25.5. 3—Chris Stephens and Ken Herich 23.5. 4—Frank Fiaschetti and Les Harris 21, Doug Gilmour and John Gilmour 21. 6—Jay Cassell and Dave Brown 18.5.
Estancia (Arizona): 1—Henry Burdick and Dick Bermingham 26.5 points. 2—Dick Wetherell and Jack Jackson 26. 3—Jamie Coulter and Jim Coulter 22, Michael Ochsman and William Burak 22, Walter Teagle and Chad Weiss 22. 6—Ken McCain and William Jeffery 18.5.
Here are results of special contests during Moose Madness:
Chipping contest: 1—Jamie Everitt 1-0. 2—Kevin Cincotta 1-11. 3—Phil O'Reilly 2-0.
Putting contest: 1—Jeff Mansoor and Jim Curran 12. 2—Dave Hennessy and Jeff Russell 13. 3 (tie, all with 14)—Dave Berman and Kevin Cincotta; Jeff Rust and Lyman Rust; John Haskell and Al Coyte; John Martinson and Jeff Rawson; Dick Toomey and Jim Toomey; Roger Miller and Louie D'Ambrosio.
July 9 practice round (31 teams): 1—Bill Rosato, Ernest Rosato, Jack Dies and John Shoemaker 124. 2—Dick Toomey, Jim Toomey, Lou Mace and Sid Mace 125. 3—Greg Swink, John Allen, John Kelly, Mac Joye 130.