COSTA MESA — A third of the way through the 11th annual Jones Cup golf tournament Tuesday, Big Canyon Country Club might have more accurately been dubbed the Great Divide.
The quintet of Robert Pang, Michael Castillo, Will Tipton, Dave Quisling and Martha Redfearn was seven-under-par after six holes to seize a five-shot advantage on then-second-place Mesa Verde.
But with its first collective bogey on No. 7 and only two birdies the rest of the way in the two-best-ball format — combined with a heroic finish by the host unit — Big Canyon stepped onto the tee box on the final hole suddenly tip-toeing on the precipice of defeat.
"I wish we hadn't known," Redfearn said of having seen Mesa Verde post two pars on the demanding finishing hole, leaving the two teams tied at eight under. "If we didn't know [Mesa Verde] made two pars on that hole [in the group just ahead of Big Canyon, the members of which could see Mesa Verde putt on the 18th green while waiting to tee off], I think we could have stepped up just thinking, 'OK let's par this.' "