By Ryan Atkinson
Globe Sports Writer
CARTHAGE, Mo. —
Team Joplin has a decent start in its quest to wrangle the Horton Smith Cup back from Springfield.
Joplin won three matches and halved another to finish the doubles round Monday at Carthage Golf Course and take a 7 1/2 to 4 1/2 lead over Springfield.
But Joplin captain Sue Browning would like to remind you that it’s just that — a start.
“Three points can be disappear in a flash, especially with 24 points up in the air tomorrow,” she said. “Don’t get me wrong, it’s better than being three points behind, but having a three-point lead doesn’t mean much right now.
“It’s a great start. We just need to keep it going (today) at Briarbrook.”
Briarbrook Golf Course in Carl Junction is the site of today’s 24 singles matches that will determine where the cup stays for the next year.
Springfield reclaimed the Cup in 2012 after Joplin had possession for three consecutive years.
“We’re hoping we can turn that around and get the trophy back,” Browning said.
Browning was in the next-to-last group of the day, the only match that didn’t finish with a winner.
Browning and Becky Bruder finished all-square with Cristal Hoovens and Lynda Hyde.
Joplin’s Judy Magner and Rhonda Hartley then won the final hole to top Nancy Luxton and Nancy White 1-up and stretch Joplin’s lead to three points.
This after the two sides were tied after the day’s first eight matches had finished.
“I really didn’t hear anybody say they weren’t pleased with how they played,” Browning said. “Even those who lost, they played pretty well.”
The teams of Natalie Bird and Abbey Catron, Terri Cox and Beth Parmley, Leigh Ann Hackney and Jill West, and Priscilla Clark and Courtney Catron each secured 3 and 2 wins while Peggy Hinde and Pam Borland teamed for a 4 and 3 win.
Sally Downey and Tammy Thomas came up with Joplin’s most lopsided win, an 8 and 7 decision.
Browning said there were a few surprises in the mix, but for the most part things played out the way she expected.
“You never know from one day to the next,” she said. “The others were pretty much as I expected, knowing the handicaps and such. And there are some where you say if we pull through with half we’ll be doing well.”
The singles matches begin today with Natalie Bird and Jill West teeing off against their Springfield opponents at 8:30.
The final group tees of at around 10 a.m.
“We just have to do the best we can do and if you lose a hole. Just forget it and move on,” Browning said. “That’s one of the nice things about match play. If you blow a hole, it’s just one hole. You’ve got 17 others.
“I’ll remind them of that in the morning.”