changed a bit over the years, but
a few things have remained constant. It has always been an alternate-shot tournament with both
net and gross competitions.
However, an open division, in
which at least one team member
is a pro, was added in 2000.
Teams used to be able to compete in both the gross and net
events concurrently but now
choose one format or the other.
The last time a team won both titles in the same year was 1941.
The Links at Grand Geneva in
Lake Geneva hosted last year,
and the gross title was won by
Kevin and Patrick Cahill of Merrill
Hills CC in Waukesha with an exceptional alternate-shot score of
3-under-par 68. The net title was
claimed by Jonathan and Garreth
Klemp of Mee-Kwon Park GC in
Mequon with a score of 66. Rick
and Jordan Elsen of Kenosha CC,
who won the regular gross title in
2008 before Jordan turned pro,
won the open division last year
with a score of 69.
The Pater-Filius is a difficult
tournament to win because of
the alternate-shot format. Both
players have to perform well to
have any success, and that is
made more difficult because
they’re both hitting only half the
drives, half the approach shots,
and half the putts they would in a
normal round of golf, so rhythm
becomes an issue. But when a fa-
ther-son duo gets hot, as the
Cahills did last year, scores go
“WE SHOT A
BUT IT ALMOST
– KEVIN CAHILL
planned, as they barely broke 90.
common to all golf tournaments,
but when you add the family dynamic, things get a bit more interesting. And not always in a
good way. More than one player
interviewed for this story recalled
moments of tension over shot selection or strategy in the Pater-Filius. Tim Murphy, for example,
pointed out that his son is much
more aggressive than he is,
which naturally leads to debate
over certain shots. But the player
holding the club in his hands
usually wins those arguments.
“We can debate, but that
doesn’t mean we can change each
other’s mind,” Tim Murphy said.
Patrick, left, and Kevin Cahill won the Pater-Filius
gross title at the Links at Grand Geneva last summer with a score of 68, which tied the lowest
score in tournament history.
Gary Menzel – winner with son
Brian in 1998 and 2007 – recalled
driving into a lateral hazard in the
Pater-Filius early in their round
one year, with the ball ending up
in deep grass and a terrible lie.
The format required Brian to hit
the next shot, and for reasons
which Gary still doesn’t comprehend, dear old dad insisted that
Brian hack it out of the junk rather
than declaring it unplayable.
“He could have killed me,”
Gary Menzel said recently with a