Top-ranked Pine Valley playing host to Army-Navy Ryder Cup-style clash

October 4, 2019
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The world’s top-ranked golf course, Pine Valley Golf Club, will play host to one of college sports’ fiercest rivalries this weekend: Army vs. Navy.

The Army-Navy Star Match — a 36-hole event with four four-ball matches on Saturday and seven singles matches on Sunday — is one of 24 competitions across various sports that comprise the Army-Navy Star Series. (For those keeping score at home, Navy leads the all-time series, 1086-827-43.)

Pine Valley isn’t only one of the game’s best courses it’s also one of its most exclusive, so it should come as no surprise that the Army-Navy match will be a spectator-free affair. The club opens its gates to the masses just once a year, for an amateur tournament called the Crump Cup.

The Ryder Cup-style clash between the Black Knights and the Mids has been far more balanced than the actual Ryder Cup. In the last 17 editions, Army has won nine times, while Navy has prevailed eight times.

The tournament usually alternates between the two program’s campus courses, but with renovations underway at the Naval Academy Golf Club, this year’s edition was moved to Pine Valley.

Not a bad backup.

Neither Army nor Navy is what’d you call a golf powerhouse but they have produced some legitimate talent. The best player to emerge from either program in recent years is Billy Hurley III. A 2004 Navy graduate, Hurley played for the winning U.S. squad in the 2005 Walker Cup before going on to win on the PGA Tour — at the Quicken Loans National — in 2016.