2016 comes in with a full
slate of competitors after two players were added late. The withdrawal of
"Q-Ball" Kimmet and
"Cool Breeze" Gibson left huge holes until shortly
before the scheduled start of the Tournament. After all, how do
you replace the winner of the Turtle in three of the past four years?
But after a nationwide
talent search, Jonathan "Mayhem"
Greer, playing out of York, PA, was tabbed to replace Q-Ball.
If Greer creates the same level of mayhem as his predecessor,
then the rest of the players are in for a long weekend.
Mayhem teams up with PA Senate compatriot,
Carlton "The Senator" Logue.
The Senator returns for his second cut at the Turtle after teaming
with his dad, Greg "The
Loguemeister" Logue, last year.
Fortunately the void left
by the departure of
“Wilford Brimley” McClane was more manageable.
Sam “Stovepipe” Pressley is
a welcome addition to the Stove team. Stovepipe is a rare talent, and
comes in favored to win the Templeton Cup. His dad and playing partner
Danny “Depot Stove” Pressley
is well poised to challenge for the Turtle with a low opening quota
and number-one-ranked PPM.
Bucking the exodus trend
are Toby “Hoss Cartwright” Hyke
and Greg “Stone Cold” Goddard.
They elected to forego a badminton team event in Knoxville to join
this year’s Turtle Hunt. Despite not having played since the previous
November, Hyke turned in a respectable performance in 2015. He hopes
to parlay that fourth-place finish into a Turtle victory in this
year’s event. 2015 saw the Templeton Cup wrested from Goddard’s grasp.
He will be hard pressed to challenge Stovepipe for the Cup this year,
but he’s, well, Stone Cold, so he’s always in contention.
“Tiger” Thompson comes in with high hopes after claiming the Templeton
Cup in 2015. He edged Stone Cold by one point to break the
Goddard/Pressley stranglehold on the Cup. He may have a shot at a repeat
if Stovepipe falters, and would like to build on his third place finish in
last year’s Turtle Hunt. His partner,
Jon “Hairball” Lawler, has played well of late with good recent RVF
numbers. He hopes to translate those into contending for the Turtle.
Turnabout was fair play last year for
Mike “Grizzly Adams” King. After
being awarded the Turtle by Kimmet in 2014, King awarded it back to Q-Ball
in 2015. King hopes to rebound in 2016 after a pedestrian performance last
year. Following years of middling finishes, King’s partner,
Richard “The Envy” Matlock, still
hopes to recapture the spark that last brought him the Turtle in 2007.
“The Hoser” Moser almost claimed the Turtle in 2014, his last
appearance in the Invitational. His closing round of -1, however, left him
in second place, three back of eventual champion King. He hopes to string
together four solid rounds to challenge for the Turtle this year. After
flirting with becoming the nonplaying tournament director due to injury in
2014, Moser’s partner, Greg
“Loguemeister” Logue bounced back in 2015. Logue won outright on
Moving Day and finished fifth overall to claim Comeback Player of the
Year. He hopes to build on that performance in 2016.
It’s not Turtle soup we’re talking about
here. No one knows that better than
Michael “The Calcutta Chairman” Wood, whose desire for the reptile is
second to none. The fire may still be rekindled for The Chairman, who last
tasted Turtle in 2006. He will go to any length to capture the beast.
Abe “The Ghost” Wood will again
hunt the Turtle with his dad, reprising their 2015 team. Young Abe
acquitted himself well in 2015, overcoming an opening round minus 6 to
play even the rest of the week. With a year of experience under his belt,
look for big things from The Ghost in 2016.
With the arrival of Stovepipe,
Norm “The Total Package” Templeton
has suggested handicapping the Templeton Cup. The Competition Committee
nixed that notion, so prodigious effort will be required from The Package
to claim his first Cup. Norm may have to settle by competing for the
Turtle instead. The Package came close in 2014, tying Moser for second, so a
Turtle victory is not out of the question for him. His partner,
Dan “The Man” Moore rode a Mendoza
Line initial quota to a second place finish in 2015. The resulting point
increase may prove insurmountable in 2016.
Click on a player below to view his career record through 2015.
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