Though its regular season ended with the Coca-Cola Wofford Intercollegiate tournament last week, the University of Richmond men's golf team competed in and won the first ever Black and Blue Cup this weekend over Virginia Commonwealth University.
A variation of the Spiders-Rams basketball rivalry, nicknamed the "Black and Blue Classic," the idea of holding a golf match between the two rivals began as an informal conversation between the teams' two coaches at a tournament earlier in the season.
Typically, collegiate golf is played in a stroke-play format over 54 holes and includes more than 12 teams. But, the Black and Blue Cup featured a match-play format over 18 holes, where Richmond played VCU one-on-one.
With eight matches total, each team received one point for a win and 0.5 point for ties.
Senior captain Jack Lessing described the emphasis on playing together as a team that resulted from the match-play format.
"The team came together, and camaraderie definitely played an important role," he said. "Winning the inaugural Black and Blue Cup, especially as a senior, makes it very unique and will be something I remember as a highlight among my many experiences as a Richmond golfer."
Six of the eight matches came down to the 18th hole, a rarity for golf played in match-play style, signifying the closeness in skill level among each team's golfers.
The day eventually came down to the final match. With the score tied at 3.5, both teams' golfers, who had completed their own matches, watched the final match on the 18th hole, which junior Daniel Walker won with a par putt, sealing the Spiders' victory.
As the team prepares for the Atlantic 10 tournament in late April, winning the Black and Blue Cup gives the Spiders crucial momentum.
"There's nothing more satisfying than beating your crosstown rivals," Walker said, "and it's a great confidence boost for the whole team as we prepare for A-10s."
Contact staff writer Katie Thomson at firstname.lastname@example.org