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Ryder Cup champion Adrian golfers celebrate by parading symbol of their success atop of a golf cart

Ryder Cup
Ryder Cup members , from left, Dave Uppman (Worthington), Evan Cummings (Adrian), Dean Elias (Adrian) and Tim Meyer (Worthington) gather around the golf cart at GreatLIFE Worthington that Adrian golfers decorated with the 2019 tournament trophy. Adrian Ryder Cup winners drove the cart, with the trophy attached on top, Thursday on men's day to remind everyone who won it this year. (Doug Wolter/The Globe)

WORTHINGTON -- To the victor belong the spoils.

And bragging rights.

On Thursday afternoon at the GreatLIFE golf course in Worthington, some winced and others smiled. A group of Adrian golfers, fresh off of last weekend’s victory in the 2019 Ryder Cup tournament between the two towns, showed up with their huge trophy on the top of one of their golf carts.

The Ryder Cup trophy is hard to miss. It’s more than two feet tall.

So there they were on men’s night, riding around the Worthington links with the cup attached to the roof of a cart.

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What’s the point of winning if you can’t rub it in, right?

“I told them, ‘Go ahead and do what you do. But remember that you did what you did,” said Worthington Ryder Cup member Dave Uppman.

Well, it’s only fair. Last year, when the Worthington team won, they attached “loser” stickers to the Adrian golf carts for the Labor Day Classic weekend.

“It’s all about who has the trophy,” explained Dean Elias, one of this year’s grinning Adrian winners. “Each year, somebody on the winning team comes up with something new to rub it in for the other team.”

The 27-hole tournament, armed with 36 players on each team, is played annually under rules similar to the PGA Tournament. It’s happened between Adrian and Worthington every year since 2011, and it alternates each year from course to course.

That first year, teams played 18 holes in Worthington on a Saturday and 18 more in Adrian on Sunday. Now, in deference to busy personal schedules, it’s a one day-only affair.

Both courses carry definite advantages for the home team. Worthington contains a lot of trees, which Adrian golfers often find difficult to maneuver around. On the other hand, the fairly treeless course in Adrian allows the Adrian golfers an advantage of their own.

“They’re long hitters,” Worthington’s Tim Meyer said about his Adrian counterparts.

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“The Adrian course is a wonderful course,” added Uppman. “We love it. But it’s really wide open.”

“The trees and the greens,” Elias explained Worthington’s home advantage. “Adrian struggles with the fast greens.”

Currently, Worthington holds a 5-4 edge in the series.

But that doesn’t mean much this year -- not when one team rides around on a golf cart lording its huge trophy on top.

The trophy, itself, has been improved. They used to trade a trophy only about a foot tall. But one of Adrian’s captains, Colt Bullerman, said Meyer, “decided that the trophy we had was not big enough.”

It was certainly big enough to see on Thursday.

But, of course, it’s all in fun.

“Bragging rights mean a lot in this rivalry,” Uppman said. “It means a whole lot more when you are the receivers instead of the givers. And the biggest thing about this is the camaraderie that’s been developed since 2011. Everyone has a good time.”

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