Todd Balsley’s journey to becoming Team 97 royalty has not been a straight path. While his name is now synonymous with Team 97, many forget that this was not always the case. After declining one of the four charter invitations to join the Phi Alpha Cup in 2005, Todd Balsley shortly thereafter found himself in a pool of depression from which he began angling for a spot in the tournament. His dream came true in 2009 when Team 98’s Stirling Bomar was suspended for “conduct unbecoming a Phi Alpha Cup member.”
What happened next is a matter of gross speculation and heated controversy. While Balsley’s player credentials qualified him for a spot only on Team 97, Team Captains Andy Sands and David Johnson negotiated a deal by which Balsley would fill in for the suspended Bomar on Team 98. Balsley subsequently went 0-4 in his 2009 PAC matches (or 4-0 from Team 97’s perspective), leading to charges that Balsley sabatoged Team 98 on behalf of Team 97. Balsley was promptly relieved of his Team 98 duties, but the very next year, he was welcomed by Team 97 to a permanent spot on the team after former Team 97 member Chandler Willett suddenly retired.
In 2013, Balsley became the first player in Phi Alpha Cup history to take home all three PAC awards in the same year – the Team Title (with Team 97), The Jeffrey J. Eaton MVP Award (co-MVPs with Andy Sands), and the Jeffrey B. Cohen Sportsmanship Award.
Prior to his PAC career, in high school, Balsley was a multiple time winner of the Reidsville Ram Football Practice Player of the Week Award. He was also given several “Ram Iron” awards for his achievements in the weight room. In addition, Balsley was the #1 seed on a Rams tennis team that went 1-21. Balsley has brought similar success to Team 97 in the Phi Alpha Cup and is now a staple in the airtight 97 unit.
Driver: Ping G2 (10)
3 wood: TM Burner
Hybrids: Rapture / Diablo
Irons: Ping 3i (4-P)
Wedge: Black Mamba (60)
Putter: TM White Smoke