U.S. AMATEUR FOUR-BALL
Pinehurst: A Perfect Marriage for Kennedy, Anderson May 27, 2017 | Village of Pinehurst, N.C. By Bill Fields

Scott Kennedy returned to Pinehurst this week, 10 years after having his wedding at the North Carolina resort. (USGA/Chris Keane)

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When Scott Kennedy and Matt Anderson entered a U.S. Amateur Four-Ball qualifier at Eagle Creek Golf & Country Club in Naples, Fla., last October, the former Florida Atlantic University teammates didn’t have great expectations.

Neither was playing much golf. Kennedy was busy with the two barbeque restaurants he owns, and Anderson, an insurance agent, has two young children.

“We’re not guys who are playing in a tournament every week,” said Kennedy. “We’d been real busy, and neither of us had played the course. I called Matty the day before and said, ‘If you’ve got too much going on, we’ll call in and withdraw.’ He said, ‘No, we signed up, and we’re going to play.’ Matt has been a real good friend for a long time. He is the salt of the earth.”

Their competitive rust and unfamiliarity with the site turned out not to matter. Kennedy, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Anderson, of Tampa, Fla., shot 66 to earn medalist honors and a spot in the 3rd U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club. This is the first USGA event for each of the 37-year-olds but not their first time at the venerable location.  

“When Scott told me they qualified, I asked him, ‘When is it and where is it?’ ” said Krissy Kennedy, Scott’s wife. “When he told me it was at Pinehurst, I thought he was kidding at first. But it seemed so meant to be.”

Scott and Krissy got married at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in the village on May 26, 2007. The reception took place at the resort’s Cardinal Ballroom. Anderson was one of six groomsmen. An appearance in the championship became quite a way to mark the 10th anniversary of the Andersons’ wedding, whose location was chosen three years earlier.

The wedding party gathered for a group photo in front of the iconic Carolina Hotel before the reception. (Scott and Krissy Kennedy)

Scott, with girlfriend Krissy as his caddie, was playing in the 2004 North & South Amateur. Late one idyllic afternoon during that visit, as the couple enjoyed a beer while sitting in rocking chairs on the porch of the Carolina Hotel, they made a decision.

“We’re like, ‘This is heaven,’ ” said Scott. “This is the place to get married. I’m from Florida, Krissy’s from south Florida. My friends are golfers.”

“We just fell in love with the place,” said Krissy. “It’s so beautiful and peaceful, and the people were wonderful.”

The couple had been dating since the spring of 1999, when they met in a biology class at Manatee Community College in Bradenton, Fla. “He sat right behind me,” Krissy said. “I believe I invited him to dinner and a movie.”

After they reached a point in their lives that it made sense to get married, Scott and Krissy sent out 120 wedding invitations.

“We expected perhaps 60 people to come since it was a destination wedding for everyone,” Krissy said. “But we had 99 people attend. Everybody was excited to go. The whole weekend was fun.”

On the day before the wedding, some of the wedding party and guests played golf while others went to the spa. That night, there was a putting contest on the large practice green with glow-in-the-dark golf balls. “It was a great way for everybody to get together,” Krissy said.

The ceremony was at noon on a Saturday. “A lady at the church told us that if any of us showed up drunk, the wedding would be canceled,” Anderson said. “She wasn’t a nun but was like that school teacher you didn’t cross when you were a kid. We obeyed.”

The groomsmen wore khaki-colored plus fours with pink argyle socks — an outfit they believed the groom would be dressed in as well.

Scott Kennedy and his wife, Krissy, and groomsman, Matt Anderson, get to enjoy their 10-year wedding anniversary this week at Pinehurst where it started.

“He made us all dress up like goofballs and wear knickers,” Anderson said. “He showed up for the ceremony in a suit. We all gave him a hard time afterward.”

“They still get wound up about it,” said Scott.

“I thought the idea of the groomsmen in knickers was fantastic,” Krissy said, “but I was going to make him wear a traditional suit.”

Good-natured fashion discord notwithstanding, the wedding went off without a hitch.

“It was perfect weather, a perfect scenario, the best Southern hospitality,” Scott said. “Everything was spot on.”

Krissy and Scott were eager to return to Pinehurst because they hadn’t been back since the wedding. Anderson’s wife, Rebecca, whom he married several months after the Andersons exchanged vows, has also come to Pinehurst along with more than a dozen friends and family members.

As enjoyable as the North Carolina reunion will be, the Andersons and their friends will be thinking of Scott’s mother, Karen, who recently was diagnosed with cancer and is scheduled to have surgery May 29 in Toronto.

“I wasn’t sure we were playing because of that, but my mom was hell bent on us coming,” said Scott, who was born in Canada. “She said, ‘You’re not performing the surgery, what are you going to do?’ But as soon as we’re done here, I’m headed back to Canada to be with her.”

Bill Fields is a Connecticut-based freelance writer who contributes regularly to USGA websites.

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