Capra twins win altered course golf event

Published 9:22 am Friday, August 14, 2015

If you’re playing golf and you look back and Anthony and Nick Capra happen to be one hole back, you could be nice and pick up the pace. Don’t take so many practice swings. They like to play fast.

Pace of play was hardly an issue as the twin brothers from Advance competed in the inaugural Altered Course competition, which premiered on the Golf Channel on June 15 in Montego Bay, Jamaica. It required two-person teams to put skill and fitness to the test as they navigated re-imagined golf holes in excess of 700 yards in a race against the clock on challenging terrain. Good shots were not enough to survive elimination. Speed and strategy were big parts of the equation. The event was held at two courses, White Witch and Cinnamon Hill. proclaimed it’s competition golf like you’ve never seen it played before.

Eight teams accepted the challenge, and doggone if the Capra twins didn’t win the thing. They made history as the first Altered Course champions.

The prize package was worth more than $100,000 in cash and prizes:

• $15,000 in cash from Skechers Go Golf and Skechers Footwear For Life.

• $10,000 in cash from MusclePharm and a trip to MusclePharm’s Sports Science Institute.

• A five-day, four-night stay at any Hyatt Zilara or Hyatt Ziva All-Inclusive Resort.

• Free golf for life from Golfnow.

• $25,000 in cash.

It’s an experience they will treasure the rest of their lives.

“We didn’t really have any expectations,” Nick said as the twins sat down for an interview with the Golf Channel. “I wish we had a better reason than for the fun of it. It’s something we’ll remember forever. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

“We just graduated from college (from N.C.State as Golf Management majors), so some student loans will be paid off,” Anthony said. “The rest will probably be going into savings.”

The twins are 2010 Davie graduates. They both played golf at Davie for three years under coach Chris Callison.

As a junior, Nick tied for second in the Central Piedmont Conference. As a senior, Nick won the CPC, becoming the first male War Eagle to accomplish that in 13 years, to lead Davie to second place in the team race. In the Midwest Regional, Nick shot a 74 to tie for second. It was finest regional performance by a War Eagle in eight years. In the state meet at Pinehurst No. 8, Nick tied for 22nd at 75-81–156. Anthony tied for 28th at 77-81–158. Callison pointed out that Anthony would have breezed to All-CPC as a senior if it weren’t for a migraine that forced him to pull out of the 18-hole championship meet.

“He would have made all-conference easy that year, but you have to finish the conference tournament to be considered for all-conference,” Callison said. “You can only drop your worst nine-hole match and you can’t drop an 18-hole match.”

Callison followed the riveting action with pride.

“It was amazing,” he said. “You watch shows like that all the time, and to actually see somebody you know doing it is pretty amazing. It was incredible. It was fun to watch.”

Physically, the twins have changed a lot in five years. Back in high school, they “were always the smallest, the skinniest,” Nick said. Now they’re all muscle, bones and blood – no fat.

“We made a decision going into college that we were going to better ourselves and feel better about ourselves, so we both started training,” Nick said. “It’s good to have a twin to work out with and push each other.”

“Watching them sprint to holes is kind of strange,” Callison said. “It shows they’ve continued playing, and it’s a different kind of golf where you’re having to do the endurance as well. You could see from the show that their bodies have changed tremendously because of the amount of working out that they do.”

The Altered Course drama was stretched out over eight episodes. In the finale, only two of the eight teams were still standing. Trying to deny the twins were two men from Texas who called themselves the Texas Hustlers. Not only did the twins produce sensational play, they offered sizzling quotes.

“We’re here til the end,” Anthony said prior to the final showdown. “I don’t care who you put in our way, we’re going to take them down.”

The final stage involved three every-second-count challenges. The first challenge was a par-3 with an alternate shot format. The team with the lowest cumulative score would win.

The Texas Hustlers went first. They parred the hole in 43 seconds, giving them a score of 3.43.

The twins brought the attitude of a pit bull. “We’re just going to bust our (butt) and do whatever we can to win that $100,000 in cash and prizes,” Nick said. “And we’re going to put on a good show.”

Running down a hill like spooked deer after Nick’s tee shot, the twins parred in 36 seconds for a score of 3.36. They had a seven-second lead over the Texas Hustlers.

“I was flying,” Anthony said. “I almost fell flat on my face at the cart path. I knew we were going to have to haul (butt) and get it in the hole as quickly as we could.”

The second challenge was a par-4 playing 430 yards. This one was a scramble format. Again, the Texas Hustlers were up first.

“We get to tee off second again, so that’s an advantage for us,” Nick said.

The Texas Hustlers bogeyed in three minutes, seven seconds for a score of 8.07 and a total score of 11.50.

Now it was the twins’ turn on the par-4. Nick bombed a 353-yard drive in the fairway. Faced with a downhill lie 77 yards from the flag, Anthony failed to hit the green in regulation. But they got up and down for par, with Nick draining the putt at two minutes, 57 seconds. That gave them a 6.57 score for the hole, expanding their lead with a total score of 10.33.

The third and final challenge was a 537-yard par-5 with an alternate shot format. This time the twins were up first. “Going first sucked, but I still felt that we could win,” Anthony said.

Nick sent his drive 252 yards, just off the fairway. They encountered turbulence, struggled to a bogey 6 in four minutes, two seconds. The 10.02 score on the hole left them with a total score of 20.35.

“I’m thinking we’re done,” Anthony said.

“I wasn’t feeling too good about it,” Nick said.

The Texas Hustlers hit a three-wood into a hazard and took a penalty stroke, pushing the door wide open for the twins. The Hustlers, though, still managed to get themselves a putt for the win, albeit a long one. It never had a chance and the twins were winners.

“Never in a million years did I think we were going to be on this show, let alone winning the thing,” Anthony said.

Sitting on a couch for the interview with the Golf Channel, the twins basked in the glow of something downright incredible.

“I’m proud of how we handled the pressure,” Nick said. “Before the show, we kind of put golf on hold for a little while. We got really into fitness. Winning this ignited that spark again, so we’ve kind of decided we want to take that route and go try and play professionally. And we’ll see what happens.”

“There’s really nothing you can do to prepare for something like this,” Anthony said. “We’re great athletes and everybody on the show are great athletes and great golfers. But when you put the fitness aspect together with golf, it’s a whole new animal and you really can’t prepare for it.

“One word – unbelievable. My bank account says 0.00 right now, so it’s going to be nice.”