The Toucan Shirt: It Could Have Been Worse

I’m guessing that years from now guys will still be talking about the Seattle Team’s 2019 Sunday shirt.  Known as “Toucan Sam,” the shirt is one of roughly a dozen or so sold by a startup apparel company called Waggle Golf.

I quite liked the Toucan.  Not everyone else did — and they let me know it.

I didn’t think it was even in the running for worst shirt of the week — the World Team’s gray, “morse code” rag was my easy winner in that category.

For some inexplicable reason, the World Team’s gray Friday shirts had what appeared to be morse code on them.

But it did get me to thinking: could I have done worse?

And after a little bit of research into what’s out there in the golf shirt world these days, I reached a clear conclusion.

Yes I could have.

There are any of these offerings from Loudmouth (and there were plenty more I could have added here):

Or any of these from Iliac:

Or these from Bad Birdie:

Or these from William Murray:

So the next time a Seattle Team member complains about his Toucan shirt, he’d do well to remember — it could have had feathers on it.

206’s Rout Worlds in Greenspan’s Return to Kelowna

KELOWNA, BC.  Five of the first six Greenspan Cups were played in Kelowna, British Columbia.

Then, after Greenspan Cup VI, the Seattle- and World Teams stopped coming.

After this year’s rendition, the old timers were left scratching their heads “why.”

The Cup returned to “the Palm Springs of Canada” for the first time since “the forest fire tournament” of 2003, and what a return it was — especially for the Seattle Team.  Nick Jenkins went 5-0 and Joel Aro and Frank McCaslin added 3 1/2 points each as the 206’s beat the World Team 18-12.  It was the fourth victory in the last five outings for the Jenkins-captained squad, which has trailed at the end of only one stanza since 2016.   Leo Madden won 3 1/2 points for the second-place Worlds.

“For whatever reason we seem to be the better team right now,” opined Jenkins, who is 17-3 in the last four Cups.  “But that all can change.  It wasn’t too long ago (2008-14) that we lost six of seven.”

While players were enamored with Predator Ridge’s scenic new Ridge course …

It may not be too long in geological time, but it seems eons ago on the golf calendar.

they were less than thrilled with Okanagan GC’s Quail course, which wasn’t as great as most players remembered.

After splitting the Friday morning fourball matches the Seattle Team took a one-point lead on Friday afternoon at Predator Ridge,  On Saturday afternoon the 206’s blew things open.  After winning fourball medal by two points in the morning at Okanagan Golf Club’s Bear Course, Seattle extended the lead to an almost insurmountable six points with a three-point, four-matches-to-one route in fourball tiebreaker at the Quail.  Paired with McCaslin, Vince Deandre shot 73 on the way to a 3&2 win over Adam Waalkes and Jon Gaston.  And paired with Jenkins, Peter Fessler, who 48 hours earlier wasn’t sure he’d be able to play at all thank to a groin injury, shot 76 on his way to a 4&3 win over Madden and Bob Thomas.   Only the team of Norman Cheuk and Karl Stricker managed a W for the Worlds, coming home with a 3&2 win over Jeff Benezra and John Harrison.  The Seattleites needed only two points to retain the Cup in singles and won that in the first foursome of the morning.  The Worlds won five of the next eight for the final 18-12 tally.

Seattle Captain Nick Jenkins went 5-0 for the second time in three Cups.

This year’s Cup was not lacking in story lines.  There was the return to Kelowna, which everyone thought was an overwhelming success save for the Quail course, which most players disliked.  “Had I remembered how wacky that course was we would not have returned,” said World Team Captain Greg Cheever, who doubled as the trip’s organizer.  There was the lack of competitiveness: four of the last seven Cups have been huge Seattle blowouts with the results all but determined by Saturday night.

And then there were these Seattle Team shirts:

Made by Waggle Golf, Captain Jenkins made the decision to go with the “Toucan Sam” shirt in a nod to teammate Peter Fessler’s son, who goes by the same name.  It didn’t work.  While Jenkins and teammate Jeff Benezra loved them — Jenkins was heard to say that the shirt “brings (him) joy” — few others were convinced.  On Facebook, retired 206’er Pat Scoccolo called them the ugliest shirts in Greenspan history — which is saying a lot:

For all the wise cracks, however, Jenkins noted that no one took it off for the airplane ride home.  “For a shirt that was supposedly so awful, it sure got plenty of plane time.”

Next year’s Cup will return to Bandon Dunes, with the hope being that we’ll be able to play the by-then opened Sheep Ranch course.  Cheever and Jenkins are expected to return as captains.

Results

Friday Morning Fourball (Predator Ridge [Ridge])
Harrison/McCaslin d. Cheever Thomas 2&1
Aro/Jenkins d. McClellan/Stricker 1 up
Madden/Stansell d. Fessler/Waldner 1 up
Cox/Gaston d. Benezra/Deandre1 up
Cheuk/Waalkes h. Laidlaw/Whitaker

Tied at 2 1/2

Friday Afternoon Aggregate Stableford (Predator Ridge [Predator])
Aro/Waldner d. Cheever/Waalkes 67-50
Stansell/Stricker d. Fessler/McCaslin 49-45
Benezra/Jenkins d. McKlellan/Thomas 52-33 (injury concession after 14)
Gaston/Madden d. Harrison/Laidlaw 56-45
Deandre/Whitaker d. Cheuk/Cox (score ??)

Seattle leads 5 1/2 — 4 1/2

Saturday Morning Fourball Medal (Okanagan GC [Bear])
Aro/Waldner d. Stricker/Waalkes 69-69
Fessler/Jenkins d. Cheuk/Thomas 65-72
Cheever/McKlellan h. Laidlaw/Whitaker 70-70
Benezra/Harrison d. Gaston/Stansell 65-70
Cox/Madden h. Deandre/McCaslin 68-68

Seattle leads 9-6

Saturday Afternoon Fourball Tiebreaker (Okanagan GC [Quail])
Deandre/McCaslin d. Gaston/Waalkes 3&2
Fessler/Jenkins d. Madden/Thomas 4&3
Cheuk/Stricker d. Benezra/Harrison 3&2
Aro/Waldner d. Cox/Stansell 5&3
Laidlaw/Whitaker d. Cheever/McKlellan 4&2

Seattle leads 13-7

Singles (Tower Ranch GC)
McCaslin d. Cheever 4&2
Jenkins d. Gaston 5&4
Stricker d. Waldner 4&2
Harrison d. Waalkes 5&3
Fessler win via injury forfeit (McKlellan)
Laidlaw d. Thomas 2&1
Stansell d. Aro 3&2
Cox d. Benezra 3&2
Madden d. Deandre 6&5
Cheuk d. Whitaker 4&3

Seattle wins 18-12

Overall Records

Seattle Team

  • Aro 3-1-1
  • Benezra 2-3
  • Deandre 2-2-1
  • Fessler 3-2
  • Harrison 3-2
  • Jenkins 5-0
  • Laidlaw 2-1-2
  • McCaslin 3-1-1
  • Waldner 2-2-1
  • Whitaker 2-1-2

World Team

  • Cheuk 2-2-1
  • Cheever 0-4-1
  • Cox 2-2-1
  • Gaston 2-3
  • Madden 3-1-1
  • McKlellan 0-4-1
  • Stansell 3-2
  • Stricker 2-1-2
  • Thomas 0-5
  • Waalkes 0-3-2

206’s Route Worlds in Cup’s Return to Bandon

Bandon, OR.  Last year, the Seattle Team lost the Greenspan Cup on a final hole, ten-foot par putt by Steve Cox.

This year, they promptly took it back.

Whitaker and Laidlaw, shown here with World Team captain Cheever, combined for 8 1/2 points.

Steve Whitaker went 5-0 and Frank McCaslin and Peter Fessler added 4 1/2 and four points respectively as Team 206 routed the World Team 23 1/2 — 12 1/2 at Greenspan Cup XXI in Bandon, Oregon.   Leo Madden went 3-1-1 for Captain Greg Cheever’s squad, which lost for the second time in three years and eleventh time overall over the Cup’s twenty-one year history.

Despite his struggles here, Madden won 3 1/2 points for the Worlds.

“Something about Bandon agrees with us,” opined Seattle Team captain Nick Jenkins, who won his first three matches to set a Cup record with ten consecutive wins over a three-event period.  “In 2015 we set a Cup record with twenty-four points — and this time we darn near beat it.”

The competition was never close. Team Seattle got off to an early 4-2 lead in Friday morning fourballs, with  Jack Laidlaw and Steve Whitaker beating Cheever and Bob Thomas 2 up in a surprise win to get things started.  “Laidlaw had  a tough 2017,” recalled Jenkins.  “His early win really set the tone.”

The Seattle Team’s glow-in-the-fog coral shirts were the talk of the resort on Saturday.

Seattle blew things open in afternoon aggregate stableford at a windy Old MacDonald track.  Madden and Norman Cheuk paired to beat Laidlaw and Vince Deandre — the only point World scored in a stanza that saw them fall behind 9-3 heading into the weekend.  “Any format where both balls count clearly favors the Seattle Team,” opined returning Seattle Team veteran Joel Aro.  “Despite our ten losses, we are clearly the deeper team.   And we dress better, too.”

Apparently aware that Bandon has a limited dress code, Waldner, shown here with Stratz, O’Brien and Cheuk. went with the untucked look all weekend.

Clad in virtually glow-in-the-dark coral Walter Hagen shirts, the Seattleites extended their lead in Saturday morning bestball medal at Pacific Dunes.  Seattle won matches 3 through 5 after halving the first two: only Cox and Austin Teague won their match for the Worlds.   The fog rolled in at Bandon Dunes in the afternoon and that seemed to slow the onslaught, as the Worlds won the afternoon tiebreaker stanza 3 1/2 — 2 1/2 to make the score 15 1/2 — 8 1/2 heading to singles at Bandon Crossings.

Teague, shown here at Pacific Dunes, teamed with O’Brien to snap Jenkins’s three-year personal winning streak at ten.

Seattle needed only three points heading into singles — and it won them quickly.  Aro clinched the Cup on the twelfth hole of the third match of the day with a convincing 7&6 win over rookie Reuben Mickel.  After that the only question for the players who hung out for the duration was whether Seattle could beat its record of 24 points, a standard it set in 2015 and which was once thought as insurmountable as Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak.

Waldner was the only player to break 80 in all rounds at Bandon.

Team 206 didn’t quite hit the twenty-four point mark, but an eleven-point win made Cox’s putt in Victoria last year a very distant memory.

Greenspan Cup XXII is tentatively scheduled for Whitefish, Montana.  Cheever and Jenkins are expected back as captains.

Results

Friday Morning Fourball (Pacific Dunes)
Laidlaw/Whitaker d. Cheever/Thomas 2 up
Fessler/Gouk d. Madden/Waalkes 4&3
Anderson/McCaslin d. Gaston/Mickel 3&2
Cheuk/O’Brien d. Stratz/Waldner 2&1
Jenkins/Secretario d.  Nelson/Teague 1 up
Cox/Stansell d. Deandre/Harrison 1 up

Seattle leads 4-2

Friday Afternoon Aggregate Stableford (Old MacDonald)
Anderson/Stratz d. Cheever/Mickel 64-53
McCaslin/Secretario d. Gaston/Thomas 65-60
Cheuk/Madden d. Deandre/Laidlaw 62-48
Aro/Jenkins d. Cox/Nelson 65-58
Fessler/Waldner d. O’Brien/Stansell +8
Harrison/Whitaker d. Teague/Waalkes 76-70

Seattle leads 9-3

Saturday Morning Fourball Medal (Pacific Dunes)
Cheever/Waalkes h. McCaslin/Stratz 68 1/2 — 68 1/2
Madden/Thomas h. Deandre/Secretario 70 1/2
Fessler/Harrison d. Gaston/O’Brien 64-71
Laidlaw/Whitaker d. Mickel/Nelson 68-60
Aro/Jenkins d. Cheuk/Stansell 67-71
Cox/Teague d. Waldner/Anderson +1

Seattle leads 13-5

Saturday Afternoon Fourball Tiebreaker (Bandon Dunes)
Deandre/McCaslin d. Cheever/Gaston 6&5
Cheuk/Thomas d. Anderson/Fessler 3&1
Nelson/Waalkes h. Laidlaw/Stratz
Madden/Mickel d. Gouk/Harrison 4&2
Secretario/Whitaker d. Cox/Stansell 1 up
O’Brien/Teague d. Jenkins/Waldner 1 up

Seattle leads 15 1/2 — 8 1/2

Singles (Bandon Crossings)
Harrison d. Cheever 3&2
Stratz d. O’Brien 7&6
Aro d. Mickel 7&6
Gaston d. Secretario 5&4
Madden d. Jenkins 1 up
Whitaker d. Cheuk 3&2
Fessler d. Waalkes 1 up
Anderson d. Nelson 7&6
Stansell d. Waldner 4&3
McCaslin d. Cox 2 up
Laidlaw d. Thomas 6&4
Teague d. Deandre 3&2

Seattle wins 23 1/2 — 12 1/2

Overall Records

Seattle Team

  • Anderson 3-2
  • Aro 3-0
  • Deandre 1-1-3
  • Fessler 4-1
  • Gouk 1-1
  • Harrison 3-2
  • Jenkins 3-2
  • Laidlaw 3-1-1
  • Mccaslin 4-0-1
  • Secretario 3-1-1
  • Stratz 2-1-2
  • Waldner 1-4
  • Whitaker 5-0

World Team

  • Cheuk 3-2
  • Cheever 0-4-1
  • Cox 2-3
  • Gaston 1-4
  • Madden 3-1-1
  • Mickel 1-4
  • Nelson 0-4-1
  • O’Brien 2-3
  • Stansell 2-3
  • Teague 3-2
  • Thomas 1-3-1
  • Waalkes 0-3-2

Janet Jensen RIP

The Greenspan family is no different than any other — death is always lurking.

About ten years ago we lost Kent Fisher, an original World Team member, to cancer.

Last year we lost Derek Orozco, a member of the 2014 Seattle Team (Pinehurst) and high school classmate of several Greenspanners.

Janet and her husband Gary.

A few days ago, we lost another:  Janet Jensen lost her batter to pancreatic cancer.   Janet was the founder/owner/operator of Expressions in Thread, the Kirkland-based company that has handled Greenspan embroidery needs for the last decade or so.  Always first class, never an error, always able to turn orders around no matter how short the notice.

Her obituary:

Janet Kaye Jensen

Born June 8, 1941 in Lansing, MI, passed away August 31, 2017 in Kirkland, WA from complications of Pancreatic Cancer. Janet is survived by her husband Gary, brothers Danny and Charles. Children: Gary Rice, Joann Williams, Steve Rice, and stepson David Jensen. Grandchildren: Eli, Jacob, Elizabeth, Ashley, Samuel, Bridget, Megan and Kaitlyn. Janet was preceded in death by her parents: Richard and Lois, her siblings: Catherine, George, & Larry.
Janet grew up in a small town in Michigan, where she lived with her Mom and Dad, four brothers and one sister. She was the second youngest with only one sister that was the oldest; which meant when the older sister moved out, she had a lot of brotherly love when she was younger. It turned her into the driven, accomplished woman, role-model, and caregiver she was to everyone in her family, right up to the end.

During her working career, she was a successful accountant for many years at different companies. In 1992, she decided to start her own business with her friend Rody Rodewald, called “Expressions in Thread.” It remained in operation until her passing. Her entrepreneurial spirit, attention to detail and passion for perfection will leave us all with a high standard to recognize and aspiration to achieve.

Janet had many passions in life, first being her family. Gary, kids, and grandkids were a constant focus in her life. Her garden(s), were in her genes. Evidenced by her sunroom/greenhouse, her plants in the kitchen, her plants on the steps, her ½ acre of berries for the family. She loved and could grow anything. Her Green Thumb, was an incredible gift and passion. One of her true loves. If anyone had a plant that needed help Janet could always nurse it back to life.

Another passion of Janet’s was games. Her analytical and always moving mind loved games of all sort. Recreational tournament poker was her latest challenge. Gary has said many times, “I like poker, Janet ‘Loves’ poker.” Gary and Janet played many times a week. She was a ‘Caribbean poker room regular’. During their poker career, they visited Vegas many times on WPT ‘learning sessions’, as well as vacations for fun. Their great friend Harry introduced them to the poker experience many years ago.

Janet will be dearly missed by all who knew her.

We’ll find someone else to do our embroidery, but I doubt we’ll ever find a better friend.

RIP Janet.

 

2017 Photo Recap

A few photos from our trip to Victoria: