University Place, WA — A decade ago, Adam Waalkes was the opponent every Seattle Team member wanted to face. Today, no 206er wants any part of him.
The seventeen-year Greenspan Cup veteran went 3-1-1 to help the World Team reclaim the Cup 20 1/2 — 15 1/2 at Chambers Bay. (Share site I Pics.) Long-feared Leo Madden went 4-1 for the winners, who won the annual competition for the sixth time in seven years. Michael Richardson and Jon Gaston also went 3-1-1 for the Worlds, while newcomer Eric Ward went 4-1 for the Emerald City boys.
“Adam’s the best 17 on the planet,” lamented Seattle’s Jeff Benezra, who came up on the short end of the Waalkes stick in Saturday morning best ball. “The USGA needs to re-rate (Waalkes’ home course) Plateau now, before Adam wrecks more havoc on a clearly superior Seattle team.”
Early on it appeared not even Sir Pop-a-Lot would be enough for the Worlds to reclaim the Cup, which has resided in Nick Jenkins’s family room for the last year. The teams of Max Anderson/Eric Ward and John Harrison/Chris White both won their matches on the 14th hole at Gold Mountain’s Olympic Course and the Seattle Team led by a point after the Friday morning bestball matches. But the lead was short lived as the World Team won four points in the afternoon Stableford at Gold Mountain’s Cascade Course. It could have been worse: World Team Captain Paul Sharkey and Tim O’Brien both missed two footers on the 18th hole to hand their match to Peter Fessler and Jenkins, 71-70.
“I have a Doug Sanders history with Jenkins on 18th holes,” lamented O’Brien who, in 2011, missed a one-foot putt on Bandon Dunes’ final hole that handed this year’s Seattle captain and Joel Aro a half point in a match they should have lost.
O’Brien bounced back the next morning, however, as the Worlds extended their lead to three heading back to Chambers Bay. Four World teams — John Sheehan/Joe Stansell, Jason Matzat/Waalkes, O’Brien/Richardson and Madden/Brad Nelson — shot 65’s or better to extend the World Team’s lead to three. Seattle bounced back in the Saturday afternoon fourball tiebreaker matches at Chambers Bay, however, to narrow the deficit to two heading into Sunday singles.
Because the World Team won the practice round tiebreaker, however, the Seattle Team needed to win 7 1/2 of twelve points in Sunday singles to retain the Cup.
It didn’t come close.
Only Baron Kofoed and Ward won their singles matches for the Seattle boys, and thanks to 2 1/2 points from a record five halved matches, the World Team cruised to a five-point victory.
“With Adam as tough as he is now and a few new faces on the roster, the World Team has no weak links this side of Gaston’s insides,” opined Jenkins, who slipped to .500 as a captain. “If we’re going to avoid another five-year losing streak we’re going to need everyone to step up their games — including me.”
Better play would help, but so would accurate handicaps. Captains Sharkey and Jenkins elected to go with the July 15 GHIN cycle instead of the updated July 30 one, mostly because the GHIN update wasn’t scheduled to happen until a few hours before the Friday morning round. That decision may have made a difference. Jenkins’s handicap, for example, went up .7 strokes, while Waalkes’ went down 1.2 strokes. Waalkes and O’Brien beat Jenkins and Tony Secretario 3&1 — six hours after GHIN posted its July 30 GHIN cycle.
Jenkins, however, doesn’t blame the handicaps for his team’s second-place finish. “Some guys went up, others went down — It probably would have all come out in the wash. Ultimately we just got outplayed.”
Team 206 won’t have to wait as long as the Worlds did for its chance to take back the Cup. Whereas there was a fourteen-month gap between Greenspan Cup XVI at Pinehurst and this year’s competition, Greenspan Cup XVIII is already booked for July 30-August 2 at Bandon Dunes, Oregon — less than a year away. Sharkey and Jenkins will likely return as captains.
Fourball Match (at the Olympic Course at Gold Mountain)
- Anderson/Ward d. Nelson/Richardson 5&4
- Benezra/Waldner h. Cheuk/Matzat
- Gaston/Sharkey d. Deandre/Fessler 3&2
- O’Brien/Waalkes d. Jenkins/Secretario 3&1
- Aro/Kofoed d. Cheever/Stansell 4&2
- Harrison/White d. Madden/Sheehan 6&4
Seattle leads 3 1/2 — 2 1/2
Aggregate Stableford (at the Cascade Course at Gold Mountain)
- Anderson/Ward d. Cheever/Waalkes 72-67
- Gaston/Richardson d. Aro/Waldner 69-64
- Matzat/Stansell d. Benezra/Harrison 63-49
- Fessler/Jenkins d. O’Brien/Sharkey 71-70
- Cheuk/Madden d. Secretario/White 69-67
- Nelson/Sheehan d. Deandre/Kofoed 66-62
World leads 6 1/2 — 5 1/2
Bestball Medal (at the Olympic Course at Gold Mountain)
- Anderson/Aro d. Cheever/Gaston 66-73
- Sheehan/Stansell d. Secretario/Ward 65-66
- Matzat/Waalkes d. Benezra/Waldner 65-67
- O’Brien/Richardson d. Jenkins/Kofoed 65-66
- Madden/Nelson d. Deandre/Fessler 64-72
- Harrison/White d. Cheuk/Sharkey 68-70
World leads 10 1/2 — 7 1/2
Fourball Tiebreaker (at Chambers Bay)
- Benezra/Ward d. Sheehan/Stansell 5&3
- Madden/Waalkes d. Aro/Waldner 3&2
- Jenkins/Secretario d. Cheever/Nelson 6&4
- Richardson/Sharkey d. Anderson/Deandre 5&3
- Harrison/White d. Cheuk/O’Brien 2 up
- Fessler/Kofoed h. Gaston/Matzat
World leads 13-11
Singles (at Chambers Bay)
- Madden d. White 4&2
- Matzat h. Waldner
- Deandre h. Richardson
- Benezra h. Cheuk
- Sheehan d. Jenkins 4&3
- Kofoed d. Nelson 3&2
- Gaston d. Fessler 3&1
- Cheever d. Secretario 7&5
- Ward d. O’Brien 2&1
- Harrison h. Sharkey
- Stansell d. Aro 1 up
- Anderson h. Waalkes
World Wins 20 1/2 — 15 1/2
- Anderson 3-1-1
- Aro 2-3
- Benezra 1-2-2
- Deandre 0-4-1
- Fessler 1-3-1
- Harrison 3-1-1
- Jenkins 2-3
- Kofoed 2-2-1
- Secretario 1-4
- Waldner 0-3-2
- Ward 4-1
- White 3-2
- Cheever 1-4
- Cheuk 1-2-2
- Gaston 3-1-1
- Madden 4-1
- Matzat 2-0-3
- Nelson 2-3
- O’Brien 2-3
- Richardson 3-1-1
- Sharkey 3-2
- Sheehan 3-2
- Stanesell 3-2
- Waalkes 3-1-1