Cox Sinks Ten Footer to Win Cup for Worlds

Victoria, British Columbia.  At 2:30 pm on Sunday, Steve Cox was winless, nervous, and wondering if he’d make the long flight home to Los Angeles as a member of the losing squad for the second straight year.

Fifteen minutes later, he was a Greenspan Cup hero.

The second-year World Team veteran hit a ten-foot downhill putt in the final group and on the final green to defeat Mike Waldner 2 up and deliver the World Team a 15 1/2 — 14 1/2 victory in the twentieth playing of the Greenspan Cup.

Bear Mountain

Bear Mountain’s par five 13th was not as great as we remembered it from 2005.

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Nelson, shown here with Benezra and Fessler, shot two 79’s on Saturday.

“I was a bit nervous,” admitted Cox, who hadn’t tasted victory since defeating Paul Ahern 6&4 in his singles match last year.  “Still, I looked forward to being in the last game in a very close Greenspan, and I’m pleased that I was able to deliver for Captain Cheever.”

It was not always evident that a close match was in the cards.

The Seattle Team picked up where it left off in 2016 with a 4-1 win in Friday morning fourball.  Two of the matches — Jeff Benezra and Nick Jenkins’s 5&4 win over Cox and Joe Stansell and Vince Deandre and Peter Fessler’s 6&5 win over Paul Sharkey and Adam Waalkes — weren’t close.  And it wasn’t because the 206’s played particularly well.

Jenkins

Seattle captain Jenkins went 5-0 for the second-place squad.

But the Worlds came roaring back to tie the score 5-5 after afternoon aggregate Stableford.    Sharkey, who had been struggling with his swings for the better part of a year, was a surprise winner (with newcomer Austin Teague) over Deandre/Fessler.  “Reports of my demise have been greatly exaggerated,” quipped the oft-times World Team captain.  “I’m on the road to recovery.  I just hope that road goes nowhere near Charles Barkley’s house.”

 

Seattle fought back in the Saturday morning fourball medal matches.  Jenkins and John Harrison put Sharkey back in his place – the L column — with a 70-75 win, and Deandre and rookie Isaac McLellan squeaked out a narrow 72-73 win over Stansell and Greg Cheever. But the Worlds took the afternoon again at Gorge Vale to tie the matches at 10 going into singles.   Among the winners: Brad Nelson, who shot his second straight 79 to, with teammate Cheever, beat Benezra and Mike Waldner 5&4.

 

And then there was Sunday.

 

And what a Sunday it was.

 

Three of the ten matches were barely matches at all.  Teague was forced to retire against Harrison with health issues, and two World Team members, Waalkes and Sharkey, beat their opponents (Jack Laidlaw and Isaac McLellan, respectively) by 8&7 scores.  “After watching Sharkey imitate Charles Barkley on Saturday, I would have bet Clinton money that he would not win a match 8&7,” said a shocked Jenkins.

The rest of the matches were relatively close, but most of the closes ones broke the World Team’s way.   Rookie Karl Stricker beat Steve Whitaker, back from a ten-year hiatus, by a 2 up score.  Tim O’Brien beat Benezra 1 up when the latter missed a four-foot putt to tie on the final hole.

 

Then there was Cox v. Waldner.  The second-year World Teamer had struggled all week off the tee and was 0-4 coming in.  “Given how sideways Cox was driving the ball, I liked Waldner’s chances coming in,” said Jenkins, who played against Cox three times in the first four matches.  But on this day Cox’s banana ball slice was slightly less fruity, and he put together his best round of the weekend.  Waldner trailed only 1 down standing on the 18th tee but, given that Cox stroked, the one-time Division I player needed to win the hole by two strokes.  He had a five footer left for par as Cox stood over his ten footer for bogey.

 

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Cox’s winning putt might still be going had it not hit the hole.

It was almost Waldner’s moment.   But Cox ceased it — and his place in Greenspan history — instead.

 

Planning for Greenspan Cup XXI is already under way.  We’ll head back to Bandon Dunes.
CheeverCox

The captain and his favorite player.

Results

Friday Morning Fourball (Bear Mountain [Mountain])
Harrison/McClaslin d. Nelson/Teague 1 up
Waldner/McLellan h. Stricker/Cheuk
Deandre/Fessler d. Sharkey/Waalkes 6&5
Benezra/Jenkins d. Cox/Stansell 5&4
Cheever/O’Brien h. Laidlaw/Waldner

Seattle leads 4-1

Friday Afternoon Aggregate Stableford (Bear Mountain [Valley])
Sharkey/Teague d. Deandre/Fessler 58-46
Cheuk/Waalkes d. McLellan/Waldner 51-47
Stansell/Stricker d. Harrison/McCaslin 48-44
Benezra/Jenkins d. Cheever/Cox 54-47
Nelson/O’Brien d. Laidlaw/Whitaker 53-49

Tied 5-5

Saturday Morning Fourball Medal (Highland Pacific)
Teague/Waalkes d. McCaslin/Whitaker 68-71
Nelson/Stricker d. Benezra/Fessler 64-74
Deandre/McLellan d. Cheever/Stansell 72-73
Laidlaw/Waldner d. Cox/O’Brien 71-72
Harrison/Jenkins d. Cheuk/Sharkey 70-75

Seattle leads 8-7

Saturday Afternoon Fourball Tiebreaker (Gorge Vale)
Cheever/Nelson d. Benezra/Waldner 5&4
Deandre/Whitaker d. O’Brien/Stricker 3&2
Jenkins/Fessler d. Cox/Waalkes 4&3
Sharkey/Stansell d. Harrison/Laidlaw 3&2
Cheuk/Teague d. McCaslin/McLellan 5&4

Tied 10-10

Singles (Olympic View)
Harrison d. Teague (retired)
McCaslin h. Nelson
Sharkey d. McLellan 8&7
Stricker d. Whitaker 2 up
Deandre d. Cheever 4&3
O’Brien d. Benezra 1 up
Fessler d. Stansell 1 up
Waalkes d. Laidlaw 8&7
Jenkins d. Cheuk 2&1
Cox d. Waldner 2 up

World wins 15 1/2 — 14 1/2

Overall Records

Seattle Team

  • Benezra 2-3
  • Deandre 4-1
  • Fessler 3-2
  • Harrison 3-2
  • Jenkins 5-0
  • Laidlaw 1-3-1
  • Mccaslin 1-3-1
  • McLellan 1-3-1
  • Waldner 1-3-1
  • Whitaker 1-3-1

World Team

  • Cheuk 2-2-1
  • Cheever 1-3-1
  • Cox 1-4
  • Nelson 3-1-1
  • O’Brien 2-2-1
  • Sharkey 3-2
  • Stansell 2-3
  • Stricker 3-1-1
  • Teague 3-2
  • Waalkes 3-2
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