Author Archives: greenlakenick

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:

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

Short-Handed Seattle Team Whips Worlds for Second Straight Cup Win

RENO-TAHOE.  Tony Secretario and Peter Fessler each went 5-0 and Max Anderson, Nick Jenkins and newcomer Frank Mccaslin all went 4-1 as the Seattle Team cruised to a four-point win in the nineteenth playing of the Greenspan Cup.   Joe Stansill added 3 1/2 points for the World Team, which lost for the third time in four years after winning five in a row from 2008-12. With three points each, Blake Mori, Norman Cheuk and Adam Waalkes were the only other World Team players with winning records.

Tony Secretario ...

Tony Secretario …

“Five straight losses is a far cry from where we are now — two wins by a total of sixteen points,” said Seattle Team Captain John Harrison.  “I’m not sure what’s happened, but I don’t see the Cup leaving the 206 anytime soon.”

“I don’t know what to say other than we need to play better,” lamented World Team Captain Paul Sharkey.  “(Jon) Gaston, (Greg) Cheever and I went a combined 4-10-1, and that ain’t gonna get it done.”

and Peter Fessler each went 5-0 in Greenspan's first-ever visit to ...

and Peter Fessler each went 5-0 in Greenspan’s first-ever visit to …

As with most Greenspans, the result of this outing was hardly a fait accompli. The World Team jumped out to a 4-2 lead in Friday morning’s fourball matches; three of its wins came before the sixteenth tee. Captain Sharkey’s squad held serve in the afternoon Aggregate Stableford matches, and but for Peter Fessler’s last hole birdie to beat Cheuk and Steve Cox by a 60-59 tally, the Seattle Team’s overnight deficit would have been worse than two.

IMG_4150

the Biggest Little City in the World.

But the undefeated Seattle Team veteran did make birdie, and that set the tone for a big Seattle Saturday. Team 206 won 4 ½ of the six points available in the morning Bestball Medal round at Coyote Moon (only Cheuk and Tim O’Brien won) and what was a two-point World Team lead was suddenly a one-point deficit – ironically, the same score as it was going into Saturday afternoon last year.

Norman Cheuk, shown here on the 14th hole at Coyote Moon, was one of the few bright spots for the World Team.

Norman Cheuk, shown here on the 14th hole at Coyote Moon, was one of the few bright spots for the World Team.

Saturday afternoon went no better for the Worlds. Seattle won the Bestball Tiebreaker stanza by a 4-2 count, its only losses coming by Jack Laidlaw, who played Stansell/Cheever on his own; and by Simon Spratley and Mike Waldner, who withdrew in their match against Brad Nelson and Steve Cox when Waldner was stung by a bevy of wasps and pulled his calf trying to get away.

Team Seattle won despite playing with an eleven-man roster.

Team Seattle won despite playing with an eleven-man roster.

“I didn’t know Waldner had those kind of moves,” quipped Nelson, who beat Spratley for the second time in two days.

The most memorable match of Saturday afternoon was Anderson/Jenkins v. Cheuk and newcomer Bob Thomas. The latter rallied from a four-hole deficit with four to play to take the match to the final hole and would have eaked out a halve had Thomas not left a twenty-foot putt an inch short on their final green.

“That halve would have been tough to live down,” quipped a relieved Jenkins. “But a win’s a win – even if we did it with two sixes on the last hole.”

The World Team entered Sunday with a three-point deficit – the same as 2015. The team played better than it did last year – 1 ½ total points is easy to beat – but a 6 1/2 – 5 1/2 World loss in singles still added up to a 20-16 Seattle win. The biggest surprises: the until-then 0-4 Spratley’s 6&4 win over Stefan Gran and the injured Waldner’s halve with Thomas.

Those weren’t the kind of surprises the World Team was looking for.

If XIX had a sub-theme, it was injuries. Seattle’s. Longtime 206 vet Chris White couldn’t make the trip due to a serious degenerative back condition. Fellow vet Joel Aro made it to the Biggest Little City in the World but could manage only four holes in the practice round before packing it in for the weekend.   And Waldner withdrew on Saturday afternoon after his aforementioned losing battle with a wasp’s nest and played Sunday on one leg.

But the injuries made no difference. Despite effectively ceding two points to the Worlds – the aforementioned Spratley/Waldner WD and Aro’s DNP singles “loss” – and playing four other matches 2 v 1, Seattle still won by four.

Seattle vet Joel Aro, shown here on the way to Thursday's practice round, could not make the call due to a bad back.

Seattle vet Joel Aro, shown here on the way to Thursday’s practice round, could not make the call due to a bad back.

“We’ll probably never threaten the twelve-point win we had in 2015,” opined Harrison. “But had we have been at full strength, we may have threatened the nine-point margin we had in 2003.”

When the discussion turns to how bad the losses are, it can only bad news for one team. And as of now, that team is the World.

“It’s been a rough couple of years,” lamented Sharkey, who himself seems to have modeled his swing after Charles Barkley’s. “But at least we didn’t have to wear traffic cone orange shirts.”

Next year’s Cup, the twentieth, is scheduled for July 2017. The likely site: Victoria, British Columbia. Jenkins will captain the Seattle squad, while Cheever will return as captain for the Worlds.

Results

Friday Morning Fourball (Gray’s Crossing)
Anderson/Jenkins d. Cox/Stansell 5&4
Gran/Sharkey d. Mccaslin/(no partner) 5&3

Fessler/Secretario d. Cheever/Gaston 3&2
Cheuk/Nelson d. Ahern/Spratley 5&4
Mori/O’Brien d. Deandre/Laidlaw 5&3
Thomas/Waalkes d. Harrison/Waldner 1 up

World leads 4-2

Friday Afternoon Aggregate Stableford (Old Greenwood)
Anderson/Jenkins d. Cheever/O’Brien 69-51
Mori/Waalkes d. Deandre/Laidlaw 54-42
Mccaslin/Waldner d. Gran/Nelson 64-52
Gaston/Sharkey d. Harrison/(no partner) 35-33
Stansell/Thomas d. Ahern/Spratley 45-42
Fessler/Secretario d. Cheuk/Cox 60-59

World leads 7-5

Saturday Morning Fourball Medal (Coyote Moon)
Cheuk/O’Brien d. Jenkins/Spratley 64-69
Ahern/Secretario d. Nelson/Waalkes 66-69
Sharkey/Stansell h. Waldner/(no partner) 79-79
Harrison/Mccaslin d. Cox/Thomas 64-68
Anderson/Laidlaw d. Cheever/Gaston 65-79
Deandre/Fessler d. Gran/Mori 65-68

Seattle leads 9 1/2 – 8 1/2

Saturday Afternoon Fourball Tiebreaker (Coyote Moon)
Cox/Nelson d. Spratley/Waldner WD
Harrison/Mccaslin d. Gaston/Sharkey 3&2
Anderson/Jenkins d. Cheuk/Thomas 1 up
Ahern/Secretario d. Mori/Waalkes 4&2
Cheever/Stansell d. Laidlaw/(no partner) 4&3
Deandre/Fessler d. Gran/O’Brien 1 up

Seattle leads 13 1/2 – 10 1/2

Singles (Red Hawk [Lakes])
Mccaslin d. Nelson 5&3
Mori d. Anderson 2&1
Spratley d. Gran 6&4
Jenkins d. O’Brien 4&3
Cox d. Ahern 6&4
Stansell d. Laidlaw 1 up
Waalkes (no opponent)
Secretario d. Cheever 6&5
Harrison d, Gaston 4&2
Waldner h. Thomas
Fessler d. Sharkey 2&1
Cheuk d. Deandre 3&2

Seattle wins 20 — 16

Overall Records

Seattle Team

  • Ahern 2-3
  • Aro DNP
  • Anderson 4-1
  • Deandre 2-3
  • Fessler 5-0
  • Harrison 3-2
  • Jenkins 4-1
  • Laidlaw 1-4
  • Mccaslin 4-1
  • Secretario 5-0
  • Spratley 1-4
  • Waldner 1-2-2

World Team

  • Cheuk 3-2
  • Cheever 1-4
  • Cox 2-3
  • Gaston 1-4
  • Gran 2-3
  • Mori 3-2
  • Nelson 2-3
  • O’Brien 2-3
  • Sharkey 2-2-1
  • Stansell 3-1-1
  • Thomas 2-2-1
  • Waalkes 3-2