There’s long been an idea kicking around to pair off the singles matches by skill level – lowest handicapper against the lowest handicapper, highest against highest, etc. I’ve long opposed the idea – it lessens the likelihood of me being able to drub Norman.
This year, however, I am not captain, and captains Sharkey and Harrison decided to move ahead with the idea. With the publication of the July 15 handicaps, the match-ups are set:
Mike Waldner (1.8) v. Greg Cheever (7.4). Waldner giving the steady Cheever six – ouch.
Paul Ahern (5.9) v. Simon Birrell (7.7). Battle of the rookies. No idea here.
Jeff Benezra (6.1) v. Ben Smith (7.7). 7.7 seems a lot for Smith – Benezra will have his hands full.
Nick Jenkins (6.9) v. Stefan Gran (8.5). Gran of ’08 wins this easily. Gran of ’10 – not so much.
Vince Deandre (8.2) v. Norman Cheuk (8.5). The former built the latter’s garage. Not sure who’ll hold that against who.
Tony Secretario (8.2) v. Jon Gaston (8.8). As much as I respect Tony’s game, Jonny One-Putt is mighty improved the last few years.
Max Anderson (9.8) v. Rob Stonesifer (9.4). Best record against the worst. Stranger things have happened (see Aro/Harrison d. Stonesifer/Cheuk 2000.)
Joel Aro (10.0) v. Tim O’Brien (10.1). Battle of JFK, class of ’87.
Steve Whitaker (10.2) v. Brad Nelson (10.1). Battle of the nice guys.
Randy Price (13.5) v. Brian Patton (11.3). Best singles player (3-0-3) against a guy who lost 6&4 to Cheever last year.
Jack Laidlaw (14.4) v. Adam Waalkes (13.7). Adam giving strokes?
John Harrison 12.9) v. Paul Sharkey (13.3). The captains’ match may determine the winner.