Category Archives: Miscellaneous

The 2011 Singles Pairings

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.

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And the Best Singles Players Are …

Greenspan Cup does not lack for statistics. Click the “Records” tab above to see some of them, the Recaps category for more. One place we’re lacking, though, is in statistics pertaining to singles matches.

Last night I took a stab at compiling them.

According to the data, Brian Patton ...

I assembled the data in two ways. The first was by winning percentage. According to this measure, Brad Nelson is the best singles player, John Harrison the worst. (I can’t count Randy Price here: he’s only played in one singles match.)

and Brad Nelson are the World Team's version of ...

Singles Winning Percentages
Nelson 0.7727 8-2-1
Patten 0.7500 3-0-3
Madden 0.6500 6-3-1
Deandre 0.6364 6-3-2
Jenkins 0.6154 8-5
Waalkes 0.6154 6-3-4
Anderson 0.5769 7-5-1
Secretario 0.5625 3-2-3
Cheever 0.5385 6-5-2
Scoccolo 0.5000 5-5
Cheuk 0.5000 6-6-1
Sharkey 0.5000 5-5-1
Gran 0.5000 2-2
Sturtevant 0.5000 2-2-1
Benezra 0.5000 4-4
Gaston 0.4500 4-5-1
Aro 0.4231 5-7-1
Haight 0.4167 4-6-2
Laidlaw 0.3750 3-5
Waldner 0.3182 3-7-1
Stonesifer 0.3077 4-9
O’Brien 0.2778 2-6-1
Harrison 0.2692 3-9-1
Price 0.0000 0-1

The second important data point was margin of victory/loss. To assess this, I assigned points by result. A person who won 3&1 received four points, a person who lost 4&3 lost seven points, a halve was zero, etc. According to this measure, the strongest singles player is none other than the undefeated Brian Patton, who’s a cool 8-12-4 in team matches. Other than Randy Price, who’s played in only one singles match, Tim O’Brien is the worst singles player by far. Strange, because he’s 23-11-2 in team matches.

Colin Montgomerie -- very tough in singles.

Average Margin of Victory/Loss
Patten 3.67
Nelson 3.00
Madden 2.70
Jenkins 2.38
Scoccolo 2.10
Deandre 1.73
Cheever 1.69
Cheuk 1.31
Anderson 0.31
Waalkes 0.23
Sharkey 0.09
Gran -0.25
Secretario -0.50
Haight -0.58
Sturtevant -0.60
Benezra -1.13
Waldner -1.36
Aro -1.46
Stonesifer -1.85
Laidlaw -2.38
Gaston -2.70
Harrison -2.77
O’Brien -4.78
Price -10.00

The underlying data is included in this spreadsheet.

Miguel Angel Stonesifer?

Rob’s got Miguel Angel in the looks department and Miguel Angel’s got Rob in the weight department — by about forty pounds. Rob may even have a better swing. But after watching the Ryder Cup for four days I couldn’t help but notice the similarities between him:

and him:

And while neither are quite as handsome as, oh,

they both bear a striking resemblance to

the Most Interesting Man in the World.

Thirteen Years of Greenspan Cup Logos

While the Greenspan Cup has been an unbridled success and a great addition to the lives of its players, it hasn’t been without its problems. Our inevitable rules controversies are the stuff of legend. As controversial, but more behind the scenes, has been our struggle to come up with the perfect logo.

We didn’t need an identifier in 1998, when we all brought “matching” shirts from home. But when we started doing “the shirts” in 1999 and followed soon thereafter with a website, we needed a good logo. No one came up with a swoosh as it were, and for the last twelve years we’ve struggled to find just the right logo.

I look back at how things progressed:

This number, shown on the infamous Seattle salmon shirt, lasted from 1999 to 2003.

This one, which reminded some of The Jetsons, was so small I'm not sure why we bothered.

The Seattle Team's logo for 2010 -- simplicity inspired by Dunning.

The World Team logo, 2010.

The new Seattle Team logo for 2011.

Still nothing perfect. Indeed, so imperfect that we’re now doing our own separate logos. Here’s hoping that one of these days, one of the teams gets it right.

The Official Waiting Lists

For Seattle
Jeff Haight — longtime Seattle Team member
Dave Sturtevant — longtime Seattle Team member

Erik Ward — friend of Jeff Benezra and Nick Jenkins
Kevin McCarthy — friend of Norman’s
Dan Gottesman – friend of Jeff Benezra and Nick Jenkins
Morris Rosen — friend of Jeff Benezra and Nick Jenkins
Mark Baldwin — friend of John Harrison (left off here in ’11)
Peter Fessler — friend of Nick Jenkins
Chris White — friend of Nick Jenkins

For World
George Peckham — 2010 player
Matt Beaton — 2009 player
Chris Hansen — 2009 player
Jason Matzat — 2008 player

Michael Richardson – friend of Paul Sharkey’s who paid $250 deposit in 2010
Todd Pizarek — friend of Paul Sharkey
Lance Abendroth – Friend of Paul’s
Neil Dunlop — friend of Norman Cheuk

Ideas for ’10

As we start getting detailed on ’10 Bandon planning, it’s worth throwing a few ideas out there for the group. All feedback is appreciated. In no particular order:

Eliminate Chapman. Argument for is that everyone enjoys the format and the other rounds you are playing your own ball. Argument against is that these are some of the finest courses in the world (Bandon- and Pacific Dunes), we’re paying a fair bit, and it would be a shame not to play your own ball.

Options are:

1. Play Chapman for one round
2. Don’t play Chapman
3. Play Chapman in practice round only (Bandon Crossings)

Add more both-ball-counts formats. Ideas would be high/low and fourball match, but with the high ball breaking the tie in the event of a lowball tie. One idea would be to do two of these to go with two one-ball-counts formats (i.e., fourball match and fourball medal).

One day traditional attire. Maybe one day we do knickers from golfknicker.com. Setting is right. Downside is that most guys don’t wear knickers often.

Any other ideas — please comment.