Category Archives: Recaps

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.

19944424_10213066291114912_3548962382171399002_o

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.

 

19983247_10213066276154538_1186513484524694057_o

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
Advertisements

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

Seattle Routes World in Most Lopsided Cup Ever

There are certain numbers that are synonymous with unbreakable records in sports.

56 —  Joe DiMaggio’s hitting streak in 1941.

100 — Wilt Chamberlain’s points in a single 1962 NBA game.

11 — Byron Nelson’s consecutive tournament wins in 1945.

Add 24 to that list.  That’s the number of points the Seattle Team scored in defeating the World Team at Greenspan Cup XVIII in Bandon, Oregon.

Competitors played the practice round on the 13-hole Preserve course.

Competitors played the practice round on the 13-hole Preserve course.

Team 206’s 24-12 win was 1 1/2 points better that its 22 1/2 — 13 1/2 win in Greenspan Cup IV, a competition record which stood for fourteen years.  It was also 8 1/2 points more than it scored just a year earlier at Greenspan Cup XVII.  Mike Waldner led the Seattleites with a 4-1 record, while Max Anderson, Vince Deandre, Peter Fessler, Captain John Harrison, Nick Jenkins, Pat Scoccolo and Tony Secretario all went 3-1-1 for the winners.

Leo Madden went 3-1-1 and newcomer Blake Mori went 3-2 for the World Team, which lost for only the second time in eight Greenspans.

The new Punchbowl putting course played host to Thursday night debachery.

The new Punchbowl putting course played host to Thursday night debachery.

“Everything that could have gone right for us did,” opined Harrison, who improved his record to 1-2 as Seattle’s captain.  “The golf gods seemed to make up for more or less eight years of bad luck in one Greenspan.”

Stephan Gran and Blake Mori had a key comeback win at Bandon Trails.

Stephan Gran and Blake Mori had a key comeback win at Bandon Trails.

Despite the final tally the outcome was hardly a fait accompli.  Seattle jumped to a 4-2 lead after Friday morning fourball, winning four matches and tying two more.  But the World Team hung tough in the afternoon Stableford at Pacific Dunes.   With Seattle up 7-3 and threatening to pull away, the teams of Cheuk/Mori and Nelson/Madden each won their closing matches handily to make the score 7-5 heading into Saturday.

Newcomer Charles Birnbach, shown here at Pacific Dunes, had a hole in one during the practice round.

Newcomer Charles Birnbach, shown here at Pacific Dunes, had a hole in one during the practice round.

Captain Paul Sharkey’s World squad narrowed the gap on Saturday morning.  The Worlds took 3 1/2 points in the morning fourball medal at Bandon Dunes to cut the lead to one.  But it was all downhill from there.  With their injured colleague Joel Aro watching on course, the Seattle boys took four of six points in the afternoon fourball tiebreaker at Old MacDonald to extend their lead to three going into Sunday singles.

Oh, the singles.

Returning veteran Paul Ahern was one of ten Seattleites to win his singles match.

Returning veteran Paul Ahern was one of ten Seattleites to win his singles match.

A three-point lead is usually not insurmountable going into singles.  But this time it was.  Team 206 won the first nine matches at Bandon Crossings — certainly a record if there was such a stat — and the outcome of the competition was decided when Deandre beat John Sheehan 1 up in the fifth match of the day.  Only Sharkey, who defeated Simon Spratley, and Joe Stansell, who halved Harrison, put anything on the board for the World Team.

Nick Jenkins, the losing captain last year, posed with the hardware after the rain came on Sunday afternoon.

Nick Jenkins, the losing captain last year, posed with the hardware after the rain came on Sunday afternoon.

“Never seen anything like it,” lamented Sharkey, who lost for only the second time as captain.  “Pretty sure I won’t see it again.”

Greenspan Cup XIX is tentatively scheduled for the last weekend in July 2016.  Captains Harrison and Sharkey are expected to return.

Results

Friday Morning Fourball (Bandon Trails)
Ahern/Spratley d. O’Brien/Nelson 4&2
Gran/Mori d. Jenkins/Birnbach 2 up
Waalkes Cheever h. Anderson/Secretario
Harrison/White d. Stansell/Sheehan 3&1
Fessler/Waldner d. Sharkey/Gaston 6&4
Scoccolo/Deandre h. Cheuk/Madden

Seattle leads 4-2

Friday Afternoon Stableford (Pacific Dunes)
Jenkins/Birnbach d Gaston/Sheehan 46-42
Waalkes/O’Brien d. Harrison/White 59-58
Deandre/Scoccolo d. Stansell/Cheever 62-51
Secretario/Anderson d. Gran/Sharkey 68-49
Cheuk/Mori d. Waldner/Fessler 55-47
Nelson/Madden d. Spratley/Ahern 57-37

Seattle leads 7-5

Saturday Morning Fourball Medal (Bandon Dunes)
Cheever/Madden d. Scoccolo/Deandre 67-69
Harrison/Waldner d. Stansell/Sharkey 65-71
Waalkes/Mori d. Anderson/Secretario 60-64
Sheehan/Nelson d. Spratley Birnbach 70-79
Jenkins/Fessler h. Cheuk/Gaston 65-65
Ahern/White d. Gran/O’Brien 62-64

Seattle leads 9 1/2 – 8 1/2

Saturday Afternoon Fourball Tiebreaker (Old MacDonald)
Secretario/Scoccolo d. O’Brien/Waalkes 3&2
Anderson/Deandre d. Mori/Gran 3&1
Harrison/Waldner d. Stansell/Sharkey 5&4
Jenkins/Fessler d Nelson/Sheehan 3&2
Cheever/Gaston d. Birnbach/Spratley 2&1
Madden/Cheuk d. Ahern/White 6&5

Seattle leads 13 1/2 – 10 1/2

Singles (Bandon Crossings)
Anderson d Cheever 2 up
Birnbach d Waalkes 1 up
Waldner d Mori 3&2
Scoccolo d Madden 3&2
Deandre d Sheehan 1 up
Secretario d Nelson 5&4
Ahern d O’Brien 6&4
Jenkins d Gran 2&1
Fessler d Gaston 6&5
Harrison h. Stansell
Sharkey d Spratley 2&1
White d Cheuk 3&2

Seattle wins 24-12

Overall Records

Seattle Team

  • Ahern 3-2
  • Anderson 3-1-1
  • Birnbach 2-2-1
  • Deandre 3-1-1
  • Fessler 3-1-1
  • Harrison 3-1-1
  • Jenkins 3-1-1
  • Scoccolo 3-1-1
  • Secretario 3-1-1
  • Spratley 1-4
  • Waldner 4-1
  • White 3-2

World Team

  • Cheuk 2-1-2
  • Cheever 2-2-1
  • Gaston 1-3-1
  • Gran 1-4
  • Madden 3-1-1
  • Mori 3-2
  • Nelson 2-3
  • O’Brien 1-4
  • Sharkey 1-4
  • Sheehan 1-4
  • Stansell 0-4-1
  • Waalkes 2-2-1

 

World Makes It Six of Seven, Reclaims Cup at Chambers Bay

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 Waalkes (shown here at the Chambers Bay practice round) was one of three World Team players to win at least 3 1/2 points.

Adam Waalkes (shown here at the Chambers Bay practice round) was one of three World Team players to win at least 3 1/2 points.

“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.”

Baron Kofoed was one of only two Seattle Teamers to win their singles matches.

Baron Kofoed was one of only two Seattle Teamers to win their singles matches.

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.

Results

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

Overall Records

Seattle Team

  • 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

World Team

  • 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

 

Seattle Routes World in Rain-Soaked Pinehurst Greenspan

Pinehurst, NC — John Harrison, Nick Jenkins and Tony Secretario all went 4-0 and Baron Kofoed went 3-0-1 as the Seattle Team routed the World Team 21 1/2 — 13 1/2 in the sixteenth playing of the Greenspan Cup.  Newcomers Rich Crutchfield and Michael Richardson went 4-0 and 3-0-1 for the World Team, which saw its six-year winning streak ended.

Decidedly.

“I had a vision of bringing Greenspan to Pinehurst,” noted Seattle Captain Jeff Benezra, the chief proponent and planner behind the Cup’s first-ever trip Back East. “But against a group of such strong competitors, I never dreamed of a win like this.”

Friday's weather busted more than a few umbrellas.

Friday’s weather busted more than a few umbrellas.

For a while it looked like both teams might lose these matches — to the weather.  Players played the Friday morning fourball tiebreaker match on the famed No. 2 course in a tropical storm.   Two hours into said deluge the course on which Payne Stewart won the 1999 U.S. Open was so saturated that putting was all but impossible; a full swing with a putter would stop dead in the soaked greens.  Three of the seven matches were conceded because of the rain, which came down so hard at some points that it seemed to be coming out of the ground.

What a five-point lead on Saturday night looks like.

What a five-point lead on Saturday night looks like.

“I’ve been wetter in the shower,” quipped Jenkins, who was the only player in the 28-man field to tee off sans rain gear.  (That didn’t last long.)

The rain didn’t stop, and the captains cancelled the afternoon matches with Seattle leading 4 1/2 — 2 1/2.

The weather improved considerably on Saturday, but the World Team’s fortune did not. Team 206 won five of the seven morning fourball matches on the No. 4 course, with only the rookie team of Richardson/Crutchfield and Jason Matzat/Adam Waalkes winning their matches.   The teams split the afternoon fourball matches on the No. 7 course, with a remarkable three of the seven matches ending in halves.

Down five points, the World Team needed a miracle in Sunday singles to extend its streak. No sir.  The Seattle Team won 3 1/2 of the first four points and for a while it looked like the the largest margin of victory ever record — nine points in 2003 — might be in jeopardy.  It didn’t work out that way, but the eight-point win made this the second most lopsided Greenspan ever.

Aro lost his Sunday sleeves; playing partner Kofoed gained a headband.

Aro turned his Sunday shirt sleeves into headbands for himself and playing partner Kofoed.

After the event theretofore undefeated World Team Captain Paul Sharkey was left to wonder what happened.  He didn’t need to look far.  The World Team’s veteran core — Sharkey himself, Greg Cheever, Jon Gaston, Brad Nelson, Tim O’Brien, Brian Patton, Rob Stonesifer and Adam Waalkes — went a combined 4-21-7.  But for the performances of rookies Crutchfield and Richardson, who went 7-0-1, the Seattle team might have won on Saturday night.

Greenspan Cup XVII is scheduled for late July 2014.  A site has not been determined, but the teams will likely stay a bit closer to home.

Results

Fourball Tiebreaker (at Pinehurst No. 2)

  • Aro/Waldner d. O’Brien/Waalkes 3&2
  • Kofoed/Secretario d. Cheever/Pulver 6&4
  • Nelson/Richardson h. Fessler/White
  • Crutchfield/Sharkey d. Deandre/Spratley 3 up through 13 (conceded because of weather)
  • Griebel/Harrison d. Gaston/Matzat 5&4
  • Benezra/Jenkins d. Patten/Stonesifer 3 up through 11 (conceded because of weather)
  • Madden/Stansell d. Bender/Orozco 5 up through 11 (conceded because of weather)

Seattle leads 4 1/2 — 2 1/2

(Friday afternoon round cancelled)

Fourball Medal (at Pinehurst No. 4)

  • Crutchfield/Richardson d. Orozco/White 67-72
  • Harrison/Secretario d. Madden/Stonesifer 67-70
  • Matzat/Waalkes d. Aro/Waldner 67-70
  • Fessler/Jenkins d. Nelson/O’Brien 69-72
  • Bender/Spratley d. Patten/Pulver 72-73
  • Denadre/Kofoed d. Gaston/Sharkey 69-77
  • Benezra/Griebel d. Cheever/Stansell 64-70

Seattle leads 9 1/2 — 4 1/2

Fourball Match (at Pinehurst No. 7) 

  • Aro/Orozco h. Cheever/Gaston
  • Crutchfield/Richardson d. Bender/Spratley 4&3
  • Jenkins/White d. Nelson/Stansell 6&5
  • Kofoed/Waldner h. Matzat/Waalkes
  • Harrison/Secretario d. Madden/Sharkey 3&1
  • Deandre/Fessler h. O’Brien/Patten
  • Pulver/Stonesifer d. Benezra/Griebel 1 up

Seattle leads 13-8

Singles (at Pinehurst No. 4)

  • Kofoed d. Cheever 5&3
  • Aro h. Stansell
  • Deandre d. Madden 1 up
  • Harrison d. O’Brien 2&1
  • Richardson d. Fessler 1 up
  • Crutchfield d. Orozco 5&4
  • Waldner d. Nelson 3&1
  • Secretario d. Sharkey 5&4
  • Jenkins d. Waalkes 2&1
  • Spratley d. Stonesifer 2 up
  • Patten d. White 6&4
  • Griebel h. Gaston
  • Matzat d. Bender 2&1
  • Benezra h. Pulver

Seattle wins 21.5 — 13.5

Overall Records 

Seattle Team

  • Aro 1-1-2
  • Bender 1-3
  • Benezra 2-1-1
  • Deandre 2-1-1
  • Fessler 1-1-2
  • Griebel 2-1-1
  • Harrison 4-0
  • Jenkins 4-0
  • Kofoed 3-0-1
  • Orozco 0-3-1
  • Secretario 4-0
  • Spratley 2-2
  • Waldner 2-1-1
  • White 1-2-1

World Team

  • Cheever 0-3-1
  • Crutchfield 4-0
  • Gaston 0-2-2
  • Madden 1-3
  • Matzat 2-1-1
  • Nelson 0-3-1
  • O’Brien 0-3-1
  • Patten 1-2-1
  • Pulver 1-2-1
  • Richardson 3-0-1
  • Sharkey 1-3
  • Stansell 1-2-1
  • Stonesifer 1-3
  • Waalkes 1-2-1

World Team Makes It Five In a Row

Three years ago, Brian Patten sported an under-the-speed-limit swing speed and was lucky to eke out a 1 up singles win over Mike Waldner, his only point of Greenspan Cup XI.

This year, he went 5-0 and was the star player on a World Team that has now won five Greenspan Cups in a row.

Patten’s teammate Chris Hansen also went 5-0 while newcomer Joe Stansell went 4-1 for the winning team.   Tony Secretario and John Harrison went 4-1 for the Seattle Team, which hasn’t won since a year before Barack Obama was elected president.

Chris Hansen ...

Chris Hansen …

“I thought this was our year,” lamented Harrison, who despite going 7-2-1 over the last two years will step down as Seattle captain with an 0-2 record.  “Captain Sharkey seems to have our number.”

At 4-0, that he does.

The matches started off close on Friday morning.  The World Team won the morning fourball match stanza 3 ½ – 2 1/2, with all six matches reaching at least the 16th hole.   But the Seattle Team fought back to even the score at 6-6 after Stableford.  Longtime Seattle captain Nick Jenkins and rookie Baron Kofoed rallied to beat Ben Smith and Norman Cheuk 56-54 with the sun setting, a win Jenkins later called his most satisfying of the decade.

But Saturday morning belonged to the World Team.   Three of the Seattle Team’s six fourball medal teams could manage no better than bestball 76’s (ouch!): the World Team won all three of those matches on its way to a 4-2 stanza win.  But the Seattleites fought back in afternoon fourball tiebreaker.  After the Seattle team briefly fell behind 13-9, the teams of Secretario/Chris White and Harrison/Steve Whitaker rallied to win close matches at day’s end to make the score 13-11.

But Seattle could not close the gap in Sunday singles.

and Brian Patten each went 5-0 for the World Team.

and Brian Patten each went 5-0 for the World Team.

Stansell used an uber-long 4 iron tee ball to wallop Jeff Benezra 7&5, while Patten beat Paul Ahern 7&6 to cap his perfect Cup.  Joel Aro got stuck in a greenside bunker on 18 to lose his match to Adam Waalkes 2 down to give the World Team a guaranteed 18 points.  And when Hansen closed out Max Anderson 2&1, the Cup was the World’s.

Again.

“We lost 19 ½ — 16 ½ last year and 19-17 this year, so we’re getting closer,” quipped Jenkins.  “At this rate we’ll win again – in four years.”

He was being facetious, of course.  But for now the World’s dominance is clear.  If the World Team wins next year it will tie the Seattle Team’s record of six Cups in a row, a record Jenkins, among others, once thought insurmountable.

Greenspan Cup XVI is scheduled for the summer of 2013.  Sharkey will return as the World Team’s captain, while Benezra will captain the Seattle Team for the first time.  Bandon Dunes is the likely destination.

Overall Records

Seattle Team

  • Ahern 1-3-1
  • Anderson 3-2
  • Aro 0-5
  • Benezra 2-2-1
  • Deandre 1-4
  • Harrison 4-1
  • Jenkins 2-3
  • Kofoed 3-1-1
  • Secretario 4-1
  • Waldner 2-3
  • Whitaker 1-4
  • White 3-1-1

World Team

  • Cheuk 3-2
  • Cheever 1-4
  • Gaston 1-3-1
  • Hansen 5-0
  • Nelson 1-3-1
  • O’Brien 2-3
  • Patten 5-0
  • Sharkey 2-3
  • Smith 2-2-1
  • Stansell 4-1
  • Stonesifer 2-3
  • Waalkes 2-2-1

Results

Friday Morning (Fourball Match) 

  • Cheuk/Patten d. Harrison/Jenkins 2 up
  • Hansen/O’Brien d. Deandre/Whitaker 3&2
  • Gaston/Smith h. Benezra/Kofoed
  • Ahern/White d. Nelson/Stonesifer 2&1
  • Anderson/Secretario d. Sharkey/Waalkes 2 up
  • Cheever/Stansell d. Aro/Waldner 1 up

World leads 3 1/2 – 2 1/2

Friday Afternoon (Stableford) 

  • Anderson/Secretario d. Cheever/O’Brien 67-58
  • Jenkins/Kofoed d. Cheuk/Smith 56-54
  • Hansen/Stansell d. Aro/Waldner 66-62
  • Nelson/Waalkes h. Ahern/White 65-65
  • Patten/Sharkey d. Deandre/Whitaker 63-54
  • Benezra/Harrison d. Gaston/Stonesifer 59-53

Tied 6-6

Saturday Morning (Fourball Medal) 

  • Nelson/Smith d. Deandre/Jenkins 73-77
  • O’Brien/Waalkes d. Aro/Kofoed 67-68
  • Anderson/Secretario d. Cheever/Stansell 66-73
  • Patten/Stonesifer d. Ahern/White 66-76
  • Harrison/Waldner d. Gaston/Sharkey 71-76
  • Cheuk/Hansen d. Benezra/Whitaker 70-76

World leads 10-8

Saturday Afternoon (Fourball Tiebreaker)

  • Benezra/Kofoed d. O’Brien/Waalkes 4&3
  • Gaston/Hansen d. Ahern/Jenkins 3&2
  • Smith/Stansell d. Anderson/Deandre 1 up
  • Patten/Stonesifer d. Aro/Waldner 2 up
  • Secretario/White d. Cheuk/Nelson 3&2
  • Harrison/Whitaker d. Cheever/Sharkey 2 up

World leads 13-11

Sunday Afternoon (Singles)

  • Kofoed d. Cheever 4&2
  • Stansell d. Benezra 7&5
  • Waldner d. Smith 3&1
  • White d. Nelson 3&1
  • Patten d. Ahern 7&6
  • Deandre d. O’Brien 2&1
  • Cheuk d. Secretario 1 up
  • Sharkey d. Whitaker 3&2
  • Waalkes d. Aro 2 up
  • Jenkins d. Stonesifer 4&3
  • Hansen d. Anderson 2&1
  • Harrison d. Gaston 2 up

World wins 19-17

Wind, Worlds Too Much For Team 206

BANDON DUNES, OR — When the Seattle Team won its sixth straight Greenspan Cup in 2007, most players thought it was a streak that would never be broken.

Now they’re thinking again.

Nuff said.

Thanks to a Sunday singles drubbing that saw the World Team capture nine of twelve possible points, the Paul Sharkey-led defending champs beat the once-powerful Seattle Team 19.5 — 16.5 for its fourth straight Greenspan win. Sharkey, Brad Nelson, Adam Waalkes and Brian Patten contributed 3 1/2 points each for the Worlds, which evened the matches at 7-7 overall. Newcomer Paul Ahern, Tony Secretario and Captain John Harrison had 3 1/2 points for Seattle.

“I thought we had ’em,” lamented Harrison, who lost in his inaugural run as captain. “It just goes to show that, no matter how big your lead is, you still have to show up for singles. We didn’t.”

The matches got off to a tight start as the teams split the Friday morning fourball matches. Secretario birdied 18 to give him and Ahern a 1-up victory over Sharkey and Stephan Gran, and the Seattle Team made it to the afternoon without a deficit for the first time in years. Team 206 then won the Friday afternoon aggregate stableford round in stiff winds at Bandon Trails and Pacific Dunes to take a one-point lead into Saturday.

That day proved even better. After the World Team evened the score in the early morning fourball medal round, the Seattle Team dominated the afternoon fourball tiebreaker, taking 4 1/2 of a possible six points and a three-up lead going into singles despite Waalkes’ third career hole in one (Hole 8 at Old MacDonald). The Seattle Team won both formats where both balls counted (aggregate stableford, fourball tiebreaker), and took its largest lead into singles since the fire-marred Kelowna matches of 2003. “On Saturday night I really liked our chances,” said former Seattle Captain Nick Jenkins, who had two ties on Saturday.

But it was not to be.

The World Team came roaring back in Sunday singles at Bandon Crossings, winning eight of twelve matches and nine of twelve points overall. Only Joel Aro and Secretario managed wins, over Tim O’Brien and Jon Gaston respectively. The rest was a collective blowout. The World Team closed out six of the remaining ten matches before the eighteenth hole, and the greatest comeback in Greenspan history was complete. No word on what Sharkey said to his boys, but O’Brien was heard to scream he was “sick of losing to Purdue” before losing to Aro.

Note the attire -- and it's 1 pm on a beautifu sunny day.

Greenspan XIV will be remembered for Waalkes’ aforementioned ace, Patten’s caddie Lynn Carrothers (a serious looker, she) and Jack Laidlaw’s never-ending texting. But mostly it will be remembered for the wind — in particular, how brutal it was. Winds gusted up to 50 mph in the afternoons, with only Friday morning’s round at Bandon Trails being relatively wind-free. “The wind got the best of me,” said Jenkins, who, like other players, clubbed up as many as five clubs at times. “I haven’t flushed a 140-yard three-iron since the eighth grade, and by the end all that guessing made me a complete mess.” Added Jeff Benezra: “It’s hard to believe given their collective waist line, but the World Team may have been better conditioned than we were.”

Tony Secretario was one of only two Seattle players to win their singles matches.

Greenspan Cup XV is tentatively scheduled for July 2012. Suncadia, Idaho and Washington are currently being mentioned as possible vanues. Harrison and Sharkey will return as captains. The Seattle guys know that four isn’t six — but it’s getting awfully close.

Overall Records

Seattle
Ahern 3-1-1
Anderson 2-1-2
Aro 2-1-2
Benezra 2-3
Deandre 2-2-1
Harrison 3-1-1
Jenkins 2-1-2
Laidlaw 0-4-1
Price 1-3-1
Secretario 3-1-1
Whitaker 3-2

World
Birrell 3-2
Cheever 2-2-1
Cheuk 2-2-1
Gaston 1-3-1
Gran 1-2-2
Nelson 3-1-1
O’Brien 2-1-2
Patten 3-1-1
Sharkey 3-1-1
Stonesifer 0-4-1
Smith 1-4
Waalkes 3-1-1

Results

Friday Morning (Fourball Match)
Bandon Trails
Anderson/Jenkins d. Smith/Stonesifer 2&1
Gaston/Waalkes d. Benezra/Harrison 2&1
Cheuk/Nelson d. Aro/Waldner 2&1

Pacific Dunes
Ahern/Secretario d. Gran/Sharkey 1 up
Birrell/O’Brien d. Laidlaw/Whitaker 2&1
Deandre/Price d. Cheever/Patten 6&5

Tied 3-3

Friday afternoon (Aggregate Stableford)
Pacific Dunes
Benezra/Jenkins d. Cheuk/Smith 49-42
Aro/Harrison d. Gaston/Stonesifer 41-39
Nelson/Waalkes d. Anderson/Waldner 51-46

Bandon Trails
Cheever/Sharkey d. Laidlaw/Secretario 52-46
Ahern/Whitaker d. Birrell/Gran 40-39
Deandre/Price h. O’Brien/Patten 39-39

Seattle leads 6.5 – 5.5

Saturday morning (Fourball Medal)
Old MacDonald
Harrison/Waldner d. Smith/Stonesifer 71-73
Birrell/O’Brien d. Benezra/Whitaker 67-77
Cheever/Gran h. Aro/Jenkins 71-71

Bandon Dunes
Ahern/Laidlaw h. Gaston/Waalkes 68-68
Anderson/Secretario h. Cheuk/Nelson 71-71
Patten/Sharkey d. Deandre/Price 65-76

Tied 9-9

Saturday afternoon (Fourball Tiebreaker)
Bandon Dunes
Benezra/Waldner d. Cheever/Smith 5&4
Harrison/Whitaker d. Birrell/Stonesifer 5&4
Aro/Jenkins h. Gran/O’Brien

Old MacDonald
Patten/Sharkey d. Laidlaw/Price 4&3
Ahern/Secretario d. Gaston/Waalkes 5&4
Anderson/Deandre d. Cheuk/Nelson 1 up
Seattle leads 13.5 — 10.5

Sunday morning (Singles, Bandon Crossings)
Cheever d. Waldner 6&5
Birrell d. Ahern 1 up
Smith d. Benezra 5&4
Gran d. Jenkins 2 up
Cheuk d. Deandre 1 up
Secretario d. Gaston 5&4
Aro d. O’Brien 2&1
Anderson h. Stonesifer
Nelson d. Whitaker 7&6
Patten d. Price 4&3
Waalkes d. Laidlaw 5&4
Harrison h. Sharkey

World wins 19 1/2 – 16 1/2