Category Archives: Recaps

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

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World Team Makes It Three Straight

Captain Sharkey was a perfect 5-0.

BANDON DUNES, OR — World Team captain Paul Sharkey lobbied long and hard for the Cup to be held at Bandon Dunes. Seattle captain Nick Jenkins was almost alone in opposition to coming here. Jenkins eventually relented.

Sharkey and twenty two others are glad he did.

The two-time and undefeated World Team chief went 5-0 and Greg Cheever and Jon Gaston each went 4-1 as the Worlds defeated Seattle 20-16, its third straight win in the annual event. Jenkins went 4-1 for the losing squad.

“This was the most memorable Greenspan Cup ever,” opined Sharkey. “The golf was almost indescribable, and it was nice to come out on top.”

As in recent years, the World Team jumped out to a quick start on Day One. The Worlds took a 4-2 lead after fourball match as Stefan Gran and Paul Sharkey came back from a five down deficit after 10 to beat Jeff Haight and Mike Waldner 1 up. It was the same story in the afternoon, as the Worlds took four out of six to take a commanding 8-4 lead.

Seattle clawed back, however, on Day Two. Jeff Benezra and Max Anderson’s come-from-behind win over Greg Cheever and Leo Madden helped key a 4-2 win by the Seattle Team in morning medal play to narrow things to 10-8. But the 206 boys could do no better in the afternoon, salvaging just a split in the new and well-received fourball tiebreaker format. “In this format, every shot matters,” noted World Team newcomer Ben Smith. “It just makes things very exciting.”

Golf at Bandon was unlike anything most of us had ever seen.

Sadly for the Seattle boys, Saturday’s new format was about as exciting as things got. Needing seven points to salvage a tie at the Bandon Crossings course, Team 206 never came close to rallying. By the end of the day the World Team had won six matches and tied two more to bring the final score to 20-16. The Seattle Team has not led in the matches since 2007.

While the World Team won the matches, the star of the event was Bandon Dunes. “It’s a privilege to be here,” said twelve-year vet Jeff Haight, who just four years ago was fighting for his life. “I didn’t know golf could be this good,” said a gushing Jenkins. “For $300 more than we usually pay, this is a no-brainer.”

Just like Captain Sharkey said all along.

Next year’s matches are not yet scheduled, but it’s a safe bet the teams will be returning to Bandon, possibly to Bandon Trails or Old MacDonald, which the teams did not play this time around. Dates will be released shortly.

UPDATE: Two days after I wrote this, Golf Digest came out with its Top 100 Courses You Can Play list for 2010. Pacific Dunes came in on top, Bandon at No. 5.

Overall Records

Seattle
Anderson 3-2
Aro 3-2
Benezra 2-3
Deandre 1-4
Haight 3-2
Harrison 0-5
Jenkins 4-1
Laidlaw 1-4
Price 2-3
Secretario 2-2-1
Sturtevant 2-3
Waldner 3-1-1

World
Cheever 4-1
Cheuk 2-3
Gaston 4-1
Gran 2-3
Madden 3-2
O’Brien 1-3-1
Patton 4-1
Peckham 1-4
Sharkey 5-0
Smith 2-3
Stonesifer 1-4
Waalkes 3-1-1

Results

Friday Morning (Fourball Match)
Bandon Dunes
Cheever/Smith d. Benezra/Deandre 5&4
Gaston/Waalkes d. Harrison/Laidlaw 3&2
Price/Sturtevant d. Madden/Patten 3&2

Pacific Dunes
Anderson/Secretario d. Peckham/Stonesifer 1 up
Gran/Sharkey d. Haight/Waldner 1 up
Cheuk/O’Brien d. Aro/Jenkins 1 up
World leads 4-2

Friday afternoon (Aggregate Stableford)
Bandon Dunes
Haight/Jenkins d. Cheuk/Peckham 69-64
Aro/Waldner d. Gran/O’Brien 58-55
Sharkey/Stonesifer d. Anderson/Secretario 70-65

Pacific Dunes
Cheever/Patten d. Harrison/Laidlaw +15
Madden/Smith d. Price/Sturtevant +11
Gaston/Waalkes d. Benezra/Deandre 59-58
World leads 8-4

Saturday morning (Fourball Medal)
Pacific Dunes
Anderson/Benezra d. Cheever/Madden 66-67
Gaston/Patten d. Harrison/Sturtevant 66-69
Haight/Jenkins d. Gran/Waalkes 63-66

Bandon Dunes
Deandre/Secretario d. Peckham/Smith 66-74
Aro/Waldner d. O’Brien/Stonesifer 64-65
Cheuk/Sharkey d. Laidlaw/Price 65-70
World leads 10-8

Saturday afternoon (Fourball Tiebreaker)
Pacific Dunes
Aro/Waldner d. Peckham/Stonesifer 4&3
Patten/Sharkey d. Deandre/Secretario 1 up
Laidlaw/Price d. Cheuk/O’Brien 4&3

Bandon Dunes
Cheever/Waalkes d. Anderson/Benezra 4&3
Haight/Jenkins d. Gaston/Smith 5&4
Gran/Madden d. Harrison/Sturtevant 3&2
World leads 13-11

Sunday morning (Singles, Bandon Crossings)
Waldner h. O’Brien
Sturtevant d. Gran 3&1
Madden d. Harrison 2&1
Anderson d. Cheuk 3&2
Peckham d. Haight 1 up
Patten d. Laidlaw 7&5
Cheever d. Price 6&4
Benezra d. Stonesifer 4&3
Sharkey d. Aro 6&5
Jenkins d. Smith 2 up
Secretario h. Waalkes
Gaston d. Deandre 3&2
World wins 20 – 16

Worlds Beat Seattles By a Touchdown

Cheuk and Madden capture the essence of Greenspan '09.

Cheuk and Madden capture the essence of Greenspan '09.

Roslyn, WA – Greg Cheever won all five matches and Matt Beaton, Stefan Gran, Leo Madden and Tim O’Brien added four wins each as the World Team beat the Seattle Team 21 1/2 – 14 1/2 in the twelfth annual Greenspan Cup. Brad Nelson and Adam Waalkes added 3 1/2 points for the winners, who have now won two straight Cups after six straight losses. Joel Aro and Seattle Captain Nick Jenkins added four points for team 206. The two longtime friends combined to hand Gran his only loss, and Jenkins beat O’Brien in singles to end the latter’s nine-match winning streak.

“The World Team is back,” said Captain Paul Sharkey, who will remain in charge after this year’s big win. “Those six years were a fluke.” Jenkins was left wondering about his team’s performance. “We were down 9-3 after Friday, so it was over almost before it started.”

He was right. The World Team charged out of the gates early Friday winning five of six fourball matches, with none of their wins going past the 16th hole. “We barely put up a fight,” said Tony Secretario, himself a member of Seattle’s only winning pairing that morning. Friday afternoon didn’t go much better at the Bear Mountain Ranch course, as the Worlds won four of six Stableford matches to take a commanding six-point lead overnight.

Whitaker's first-ever ace was one of few bright spots for the Seattle boys.

Whitaker's first-ever ace was one of few bright spots for the Seattle boys.

Saturday was only slightly better. Jenkins set a goal of winning eight points to get within two for singles. It was not to be. The teams split the morning Chapman round and the World Team won 3 1/2 points in afternoon fourballs, giving them 8 1/2 of twelve points in the staple Greenspan format. The day was not without bright spots for the Seattle guys, however. The Aro/Jenkins team won both its Saturday matches including a 3&2 shocker over Gran and Chris Hansen. Steve Whitaker, back for the first time since 2004, aced the 14th hole at Desert Canyon, the first hole in one in Cup history. (Cup players had played approximately 5,600 par 3’s until then (excluding practice rounds) without an ace.)

The result of the matches were a foregone conclusion for singles, as the Worlds needed just three points to retain the Cup. Madden scored the winning point with little fanfare. The teams ended up splitting the singles matches — four fewer wins than the Seattle boys needed to get it done. Seattle Captain Jenkins shot a year-best 74 to hand O’Brien his first loss since 2007, but it wasn’t close to enough.

“We have twelve months to figure out why we’ve gone from winning six straight to getting blown out of the water,” said a disappointed Jenkins. “I have no intention of losing six straight like the Worlds did.”

Jenkins and his crew will get their chance in 2010 as the Cup heads to Bandon Dunes.

Overall Records

Seattle
Anderson 2-3
Aro 4-1
Benezra 1-3-1
Deandre 2-3
Haight 0-5
Harrison 2-3
Jenkins 4-1
Laidlaw 1-4
Secretario 1-3-1
Sturtevant 1-4
Waldner 1-3-1
Whitaker 2-2-1

World
Beaton 4-1
Cheever 5-0
Cheuk 3-2
Gran 4-1
Hansen 2-2-1
Madden 4-1
Nelson 3-1-1
O’Brien 4-1
Patton 1-4
Sharkey 1-3-1
Stonesifer 1-4
Waalkes 3-1-1

Results

Friday Morning (Fourball Match, Bear Mountain Ranch)
Hansen/O’Brien d. Aro/Benezra 4&2
Cheever/Nelson d. Laidlaw/Whitaker 5&4
Deandre/Secretario d. Patton/Stonesifer 3&1
Beaton/Waalkes d. Sturdevant/Waldner 4&2
Gran/Sharkey d. Haight/Jenkins 4&3
Cheuk/Madden d. Anderson/Harrison 3&2
World leads 5-1

Friday afternoon (Stableford, Bear Mountain Ranch)
Madden/Nelson d. Deandre/Secretario 62-59 (off card)
Hansen/Waalkes d. Benezra/Sturdevant 65-52 (off card)
Gran/O’Brien d. Anderson/Laidlaw 47-36 (off low man)
Aro/Jenkins d. Cheuk/Patten 54-33 (off low man)
Harrison/Whitaker d. Sharkey/Stonesifer 44-40 (off low man)
Beaton/Cheever d. Haight/Waldner 48-43 (off low man)
World leads 9-3

Saturday morning (Chapman, Desert Canyon)
Beaton/Cheever d. Deandre/Whitaker 3&1
Aro/Jenkins d. Madden/Patten 2&1
Gran/O’Brien d. Anderson/Secretario 1 up
Harrison/Laidlaw d. Nelson/Sharkey 9&8
Cheuk/Waalkes d. Haight/Sturdevant 1 up
Benezra/Waldner d. Hansen/Stonesifer 1 up
World leads 12-6

Saturday afternoon (Fourball Match, Desert Canyon)
Beaton/Cheever d. Deandre/Secretario 2&1
Nelson/O’Brien d. Harrison/Laidlaw 2 up
Cheuk/Madden d. Haight/Sturdevant 4&2
Benezra/Waldner h. Sharkey/Waalkes
Aro/Jenkins d. Gran/Hansen 3&2
Anderson/Whitaker d. Patten/Stonesifer 4&3
World leads 15.5 – 8.5

Sunday morning (Singles, Suncadia [Prospector])
Anderson d. Beaton 3&2
Cheever d. Laidlaw 7&5
Jenkins d. O’Brien 5&4
Stonesifer d. Harrison 1 up
Madden d. Benezra 3&2
Patten d. Waldner 1 up
Hansen h. Secretario
Aro d. Waalkes 4&3
Whitaker h. Nelson
Gran d. Haight 2&1
Deandre d. Sharkey 4&2
Sturdevant d. Cheuk 1 up
World wins 21.5 – 14.5

World Team Wins First Cup Since 9/11

The bubble boys tasted victory for the first time since 2001 despite ...

The bubble boys tasted victory for the first time since 2001 despite ...

Bend, OR – Tim O’Brien became the third player in Greenspan history to post a perfect record as the World Team won the Greenspan Cup 19 1/2 – 16 1/2, their first win since before September 11, 2001. Newcomer Jason Matzat and veteran Leo Madden added four points each for the winners. Joel Aro led the Seattle Team with 3 1/2 points, as the second-place 206 squad became the first since the infamous World ’03 team to not have at least one player score four points.

The World Team jumped out to an early lead in the third rendition of the Cup to be played in central Oregon (1998, 2007). Matzat and Madden’s 5&4 win over Max Anderson and Mike Waldner at Sunriver’s Crosswater course got the World out to a 4-2 lead after Friday morning fourballs, as Seattle managed just one win. The Seattle Team fought back to take 3 1/2 points in the afternoon, with five of the six matches going to the 18th hole. Play ended at 9:15 pm, the first time in recent history that the Cup has gone into darkness.

After the teams split the Saturday morning medal matches at Aspen Lakes, the World Team took control in afternoon Chapman. The Greg Cheever-led Worlds won four of the six matches to take a three-point lead into Sunday morning singles, with Matzat and Adam Waalkes stunning Pat Scoccolo/John Harrison 2 up in the first match of the afternoon. (Scoccolo/Harrison won their morning medal match by 14 strokes over Waalkes and Paul Sharkey.) It was the second consecutive year that the World Team won Chapman by a 4-2 count.

Cheuk's inability to get up and down on 18.

Cheuk's inability to get up and down on 18.

A seventh straight Seattle win was not meant to be. The World Team closed things out early on Sunday, as Waalkes, Matzat, Madden, Cheever, and Brad Nelson won five of the first six singles matches to close things out quickly. Seattle captain Nick Jenkins, a 9&7 winner over Jon Gaston, was the only Seattle winner among the first three foursomes. The rally wasn’t easy, as the team’s uniforms, a curious brown ’70’s disco bubble shirt from Antigua, made the World players self conscious and had eleven-year veteran Rob Stonesifer talking about The Great Sailor Shirts of ’98. (More on the uniforms on Jenkins’s family blog.) For a while it looked like the World Team might threaten the nine-point margin of victory record established by the Seattle Team in 2003, but a late rally by Seattle’s second six kept the score respectable.

The ’08 matches will likely be best remembered for the dramatic end that wasn’t. With the matches already decided, several World Team members told Norman Cheuk, the last player on the course, that he needed a halve against Tony Secretario to push the matches to sudden death. Cheuk, however, was unable to make par on 18 as Secretario prevailed 1 up. Only after the competitors shook hands did Cheuk’s joking teammates pop the cork on the champagne.

It had been on ice for a long, long time.

Greenspan 2009 is tentatively scheduled for July 23-26, 2009. Spokane and cental Oregon are currently sites under consideration. Five-time World Team captain Cheever announced he is retiring as captain, and a replacement has yet to be announced. Ten-year veteran Scoccolo also announced he is retiring from Greenspan competition.

Overall Records

Seattle
Anderson 2-3
Aro 3-1-1
Benezra 2-2-1
Deandre 1-3-1
Haight 1-4
Harrison 2-3
Jenkins 2-2-1
Laidlaw 3-2
Scoccolo 3-2
Secretario 1-2-2
Sturtevant 1-4
Waldner 2-2-1

World
Beaton 3-2
Cheever 3-2
Cheuk 3-1-1
Gaston 1-4
Gran 0-4-1
Madden 4-1
Matzat 4-1
Nelson 3-2
O’Brien 5-0
Sharkey 0-4-1
Stonesifer 2-1-2
Waalkes 2-1-2

Results

Friday Morning (Fourball Match, Crosswater GC
Madden/Matzat d. Anderson/Waldner 5&4
Cheever/Gaston d. Harrison/Benezra 2&1
Stonesifer/Waalkes h. Aro/Deandre
Laidlaw/Scoccolo d. Beaton/Nelson 3&1
Gran/Sharkey h. Jenkins/Secretario
Cheuk/O’Brien d. Haight/Sturdevant 2&1
World leads 4-2

Friday afternoon (Fourball Match, Crosswater GC
Anderson/Laidlaw d. Madden/Matzat 4&3
Deandre/Scoccolo d. Cheever/Gaston 1 up
Stonesifer/Waalkes h. Benezra/Waldner
Beaton/Nelson d. Jenkins/Secretario 1 up
Haight/Sturdevant d. Gran/Sharkey 1 up
Cheuk/O’Brien d. Aro/Harrison 2&1
World leads 6 1/2 – 5 1/2

Saturday morning (Bestball Medal, Aspen Lakes GC
Harrison/Scoccolo d. Sharkey/Waalkes 61-75
Madden/Stonesifer d. Deandre/Laidlaw 72-77
Secretario/Waldner d. Cheever/Gaston 70-74
Nelson/O’Brien d. Haight/Jenkins 66-70
Beaton/Matzat d. Anderson/Sturtevant 63-76
Aro/Benezra d. Cheuk/Gran 68-70
World leads 9 1/2 – 8 1/2

Saturday afternoon (Chapman, Aspen Lakes GC)
Matzat/Waalkes d. Harrison/Scoccolo 2 up
Beaton/Stonesifer d. Anderson/Deandre 2&1
Cheuk/O’Brien d. Haight/Sturtevant 4&3
Benezra/Waldner d. Nelson/Sharkey 2&1
Aro/Jenkins d. Gaston/Gran 5&4
Cheever/Madden d. Laidlaw/Secretario 3&2
World leads 13 1/2 – 10 1/2

Sunday morning (Singles, Sunriver [Meadows])
Waalkes d. Waldner 5&3
Matzat d. Scoccolo 1 up
Nelson d. Deandre 3&2
Madden d. Benezra 5&4
Jenkins d. Gaston 9&7
Cheever d. Sturtevant 4&2
Aro d. Stonesifer 2&1
Harrison d. Gran 3&2
Secretario h. Cheuk
Laidlaw d. Sharkey 5&4
Anderson d. Beaton 2&1
O’Brien d. Haight 4&2

World Team wins 19 1/2 – 16 1/2

Haight’s Sudden Death Par Gives Seattle Sixth Straight Cup Win

Mike Waldner and Jeff Haight teamed to win three matches.

Mike Waldner and Jeff Haight teamed to win three matches.

To say the last twelve months have been good to Jeff Haight is an understatement. The Medina resident and nine-year Seattle Team veteran has been officially cancer free since last fall.

Now, in an accomplishment that pales by comparison, he is a Greenspan Cup hero.

Haight sank a three-foot par putt on the opening hole of the tournament’s first ever sudden death playoff to deliver the Seattle Team its sixth straight win. With 4 1/2 points, Haight was also the top point-earner for his team. Max Anderson, Vince Deandre and Mike Waldner added four points each for Seattle. Andy Kelleher had 4 1/2 points for the World Team, while newcomer Stephen Gran won four of his five matches.

A playoff is how it ended, but it didn’t look like it would be that close early. Seattle won three and tied three in Friday morning Fourball Match at Black Butte Ranch’s Glaze Meadow course to take a 4 1/2 – 1 1/2 lead. The teams split the afternoon medal play matches at the Big Meadow, and Seattle went to bed on Friday sleeping on a three-point cushion.

But the World Team closed the gap on Saturday. The Worlds won four of the six matches in the morning Chapman play at Aspen Lakes to make it 9 1/2 – 8 1/2, and after the teams split the afternoon fourball matches, the stage was set for the tournament to be decided in singles. After the World Team won six of the first ten matches that finished to take 17 1/2 – 16 1/2 lead, it needed only one point total out of the Haight-Leo Madden and Dave Sturdevant-Brian Patton matches to win the Cup for the first time since before 9/11. It got only half of what it needed. Haight beat Madden 1 up, and Sturdevant got up and down from 70 yards to salvage a halve against Patton. “I’ll go down as the ‘hero,'” said the always classy Haight, “but without Dave’s up and down from the middle of the fairway, there wouldn’t have been a playoff to begin with.”

Benezra/Aro got the best of Cheuk/Stonesifer.

Benezra/Aro got the best of Cheuk/Stonesifer.

The World Team got a terrible break in the blind draw for the playoff, as Captain Greg Cheever’s draw yielded the Seattle Team’s two highest handicaps — coincidentally Haight and Sturdevant (14’s each) — against Madden and newcomer Doug Schroth — at a 5, the World Team’s lowest handicap. That meant that both Seattle players stroked on the first hole on the opening hole at Sunriver Meadows course — coincidentally, as the 9 handicap hole, the last hole either Sturdevant or Haight stroked on against Schroth. That meant that the Seattle Team needed only a single par unless either Schroth or Madden birdied. After Schroth left his 15-foot birdie putt a revolution short, Haight, a father of two who’s battled Stage 4 Hodgkin’s lymphoma since June 2004, was faced with a three-foot downhill par-net-birdie putt to give Seattle its sixth straight win.

He made it.

And the rest is history.

Greenspan 2008 is scheduled for July 17-20, 2008. Captains Cheever and Jenkins are considering a return to Central Oregon, a location which went over generally well with most players. Whitefish, Montana is also a possibility.

Overall Records

Seattle
Anderson 4-1
Aro 1-3-1
Benezra 2-2-1
Deandre 4-1
Haight 4-0-1
Harrison 1-4
Jenkins 2-3
Ribera 3-1-1
Scoccolo 0-4-1
Secretario 2-3
Sturdevant 0-3-2
Waldner 4-1

World
Cheever 1-4
Cheuk 2-2-1
Gaston 3-2
Gran 4-1
Kelleher 4-0-1
Madden 1-3-1
O’Brien 2-2-1
Patton 2-1-2
Sharkey 2-3
Shloth 2-3
Stonesifer 1-4
Waalkes 2-2-1

Results
Friday Morning (Fourball Match, Black Butte Ranch GC [Glaze Meadows])
Madden/Waalkes h. Ribera/Scoccolo
Anderson/Deandre d. Cheever/Gaston 2&1
Harrison/Jenkins d. Shroth/Stonesifer 2&1
Aro/Benezra h. Patton/Kelleher
Secretario/Waldner d. Gran/Sharkey 4&3
Cheuk/O’Brien h. Haight/Sturdevant
Seattle leads 4 1/2 – 1 1/2

Friday afternoon (Fourball Medal, Black Butte Ranch GC [Big Meadow])
Sharkey/Waalkes d. Harrison/Scoccolo 66-68
Haight/Waldner d. Madden/Stonesifer 67-71
Jenkins/Ribera d. Cheever/Gaston 69-75
Anderson/Deandre d. Patten/Schroth 72-75
Kelleher/O’Brien d. Benezra/Sturdevant 62-63
Cheuk/Gran d. Aro/Secretario 62-63
Seattle leads 7 1/2 – 4 1/2

Saturday morning (Chapman, Aspen Lakes GC)
Cheever/Madden d. Anderson/Aro 3&2
Haight/Waldner d. Shroth/Waalkes 4&3
Gran/Sharkey d. Benezra/Jenkins 7&5
Patten/Stonesifer d. Harrison/Ribera 3&2
Deandre/Secretario d. Cheuk/O’Brien 3&2
Gaston/Kelleher d. Scoccolo/Sturdevant 5&3
Seattle leads 9 1/2 – 8 1/2

Saturday afternoon (Fourball Match, Aspen Lakes GC)
Anderson/Ribera d. Cheever/Waalkes 1 up
Haight/Waldner d. Madden/Sharkey 1 up
Kelleher/Schroth d. Scoccolo/Secretario 1 up
Aro/Benezra d. Cheuk/Stonesifer 4&2
Gaston/Patton d. Harrison/Jenkins 3&2
Gran/O’Brien d. Deandre/Sturdevant 4&3
Seattle leads 12 1/2 – 11 1/2

Sunday morning (Singles, Sunriver [Meadows])
Gaston d. Scoccolo 2 up
Ribera d. Cheever 4&3
Kelleher d. Secretario 5&3
Waalkes d. Waldner 3&2
Benezra d. Sharkey 5&3
Deandre d. O’Brien 5&3
Haight d. Madden 1 up
Sturdevant h. Patton
Anderson d. Stonesifer 2&1
Gran d. Harrison 3&2
Cheuk d. Aro 4&3
Schroth d. Jenkins 2&1
Tied at 18.

Seattle wins with net birdie on first playoff hole. (Haight/Sturdevant v. Madden/Schroth.)

Seattle Almost Blows It, Holds on for Fifth Straight Win

You wouldn't know it, but Stonesifer was standing in 115-degree heat.

You wouldn't know it, but Stonesifer was standing in 115-degree heat.

Roslyn, WA – Seattle Team Captain Nick Jenkins must be thanking his lucky stars tonight that there are only twelve singles matches in the Greenspan Cup.

If there had been any more, his team’s “drive for five” straight Greenspans would have almost certainly been crashed.

The World Team rallied from a five-point deficit only to fall short in the end as the Seattle Team won 18 1/2 — 17 1/2 for its fifth straight Greenspan win. Mike Waldner, John Harrison and Max Anderson led the Seattle Team with four points each. Paul Sharkey added four points for the World Team, which lost by one point for the second straight year.

The matches were a see-saw affair on Day One at Lake Chelan’s once-glorious but now ghostlike Desert Canyon. After Seattle took three of the first fourball matches on Friday morning, the World Team won the final two matches to pull even 3-3. The teams also split the afternoon medal round to close the score at 6-6 through Day 1. The story of the round was the weather: temperatures reportedly reached 112 degrees. “Hotter than Aro’s temper,” quipped World Team captain Greg Cheever – not without irony.

But the Seattle Team dominated on Saturday at Chelan’s new Bear Mountain Ranch. Seattle took 3 1/2 points in the morning Chapman, with Waldner, Harrison and Jeff Benezra each winning their third straight matches. Seattle opened up a can of woop ass in the afternoon, as Jon Gaston and Andy Kelleher’s 69-71 win over Jeff Haight and newcomer Dave Sturtevant was the World Team’s lone victory in the medal round. The Seattle Team drove back to its Lake Chelan accommodations needing only four points to win the Cup for the fifth straight year.

They got them. Barely.

Saturday night good times almost caught up with the Seattle Team.

Saturday night good times almost caught up with the Seattle Team.

Matt Beaton’s surprising 3&2 over win over the until-then 3-0-1 Pat Scoccolo kickstarted a furious middle-of-the-lineup rally by the World Team in which they took eight of the middle ten matches at central Washington’s new Suncadia Resort. Particularly impressive was the play of newcomer Kelleher who, in blustery conditions never before seen in Cup play, rallied from a four-down-through-five deficit to defeat Jenkins 1 up. The rally, however, came up one short. As the teams prepared for a sudden death playoff, Anderson closed out Leo Madden on the 14th hole. And when the news came in, the World Team’s hopes went out the door.

Again.

The Seattle Team has won the matches five consecutive years, with the World Team’s last win coming in 2001 in Kelowna, British Columbia. (Mark Young and Kent Fisher were on that victorious team.) The 2007 matches will likely return to a site of World glory, either Kelowna or Sunriver, Oregon, where the Worlds won the inaugural Cup in 1998. That time, they won six of eight singles matches to win the Cup 13 1/2 — 11 1/2. Seven of the eight players who donned the World Team’s notorious Village People shirts in ’98 will play in ’07.

The Worlds can only hope for a similar result – in hopefully much different attire.

Overall Records

Seattle
Anderson 4-1
Aro 3-2
Benezra 3-2
Deandre 3-2
Haight 2-3
Harrison 4-1
Jenkins 2-3
Laidlaw 1-4
Scoccolo 3-1-1
Secretario 1-3-1
Sturdevant 2-3
Waldner 4-1

World
Beaton 2-2-1
Cheever 2-3
Cheuk 3-2
Garth 2-3
Gaston 2-2-1
Kelleher 3-2
Madden 1-4
Nelson 2-3
O’Brien 3-2
Sharkey 4-1
Stonesifer 1-4
Waalkes 1-4

Results

Friday Morning (Fourball Match, Desert Canyon GC)
Benezra/Waldner d. Garth/Waalkes 1 Up
Kelleher/Madden d. Aro/Haight 1 Up
Harrison/Scoccolo d. Cheever/Gaston 4&3
Deandre/Sturdevant d. Cheuk/Nelson 1 Up
Beaton/Sharkey d. Anderson/Jenkins 2 Up
O’Brien/Stonesifer d. Laidlaw/Secretario 2&1
Tied 3-3

Friday afternoon (Fourball Medal, Desert Canyon GC)
Harrison/Scoccolo d. Kelleher/Waalkes 62-66
Benezra/Waldner d. Cheever/Gaston 66-68
Cheuk/O’Brien d. Deandre/Sturdevant 66-67
Aro/Haight d. Beaton/Nelson 70-72
Anderson/Jenkins d. Madden/Stonesifer 60-65
Garth/Sharkey d. Laidlaw/Secretario 67-69
Seattle leads 7-5


Saturday morning (Chapman, Bear Mountain Ranch)

Anderson/Waldner d. Kelleher/Madden 5&3
Beaton/Gaston h. Secretario/Scoccolo
Cheever/Waalkes d. Benezra/Harrison 2&1
Nelson/Sharkey d. Aro/Jenkins 2&1
Cheuk/Garth d. Deandre/Laidlaw 5&3
Haight/Sturdevant d. O’Brien/Stonesifer 1 Up
Seattle leads 9 1/2 – 8 1/2

Saturday afternoon (Fourball Match, Bear Mountain Ranch)
Deandre/Scoccolo d. Beaton/Cheever 62-70
Gaston/Kelleher d. Haight/Sturdevant 69-71
Harrison/Laidlaw d. Stonesifer/Waalkes 71-76
Aro/Waldner d. Madden/Nelson 65-67
Anderson/Jenkins d. Garth/Sharkey 72-77
Benezra/Secretario d. Cheuk/O’Brien 69-70
Seattle leads 14 1/2 – 9 1/2

Sunday morning (Singles, Suncadia)
Aro d. Waalkes 4&3
Nelson d. Waldner 3&2
Beaton d. Scoccolo 3&2
Deandre d. Garth __
O’Brien d. Haight 1 Up
Sharkey d. Sturdevant 2 Up
Harrison d. Stonesifer 5&4
Kelleher d. Jenkins 1 Up
Cheever d. Secretario 4&3
Gaston d. Benezra 2&1
Cheuk d. Laidlaw 6&5
Anderson d. Madden 5&4

Seattle wins 18 1/2 – 17 1/2

Emerald City Boys Win Fourth Straight Greenspan

Cheuk flashed gang signs during the poker game on The Clipper.

Cheuk flashed gang signs during the poker game on The Clipper.

Victoria, British Columbia – Pat Scoccolo won 4 1/2 points and Tony Secretario added four points as the Seattle Team defeated the World Team 18 1/2 – 17 1/2 for its third straight Greenspan Cup win.

Seattle Captain Nick Jenkins added 3 1/2 points for his squad, which won for the fifth time in eighth Greenspan events. Adam Waalkes won four matches and Tim O’Brien added 3 1/2 points for the World Team.

“This one was as close as it gets,” said Jenkins, who improved to 4-2 overall as Seattle’s captain.

Glossy-eyed Wednesday night, Seattle’s Scoccolo has lost just once since 2002.

And close it was. The two teams split the Friday stanzas 3-3, leaving the score tied 6-6 after Day One. Only O’Brien, Waalkes and Scoccolo escaped Day One with records unscathed. Day Two started the same, with the teams splitting the Fourball Match format 3-3, leaving the score tied 9-9. But the Seattle Team took the afternoon Modified Aggregate Stableford matches by 4-2 at Victoria’s Bear Mountain Golf Club, leaving them with a 13-11 lead going into singles Sunday. The new format went over like a lead balloon, with all but one match ending in an effective blowout. Two World pairings conceded their matches.

The World Team rallied hard on Sunday, however, taking 6 1/2 points of the first ten on the board. Brad Bossio, Brian Patton and Ed Garth all won their matches convincingly (against Marty McQuaid, Vince Deandre and Jeff Benezra, respectively), and after Waalkes defeated a winless Joel Aro in the tenth match of the day, the World Team needed just a split in the final pairing of the day to regain the prize that has eluded them since the Clinton Administration. Alas, it was not to be. Jenkins handed World veteran Leo Madden his first Greenspan singles loss, and eight-year veteran John Harrison won his first career singles match, defeating World Team captain Greg Cheever 2&1. “It took eight years to get off the shnide,” remarked Harrison. “I guess my timing was pretty good.”

As usual, the tournament did not go without incident. For the second time in three years, the tournament got off to a rocky start before it started. Canadian customs officials turned McQuaid away at The Clipper terminal, leaving Seattle planning to play shorthanded. McQuaid, a wild-eyed liberal who played in five past Greenspan Cups in Canada with little incident, sounded positively Republican in analyzing the matter. “If it was half as difficult for foreigners to get into the U.S. as it is for Americans to get into Canada, we wouldn’t have to pay for so many illegal immigrants and guys like Stonesifer, Cheuk and me would pay a fraction of the taxes we pay now.” Stonesifer was critical of his longtime friend. “Marty needs to clean up his act, then he’ll be free to travel internationally – like me.”

The tournament is unlikely to return to Victoria anytime soon. While most players praised the accommodations, they were less than dazzled by the courses. Of particular concern was the conduct of the marshals at Olympic View, who drove foursomes like cattleherders in an effort to speed up play. “We finished 45 minutes ahead of the group behind us, and they still threatened to move us up to the white tees,” remarked Harrison. Candidates for the 2006 tournament include Lake Chelan, Idaho and Kelowna. Cheever and Jenkins are expected to return as captains.

Overall Records

Seattle
Anderson 2-2-1
Aro 0-4-1
Benezra 2-3
Deandre 2-2-1
Haight 2-2-1
Harrison 2-2-1
Jenkins 3-1-1
Laidlaw 3-2
McQuaid 1-3-1
Scoccolo 4-0-1
Secretario 4-1
Waldner 2-2-1

World
Bossio 2-2-1
Cheever 1-4
Cheuk 1-3-1
Garth 3-2
Gaston 1-4
Madden 1-2-2
Nelson 2-3
O’Brien 3-1-1
Patton 2-2-1
Sharkey 2-1-2
Stonesifer 2-2-1
Waalkes 4-1

Results

Friday Morning (Fourball medal, Olympic View)
Scoccolo/Waldner d. Gaston/Cheever 65-67
Garth/Waalkes d. Haight/McQuaid 71-76
Stonesifer/Patton d. Anderson/Secretario 66-73
O’Brien/Bossio d. Aro/Harrison 69-74
Deandre/Laidlaw d. Sharkey/Cheuk 72-74
Jenkins/Benezra d. Nelson/Madden 73-74
Tied 3-3


Friday afternoon (Chapman, Gorge Vale GC)

Waalkes/O’Brien d. Benezra/Aro 2&1
Scoccolo/McQuaid d. Garth/Gaston 1 up
Haight/Deandre h. Madden/Stonesifer
Harrison/Jenkins h. Patton/Cheuk
Secretario/Anderson d. Bossio/Cheever 5&4
Nelson/Sharkey d. Laidlaw/Waldner 7&6
Tied 6-6


Saturday morning (Fourball Match, Bear Mountain GC)

Waldner/McQuaid h. Madden/Sharkey
Aro/Scoccolo h. Bossio/O’Brien
Laidlaw/Deandre d. Cheuk/Stonesifer 4&3
Garth/Nelson d. Jenkins/Benezra 1 up
Haight/Secretario d. Patton/Waalkes 3&2
Gaston/Cheever d. Harrison/Anderson 2 up
Tied 9-9


Saturday afternoon (Modified Aggregate Stableford, Bear Mountain GC)

Madden/O’Brien d. Aro/Deandre +20
Waalkes/Sharkey d. McQuaid/Waldner 53-45
Harrison/Scoccolo d. Bossio/Patton 43-37
Haight/Secretario d. Nelson/Cheuk +17 (conceded)
Benezra/Jenkins d. Stonesifer/Garth 51-35
Anderson/Laidlaw d. Cheever/Gaston +20 (conceded)
Seattle leads 13-11

Sunday morning (Singles, Olympic View)
Stonesifer d. Haight 1 up
Bossio d. McQuaid 4&3
Secretario d. O’Brien 5&4
Scoccolo d. Gaston 2&1
Anderson h. Sharkey
Cheuk d. Laidlaw 2&1
Patton d. Deandre 5&4
Garth d. Benezra 5&4
Waldner d. Nelson 2&1
Waalkes d. Aro 4&2
Jenkins d. Madden 3&2
Harrison d. Cheever 2&1

Seattle wins 18 1/2 – 17 1/2