2015 Photo Recap

A few photos from our stay in Bandon (more here):

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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

 

2013 Photo Recap

A few pics from our trip to Pinehurst (the rest):

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

White, Benezra Win Big Money in Sixth or So Annual ‘Greenspan’ One-Club Open

Chris White shot an almost other-worldly 26 on the first nine and Jeff Benezra an almost-as-good 28 on the second to win the big money at the Sixth or So Annual “Greenspan Cup” One Club Open at Heron Links Golf Course in Redmond.  White and Benezra were two of the eighteen players to tee it up this year on the 900 or so yard course, which played far easier than it did in December 2011, the last time we played the event.

Chris White's first nine 26 was low nine of the day by two shots.

Chris White’s first nine 26 was low nine of the day by two shots.

As fun as the event was for the guys who attended, it wasn’t without its problems — particularly the turnout.    At one point twenty-eight players had committed to play.   After a reminder e-mail last week, however, they started dropping like flies.  The excuses ranged from “I cut my finger” to “something came up” (2) to “I’m playing in another tournament” (2) to — well, you get the idea.   As disappointing was the turnout from Greenspan players.   Of the twenty-eight players scheduled to play Greenspan XVI, 21 of them live in or near Seattle.  Of those, only six — myself, Joel Aro, Tim O’Brien, Chris White, Jason Matzat and newcomer Derek Orozco — played in the One Club — hence the reason why Greenspan Cup is in quotes above.  While a few players can be excused because they were out of town (Mike Waldner, John Harrison), the others’ absence was, after sixteen years, disappointing to say the least.  Almost as bad — six of the 21 didn’t even bother to send a “thanks but no thanks” reply to several e-mail invitations. To put that six in perspective, Andy Mitalas, a friend of mine who doesn’t even know what Greenspan Cup is, brought three players — in addition to himself.

Jeff Benezra first a 29 on the second nine to win low gross honors by a shot over three players.

Jeff Benezra first a 29 on the second nine to win low gross honors by a shot over three players.

Simon Wilks, who won this event two years ago, shot a 58 total, one more than White's day low 57.

Simon Wilks, who won this event two years ago, shot a 58 total, one more than White’s day low 57.

Next year — well, we’ll see.

SCORES (*- returning Greenspan player; **- new Greenspan player)

Front Nine

Chris White* 26 (17)

Simon Wilks 29 (22)

Nick Jenkins* 32 (25)

Derek Orozco** 33 (25)

Jeff Benezra* 33 (26)

Jonathan Wells 33 (26)

Todd Dowling 34 (26)

Joel Aro* 35 (27)

Andy Mitalas 35 (27)

Tim O’Brien* 35 (25)

Dom Tsiotis 35 (27)

Jason Matzat* 36 (28)

Gordon Schryer 36 (26)

Jeff Meyer 37 (29)

Ed Marquez 38 (30)

Niko Mitalas 39 (31)

Eddie Mendez 40 (30)

Ryan Krom ????

Back Nine

Jeff Benezra* 28 (22)

Simon Wilks 29 (23)

Derek Orozco** 29 (22)

Jonathan Wells 29 (22)

Nick Jenkins* 30 (23)

Tim O’Brien* 30 (23)

Chris White* 31 (24)

Jason Matzat* 31 (24)

Todd Dowling 34 (26)

Gordon Schryer 36 (26)

Dom Tsiotis 36 (27)

Niko Mitalas 36 (28)

Joel Aro* 37 (29)

Jeff Meyer 37 (29)

Ed Marquez 38 (30)

Andy Mitalas 38 (29)

Eddie Mendez 40 (30)

Ryan Krom 41 (32)

Tim O'Brien, Joel Aro, me and Derek Orozco -- all JFK Class of 1987 and 4/5 of the Greenspan guys in attendance.

Tim O’Brien, Joel Aro, me and Derek Orozco — all JFK Class of 1987 and 2/3 of the Greenspan guys in attendance.

My new bow tie earned me a "best dressed' nomination from the World Team's O'Brien.

My new bow tie earned me a “best dressed’ nomination from the World Team’s O’Brien.