Cupp Cup 2010

Team Wes, led by match MVP Jerry Closinski, took the Cup back as they rolled to a 14.5 to 9.5 point victory.   This year’s matches were won in the afternoon session of Day One.  Team Wes separated itself with a 4.5 point to 1.5 point alternate shot session.  In addition, the mystique of Mike Smith also vanished during these fateful three hours as the Terminator suffered his first defeat in eight matches.  By the end of Day One, Team Wes led 7.5 to 4.5.

Day Two and the singles matches began with an early Team Josh charge.  At one point late in the day, Team Josh led in six of the first seven matches.  If those matches held, Team Josh would have surged into the lead by the score of to 10.5 to 8.5.  However, the first two matches of the day (Matches #13 and #14) quickly changed course and became a microcosm of the 2010 Cupp Cup.  Jeff Gifford willed his way to a half a point with a miraculous birdie on 18 and Ron Artigiani (in case you haven’t heard) won the last five holes to win a full point over Ken Caldwell.  This completely changed the momentum of the day and Team Wes then cruised to victory.

This Cupp Cup also saw the overall team point totals swing in Team Wes’s favor.  Through three years and sixty-four total points, Team Wes has earned 32.5 points to Josh’s 31.5.

View of the Weekend from Captain Wes’s Seat

After a very impressive and inspiring showing by Team Wes at the Friday night social, the morning session of Saturday saw us in a dog fight, tied at three points apiece.  I was happy to see us grab a win in Match #6.  This was a match of titanic proportions, with JClo and Lloyd of Team Wes taking on the horses of Fay and Peters.  This match lived up to its billing as it featured chip-ins, birdies galore, and overall stellar play.  If not for this big win for Team Wes, we would have been down 4 to 2 instead of tied at 3.  I know from experience that Johnny P’s Sloppy Joes taste much better when we are tied instead of down two points.  Who knows how the 2010 matches would have turned out if we felt we had to come from behind after Session One?

Team Wes Assistant Captain Nancy Roberts working on breakfast.  How many bites do you think she needed?

Team Wes Assistant Captain Nancy Roberts working on breakfast. How many bites do you think she needed?

In Session Two, we handed Team Josh a swift ass kicking as we jumped out to a 7.5 to 4.5 advantage going into Sunday.  A perfect moment that represented this 4.5 to 1.5 point afternoon session occurred on hole #6.  The team of winless Jeff Gifford and Cupp Cup rookie Robert Taylor were looking to do the unthinkable and take down the Team Josh Dream Team of Smith and Fay.   Gifford and Taylor found themselves up three with four to play on the sixth tee.  Both teams struck wayward drives that found them in tree trouble on the left side.  Fay played first from the bushes and could not advance it more than fifty yards.  It looked like the best score Fay and Smith could make was a five.  Gifford, who was hitting their second shot from a spot closer to #5 fairway than #6, chose not to chip out to the middle of the fairway (up three with four to go, this was the obvious play).  Instead, he decided to take it blindly over a grove of 120 foot tall trees to the near island green.  The shot ricocheted off of not one, but two, tree tops before somehow dropping fifteen feet from the tucked flag!  The match was over.

Day Two started off a bit ominously.  Six of the first seven matches were either hotly contested at best or were Team Josh strong holds for most of the day.  If there were scoreboards around the golf course midway through the singles matches, one would have seen a lot of blue flags on the board.  Thankfully, Giff and Arti clawed back in the final moments to grab a crucial point and a half in the first two matches of the day.  J Clo was then next to post although he was in the last group.  This tends to happen when one needs only eleven holes.  At this point we had ten points to their five and life was good again.  We never looked back.

Captain Wes sneaking up on groups to give some helpful advice.

Captain Wes sneaking up on groups to give some helpful advice.

It was a hard fought victory and Team Wes tips its collective hat to Josh’s team.  We look forward to another battle in 360 days.

View of the Weekend from Captain Josh’s Seat

It was a difficult weekend for Team Josh. We only held our own during Friday night’s social festivities. As Friday night pushed toward Saturday morning, perhaps it was foreshadowing that Team Wes persevered and pressed onwards with the likes of Jeff Gifford’s miserable yet fervent dance moves behind the bar set to angry rap music. Assistant Captain, Nancy Roberts’ social efforts were also unmatched by any representative of Team Josh.

Saturday started uneventfully enough with a kissing-your-sister-like 3-3 tally through session one’s best ball play. Session two was a slaughter. Although Match #7 was a Team Josh slap around as Maya/Parry crushed Lloyd/Pollex, it went downhill fast, as our squad only mustered the one win and a tie out of the six matches. The less than stellar Saturday PM performance left a hole that proved too deep to extricate from and the hole would only grow deeper. Locks on day one were hardly iron clad. They were locks made out of angel haired pasta. Favorites such as Lloyd/Pollex and Fay/Smith were easily dismissed in alternate shot by teams with inferior team handicaps. It was a bizzaro day – one that left me attempting to front load for Sunday.

Sunday looked promising from the onset, with matches #13, #14, and #15 looking solid midway through the inward half. Divine intervention on a Gifford drive on #18, and a meltdown of Chernobylic proportions by Mr. Caldwell spoiled the early charge. Giff’s stellar 28 footer on #18 left a statue of myself standing beside an equally stunned Paul Katchmar.  Jeff’s quick decision making skills proved as important as his rock rolling abilities as he dismissed Ronnie A’s read and went with Wes’s evaluation of the contour of the putting surface.  Although Artigiani played admirably coming in, Kenny needed to score just two bogeys or better on holes 14, 15, or 17 to win match #14. In fact, a par at the 155 yard 14th would have closed out the match 5 and 4.

The rest of Sunday was essentially a chalk filled afternoon. The lower handicapped player did no worse than halve the remaining matches. If there was one match that symbolized the fate of the 2010 Cupp Cup, it was match #9 on Day One – JClo and Artie nipping the powerful contingent of team Peters in alternate shot.  JClo played steady at times and utterly brilliant at others. Artie was a booby trap all weekend. Coming off a multiple month lay off with a back injury, Artie was an assumed liability to Team Wes. Parry has set the odds of Artie winning all three of his matches at 1.37 million to one. Parry was also seen buying dozens of Powerball NYS Lottery tickets Monday morning. Weather forecast for RCC this week is cloudy with a chance of flying swine.

Congrats, Team Wes. You are all a bunch of lucky Lloyds (all who read this should know what Lloyd is synonymous with).

TEAM JOSH: Back Row - Assistant Captain Maite Cupp, Jeff Potter, Assistant Captain Jake Smith, Ken Caldwell, Tom W. Peters, Denny Parry, Mike Smith, Captain Josh Cupp, Paul Katchmar, Dave Fay. Front Row - Gene Gehman, Edible Evans, Eric Maya, Assistant Captain Caitlin Henry, JR Purrington, Tom M. Peters.

TEAM JOSH: Back Row – Assistant Captain Maite Cupp, Jeff Potter, Assistant Captain Jake Smith, Ken Caldwell, Tom W. Peters, Denny Parry, Mike Smith, Captain Josh Cupp, Paul Katchmar, Dave Fay. Front Row – Gene Gehman, Edible Evans, Eric Maya, Assistant Captain Caitlin Henry, JR Purrington, Tom M. Peters.

Team Wes: Back Row - Assistant Captain Bob Pawlak, Pete Fitsik, 210 MVP Jerry Closinski, John Pollex, Jim Sutton, Dave French, Lauren Steates, Captain Wes Cupp, Robert Taylor Front Row - Ron Artigiani, Mark Powonsky, a very happy Jeff Gifford, Assistant Captain Nancy Roberts, John Haberer, Mark Lloyd

Team Wes: Back Row – Assistant Captain Bob Pawlak, Pete Fitsik, 210 MVP Jerry Closinski, John Pollex, Jim Sutton, Dave French, Lauren Steates, Captain Wes Cupp, Robert Taylor
Front Row – Ron Artigiani, Mark Powonsky, a very happy Jeff Gifford, Assistant Captain Nancy Roberts, John Haberer, Mark Lloyd

2010 Session One – Eighteen Hole Best Ball Matches

WES 3 points, JOSH 3 points

Match #1 – J. Pollex & R. Artigiani vs. E. Maya & K. Caldwell.  Pollex & Artigiani, 3 & 2.

Match #2 – M. Powonsky & J. Gifford vs. E. Evans & JR Purrington.  Evans & Purrington, 5 & 4.

Match #3 – D. French & J. Haberer vs. G. Gehman & J. Potter.  Gehman & Potter, 4 & 3.

Match #4 – P. Fitsik & L. Steates vs. D. Parry & P. Katchmar.  Fitsik & Steates, 3 & 2.

Match #5 – R. Taylor & J. Sutton vs. T.W. Peters & M. Smith.  Peters & Smith, 1 up.

Match #6 – M. Lloyd & J. Closinski vs. D. Fay & T.M. Peters.  Lloyd & Closinski, 2 & 1.

2010 Session Two – Nine Hole Alternate Shot Matches

WES 4.5 points, JOSH 1.5 points

Match #7 – L. Steates & J. Haberer vs. E. Evans & K. Caldwell.  Steates & Haberer, 3 & 1.

Match #8 – J. Pollex & M. Lloyd vs. E. Maya & D. Parry.  Maya & Parry, 5 & 4.

Match #9 – J. Closinski & R. Artigiani vs. T.M. Peters & T.W. Peters.  Closinski & Artigiani, 1 up.

Match #10 – M. Powonsky & J. Sutton vs P. Katchmar & G. Gehman.  Halved.

Match #11 – P. Fitsik & D. French vs. JR Purrington & J. Potter.  Fitsik & French, 3 & 2.

Match #12 – J. Gifford & R. Taylor vs. D. Fay & M. Smith.  Gifford & Taylor, 4 & 3.

2010 Session Three – Eighteen Hole Singles Matches

WES 7 points, JOSH 5 points

Match #13 – Gifford v. Katchmar.  Halved.

Match #14 – Artigiani v. Caldwell.  Artigiani, 1 up.

Match #15 – Steates v. Evans.  Evans, 3 & 2.

Match #16 – French v. Maya.  French, 5 & 4.

Match #17 – Lloyd v. T.M. Peters.  Peters, 2 up.

Match #18 – Haberer v. Smith.  Smith, 4 & 3.

Match #19 -Fitsik v. Fay.  Fay, 4 & 3.

Match #20 – Pollex v. T.W. Peters.  Pollex, 3 & 2.

Match #21 – Powonsky v. Purrington.  Powonsky, 3 & 2.

Match #22 – Sutton v. Gehman.  Halved.

Match #23 – Closinski v. Parry.  Closinski, 8 & 7.

Match #24 – Taylor v. Potter.  Taylor, 4 & 3.

TEAM WES WINS THE 2010 CUPP CUP, 14.5 points to 9.5.

2010 Cupp Cup Individual Statistics

TEAM WES – 14.5 points

Jerry Closinski – 3-0-0, 3 points

Ron Artigiani – 3-0-0, 3 points

Pete Fitsik – 2-1-0, 2 points

Robert Taylor – 2-1-0, 2 points

Lauren Steates – 2-1-0, 2 points

John Pollex – 2-1-0, 2 points

Dave French – 2-1-0, 2 points

Mark Powonsky – 1-1-1, 1.5 points

Jeff Gifford – 1-1-1, 1.5 points

Mark Lloyd – 1-2-0, 1 point

Jim Sutton – 0-1-2, 1 point

John Haberer – 1-2-0, 1 point

TEAM JOSH – 9.5 points

Mike Smith – 2-1-0, 2 points

Gene Gehman – 1-0-2, 2 points

Ed Evans –  2-1-0, 2 points

JR Purrington – 1-2-0, 1 point

Tom M. Peters – 1-2-0, 1 point

Tom W. Peters – 1-2-0, 1 point

Dave Fay – 1-2-0, 1 point

Eric Maya – 1-2-0, 1 point

Jeff Potter – 1-2-0, 1 point

Paul Katchmar – 0-1-2, 1 point

Dennis Parry – 1-2-0, 1 point

Ken Caldwell – 0-3-0, 0 points

2010 Individual Letter Grades

MATCH OFFICIAL  Sammy No Clubs    A

Sammy No Clubs was simply amazing this week.  He kept the champagne cold, the trophy in one piece, and his buddy Chris from being hit by any stray golf balls.  Unfortunately, Sammy Not the Cat couldn’t make the Friday Social.  Apparently, he has some sort of a life (unlike the rest of us).  To this end, we have five cases of red wine that we ordered for the evening that was not consumed.  This is the only reason he didn’t get an “A+”.  Now you have something to shoot for next year, Sam!

TEAM WES (graded by Captain Wes)

Assistant Captain Bob Pawlak    A++

Let’s see… he brought mudslides, sent great texts of match updates, wore a tie to Friday night’s social, gave pep talks Saturday night until 1:00 a.m. in the morning, and kept Nancy from passing out the whole weekend.  Amazing job, Bobby!

Assistant to the Assistant Captain Nancy Roberts    A

Nancy performed admirably all weekend.  She didn’t disappoint on the social end by being the last to leave the bars Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights.  The only thing keeping her from an “A+” is that one of her strategies backfired.  By keeping birthday boy and Team Josh member Tom M. Peters out at the bars late on Saturday, she thought for sure he would tank in his singles match the next morning with our Mark Lloyd.  However, Tom fought his way to a 2 up victory.  It was a hell of an effort though, Nancy!

Jerry Closinski    A+

Jerry had a great week in the Cupp Cup.  Anytime you beat Peters and Fay in a best ball match, win ANYTHING (golf match, horse race, etc.) with Ron Artigiani, and win your singles match by the tune of 8 & 7, you ARE THE MAN!  Jerry is riding a seven match win streak right now going into next year’s Cupp Cup.

Ron Artigiani    A-

How does a man who comes back after a two month injury layoff, wins all three matches, and completes the biggest comeback in Cupp Cup history only get an A- and not an A++?  The dramatic fist pump and Chris Bosh like yell after an anti-climatic eighteenth hole on Sunday was too over the top for me (however, I should expect it from a Yankees fan).  That being said, Ronnie’s determination to come back from injury for the sole purpose of the Cupp Cup matches far overshadows this momentary lapse in judgment.  Ronnie’s love for the Cupp Cup is strong and his Captain hopes he can stay healthy for the 2011 version.

Pete Fitsik    B

Fitsy is a great competitor and a wonderful teammate.  His positive thinking and contagious attitude is why he has never lost a team match in Cupp Cup history (5-0-1 career).  Sadly, however, he struggled this year in the singles match with Dave Fay.  Pete reportedly had Dave down three through five holes but then lost seven of the next eight holes (the one hole they tied was with double bogey 7s).  A sudden 4 & 3 defeat to Mr. Fay in the “Battle of the Age Shooters” will leave Pete looking for revenge next year.

Robert Taylor    B

A nice, quiet debut for Tayls in the Cupp Cup.  Tayls flew under the radar this week mostly due to other teammates’ loud mouths (see Gifford, Jeff).  Tayls got off to a rocky start in his first match but ended the weekend with two wins including a solid thumping of Jeff Potter on Sunday.  It looks like after he got used to the Cupp Cup stage he settled in nicely.

Lauren Steates    B+

Lauren, now with a full-time job in addition to her RFA Volleyball coaching duties, had little time to prepare her game for this weekend’s event.  Her dramatic chip-in to seal the victory in Match #4 on the sixteenth hole got her off to a great start.  She went on to team up with Haberer in the afternoon session to take her second point of the matches.  However, her singles match with Eddie Evans didn’t go as well.  A disastrous start and a couple of ill-timed three putts kept her from completing the sweep of the weekend and giving Jerry a run for MVP honors.

John Pollex    B

Johnny P secured two points for Team Wes in three matches.  A streaky player by nature, JP either dazzled you with some brilliant shots or made you gasp for air as his captain with some not so great efforts (such as when he topped his THIRD shot on the first hole into the creek on Sunday).  JP did get throttled in the alternate shot with Mark Lloyd on Saturday but he did bounce back to take care of business in the singles match on Sunday.

Dave French    B+

Dave’s cries of “Get in the F*!king Hole!” were heard approximately every seven minutes on the golf course this weekend.   I LOVE that!  His two best, you ask?  On hole #1 on Sunday, Frenchy yelled as his ball just left the clubface, “Get throught the F*!king Trees!  Now, get in the F*!king Hole!”  He also impressed everyone with his depth perception skills on hole #5 on Saturday.  He yelled for his ball to get in the hole with his second shot only to see it drop twenty yards short of the green (okay, okay, I was yelling too).

In addition to his strong enthusiasm, Frenchy had a rather solid week.  After a hiccup with Haberer in his first match, Frenchy gave a beat down to the team of Purrington and Potter on Saturday afternoon (4 & 3) and Eric Maya on Sunday (5 & 4) – even though Frenchy says he should have ended the Maya match on #13.

Mark Powonsky    B –

Spank is arguably the best player on either team with pressure on and I love that about him as his captain.  However, he laid an egg in his first match (he and Giff got slapped around 5 & 4) and also dropped anchor in his second match.  He and Sutton in the alternate shot three putted #7, bogeyed #8, and bogeyed #9 from the 100 yard marker to gift wrap a half of a point for Team Josh.  His win in the singles over JR salvaged the weekend.

Jeff Gifford    A++ Friday Night / B- Golf

Giff rocked the house once again at the Friday night social.  Between his dance moves and singing efforts, Giff was the social evening’s MVP yet again.  In his second year on Team Wes, Giff finally broke through with a point and a half after getting shut out in 2009.  Giff also owns the two most memorable shots in the 2010 Cupp Cup.  The first was his match clinching trick shot on #6 in his alternate shot win with Tayls.  The second was his heroic 28 foot birdie putt on #18 to salvage a half with Paul Katchmar.  Between those two shots, however, were quite a few squirrelly swings.

Mark Lloyd    C+

Our three-time and reigning club champion had his heart set on a great weekend.  Everything was going according to plan as he and Jerry teamed up to win the big boy match in Session One against Peters and Fay.  However, the weekend was very forgettable after that.  He suffered a whitewashing in the alternate shot by Parry and Maya and then for a second consecutive year he lost to Tom Peters in the singles on Sunday.

Jim Sutton    B –

Although Jim’s record shows that he was the only Team Wes member who was winless this year (0-1-2), Sutton did battle valiantly all weekend.  Two of his matches ended in ties and his only loss was a one down heartbreaker in Session One.  In other words, Jimmy was a hole or two away from going 3-0 just as easily as he finished 0-1-2.  Of the forty-three shots I saw him hit, all forty-three were perfect.  Maybe I should have spent more time with his group!

John Haberer    C

John never really got his golf game going this week.  His lone win was on the back of his partner Lauren Steates in the alternate shot.  However, his grade was bumped up a letter after his back to back social efforts on both Friday and Saturday nights.  Team Wes really appreciates team bonding.  Captain Wes is confident that the experience gained from John’s first Cupp Cup will pay off next year.

TEAM JOSH (graded by Captain Josh)

J. David Fay    B+

Dave played exceedingly well during his best ball match.  A lukewarm partner coupled with the formidable foe of JClo and Lloyd were too much to overcome. A fair performance with Mike Smith in alternate shot and a strong showing in singles netted Fay a high grade.

Edible Evans    B+

Ed’s lopsided win in match #2 set the tone for his fine play over the weekend.  His systematic win over Miss Steates in singles was part of the frontloading plan.  His loss in the alternate shot was not entirely his doing.  His partner was less than stellar by his own admission.

Tom M. Peters    C-

Tom struggled all weekend. He played spotty golf in Saturday matches and his saving grace came in a singles win over Lloyd in a match that featured few highlights. A fine player, Tom just looked like he wasn’t firing on all cylinders.

JR Purrington    C

JR played reasonably well in his 1st Cupp Cup. Taking his first match with Edible got his uniform dirty quickly.  Things went south quickly as JR lost his last two matches.  Spanky and JR have the potential to become rivals, JR just needs a little more seasoning and tourney experience.

Dennis Parry    C-

Although it was great to see Pairs at the bar longer than the time it takes to accept a draft of his choice from Fitsy at the turn during his DeMatteo’s matches, he did place a bet in his singles match with JClo for 3 a side. Enough said.

Paul Katchmar    C

Katch picked up a point overall for the squad via two halves. A woeful start in best ball gave way to a halve in the PM Saturday alternate shot.  An unfortunate, yet gritty halve vs. Gifford in the singles had Katch labeled a water treader for the weekend.

Eric Maya    D

#188 was disappointing in his debut in Pool B. Despite sporting the season’s lowest stroke average of all Pool B’ers, Eric only opportunistically scored a point with Parry in the massacre of Lloyd/Pollex. His singles effort vs. Frenchy was entirely forgettable. TMZ is said to possess footage of an intoxicated Captain Josh trying to trade Eric to Wes late Friday night. Grainy video shot on a cell phone features Josh saying, “Just f#$king take him, Wes, you dick!”

Gene Gehman     B

Geno tried his little heart out all weekend, and netted his squad two hard fought points. Geno seemingly lacked confidence the majority of the weekend as he was seen booing his shots almost before they left the clubface. As always, Geno was a pleasure to have on the team.

Mike Smith     B+

The terminator remains the toughest out of the Cupp Cup with an 8-1 overall record. However, the one loss may have been the toughest for Team Josh to handle in session 2, as he and highly favored Fay were routed by Gifford/Taylor 4 and 3 in the telling alternate shot fiasco. Mike is appreciated by his Captain for his willingness to accept responsibility for his poor shots and his short memory in forgetting them.

Kenny Caldwell    D-

A stark contrast from the 2009 Cupp Cup MVP effort, Kenny was his own worst enemy. Though his struggles were not due to lack of intensity or effort, Kenny needs to concede eventually that his course management and mental approach to the game are not nearly as iron clad as he would like to believe. With the length and ability to be an A Pooler, Kenny must re-diagnose his true weaknesses.

Jeff Potter    C

Jeff’s golf was reasonable. Injuries have plagued Mr. Potter  in recent months, however, there is still better than 14 handicap ability there and it is the Colonel’s duty to find it ASAP. The 19th hole and Friday nights during the Cupp Cup are currently Jeff’s strongest contributions.

Tom W. Peters    C

Tom was done wrong by the flatstick all weekend as he misfired repeatedly from close range. Teaming up with his son in alternate shot did not prove as fruitful as his captain imagined. Though slightly outclassed in the singles, there was no magic to be found. A few slight adjustments in Tom’s setup and alignment would prevent him from being asked as frequently if Tom M. is adopted.

Assistant Captain Caitlin Henry    A-
(31 UCs, 2 shots JD, 1 stolen Mudslide)

The tally says it all. A prodigious effort Friday evening (see also Saturday evening) got Caitlin’s rookie debut off to a great start.  Caitlin was present for ALL matches and contributed heart felt encouragement. Only minimal points were lost for not dressing more scantily as to distract Team Wes members.  Not a bazoom was viewed all weekend.

Assistant Captain Jake Smith    A
(team photographer, general all around nice guy)

Jake was a rock for Team Josh all weekend. He was a frequent text updater, although the texts constantly seemed to be bad news. Jake never got too high nor too low amidst the inconsistent play. If this captain would have to conjecture, I would say this taste of Cupp Cup action might land Jake on the squad next year as a contestant.  He would be a welcome addition as we need to find someone that can beat Artigiani.

Assistant Captain Maite Cupp    A
(contestant in reserve, till watcher)

It killed Maite to not be able to compete this year. Last year’s bitter defeat at the hands of JClo have haunted her dreams for 12 months. Maite took care of all inside ops over the weekend to free up Captain Josh so that he could go forth and witness the action on the battlefield. Maite will be back for sure in ’11.

Captain Josh Cupp     F
(2 Cosmopolitans, 3 Shirley Temples, unheeded advice giver)

It is tough to score yourself with a reasonable grade when your team lays an egg for two straight days. All I can say is wait for next year. Artie’s exuberant celebration on #18 will not be forgotten any time soon.