Emerald Valley Golf Club
Oct 2016, Emerald Valley GC - Creswell Oregon
There's a joke that our friends to the north mock us Californians with. The joke is, we're made of sugar and should a single drop of rain hit our heads, we dissolve to puddles. And so our brave sugar-coated warriors left 80+ degree Indian Summer conditions in the bay area, trekked up the I-5 corridor to the quaint town of Creswell, Oregon, just south of Eugene, and to the home of "water loving" Ducks. Our faces were long and morale low with the recent tornadoes, 8 inches-per-second rain fall, and the other wet & wild Pacific North West Octoberfests we'd all witnessed on the news just days prior. It was a bit cocky to hold such an event in late October for this part of the world, but mother nature would give us Californians a hall pass for our bravery. With what the Oregon/Washington team laughed off as "bathing suit" fair weather conditions, we felt relief in the warm sunshine that blanketed, the unfamiliar to us, lush green conditions. If you are in the area of Eugene, make sure to pay a visit to Emerald Valley Golf Club. It certainly lives up to its emerald moniker. A big thank you to resident pro Chris Isaacson & staff for the fantastic playing conditions and hospitality!
The COW cup kicked off Friday evening at the local tavern (TJ's) with the resident Oregon Ducks taking on Cal back home in Berkeley. Kris Surano decked in his alma matter Cal Bears hat, sweatshirt, and from what he describes, Cal underwear (no pictures, but we'll take his word on that one), made quite the entrance. Luckily, the locals didn't chase us out of town and only verbally beat us up... and not too badly.
Day 1 - Saturday, Oct 22nd - Chapman Format
The Oregon/Washington team went a little easy on us for the following day 1 of matches as well. The final tally being 2 points for CA and 3 points for OR/WA in the Chapman format. The 3rd and go ahead point coming from Washington's Peter Yagi in the only singles match of the day. Up-and-down-from-anywhere-Pete, as we soon labeled him, made Victor Dubuisson's famous Accenture match play performance look like amateur hour in comparison! There was no place on the course where Peter couldn't get up and down!
A big scare for the hickory world as our beloved NorCal member, Dana Niehaus, was brought back to life (literally) in an automobile accident near Bend. Dana suffered a heart attack, lost consciousness as well as control of car, but is OK and will be flying home later this week. We expect to see this tough guy back on the course soon! We love you Dana, and get well soon!
In Dana's absence, a local Emerald Valley member by the name of Bob Forbis, wearing a bright green Oregon Ducks ball cap, stepped in for the California team. Never having swung a hickory club, Bob partnered with Wolfensperger and the 2 Bob's secured a much needed point. Thanks Bob for being such a sport!
"C" stands for crisp, clean, cool-under-pressure, center-of-the-green California command.
Erik leads us off to a good start on the 1st hole.
Day 2 - Sunday Oct 23rd
With a whopping 13 points up for grabs, the COW cup resumed with traditional Singles matches alongside Fourball. The 9th hole would provide fireworks for the 1st group. Jim von Lossow, 2 down, trapped in a fairway bunker with his opponent some 50 yards up ahead in the middle of the fairway, "played the odd", and hit it to within 10 feet, winning the hole from an otherwise dire looking scenario. Jim would go on to win the next hole and finally the match on the 17th. Not to be outdone, Erik Beer, would make his own "splash" out of the 9th's greenside bunker. Pressed up against the back edge with little backswing, on a downslope, he skirted the bunker's front lip. The ball reacted with a few skips on the green's surface and then crashed into the flagstick to the bottom of the hole for a near impossible birdie, giving the Californians a 3 up lead and a much needed cushion for the remainder of the match. Up-and-down Pete, once again showed his short game prowess, turning 3 shots into 2 from 50 yards on the 18th, to snatch a half point for the "OW" team with a timely birdie.
After Chuck McCollum and Kris Surano won 4 points out of 3 available? (Chuck took on 2 Or/Wa players), the COW Cup was tied at 7-1/2 points a piece. So out to the 17th tee box, COW Bells in tow, we watched the anchor group decide the outcome. In a close match, the final group of Bob Wolfensperger and Steve Viskochil just squeezed past their tough opponents in Terry Sumrall and Troy Brown, and California slung the COW belt over its shoulder.
Thanks to all that made the trip from the greater bay area in the South, and the Seattle hub in the North. Big kudos to Martin Pool, for plotting the fantastic pairings and matchups. You done good!
Everyone is beyond excited with the prospects of doing this again next year.
Emerald Valley has a nice facebook writeup here:
Emerald Valley - Facebook
This includes a video of OR/WA's captain Jim and his smooth swing - no wonder have yet to beat that guy!
NorthWest Hickory has written up a nice review of the event at their site here:
Results @ NorthWest Hickory
Uploaded photos on their facebook page here:
COW Cup @ NorthWest facebook page
An album has been started here at NorCal Hickory, if you'd like to upload any pictures you've taken: