The Final Fore of the Keepers Alternate Shot Series is always a spirited affair as it pits four two-man teams against each other in a round-robin series of three 9-hole Alternate Shot Matches on the North Course to determine our Finest Foursomes Team for 2017.
Experience matters as the Cherner Automotive LLC of Herbie and Stewart was making it’s third straight appearance in this Final Fore Kompetition with the notion that this time they would get it right. They had to face a formidable foe of Harry “Sifford” Harrison and Paul “I Got One Of These Already” Cohen as well as pesky challengers in the teams of Jimmy “My Fairway or the Highway” Polsky and Barry “Serenity” Minkoff and Mark “‘A’ Says It All” Goldstein and Randy “I Am Getting The Hang Of This” Weiss.
In the first match the Cherner LLC handled the Goldstein-Weiss Konstellation 6 1/2 to 2 1/2 on the front to set an early tone. Harrison-Cohen was not to be intimidated as they won the last four holes against Polsky-Minkoff on the way to a 6 to 3 win in their first match. It was sizing up to be a two horse race.
The second match on the back of the North proved pivotal as the two leading teams faced off with only a 1/2 point separating them. But hope was dashed early as the Cherner Group showed flawless Foursomes play winning the first three holes to break free and then put it on cruise control adding 3 1/2 points from 14 to 18 to win this match decisively 6 1/2 to 2 1/2. Goldstein-Weiss slipped by with a 5 to 4 win over Polsky-Minkoff in the what was looking like the match for third.
With 9 holes left the Cherners were in kontrol……..
Cherner-Cherner 13 Harrison-Cohen 8 1/2 Goldstein-Weiss 7 1/2 Polsky-Minkoff 7
The final match went back to the front of the North and the Automotive Group wasted no time winning the first four holes over Polsky-Minkoff to get all four hands firmly around winning hardware. Playing hard for second Harry buried a 25-footer on the 7th to lock down that position for Harrison-Cohen at the end of the day with a 5 1/2 to 3 1/2 win over Goldstein-Weiss.
The Final Tally:
1st Place H. Cherner-S. Cherner 18 Points $150 Sweeps 150 Kup Points
2nd Place H. Harrison-P. Cohen 14 Points $100 Sweeps 100 Kup Points
T-3rd Place J. Polsky-B. Minkoff 11 Points $65 Sweeps 65 Kup Points
M. Goldstein-R. Weiss 11 Points $65 Sweeps 65 Kup Points
Special thanks to Konn-Aire Farrell for his adept administration of the Final Fore Matches.
After five months of kompelling kompetition the Keepers Match Play came down to three hardy bracket survivors playing the Battle Royale for the Match Play Championship. As it should be, the quality of play and competitive banter was befitting of a Keepers Major Championship.
In the bracket championship matches two weeks earlier, Alan “Terp Station” Schwartz took out Marc Fink in a nail biter to win the Augusta Bracket. Mike “Coach” Fisher snuck by the Lead Dog Artie Aronoff in extra holes to represent Erin Hills. Kevin “Can I Press” Bass outwaited Mark S. Goldstein to advance to the final from the Royal Birkdale bracket.
The Battle Royale Final was played on the North Course on a glorious day as an Almost Skins 5-3-1 Match Format where the best net score on a hole earns the player 5 points, second best net score 3 points, and not so best net score 1 point. Total points for the 18 holes is the Match Play Champion for 2017. Bountiful Kash Sweeps, slick trophy plaques, and a bunch of Keepers Kup Points were on the line today. Oh, did I mention Bragging Rights?
From the first hole on it was obvious that it would take very special play and maintained focus to win this day. Coach Fisher saw what he was up against when he parred the first from the other first’s fairway only to see both Terp Station and the Press Man make par/net birdie to grab the early lead. Undaunted Fisher made the first of his two natural birdies on the front with a 15-footer on the second to square up the match at 6 points each through two. After all net birdies on three Kevin started to get his hands around the wheel with two net birdies on four and seven managing to build a three point lead (29-26-26) at the turn.
The Par 5 tenth was indicative of the kompetitive quality of the day’s golf as Fish and Terp Al made net birdies to knot the score at 30 points each heading for the eleventh tee. Schwartz and Bass traded blows on the next two with net birdies respectively before Kevin somehow edged ahead over the next three to carry a 3 point lead to the 16th tee with the score Bass 48 Schwartz 45 Fisher 42.
The seminal play of the day came on the Par 3 16th. With two opponent balls on the green in regulation Terp Station hit a peeler into the right greenside bunker-things were looking grim even though he was getting a stroke on the hole. Kevin had 60 plus feet from the front edge to the back left pin and left it double digits short on the way to a bogie. After a splendid iron shot off the tee, the Coach had it 15 feet under the hole on the right level but the uphill birdie putt wandered slightly at the end and he settled for par. The Terpster hit the Sportcenter shot of the day…….Da Da Da…Da Da Da…….sticking his 60-foot bunker shot to kick-in range for a par/net birdie to grab the lead once again.
After a seventeenth hole that none of the kontestants would like to recall, the trio stepped on the final tee box with it all on the line-Schwartz 52-Bass 51-Fisher 50. Any one of them could win which is kind of how it should be.
Kevin managed to find the left edge of the green from the heavy rough on the right so the gauntlet was dropped. Terp Station sewed an amazing recovery hybrid from the dead grass on the tenth hole through a small opening in the trees to the foot of the upslope between the bunkers keeping hope alive. Coach Fisher’s hopes were dashed by a tree limb on this second from the left trees leaving him no way to make better than bogie on a hole when both of the others got a shot.
It came down to putting as Kevin had another kross kountry putt with a six-foot break for a two-putt and the win. The first one pulled up on the hand brake and stayed 12 feet above the hole and his fine second effort once again slipped by the edge leaving him a tap-in bogie/net par. But would that be enough?
After lofting his third across the front bunker to the edge of the fringe below the hole, Alan had 25 feet left to traverse in 2 shots to claim the big enchilada. Terp Station showed the same stoic resolve he had displayed all day stroking the first one to 3 feet 11 inches and, after a pep talk from counsel, buried what was left in the back of the hole for the net par that would hold his one point advantage and claim the Match Play Championship.
Kongratulations to all three guys….it was a match well played and a deserving champion emerged. Special thanks to Brandon Caiola for his effort in administering this final.
The final takeaways from this year’s Keepers Match Play were:
1st Place Alan Schwartz $300 Kash Sweeps and 600 Kup Points
2nd Place Kevin Bass $200 Kash Sweeps and 500 Kup Points
3rd Place Mike Fisher $100 Kash Sweeps and 450 Kup Points
Tied4th Marc Fink, Artie Aronoff, and Mark S. Goldstein $50 Kash Sweeps and 300 Kup Points
The Pinehurst Glenmorangie introduced a new two-man format to the Keepers schedule which blended a bit of Scramble and a hint of Alternate Shot into an original dynamic single malt product. Picking their own partners, not always the way in Keepers events, the guys had to hit their drives, swap balls for the second shot, and then pick the best result to play the rest of the way into the hole alternate shot.
This presented a distinctly different gestalt then the Alternate Shot we have played in the past and the formula for winning proved different as well. The Par 3’s were the pivot point because if you could put two tee balls on the green then you had two putts for birdies under the scramble portion of the hole. The par 5’s on the other hand became survival holes when any hiccup in the approach shots could mean a bogie and a squandered sub-par net opportunity on a likely stroke hole.
Kaptin Keith Eig and Billy “I like the first cut” Burak made 8 pars and 3 birdies on their way to posting a 75 net 68 early in the returns. In was an unusual turn of events as Kaptain Keith deferred to the circumstantial adept putting of Billy B at a number of key junctures along the way. Two-over gross on the three par fives might have been a serious chink in their armor.
The team of Marc “The Bronx Bantam” Fink and Arnie “20/20” Miller also turned in a marvelous round of net 68 with 9 gross pars of their own. Once again three over on the five pars gained them no ground on the net score.
But it really didn’t matter as these two teams were playing second fiddle together to what came next.
Making a Two-Man Reunion Tour ,Marc “You cannot outwork me” Birnbaum and Herbie “The ageless wonder” Kushner brought the band back together to put on an encore performance to remember. With complementary driving and approach play they shot a gross 75 and net 62 to vanquish the competition. 9 gross pars and 3 birdies including a one-under performance across the critical Par 3s proved unbeatable.
The teams of Howard “ATM” Wollner and Tom “Sizzlin” Burne and Alan “Terp Station” Schwartz and Neal “I am there for you buddy” Freed shot net 69 and 70 to finish 4th and 5th respectively. Until about 10:45 last night Alan was not leavin’ the station because his partner Mike Selis suddenly went on the IR, but Neal was the late addition and it proved to be a sound and fruitful development.
The Prizes (per man):
1st Place at Net 62 Marc Birnbaum/Herbie Kushner 300 Kup Points and $100 Kash Sweeps
T-2nd Place at Net 68 Keith Eig/Billy Burak and Arnie Miller/Marc Fink 175 Kup Points and $40 Kash Sweeps
4th Place at Net 69 Howard Wollner/Tom Burne 100 Kup Points
5th Place at Net 70 Alan Schwartz/Neal Freed 50 Kup Points
Last night’s 5-Club 9-hole event was a Two-Man Team format….it just wasn’t until after the nine was done that the teams were chosen. This made for a bit of a frat house atmosphere in the Men’s Card Room as 16 Keepers koalesced with individual net scorecards in hand to facilitate a two-man team best ball net competition through the unpredictable blind draw of partners.
The prize team picks from the Keepers Sack were going to be the top three finishers in the individual net kompetition of the Kash Game. Randy “5-Club Stud” Weiss just blew away the field with a gross par round on the front of the North that translated into Net 29 to win the top kash prize. Second at Net 33 was Alan “His Train Has Arrived At Terp Station” Schwartz and third was Howard “Stogie” Wollner at Net 34.
Weiss’s Net 29 on the front of the North was downright Spieth-ian as he parred 1, 2, and 3 and then played 4 through 9 seven-under par.
That was with 5-Clubs!!! Talk about being in the zone!
Once we started to draw names for partners and the posting of scores for the Team Best Ball the banter got loud and the room got downright rowdy.
Allen Zweig and Richard Haskin were the first two names out of the sack and to everyone’s surprise their Net 35 held up for Fifth Place Points tied with two other pairs. Next came Marc Birnbaum who rode Alan Schwartz’s individual score like a fine steed, but contributed a critical par on #7 to get them to 31 Net and Second Place. Shortly thereafter Gary Faigen pulled Stogie Wollner’s name out of the sack and they did a fine Virtual Ham n’ Egg turning Howard’s 34 into a net 32 to win Third Place all alone.
It came down to the next to the last pick of the night-you could have cut the anticipation in the air with a butter knife. Mark A. Goldstein sifted the last three names in the sack and his personal Fickle Finger of Fate pulled Randy’s name as his partner. Being familiar with each other from the Alt-Shot Series, where they are the clubhouse leading pair going into that Final Fore, Mark A. just smiled his way through the figuring of their Best Ball score with nine Atta Boy Randy’s and they claimed top Kup Points and Sweeps with a Net 29.
This left Neal Bobys and Ron Hirschel literally holding the bag but finishing Fourth with Net 33.
Team Prizes per man:
1st Place- Net 29 Randy Weiss/Mark A. Goldstein 150 Kup Points and $100 Kash Sweeps
2nd Place- Net 31 Marc Birnbaum/Alan Schwartz 120 Kup Points and $50 Sweeps
3rd Place- Net 32 Gary Faigen/Howard Wollner 90 Kup Points and $25 Sweeps
4th Place- Net 33 Neal Bobys/Ron Hirschel 60 Kup Points
5th Place- Net 35 Most of the rest of the field….a generous 10 Kup Points
The Kasper’s Walk Blind Draw approach was super entertaining and will certainly find it’s way back into the Keeper’s Schedule in another iteration down the road.
The traditional July 4th weekend Woodmont Match Play Club Championships were kontested in hot and sultry conditions this year. Lots of new faces finished with the trophies in hand in the Championship and Flighted Divisions as the quality of play over the three days was as hot as the temperature in the shade.
Twenty-one players, including two Keepers, tried to qualify for the 16 spots in the Championship Flight. Low medalist, representing the young and capable, was Jack Klein who finished the 27 holes at 119. Keith Eig and Mike Fisher from our troops made it through to the round of 16 to earn an extra 100 Kup Points each before falling in the first round.
The Championship Flight final 36-hole match on Sunday was between young Jack Klein and the seasoned veteran Larry Jacobs. On the opening 18 on the zoysia Jack jumped out to an early lead winning 5 of the first 7 holes. It settled down to a sparing match the rest of the outward 18, as they traded holes and Jack took a 6-up lead into the inward 18 on the bent. After a birdie on the first Jack looked like he was in total command at 7-up, but the L. J. showed his fight as he chiseled the lead back to to just 2-up at the turn going into the final nine holes. Jack righted the ship winning 10 through 12 and cruised to a 5 & 4 victory and his first Woodmont Match Play Club Championship.
The Keepers were well represented in the flighted championship which included 19 of our members in the 32 players across four handicap flights. When the top dressing settled Sunday afternoon three of the four winners were Keeper brothers.
In the First Flight Artie “You Got Our Full Attention” Arnonoff continued his solid play besting Billy Burak and Michael Levy in the first two matches before falling 2 & 1 to Howie Stein in the final.
Len “The Plumber” Goldman took out Frank Broner, Tom Burne, and Jonathan Lerner on the way to kapturing the Second Flight Championship trophy.
The Third Flight saw Ronnie “All Smiles” Rosenberg beat Steve Melman and Michael Peacock before outlasting Herbie “The Fountain of Youth” Kushner 2 & 1 in final.
The Fourth Flight was almost a total Keeper affair and Alan “Terp Station” Schwartz had to beat Mark A. Goldstein, Ron Hirschel, and Rick “Lead Dog” Brecher on the way to take the top prize in this flight.
Congratulations to all the Keepers who participated in this year’s Woodmont Club Championships. There was substantial movement in the Keepers Kup Standings as a result of the “Major” Kup Points earned by these fine performances.
As we approach the midpoint of the Keepers X Kampaign, we were presented with a sultry summer day for the annual Keepers Beat The Pro Klassic. 39 Keepers kompeted in two divisions against the scores of 8 tour professionals from this year’s Memorial Tournament in a modified Stableford Match Play format for valuable Kup Points and Kash Sweeps.
In the American Division Marc Leishman didn’t see it coming as Jimmy “Bam Bam” Polsky smacked him upside the head for 36 points to win top honors and lap the field. This was total domination start to finish with 10 net birdies and a net eagle as Jimmy shot 80 on a difficult set-up on the North Bent playing off the 18 strokes his 110% handicap afforded.
Tied second in the American 9 furlongs back were Steve “Don’t Be Laughin’ At By Curve” Lustig and Artie “I Told You To Pay Attention” Aronoff who scored 27 points off Bubba Watson and Ricky Barnes respectively. Phil “Beware Of The Wounded Kat” Malet took down Bubba for fourth and tied fifth in the American with 24 points were Rusty “They Call Them Hot Metal For A Reason” Minkoff, Kevin “Bullseye” Bass, and Mike “Just Check The Top Of The Leaderboard” Selis.
The National Division was a very tightly kontested affair as Don “The Don” Rogers worked a little family magic of his own taking down Hideki Matsuyama for 27 points. After winning two of the first three holes The Don konserved his energy for spell before stepping on the gas to win 6 of the last 11 on the way to first place in the National.
Tied second were Frank “Practice Makes Perfect” Crantz and John “Freakyazoid” Friedson who beat Bubba and Phil for 26 points each. A log jam for fourth included Arthur “So This Is A Sport” Dubin, Nelson “First Among Cohens” Cohen, Mark “S” Goldstein, and Ron “Remember The Finale” Hirschel who scored 25 points each against their pro opponents.
1st- Jimmy Polsky 300 Kup Points $100 Kash Sweeps
T-2nd- Steve Lustig and Artie Aronoff 175 Kup Points $40 Kash Sweeps each
4th- Phil Malet 100 Kup Points
T-5th- Kevin Bass, Rusty Minkoff, and Mike Selis 50 Kup Points each
1st- Don Rogers 300 Kup Points $100 Kash Sweeps
T-2nd- Frank Crantz and John Friedson 175 Kup Points $40 Kash Sweeps each
T-4th- Nelson Cohen, Arthur Dubin, Mark S. Goldstein, and Ron Hirschel 50 Kup Points each
Mount Rushmore-The 7th Inning Stretch-was a wild and wooly affair with 40 Keepers representing four Presidential teams in our annual Kolor War Team Event. The event format included Stage 1 Matches of 9 hole Two-Man Scramble, Stage 2 Matches of 9 hole parallel Two-Man Best Ball and Not-So-Best Ball, and Stage 3’s hand-to-hand individual scrums of Short Game Skills at The Sid.
Team Teddy, kaptained by the always acerbic Howard “Stogie” Wollner, ran rough shod over the field with a lightening charge in Stage 2 and Stage 3 to score 504 points and win the whole shooting match.
In the Stage 1 Scramble Matches Team Abe took a decisive 10-point lead on the back of across-the-roster heroics. Keith Eig-Billy Burak (21 points), Len Goldman-Steve Lustig (20 points), Rich Sussman-Tom Burne (24 points), Dave Benson-Monroe Brett (22 points), and Art Blitz-Rick Brecher (16 points) together tallied 104 points to open up a gap on the field.
Team Teddy found their ballast in Stage 2’s parallel Best Ball and Not-So-Best Ball Matches with Artie Aronoff-Bill Artz (46 points), Kaptain Wollner-Ronnie Rosenberg (42 points), and Mike Fisher-Paul Cohen (42 points) fomenting the comeback as they dominated with 208 points to take a commanding lead.
But with the five Stage 3 Short Game Skills-Normandy Beach, Dumbo’s Rump, Phil’s Pholly, Born To Run, and Lag Time-still to go it was not “over until it was over”. The heroics in this stage came from Ronnie “I know my way around Green” Greenbaum and Arnie “It Is Not All About The Drivin'” Aronoff who both won 4 out of 5 skills in their respective groups as Team Teddy scored 202 points as a team to consolidate their lead and take home the $50-a-man Team Sweeps.
A side note on the Short Game Challenge, there were three hole-outs worth 50 bonus Keepers Kup Points to each man by Steve “MVP” Lustig, Joe “Rump Management” Baldinger, and Moe “New Grooves” Dweck.
Team MVP’s for each squad scored 200 Keepers Kup Points as well as the swell Bobbling Head Trophy of their President. Keepers Kup Points were awarded to the top three individual performers on each team so there were plenty of points to go around.
First Place Team (504 points)- Team Teddy-Howard Wollner, Ronnie Rosenberg, Mike Fisher, Paul Cohen, Artie Aronoff, Bill Artz, Bob Cook, Jimmy Polsky, Norman Freidkin, and Ronnie Greenbaum $50 Kash Sweeps per man
Second Place Team (474 points)-Team Abe-Keith Eig, Billy Burak, Len Goldman, Steve Lustig, Rich Sussman, Tom Burne, Dave Benson, Monroe Brett, Art Blitz, and Rick Brecher $25 Kash Sweeps per man
The Players Pool Kash Game raised $370 for our Military Charity Donation at years end and awarded Kash Prizes to the top six individual point winners across the field.
1st- Ronnie Greenbaum (63 points) $110 kash
2nd Artie Aronoff (61 points) $90 kash
3rd Steve Lustig 57 points $70 kash
4th Alan Levine (56 Points) $50 kash
5th Len Goldman (55 points) $30 kash
6th Mike Selis (53 points) $20 kash.
Thanks to Konnor and his staff crew for putting on a great show for us in Keepers X Kolor War 2017.