Country Club, Crump’ on collision course

When the Franklin Cup was last contested at Crumpin-Fox Club in 2011, history was made by the Country Club of Greenfield squad, which overcame tough, wet conditions to become the first visiting team to post a win.

This year, the boys from Crumpin-Fox look to avenge that loss to the CC of Greenfield when they converge on the storied Bernardston layout Saturday and Sunday for the 14th-annual Franklin Cup.

Established in 2000, the Franklin Cup remains the premier bragging-rights event between the two rival clubs.

Teams of 12 from each club compete in a Ryder Cup-style, match-play competition with six Four-Ball matches Saturday morning, six Foursome (alternate shot) matches Saturday afternoon and 12 Singles matches Sunday. The CC of Greenfield holds an 8-5 edge and has won the past three years, including a 15-9 home win last year.

The CC of Greenfield team will be playing with heavy hearts after losing longtime pro and Director of Golf Bucky O’Brien, who died 21∕2 weeks ago. The team will be captained by 2013 club champion Don Foberg.

“I’m honored to be the captain of this year’s team, especially in a season that the new clubhouse has been completed and our longtime friends and supporters Bucky O’Brien and Jon Hunt have passed,” said Foberg. “This will be a special year and our team is ready to compete against their very young and talented team.

“This competition has become a signature event for both courses, capping off great seasons at both venues,” he continued. “As the years have gone by, team members of both clubs have become respected friends.”

Foberg will rely on his team’s experience as he leads a roster of battle-tested veterans and one lonely rookie on this year’s squad.

Two-time club champions Nate Burdick and Dave Kennedy are both coming off successful seasons that included a victory together in the prestigious CC of Greenfield Invitational Four-Ball last month. Foberg will also rely on five-time club champion KC Finley to continue this season’s solid play.

Four-time club champion Jack Varner has competed in every Franklin Cup. Five-time Invitational Four-Ball champion and match-play specialist Dennis Booska, along with Senior club champion Jeff Blomstedt make their return to the team. Rounding out the squad are Franklin Cup stalwart Mike Johnson, Jared Ewart, Brodie Conant, Terry Blanchard and Dave Donoghue, the rookie.

Crumpin-Fox will be captained by 17-year-old club champ Cody Booska, coming off an impressive summer that included advancing to the Massachusetts State Amateur and a tie for 15th in the Mass. State Junior Amateur.

Contrary to the experience of its rival, Crump’s roster has young players mixed with grizzled veterans who are hungry and motivated to win back the Cup.

Young guns Chris Austin and Andy Lesenski will once again fire at the flags for Crump, while Chris Podkowka and Mark Waskiewicz each make their second appearance (Waskiewicz went 3-0 last year event in Greenfield). Former University of Tampa golfer Scott Serwa makes his Cup debut after a runner-up finish in the club-championship performance included a second-round, 5-under-par 67.

Cup veterans for Crump include Dan Benoit, Tony Wonseski, and past club champions Tim Rice and Erik Barnes. In addition to Varner and Kennedy, Barnes has also competed in every Franklin Cup since its inception. Completing the team and making their rookie appearances are Bruce Phillips and Pioneer Valley Regional School’s James Elliott.

Can Crumpin-Fox reclaim the Cup? Does the CC of Greenfield have enough to prevail and make it four in a row? Could the final result come down to a father/son Booska/Booska singles duel on Sunday? It’ll all unfold when the matches begin Saturday morning.

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