Those of you unfamiliar with the history of the Currie Cup…
In 2008, Mike O’Neil had a great idea to creating an event for Currie Park Men’s Golf Club. It was the year of the Ryder Cup with Paul Azinger and Nick Faldo as Captains playing at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky. Mike prompted the event to the club while providing a format to keep all handicap abilities involved in the event. Like the Ryder Cup, it was drawn up to have Morning foursomes and Afternoon fourball. Unfortunately, Mike was unable to participate in the event. The first Currie Cup in 2008 was at Evergreen Golf Course in Elkhorn, Wisconsin where only 16 members played in the event. It was Team Nicklaus edging out Tem Hogan 8 ½ to 7 ½ in the first battle of Captain Jardanowski and Captain Webb.
In 2009, again Mike O’Neil drummed up the event. The event took place at Brighton Dale Golf Course in Racine County. Unfortunately, Mike was unable to participate. It was the year of golf cart incident, where tree met golf cart head-on. Fortunately, no one was hurt badly. 24 members played in the event in a lopsided Team Nicklaus 14 ½ to Team Snead 9 ½ where Jardanowski was nominated for Captain of the Year.
In 2010 another Ryder Cup year, the word was out that this event was a blast to participate in playing. The event Directed by Jardanowski and backed by Webb and O’Neil was a unique event added and opened to other members of the club. Promoting the event as fun, competitive, and feeling like you were playing at the Ryder Cup was successful in bringing 32 members to play at Brighton Dale Golf Course in Racine County. After a third Team name for Captain Webb, Team Mickelson Machine made a late surge during the afternoon rounds to take a 16.5 to 15.5 win over Team Nicklaus.
In 2011, Mike O’Neil was finally able to participate in the event he created in 2008. Oh, Mike took some heat for having a great idea, yet not able to participate in the event. This was his first year for him in the event. After the event Mike was quoted, “This felt like a real Ryder Cup, I really enjoyed playing and even felt a little nervous during the matches”. The venue was moved north to Kettle Hills Golf Course, bordering property lines with the Gitter plantation. Yes, PGA Professional Eric Gitter has property bordering a golf course. It was the first year the event allowed a Professional to play. Mike was part to the winning team where Team Mickelson Machine just crushed Team Nicklaus. Even after the crushing defeat, Captain Jardanowski was quoted, “It’s all about heart!”. It had nothing to do with a late block buster trade for the Brandts. The speech provided to Team Nicklaus was crushing. PGA Professional Eric Gitter before the matches, “Try hard, if we lose who cares. Sound Good? Let’s go hit some balls!”
This brings us to 2012, another Ryder Cup year. The Ryder Cup being played in nearby Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Illinois (Are you going?). Tom Jardanowski decides to step down from Director and Captain. Jardo will remain in charge of the famous putting contest. We want to thank you Jardo for all the hard work over the past 4 years. Mike Kessler has taken the duties of Director and Ken Collins has relieved Tom as a rookie Captain for the challenging team against savvy veteran Captain Dan Webb.
The 2012 Currie Cup has been brought to “the Battle at the National” this year. The battle is providing some additional history with the team names. Lawson Airliners, the first commercial flight into Milwaukee landed on the property of Currie Park. Dickinson Line was the first airmail flight from Milwaukee to Chicago. The Battle is schedule for September 2, 2012 with 40 members playing this year.