Country Club of Greenfield goes for 4th straight title as Franklin Cup returns for 24th edition

Crumpin-Fox Club captain Troy Miller tees off during a past Invitational Four Ball at the Greenfield Country Club. Miller and host CFC welcome the Country Club of Greenfield for the 24th Franklin Cup this weekend in Bernardston.

Crumpin-Fox Club captain Troy Miller tees off during a past Invitational Four Ball at the Greenfield Country Club. Miller and host CFC welcome the Country Club of Greenfield for the 24th Franklin Cup this weekend in Bernardston. STAFF FILE PHOTO

By JEFF LAJOIE

Staff Writer

Published: 10-05-2023 2:47 PM

Modified: 10-05-2023 2:47 PM


While the United States was unable to spring the road Ryder Cup victory in Italy last weekend, the Country Club of Greenfield will be looking to do just that – and win their fourth straight tournament – when the 24th annual Franklin Cup takes place Saturday and Sunday.

Crumpin-Fox Club will play host to the annual event, which pits the two clubs in a Ryder Cup-style event. Match play begins on Saturday morning when golfers will compete in a four-ball format, followed by afternoon foursomes (alternate shot). Sunday features 12 singles matches to close out the event, with 24 points up for grabs in total.

CCG leads the all-time series 14-8-1, including three straight victories. Last year, Greenfield held serve for a tight 13-11 victory, and the club also won the last time the event was held at Crumpin-Fox Club back in 2021 (another 13-11 win).

History is on the side of the Foxes however, as road wins have been extremely rare in the Franklin Cup. Prior to the 2021 tournament, CFC lost just once at home (2011) and tied another event (2013).

Plenty of rain this summer may have hindered play throughout the 2023 campaign, but it has helped local courses in the long run in terms of conditions. Courses throughout Franklin County are greener this October than in years past, and while there is some rain in the forecast this weekend, the hope is that matches will be contested as planned.

Host CFC will be guided by captain Troy Miller, who won the club championship in August to earn the captainship after rallying from four strokes back in the final round to clip Keith Burch. Miller will be making his second Franklin Cup appearance, and he went 1-2 in three matches during his only other appearance in 2012.

Burch, who won the club title in 2022, will make his 14th appearance for CFC in the Franklin Cup this weekend. He went 2-1 in three matches last year, and has the second-most points in CFC history (22½) to go with a sterling 21-12-3 all-time record.

Other veterans looking to help anchor Crumpin-Fox Club will be Mark Waskiewicz, who will play in his 11th Franklin Cup. Waskiewicz has the best winning percentage in CFC history, racking up a 21-7-2 mark. Justin Dion is another CFC vet who will play in his 10th Franklin Cup (12-12-2 record), while Dave Donoghue is also set to play in his 10th Cup (sixth with CFC) en route to a 12-13-2 record.

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Chris Stoddard (eighth appearance, 6-11-4), Brett Barnes (sixth, 7-7-1) and Brendan Creagh (fourth, 3-5-1) are other familiar faces for the Crumpin-Fox Club team, while Nick Stern (2021) and Mike Williams (2020) are both making their second-ever appearances. Alex White and Jeff Houle will be the CFC rookies this weekend.

Visiting CCG will be led by four-time reigning club champion Andy Lesenski, who will once again handle captain duties this weekend. Lesenski, who won all three of his matches last year, is playing in his 10th Franklin Cup (seventh with CCG), and boasts an 18-7 all-time mark.

The rest of the CCG roster features a mix of vets and relative newcomers. Dave Kennedy has played in all 23 previous Franklin Cups, and the event’s all-time leader in points (39½) will look to add to that total after a 2-1 record in 2022. Kennedy is 36-20-7 for the Greenies during his two-plus decades on the roster.

Nate Burdick is also in the two-plus decade crew, as he’ll compete for the 21st time with Team CCG. Burdick is 32-22-3, racking up the third-most points in event history.

Wil Conant (9-12-3) and Jason Kelton (14-9-1) will both make their ninth appearances for CCG this weekend, while Chris Bourbeau (seventh appearance, 9-7-2), Jamie Crocker (fourth, 4-4-1), Steve Jones (fourth, 6-3), Tom Herzig (third, 1-2-3) and Chris Varilly (second, 1-1-1) are also on the roster. Rookies for CCG this year include Anthony Laurenitis and Justin McCloud.