Put-ting it together

If Mesa Verde Country Club players need a taste of what Big Canyon Country Club is like, they need look no further than one of their own: Sally Holstein.

Tuesday's 12th annual Jones Cup at Big Canyon will be a homecoming of sorts for Holstein, a former women's club champion who spent 30 years there before moving to Mesa Verde in December 2009.

"I'm nervous," Holstein said Friday by phone. "I haven't played here for a few months. The format is easier than the Tea Cup when it was just four women. This format is comfortable."

Mesa Verde will be going against Big Canyon, Newport Beach and Santa Ana country clubs in a two best-ball per group format.

Mesa Verde will be looking to win its third straight Jones Cup with a lineup that includes four new faces from last year's team.

Head pro Tom Sargent returns from last year's winning fivesome and joins assistant Lehua Wise, women's champion Holstein, men's champion Brad Miller and senior champion Tom McGreevy.

Wise, 25, was born and raised in Hawaii. She was named the state's 2003 Junior Female Player of the Year and tallied two collegiate wins playing for New Mexico State. She was a two-time, first-team All-Western Athletic Conference honoree in 2006 and '07.

In 2010, she placed 31st of 195 players on the Duramed Futures Tour money list, earning more than $16,000 in 17 events. The Duramed is the LPGA's developmental tour.

As money dwindled, she sought other work and started at Mesa Verde last January.

On the phone Friday, Wise said she was going to play a few holes at Big Canyon for the first time later that day. She may not be familiar with the course, but Wise already has a sense of what's at stake come Tuesday.

"A lot of the members are excited; we represent them," Wise said.

Mesa Verde team members said Big Canyon's greens will offer a stern test.

Miller is no stranger to Big Canyon. He said in an e-mail he's played the course more than 40 times in the past 20 years. Miller, who played golf at Estancia High from 1988 to '91, said the greens can be "very quick."

Holstein added that putts "can get away from you."

Sargent, who has played Big Canyon 20 times, said "the greens are quite fast, so if you hit it in the wrong spot, you are in trouble. Big Canyon will be tough to beat."

The host team has six Jones Cup titles, while Mesa Verde ranks second with four and three in the last five years. Mesa Verde won last year on its home course by two strokes with a bogey-free round.

Big Canyon won the 2007 Jones Cup on its home course by one stroke over Mesa Verde.

Though she's playing for Mesa Verde, Holstein will have a homey feel on Tuesday.

"I'm looking forward to going back to Big Canyon," Holstein said. "I have a lot of friends there. It's always good to go back."

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