2014: Jeff started off his Ryder Cup career with 2 consecutive losses. However, he was paired with Kyle and Dan-o for those two losses so he really can't be blamed too much. Once he finally shed his worthless partners he took care of business and got a point for Team Lombardo Saturday afternoon outbattling Steve.
2015: Jeff earned the Warrior award in 2015. After teaming up with his son Friday afternoon for a W, he earned a draw on Saturday morning. But by Saturday afternoon, Jeff couldn't even swing the club anymore. He lost a heroic battle to Gordo in the 1 on 1 match. 2016: Jeff suffered a tough loss to Zach and Dr. Bandit on Friday afternoon 2 & 1. Jeff may have dipped into some of the boss’s fireball. On Saturday he bounced back and earned a solid win but who wouldn’t be able to get a victory with a partner like Dan-o? One of the most surprising matches on Saturday afternoon was Jeff losing a battle to Andy. I think the booze had finally caught up to Jeff.
2017: Jeff had a tough year in 2017, although he was able to watch Gordon’s meltdown on 17 & 18, bringing him back to AS on the Saturday afternoon match. He was unfortunately paired with Jason Collingsworth(less) on the Friday afternoon round. Barkeley got the best of Jason and Jeff and made quick work. Zach was no help in that win. Saturday morning paired Jeff and Staten against C-Lo and Gordon. Unfortunately C-Lo was too much of a match for Staten, nailing everything inside 150 dead on the pin. Jeff kept his spirits up with copious amounts of weed, making the afternoon match a tough one to stand up and play against Gordon. Miraculously, he was able to stick with it just enough to go AS, ending 2017 in a high note.
2018: Jeff had an even harder go of it in 2018. Losing all 3 matches by at least 3 points. The only good news coming from it is that his son did just as bad. At least Jeff was AS with Gordon in 2017, while Kyle got smoked by 6 points by Gordon in 2018. Jeff continues to enjoy every minute on the golf course, at least, if he’s standing and able to remember it.
2019: Jeff was unable to attend the 2019 Ryder Cup.
2020: Jeff was unable to attend the COVID Cup, but is planning to be back in 2021.
2021: Jeff was back at it for the 2021 Ryder Cup. He was paired with Ken S in the first round and was able to get an early win for Team Lombardo. They got up early, up 3 at the turn and never looked back winning the match 2&1 vs. Rick and Ty. On Saturday morning, he was paired with the other Staten against the Mel/Poet father-son duo. Mel teeing up from the seniors and hitting 300yards was a formidable foe and the Statenstache/Jeff team wasn't able to overcome, losing 4&2. Jeff was unfortunately paired against Zach in the final match, and unfortunately Zach was sober. Jeff was up 3 at the turn, and the match looked to be within his grasp, but a back nine 62 was all that mattered. Zach took holes 14, 15, 16 all but sealing his victory over Jeff with a Final 2&1.
2022: Jeff had an unfortunate first pairing with his son, Kyle. CLo and Casey were too much for the Eckles duo, even though Casey couldn't hit a shot to save his life. Saturday morning Jeff was paired with Nick, hopeful to turn the tide. Luke couldn't miss a shot, and was able to take down the duo with no issues. Jeff's outlook in the afternoon was positive, as he was able to get a matchup against his former teammate, Ken M. The match was back and forth through the front 9, with Jeff winning the 9th hole to be up 1. Jeff rattled off wins on the next 4 holes never looking back and demolishing Ken on the back nine. This was Jeff's second 1v1 victory, and first in over 7 years!
Jeff is the proud father of Kyle. Proud is a loosely used term in this instance. Jeff is steady with his "old man golf" as Kyle likes to describe it. Jeff has posted some low rounds which tells me that golf skills must skip a generation. There will likely be a trail of Busch Light cans trailing behind Jeff's cart throughout the weekend. One thing is for sure, he is the favorite Eckles of the group.
Ryder Cup Highlight
Jeff's Ryder Cup highlight was assuredly Sunday morning of 2014 when we woke up. He went to the living room of the condo and had that proud moment every father has when he sees his son passed out on the couch with a local he had picked up from the bar the night before. The true highlight was probably when Jeff could confirm that the blonde mess laying on the couch with Kyle was indeed a female.
There is a direct correlation between Jeff's injuries going into the Ryder Cup and the length of the Red Wings' playoff run. Last year, in a 7 game opening series, Jeff couldn't handle the booze and suffered a brutal shoulder/face injury. This year with the Wings' early exit, Jeff should be in for a banner Ryder Cup performance.