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Monday, 29 June 2009

In this scratch, foursomes team match-play competition for three pairs of golfers over the age of 50, played at Worplesdon, Brighton were scheduled to meet Ampleforth in the opening round, followed by either Chigwell or Framlingham in the main event or the plate.

Practice day

On Wednesday 24th June, on a cloudless day, 5 of the team of 6, Watson Failes, Martin Sabey, Warwick Sabey, Nigel Dearsly and Robin Colbourne assembled for the practice day.  The opening day of the competition itself, offered the possibility of 2 rounds of golf so, Watson decided to miss the practice round and save his aching bones for the event proper.

Whilst sorting out who would play with whom for the practice round a telephone call was received from Chris Pett, the sixth member of the team to say that he had suffered a spasm in his back (whilst looking for a bottle of
wine) and so was unlikely to be able to play in the competition.  So it was left to the "day boys" to take on the "boarders" in an 18 hole "grudge"
match of scratch foursomes.  On this occasion the "day boys" prevailed.

After the practice some dedicated telephoning of other potential players failed to find anyone else who would be able to play at such short notice and so Chris was prevailed upon to turn up so that we could at least produce a team.

First round

The first day of competition was another faultless June day with a slight breeze to make the heat more comfortable and to add a touch of spice to the golf.  The team assembled at 8:00 with Chris looking in considerable discomfort although he said that he could swing a club and that it was the walking that was likely to be the greater problem.  Taking into account the possibility that Chris might have to give up before the round was completed we decided to pair him with Watson and put them out first pair and try to win the points required at pairs 2 and 3 (Nigel & Robin, Martin & Warwick).
The old golf adage of "beware the injured golfer" came true as Chris and Watson won quite comfortably.  Nigel and Robin had a very tight match which they managed to pull back to all square at the 18th so had to wait to see how the Sabeys had done.  Martin and Warwick in true "Bristol house" fashion pulled through winning comparatively easily and so Brighton were through to the second round, (without the need for the 2nd pair to go down the 19th) which was scheduled for the following morning.

The following day again held the prospect of 2 rounds of golf (if we prevailed in the first) and so I was delighted to hear from Adrian White who said that he was prepared to travel to Worplesdon for lunch and play  in the afternoon, if required.  (Thank you Adrian for your most unselfish attitude and tremendous understanding of the problems inherent in putting out a team of "old crocks")

Second Round

A cloudy calm day offered the prospect of some good golf, Chris was looking in much less pain and so we set forth with high hopes with the running order of the Sabeys at one, then Nigel and Robin and finally Chris and Watson.
All three pairs recorded comfortable wins and so we progressed serenely into the Quarter finals where our opponents would be the highly regarded Whitgift.

Having been joined by Adrian, another enjoyable Warplesdon lunch was consumed by all.  For the afternoon game Watson took the opportunity of a rest and so Adrian was paired with Chris whilst the other two pairs remained the same.

Quarter Finals

Adrian and Chris at first pair had a very comfortable win whilst Martin and Warwick came up against some considerable talent finally succumbing at the 16th.  This meant that the match rested on the shoulders of Nigel and Robin who were 2 down with 6 to play.  A birdie 4 at the 12th was only good enough for a half, but a win at the 13th meant back to 1 down. 14th, 15th and 16th halved with a bogey and 2 pars. A win at the 17th meant all square and everything to play for.  Robin's dreadful chip at the 18th and a missed putt of some 6 feet meant that Brighton could only manage to halve a hole that they should have easily won - and so down the 19th.  Both sides hit good drives and 2nd shots to the edge of the green.  First putts leave Whitgift 10 feet and Brighton 9.5 feet from the cup.  Whitgift's putt drops in with it's last gasp from the right hand edge of the hole whilst Brighton's putt slips agonisingly past on the other side and so Whitgift prevail in a wonderful match played in great spirit and competitiveness.

Final results of all games played for individuals is

Martin Played 4 Won 2 Lost 2, Warwick P4 W 2 L2, Nigel P4 W2, Halved 1 L1, Robin P4 W2, H1, L1, Watson P2, W2, Chris P3, W3, Adrian P1 W1

Once again my thanks to the 6 who turned up to play.

Next year's event will be from the 23rd to 26th June.  Please mark in your diaries and make yourself available for selection, if at all possible.

Any golf players who would like to be considered for selection or who would just like to join us for a drink or lunch, please contact me.  I would love to have the situation where we have a "trial" to select the team rather than just turning out the only 6 who make themselves available.

Robin Colbourne (H. 1960-65)
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