There was some trepidation in the management team as the inaugural Ryder Cup Teams event approached. Would the members turn up in droves or would they stay away in droves? As it turned out it was the former and there were 22 members and Enzo who joined us again. With his membership application in and his adjusted GA handicap set as his Club handicap, Enzo could easily be a force to be reckoned with in the near future. For today, he tagged along but acquitted himself admirably in the ball run event.
But first, the main event. There was excitement in the air as the extras who did not indicate beforehand that they were going to play rolled in and the list for the captains to select from was finalised. Then it was quick fire, select, opponent, select, opponent until they said ‘That’s it’. Hang on, there’s 22 names on the list and only ten members per team. Who’s been missed? Oh, it’s Brendon and Ben, they’ll have to play each other then – which one do you want?
The Europe Team was carefully selected by that well known ranga Gordon who headed confidently to the first tee to take on the opposing captain of the United States team, JQ. His confidence appeared to be well founded as he parred the first to take an early lead and, in the scheme of things was never really headed until the match finished in his hands 4 and 3. John was rather miffed that it seemed Gordon could skull a shot through almost any obstacle to finish within spitting distance of the hole and the frustration was obvious on the 13th when a club might have left his hands in a non-regulation manner.
A battle of the giants was anticipated with the matching of Damo and Pepsi. After sharing the honours on the first, Pepsi, uncharacteristically, although this is the second time in two weeks, didn’t make it through the greenery in front of the tee on the second or to the red markers for that matter. This handed a lead to Damo who never really looked back, despite Pepsi claiming a couple of holes late in the round, to take the match 3 and 1.
Noodles and Ryan played a see-sawing match and it was a pretty close run thing with the match going to Noods 1 up after they squared the last two holes. The Beast and Dale squared up on the first but from then on Dale was never headed and took out their match 3 and 2. Rob and Stef took it in turns to win two, lose two (pretty much) and as a result the match ended up square after the 18th. A chip-off decided the result in Rob’s favour.
Bob and Targe were on equal handicaps and so there were no strokes (or quarter) to be given and the match was never far from square the whole round. And even when the round was finished, the match was still square until a chip-off decided the match in Bob’s favour. Simon got off to a good start in his match against Brent by making a par on the first and it seemed as if he was going to roll on to an easy victory. After the 10th, Si was five up and could have been forgiven for thinking he had it in the bag. Then Brent woke up and won four of the next five and it was game on. But, in the end, Simon won the 17th to come out victor 2 and 1.
SOS and Jason battled hard for the first nine and the honours were even at that stage. SOS put on a burst, Jason put on a burst and then SOS put on a final lunge for the line, winning the 16th and 17th to finish up 3 and 1. Trev took on Blighty after a six week break brought on by treatment and rest and recovery from trying to deep-fry himself. While he was struggling, physically, Trev was actually playing pretty well (despite his protestations) and, at the end of the match, the game was all square and the duelling duo proceed to the green for a chip-off. And what a chip-off it was. Trev won the toss and went first and made it onto the green but quite a long way from the hole. Blighty’s first chip was well short of the green and the expectation was that he would put it close to the hole to put pressure on Trev for the putt. But, no, he gave it a good whack and went close to finishing under the dumpster at the back of the green. Another two chips were required to even get on the green and a couple of putts gave Trev plenty of margin to win, even with his three putts.
Ken and Harry were pretty well matched over the front nine but by the 14th Harry was four up. A foray into the penalty area handed that hole to Ken and the connections began to get a bit nervous. A square on the 15th made the match dormie three which meant that Harry would have to lose every hole for the match to finish square. A loss on the 16th started on that path but a win on the 17th finished the match 3 and 1.
At this stage, the teams were even with five matches apiece. So one match was going to decide the event. And that match was between the ‘forgotten boys’ Brendon and Ben. Neither of them got off to a particularly good start. Ben is well known for having trouble from the first tee and when SOS found a ball in the garden bed in front the natural assumption was that it might be one of Ben’s. But, today, Ben didn’t put it in the garden but he did barely make it past the reds markers. And, wouldn’t you know it, Brendon did almost exactly the same thing. Despite that, they were able to slug it out with very little advantage one way or another until a win on the 17th put Brendon one up. On the 18th, both were set to putt for par when Brendon missed by a michael hair and Ben had the chance to square the match and go to a chip-off. Unfortunately, the putt did not fall and so the inaugural Ryder Cup teams event went to the United States team six games to five.
We had out Nearest the Pin competition as usual and the Jackpot ProPin was located on the 12th hole. Damo got on but didn’t write his distance but it didn’t matter as Simon got inside him with a shot to 1.49m. After he hit his shot SOS was heard to say ‘We did agree to go quarters, didn’t we?”. There was a BallPin on the 15th and Brendon got to put his smiley face on that one after his ball landed short of the green to the left, took a sharp right turn and went very close to the hole before stopping a metre or so away. He still didn’t get the birdie though. The second BallPin on the 18th went to Harry.
Although not everybody filled in a normal card, points were calculated from the match cards for those that didn’t for the purposes of determining the ball run for the day. Any missing scores were awarded two points. SOS will hand out balls next week.
Results for Saturday, 13 April 2019
Matchplay: Gordon Hill d John Quinlan 4 & 3, Damien Lee d Andrew Petricola 3 & 1, Stephen Butterfield d Ryan Porker 1 up, Dale Webb d Bill Eastoe 3 & 2, Robert Priems d Stefan Belevski Chip off, Bob McDonald d Targe Mifsud Chip off, Simon Powell d Brent Rowley 2 & 1, Stephen O’Sullivan d Jason Hopkins 3 & 1, Trevor Jackson d Andrew Blight Chip off, Harry Boughen d Ken Watson 3 & 1, Brendon Mitchell d Ben Akdag 1 up USA (captain John Quinlan) d Europe (captain Gordon Hill) 6 games to 5.
Ball Run: 1st Stephen Butterfield(40) 2nd Enzo Cirone(39) 2nd Gordon Hill(39) 2nd Damien Lee(39) 3rd Andrew Blight(36) 4th Trevor Jackson(35) 5th too many to mention (33)
Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin12th Simon Powell BallPin No 1 15th Damien Lee BallPin No 2 18th Harry Boughen