Club finals take over
Last weekend was a significant one for golf enthusiasts, primarily as Europe was attempting to retain the Ryder Cup in Kentucky, USA.
Last weekend was a significant one for golf enthusiasts, primarily as Europe was attempting to retain the Ryder Cup in Kentucky, USA. Sidmouth had also laid on a novel series of competitions for our members to commemorate the event, and a great weekend at the golf club concluded with Finals Day on Sunday, when each of the club 2008 knock-out finals were held. The Challenge Cup is the one most of us would love to win, and relative newcomer Bob Johnston will have the distinction of seeing his name on the coveted Winners' Board in the clubhouse following his 5 and 4 victory over the considerably younger Chris Lewis. Bob was playing off 18 and, as a result of the recent decision to allow full handicap difference for the first time in over 120 years, received 10 shots from Chris playing off 8. I didn't see any of this game, but it was no surprise to hear that Chris was supported on the day by a number of his family members, mostly wearing colour matched shirts. This included his father Paul and Uncle Andrew who are both past winners, and it is possible Chris may well have found the occasion quite testing. On the other hand Bob apparently seemed unaware he was supposed to be nervous, played consistently throughout, and was six up at the turn. Although he lost three of the next four holes against a revitalised opponent, a par at the 14th gave him the match, and with it the information that there was such a thing as a Winners' Board in the clubhouse. With another 40 years or so to go before he is allowed to play in the Seniors' Knock Out, ex-junior Lewis is a fine golfer and will no doubt have many more opportunities to pick up The Challenge Cup.l Ray Scott and Colin Mitchell this year contested the Seniors' Knock Out final, and this was a close contest between them. Ray is one of several golfers at our club who have a lovely smooth tempo to his swing rather than the manic lunge most of us have to endure, but Colin fought back from two down after four to level the match with a par on the 18th. Continuing back up the first, this produced another half, but the match was eventually settled in Ray's favour on the second hole.l David Bater won the Hall Trophy when he defeated Duncan Taylor, and this match was also decided on the 20th hole after a very close contest. David took a three-hole lead early on, but Duncan pulled the match back to level. Play was still level after 18, but David finally triumphed after the two ex-juniors played the first and second again. l The Burgoyne Cup wasn't such a close affair, when Douglas Goodall beat fellow senior Ray Gunstone 4 and 2. Doug had just been cut two shots following a recent medal success, but Ray said the better man won on the day. Douglas has certainly hit a rich vein of form in recent months, and his successes have included The Henry Young Salver, won at Honiton earlier this month. This is a better ball competition, and he was part of a 3 man team including Glynn Hewitt and Tony Salvidge who won the trophy for Sidmouth for the first time since its inception in 1980.l More golf page 48