Holland gets Scratch Trophy revenge

Where possible, the finals of all Sidmouth Golf Club’s knockout competitions were played last Sunday on a day when driving rain and gales were forecast. Fortunately, the forecasters got their timing a bit wrong and play could go ahead in relatively dry and mostly sunny conditions albeit a bit blustery, writes John Rockey.

The first match of the day was for the David Hall Scratch Trophy, which attracts the best players in the club. The finalists were Devon County Captain Neil Holland who plays off scratch and Club Champion Jonathan Lee (3). Lee beat Holland for the champion title recently but Holland got his revenge to win the David Hall Trophy by a fairly comfortable margin of 5 and 4.

?Next off the first tee were the father and son partnership of Steve and George Barber against veterans Ray Gunston and Douglas Goodall in the final of the Rockey Foursomes Cup. Foursomes is a competition where each player in the pair plays alternate shots and so play only half the shots of a normal round, which is just as well for Ray as it greatly cuts down the time he normally takes to go round the course. This was a titanic battle with little to choose between the younger pair and the canny old war horses and having been all square at the 18th hole went up the 19th hole for a sudden death decider. Steve and George managed to win the first extra hole to win.

?In the Ladies’ Matchplay Cup Final the in-form Jane Painter won the first of her three finals and could be in for a bumper year of cup wins if she can fit the others into her busy schedule. She beat Sheila Tallon in a closely fought contest.

?The Seniors’ Knockout Final saw Emerton Court captain Peter Spooner taking on EC player Mick Baden and, crucially, having to give him seven shots - quite a task in view of the way Mick has been playing recently. It had to be decided on an extra hole playoff, which Peter won.

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?Perhaps the most important knockout trophy for men is the Challenge Cup. This year’s final was between David Pepperell and Bob Welsman who battled through six rounds over the last five months. Neither had ever won the coveted Cup, although Bob had been a beaten finalist. Bob was not at his best in the final, and David Pepperell was crowned winner of the Challenge Cup and will have his name inscribed on the famous board.

?The finalists of The Greenwood Trophy, which is a mixed foursomes event, were Lady Captain Sheila Skittrall and Don Cooper who were up against Mavis and Ron Vanstone. This was an incredibly close match which could not be decided after 18 holes and had to go to sudden-death. With neither pair wilting under the pressure, the match went to the fourth extra hole where Sheila and Don managed a hard fought win, and Ron could get back to the bar for a swift half to ease the pain of losing such a very close marathon match.

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