POST MATCH REPORT
The weekend of 6-7 October, the Club hosted its annual Ryder Cup competition. The Rest of the World team were very keen to lay to rest the heavy defeat of 2016, which the Welsh Team Captain, Mr. Peter Goodfellow, wouldn’t let us forget. This reminding, however made the team even more determined and focused us all on the task at hand.
With the Rest of the World having a fewer pool of players to select from, the captain and vice-captain had the tricky task of pairing together the players to give us the best chance of winning. Do you choose the players that regularly play together, those that do well in certain formats, high to low handicaps? However, after a few beers and a couple of disagreements, the pairings had been chosen. There was nothing more we could do. It was now down to the players and how they play on the day.
The Friday afternoon saw the Ryder Cup Texas Scramble. The competitive edge of the Captains shone through with a small wager on the Scramble, where, the first win went to the Rest of the World taking the Scramble by just 0.2 points. Was this the sign of the things to come? In the evening at the pre-match dinner we all enjoyed a hearty meal, some great banter of the impending completion and quaffed a few refreshments. After the meal team players were introduced, presented with their team shirts and the Captains announced the matches for the following day. Thanks must go to Mike Hennessey for all his efforts in the draw and swindle on the night.
On Saturday morning all that was left to do was for the captains to bid everyone good luck and the Glamorganshire Golf Club Ryder Cup 2017 was under way. The matches were up, they were down. One thing was certain this was not going to be an easy task. The first match went to the Welsh Team, and by a big margin. The next two pairs went to the Rest of The World, followed by three losses in a row. The tables had turned we were two down, amazingly Ed Richards and Chris Watson fought a hard battle, walking in victorious. One down with two pairs still to come in, then from the trees, appeared Colin Toshack and Paul Arcos, another win to the Rest of the World making the morning all square so far. Only one team to come in, Dave (not down the) Middle and Phil Parker. As they appeared on the tee the Welsh pairing tee’d off first, the ball landing on the green, the Rest of the World just off to the left side. We needed a miracle. Dave chipped the ball to within a foot from the pin, Noddy putted and left a knee trembler. The pressure was too much to bear for the best putter in the club (Mr. Paul Brown) and he lipped out. The win to the Rest of the World, meant not only did it half the match it left the leader board all square going in for lunch.
After a fantastically filling Chilli for lunch, the afternoon session got underway, it was all to play for. Walking around the course, making quiet secret gestures to fellow teams it was evident that it was going to be a really tight match with a lot of matches tied or very close. The captain Richard Kynaston started of the scoring by winning the first point for the Rest of the World, which was very closely followed by the Captain of the Welsh Team also being victorious, again the teams were tied.
It felt like forever to wait for the next team to arrive, and like good old British Transport, two teams appeared over the hill with two more wins for the Rest of the World. Hearts started racing, “we could win this, we can do this” was whispered amongst the team members. Then the weather took a turn for the worse, waterproofs were donned, the teeth were gritted and the fire in the bellies lit. The next win went to Wales shaving the lead to only one point. A hard-fought battle was walking down the 17th Fairway, Colin Toshack and Dave (not down the) Middle were one up against Richard Hughes and Richard Jeremy. The Welsh Team looked to be in a very commanding position, Dave living up to his name and Richard Jeremy in the middle of the fairway. Colin nailed the win with a superb shot into the green followed by a superb putt, another point to the Rest of the World.
While that fight was going on the news of another lost point could be sensed as we watched Richard Salt and Darrell Hamonda walk back to the club house. Two pairs to come, the Rest of the World one up. The light was dwindling, the rain was heavy, a pairing appeared in the gloom on the 18th tee. The players approached the green, the score was one up to the Rest of the World, excitement mounted. Rob Beale sank the putt for a par, Ed Richards needed the putt to win the match and the cup. You could hear a pin drop on the veranda.
Unfortunately, Ed’s majestic effort lipped out much to the relief of the Welsh camp, halving the match but still leaving the Rest of the World one up.
The Welsh captain was praying for the last pairing to be winning, which would have halved the series, and a Welsh retain. Near dark now, the last pairing appeared on the tee. Our hearts sank as we could just make out the burly silhouette of Dave Ellis on the tee. This could only mean that the match was very close. Had the Rest of the World chosen the right anchor-man to bring us the win? Everything was down to Maurice Beddard and Chris Waston. With light almost gone, there was a ball pulled to the left, one to the right bunker, Chris Watson short and Maurice short of the left bunker. All was to play for. The Rest of the World walked to the green one up with the last to play. A chip and a putt from Maurice saw the end of a hard-fought battle, and a fantastic win for the Rest of the World 10 points to 8.
The packed gallery on the veranda and patio was full of players from both teams shaking hands and congratulating each other on an outstanding display of golf. It was then off into the back bar for the traditional presentation of the Cup to the very proud winning captain. The Rest of the World team had done it, reclaiming the Cup after 4 lonely years.
It had been a superb weekend of golf played in a great spirit and both captains would like to thank their team players for all their efforts.
The Captains for the Ryder Cup 2018 have now been announced, the Welsh Team Captain, Richard Hughes, and the Captain of the Rest of the World, Dave Middle.