The weekend was fully taken up with all matters Barbarian.
Saturday saw 200 golfers compete for one of our clubs most prestigious trophies the Barbarian Cup. Played in stunning weather more akin to the Mediterranean and with the course in superb condition most members were expecting to see a flood of sub 70 scores topping the leader board. How wrong we were!
As the scores came in through the afternoon and into the evening not one was able to break 70. A few got close and should have done, Steve Scarrett posted 70 but blew it on the 16th with an 8, Dan Blatchford posted 71 with his chances scuppered by double bogies on both 17 and 18. So we were left with four people on 70 and with the Barbarian cup rules being what they are we had to hastily arrange a four way 18 hole medal playoff for 8.30am the following morning.
The four respective competitors, Steve Scarrett, Mike Davis, Nathan Waters and Chris Burns were all contacted late in the evening ( in varying states of inebriation ) and we managed to set it up. Before moving on to Sundays events I would like to thank the Ladies section for giving up there three allocated Saturday slots to enable more male members to play in what is a very important and traditional weekend for the Club.
The playoff on Sunday morning, prior to the shotgun start for the Barbarian trophy at 1.00pm proved to be a tense and dramatic affair. The front nine was fairly uneventful, with some less than average golf played by all four competitors. With only 2 shots ( nett ) separating all four, it was all to play for on the back nine.
Mike Davis and Chris Burns started to slip at the start of the back nine leaving the door open for Steve and Nathan and they were taking there chance. Mike steadied himself with a birdie on the 13th but it was matched by Steve and with Nathan on a run of pars following a birdie on the 11th it was Chris who had slipped out of contention with Mike just hanging on. A bit of ebb and flow on 14,15 and 16 left Steve and Nathan leading going down the 17th, a 40ft putt by Mike on the 16th just kept him in remote contention but it was Steve and Nathan’s to lose.
Well it took 15 minutes just from around the green on 17, we had to delay the start of the Barbarian trophy as one disaster after another befell our competitors. Chris lost his ball after his second shot and carded a 9, Steve chipped his 3rd shot into the back left bunker, got it out but into the back right hand bunker, got it out but back into the into the same left hand bunker he started in, eventually finishing with a 9. Nathan was also falling apart but his 7 was relatively good by comparison. Mike in the meantime had just sat at the back of the green waiting to putt out whilst it all unfolded in front of him, when the mayhem ended he got up, putted out and went to the 18th tee as the leader. A four on the last was enough for Mike to win the cup.
Congratulations to Mike Davis, a worthy and popular winner and commiserations to Steve,Nathan and Chris who did well to qualify for the playoff and played there part on the day.
The afternoon went well with our rugby guests and members playing in a dual pairs and team competition. Surprise, surprise Mike Davis playing another 18 holes won the best pair prize with his partner Ifan Davies and was also in the winning team, three trophies in one day ( to think the Arsenal supporters were getting carried away on the Saturday after winning one trophy in nine years )
Speaking to Mike in the bar before dinner he said it was the first time he had won this cup. I naively asked if he had his name on the other boards to which Mike, looking surprised enlightened me to the facts. Club champion 1966, singles KO winner 1979, Stoddard winner 1968/70/85/86/88, Autumn tournament winner 1966/97, Howell cup winner 1974, Santa Claus winner 1996/97.
Lesson number 83 for a rookie Match Captain, get your facts together before opening your mouth! Mike, I hope I didn’t miss out any of your notable victories during your distinguished time as a member of the Club.
Harrison and Webster medal over the Bank Holiday weekend ( round 1. Sat, round 2. Mon ) best off luck to all, try to keep play at a good pace.