On Saturday 3rd October we held our first ever Matchplay Finals Day and what a day it was! Mother nature was very kind to us, producing a fine day with little wind and a comfortable temperature for this time of year.
Unfortunately due to a freak accident, Jack Maxey suffered a suspected fractured shoulder the day before the event and had to withdraw from the Scratch Final with Alan Key, we will update everyone soon on his condition and hopefully get the match played soon.
Men's Matchplay Final
The first match to tee off was the Men's Matchplay Final, between Gary Spears (10) and Jonathan Beattie (13). With just three handicap shots given, this was always going to be a close affair. On the tee Jonny looked the more nervous of the two, with spectators watching intently, but credit to both players on hitting great tee shots under the pressure.
The match got off to a hot start with Jonny taking control from the beginning, and Gary was playing catch up from the off. After 9 holes the match was 3 up to Jonny, and Gary looked frustrated as he wasn't playing at his best.
Walking to the 12th tee Gary looked down and out, but that hole was the beginning of a heroic comeback attempt. After winning 12, 14, and 15, the match was down to 2 up with three to play. On 16 Gary hit a great shot into the green under pressure, but Jonny hit a great reply putting the pressure back on Gary, as he was giving a shot away. They halved that hole after Jonny agonisingly missed a short par putt, and the match was to go down hole 17.
The come back looked like it was going to continue when Gary hit his tee shot to around 30 feet from the pin while Jonny found a green side bunker, but Jonny continued his excellent bunker play with a fantastic shot to 7 feet from the hole. Gary had two putts to put the pressure back on Jonny, but raced his first one 6 feet past. After Jonny shaved the hole with his put and ending with a gimme four, Gary had to hole his 6 foot putt which he proceeded to painfully miss.
It was a fantastic effort from both players, and congratulations go to Jonathan for his great performance over the 17 holes, he earned an early lead and held on to it in superb fashion. Comiserations to Gary after a valiant battle to the end, but it wasn't to be in 2015.
The second and final match of the afternoon was the Greensomes Final, between Mike Huzzard & Lewis Hunt, and Andy & Dave Robbins. Everyone at the club knew this was going to be a tightly fought brawl with Lewis and Mike proving a formidable pair in the run up to the final, but would that be enough to topple the big-hitting Robbins brothers?
The front nine was very tight with no team going further than 1 up, and after 9 holes the match was tied going into the short 10th hole. The Robbins brothers had back-to-back wins on 10 & 11 (birdieing the latter) to go 2 up stood on the 12th tee. On 12 Mike and Lewis fought straight back and brought the match back to within one hole, however the Robbins brothers had different ideas and birdied 13 to take it back to two.
After missing the green on 14 Mike and Lewis were forced to concede after they didn't get up-and-down when the Robbins brothers hit a fantastic tee shot to around 6 feet, this took the match to 3 up with four to play, and it was starting to look a little desperate for Mike and Lewis.
Going into hole 15 the both teams hit good shots into the green, but the adrenaline got to Lewis when he raced his eight foot putt six foot past, leaving Mike with a difficult right-to-left putt to keep them in the game. After Mike missed the putt coming back, it was down to Andy to tap in a three footer for the match, which he duly obliged for a 4&3 victory.
After such a close front nine the greensomes final was a classic case of Matchplay momentum, showing how pressure affects players and how difficult it is to turn a match round in the dieing stages. Mike and Lewis put in a great effort which would be enough to win a match against many pairs in the tournament, but the Robbins brothers just did not let up with their barrage of birdies. Congratulations to Andy and Dave on their emphatic win, and a well done to mike and Lewis on their great efforts.
Thanks to all of those that supported and spectated the event, it was a fantastic day! It was a massive shame that Jack Maxey had the accident the day before the event which cancelled the third match, the Scratch Final, but these things happen and we wish Jack the very best in recovery. View the full gallery for the day below: