Friday, 29 July 2022
As the winds drop and the sun returns Sussex Golf Captains head to the seaside to take on Surrey Captains at Cooden Beach Golf Club. Our heroes confidence has taken a bit of a knock of late with two defeats, against Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire, and a win here would set things right. Surrey on the other hand were brimming with confidence, they were undefeated! Not that their Captain, Eddie Wheeler made much of it in the opening pre-match salvo’s!
Joe Angella and Mickey ‘The Killer’ Grimes entertained Eddie Wheeler (Surrey Captain) and Stephen Hunt. After working his way through a variety of match partners, Joe decided to pair up with the proven match-play specialist, Killer Grimes. For a Captain beset by a debilitating attack of the shanks, this proved to be a wise decision. Killer was in stunning form and almost single-handedly beat Eddie and Steve. Meanwhile, Joe spent most of the match trying to find his balls. While Eddie and Steve were friendly, complimentary and sympathetic; by the end of the game, they were threatening to stick Killers putter where the sun doesn’t shine. Needless to say, Sussex won 4&3.
Ian ‘Harry’ Potter and David Sinden entertained Ray Irwin and Dave Yabsley. Despite frantic searching, Sussex were unable to find a late replacement for Harry, whose hip was playing him up. But, beware the injured golfer! Harry played beautifully, as did Ray (8) who birdied 3 of the par 5’s. Although Dave Yabbsley came in on a couple of holes, the two Dave’s were largely spectators. Played in the right manner, the game finished in a draw. On the plus side, Harry did manage to return one of the Captain’s balls! All Square.
Andy Lamb and Brian Street were up against Graham Woolcott and Richard Read. “What a match!” says the report. On the 5th, Surrey lay 150 yards from the green, the little rascals thinned a low shot, which never got more than a foot off the ground. After several shouts of “Go, Go, Go”, it pitched the green, turned left, and stopped 6 feet from the hole. This set the tone for the rest of the game. There was never more than one hole in it, and the match finally ended on the 18th, All Square.
Chris Adamson and Peter Hawley played Jim Butcher and John Casserley. The Sussex boys report that this was “the closest match we have ever played”. Sussex never lost the lead until late in the match. Despite Peter and Chris having shots on the last two holes Jim and John, hammered long tee shots and forced a tie. It was great company and a great match. All Square.
Norman Beaney and Bryan Fairbrass took on Jeremy Trevethick and Colin Smith. Great game, great company, say the two oldest swingers in town. It was neck and neck with the match All Square at 15. By this time, Colin had decided that enough was enough and immediately birdied 16 and 17 to take the match. Sussex Lost 2&1.
Nigel Evans and Andy Plowright treated Roger Warplington and Steve Cowan to exhibition golf. The only time the match was All Square was on the first. Andy denies that on the first, he hit the ball right into the car park (Methinks, the Laddie doth protest too much. Ed). Sussex were 4 up after 4, which rather spoilt the match but not the outcome. Roger and Steve were great guys, it was a good game and Andy had a great partner (Sounds familiar. Ed). Sussex won 5&4.
Mark Terry and Keith Hayward were up against Jimmy Gribben and John Chard. It is always nice to play with professional golfers! The trouble was they were 18 handicap! We were level par after 9 and one down! As always, such matches are a challenge. The highest handicappers are the best players! The match ended All Square (and a moral victory for Sussex!).
Simon Watts and Gordon Eaton V Richard Kennett and David Crowley. Another great game, hugely enjoyable, with never more than one in it. It was a shame that we were pitched against two ringers. We lost on the 18th to a net albatross or some other obscure bird. Sussex Lost 1 Down.
Richard Bevan and Mike Sandford against John Hayward and Peter Kelley. This was a fantastic game against two great guys. Having been 1 up after 11, we needed to win the last 3 holes to get a half! It was a very fair result. What a great day. All Square.
David Balfour and Eric Hardwick played with Jeff Cowan and Grant Elner. This was yet another great game (I must remember to buy the team a thesaurus. Ed). Sussex lost the first hole but went on to overwhelm our opponents, to be 4 up at the turn. Dave was very steady and kept his end up. We hung on to close the match out. Sussex Won 3&2.
Result; Sussex 5½ - Surrey 4½
There you have it, Sussex return to winning ways.
This was an unusual match, with five of the games finishing All Square. It is clear to see that Surrey’s unbeaten streak was more than a series of lucky results. They are worthy opponents!
We had a lovely time at Cooden. The wind was gentle, the temperature was warm and the ball rolled well. The groundsmen have done a great job on the greens. Eddie Wheeler and the rest of the Surrey Captains, as you would expect, were a pleasure to play with. These matches tend to bring exceptional company.
As for the food, it was excellent. At lunch, they served 40 men more chips than they could politely eat. Dinner was an excellent Chicken and Leak Pie followed by syrup sponge and custard. It was perfect golfers food! Yet again, another brilliant day.
No beer update this time, Joe was on the Lime and Soda!