Sussex v Wiltshire at Goodwood

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It was a warm, pleasant day that greeted both teams as they arrived at Goodwood, a course Sussex has not played at for some time. Presumably we had to save up!

It is an area that has fond memories for our Captain, but that’s another story…

After a lunch of top quality sandwiches, Peter Ward and Wiltshire’s Captain Andy Hatter introduced the pairings and set the scene for a competitive match.

(Editors note: Nice to see Tony Bauckham there!)

 

And so, it began…

 

Our Captain and leader, Peter Ward led the way, more than ably assisted by Simon Watts. Faced with tough opposition from Andy, a solid all-round player and his smaller counterpart, Steve Powers (brother of Austin maybe?), Simon had, in his words a “bit of a day” playing level par golf! Just to make the visitors day, when Simon faltered, Peter stepped in to cover so our heroes ran out 6&4 winners.

It was said that Andy and Steve were heard to emit shrieks of disbelief and despair, but I believe that was later when getting a round in!

 

Onto Match 2 which saw Andy Lamb and Chris Adamson up against the Wiltshire pairing of Lye / Patch, me hearties. Chris nearly had a heart attack on the 1st as his tee shot finished about 1 foot beyond the hole – he is a Scotsman after all. Good enough to win the hole, you’d think. Not so, as Neil chipped in for a half!! The game remained tight up to the finish where Wiltshire’s Paul sank a 20-foot putt for birdie which our lads could not match. Um, you’re making a habit of losing the last Andy, to lose 1 down – don’t let it happen again!

 

In Match 3, a similar scenario was played out by the dream team of President Neil Smith and President-elect Ian Wood. Such is Ian’s renown, that Goodwood have named a buggy after him! Lined up against these two legends were Pat and Stuart who had the temerity to take an early lead. However, the dynamic duo pegged them back so once again it all came down to the 18th. And, as in the previous match, the result was decided by a long putt in favour of the Wiltshire Moonrakers.

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 Following on in Match 4, Sussex had their “Laurel & Hardy” partnership of Nigel Wates and Mark Terry. They played more like Ballesteros and Olazabal, so Wilts’s Robin and Tom were not laughing as Sussex went 3 up at the turn. Despite some heroics from Tom on the par 3’s, they could not make any impression, so Sussex registered a 3&1 victory.

 

Match 5 had two first time pairings, Steve Tigg and Keith Talbot for the home side and Don and Ian for the visitors. Don claimed a 2-shot increase in his handicap on the first tee, an inflation rate that Goodwood would have been proud of.

After halving the first hole, the Wiltshire pair went 2 up, but were hauled back to level by the 6th. At this point, Keith went AWOL, just joining the other three players on the tees. Steve fought bravely to keep Sussex in it, but eventually Ian made his shots count, to enable Wiltshire to record a 3&1 success.

(Editors note; I think I lost about 8&6 but fortunately it’s a team game!)

 

Perhaps Sussex would have more success in Match 6 which saw our very own David Balfour linked up with Richard Cowlard. After all, they were only playing Martin and John who had much higher handicaps. Well, despite the game being played in great spirit, the “Mexican Bandit from Wiltshire” (Dave didn’t say which one it was) helped the Moonrakers to crush our amigos by 6&5.

Note: this was about the only “bitter” to be found at Goodwood

 

Moving on to Match 7, we find Nigel Evans and Tony Bauckham – the Mannings Heath Mafia, pitched against Dick Solomon and Colin Bell (the ex-Man City footballer perhaps?). This was one of those rare occurrences where Sussex established an early lead racing to 4up, went 5up at the turn and, despite losing one hole, went on to secure an emphatic 4&3 victory. Apparently, they found the aircraft flying around Goodwood distracting and presumably butterflies doing likewise!

 

The ultimate contest featured Nigel Land and the inimitable Richard “Jay-Z” Jays in opposition to Wiltshire’s Mike and Dave. Our local combo managed to establish a 3-hole deficit after 6, which they carefully maintained to the turn. However, after a stirring half-time team talk, they turned the tables and won four successive holes to nip into the lead. Despite the Visitors best endeavours, our chaps hung on, finally closing out with a 2&1 triumph.

 

Thus, the overall Match result was a tie at 4-4, which seemed a fair outcome.

 

After post-round drinks and a change of appearance, we decamped to the Hotel two miles down the road. Unfortunately, we did not pass a cash-point en route.

For, arriving at the venue, we found the bar area littered with players unable to comprehend the speed their wallets had emptied!!

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The food was “nouvelle cuisine” styled – very good but lacking in substance. Chris Adamson had his second shock of the day when advised there was no potatoes. Pete gave his tried and tested speech, followed by Andy who humorously outlined his thoughts on the course, the company and the venue – all well received by the teams. 

He presented Peter with the much-valued trophy, which we retained as the current holders, for safe keeping until next year.

So, we dispersed – some headed home; some headed for fast-food outlets that took cards!

 

Keith Talbot

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