Match: Worcestershire v Warwickshire
Date: 3rd July 2016
Venue: The Worcestershire Golf Club
Captain: Stuart Bloxham
Our third league game of the year was away against Worcestershire.
With the sun shining and stunning views meant there had to be only one outcome! The Worcestershire Golf Club presented their course in truly magnificent condition. The greens were exceptional, they were very quick with severe slopes and can make players look very ordinary if you don’t get it right.
Adam Lumley, Dave Atkins, Finlay Mason, Ian Winstanley, Louie Pett, Matt Cryer, Max Martin, Patrick Ruff, Rob Browning and Tom Ibbertson
First out was Patrick Ruff and Max Martin against Worcestershires top pairing of Richard Sadler and Chris Nugent. It wasn’t the normal performance that we have come to expect and take for granted; as this time round we lost the opening game 5&4.
Next out was Ian Winstanley and Finlay Mason who quickly got hold of this match as they were 3 up through 5. They continued their great play to stand dormie 4 up but they lost the 15th hole, however they finished the game on the following hole with a great 3&2 victory.
Then it was the Coventry Finham pairing of Matthew Cryer and Rob Browning, who continued their unbeaten run to secure another point winning 3&2 and playing some excellent golf.
New pairing of Tom Ibbertson and Dave Atkins, who both played some great golf were unable to turn it into a victory and lost 2&1.
Last out was the solid dream team of Adam Lumley & Louie Pett who were once again on top form, winning the final match 3&2 and giving Warwickshire a lead going into lunch. Just what we needed…..
Worcestershire 2 – 3 Warwickshire
A slender lead going into the singles meant all players needed to fight for their County if we were to win this match against the League Champions.
I made a slight change to the order and put Finlay Mason out first. This was like a duck to water as he played great golf, which he needed to; to beat Worcestershire’s captain Richard Sadler 3&2. A great start to the singles and a great win for Finlay.
Then it was Ian Winstanley who was up against the course record holder Chris Nugent. This was possibly going to be the toughest game of the day and it proved to be the case. Although Ian played solid golf, it was Chris who won the game 2&1.
Max Martin was out third against local member and regular 1st team player Steve Lane. Max by his own admission wasn’t at his best and lost his match 3&2.
I knew at this point it was going to be a tight game………
Mathew Cryer was in control of his game and always ahead, however his match went to the last. A pushed tee shot meant Matt had to play an amazing second shot, keeping it low under trees. It was a shot that deserved to win the match as it finished pin high. A par was enough to win 1up.
Patrick Ruff out number five manged to get an early lead and built on this to win his match 4&3.
We needed two more points to win the match with 5 players still on the course. All the matches were very close so it was going to be a close one….
Tom Ibbertson was level going down the 17th par 5. A great second shot to six foot was enough to win the hole and go down 18 with a one up lead. The tee shots requires an accurate drive with out of bounds left and a ditch on the right. Tom hit a 3 iron for safety which finished in the rough on the right. His second shot required a slight fade around a tree from 150 yards. What happened next was legendary….. With his opponent in prime position, Tom’s shot need to be perfect… he struck the ball and it was just that… high and with a slight fade. With players and supporters watching his shot on the raised patio behind the green it looked good in the air. We couldn’t see the hole from where the shot was played from but we heard a huge roar with both arms in the air saying its gone in. There were scenes that you can only get on a football pitch. Tom was on the floor with people on top of him as if he had scored the winner in the Euros final. Great scenes and one that showed the true spirit of Team Warwickshire.
After all this we still needed a point from four matches.
Louie lost his match 3&2 and Rob also lost on the last 1 down so it was all down to Adam Lumley and Dave Atkins to secure the much needed point.
At this stage we were are round the 18th green and Adam (in the match ahead of Dave) was teeing off at 1up, so a halved hole would do it. Adam hit a great drive down the middle and matched it with his second shot, getting his par which was enough for Adam and Team Warwickshire to win the match.
Shortly afterwards, Dave Atkins was also walking up the 18th having secured a great 2&1 victory. Super performance Dave well done.
So after a very eventful day and great golf from both teams we finally won the match.
Worcestershire 4 – 6 Warwickshire
Worcestershire 6 – 9 Warwickshire
I would like to wish Richard Sadler and his team all the best for the season. I would also like to thank The Worcestershire Golf Club for their hospitality throughout the day and presenting a golf course in superb condition.
Finally thanks to Bob Harrison - President of Warwickshire, John Duncombe, Pete Clarke and Nev Gardner for their help and support on the day.