SENIORS v DEVON
MINEHEAD AND WEST SOMERSET GOLF CLUB
Wednesday 22nd May 19
The match took place in warm sunny weather with, as ever, a sea breeze in evidence. It blew strongly enough for all players to have to factor it into their shot making strategy throughout the day.
Minehead & West Somerset GC was presented in truly marvellous condition with fresh holes cut just before the am foursomes commenced. Both sides expressed their appreciation of the nine holes allocated. At some additional intrusion into club members’ play, we were able to play Holes 1 – 5, then Holes 15 - 18
Once again, the morning foursomes did not start well but all our pairings fought hard. Special mention must go to the two matches which were halved:
In the top match, we were one down on the 18th tee where an excellent tee shot by James Ward finished within 25 ft of the pin. With the Devon pair bunkered, it looked as though we would secure a half. Not one bit of it. Devon played out of the bunker to finish close enough for their putt to be conceded thus leaving us with one final throw of the dice. Matt Lazenby duly obliged by holing for a birdie to win the hole and secure a halved match. A great result which was immediately backed up in Match 2 where Simon Rudd and Frank Ward won on the last green
In the penult match, Paddy Maclennan and George Ceely closed out their match with a fine 2&1 victory then stood back and watched, along with a gathering crowd of supporters of both sides, the desperate battle going on in the anchor match. Steve Thomas and Jeremy Parrott arrived on the 18th tee, one down. So as Martin Cashnella and Kelvin Green had just been edged out on the last hole, it looked as though we’d go into lunch with the overall match tied at 2.5 points each. However, Steve Thomas played a fine tee shot onto the green which the Devon pair failed to match. But, we still needed to two putt from some distance away. Jeremy Parrott’s approach putt was excellent but it still left Steve with a 2.5 ft side hill “knee knocker” to secure the halved match – which he duly holed
So, we finished 3 – 2 ahead at lunch. Just how vital that single point, secured by those two halved matches, would prove to be became obvious as the pm singles matches progressed to their final stages
In the singles, our top order surpassed themselves. We won the first four singles to get within a point of overall victory – but, where would the point come from as our middle order struggled to cope with a determined fight back by their strong opponents? Having lost Matches 5 – 8 (inclusive), once again, we were looking at our tail which needed to wag
Playing in Match 9, Paddy Maclennan was in imperious form and won convincingly on the 15th green to get us the eighth point needed for victory. Finally, in Match 10, Martin Cashnella, having been 4 down arrived on the 17th two down with two to play. He promptly won the last two holes to halve his match
Note 1: Throughout the day, we were well supported by the SGU President, Geoff Ogden (and his wife). Geoff acted as honorary starter for all matches
Note 2: The team was well supported by Barry Simpson (who was the “appointed person” as provided in the Rules, for providing information and advice to all Somerset players – and sharing feedback from players with those playing behind. In addition, Jerry Hodge, as our “communications hub” provided regular match progress updates via judicious use of our short wave radios.
SIMON RUDD WINS THE SENIORS COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP AT ENMORE PARK 2019
ANDY CHAMBERS WINS THE NETT PRIZE
Presentation by Club Captain and County President
Congratulations Simon Rudd an outstanding score under the conditions. gross 74 on a day when the SSS came in at 74. The 4 handicapper from Oake Manor showed the rest of the field that low scoring was possible. Runner up Simon Harris Bath GC with a score of 77 and on count back from 3 others 3rd place went to Danny Dowell Windwhistle GG followed in by Martin Cashnella Bath GC The 2018 champion Andy Chambers Weymouth GC didn't go home empty handed winning the best nett on count back from Ron Brown Enmore Park. Club Captain and County President presented the trophies and prizes with much praise being given to Enmore Park who's greens staff, in house staff and management team presented the venue in first class condition. The Somerset Golf Union wish to thank Enmore Park members and staff for hosting the Seniors County Championship and look forward to returning soon
Seniors’ Channel League
Home Wiltshire Venue: Kingsdown GC
Result Somerset 8 Wiltshire 7
The match took place in warm sunny weather. Kingsdown GC was presented in excellent condition although preferred lies (with additional relief from fairway bare patches) proved necessary. The course layout held many “traps for the unwary”, this was reflected in the DBG compiled and shared by the players
The morning foursomes did not start well and this warrants attention. After six holes we were down in four of the five games – only Steve Thomas and Jeremy Parrott in the anchor match had their noses in front. Importantly, they kept in front and closed out their match on the final green. Ahead of them, in Match 3, Frank Ward & Simon Rudd staged a remarkable comeback to win on the final green – a 20ft putt from Frank being required to grasp victory from a probable tied match. In Match 4, Matt Lazenby & Neil Folland also staged a late recovery and, ultimately, were disappointed to lose the final hole which produced a halved match
In the pm singles, James Ward played splendidly to win the top match and, immediately behind, Kelvin Green’s halved match against a tough opponent was commendable
Thereafter, the progress of the singles matches ebbed and flowed. The fine Wiltshire players fought hard as we knew they would but they never quite clawed back that excellent start (1.5 points from 2.0) provided by our top two in the singles order. The highlights of our middle order were the excellent wins by our new recruits, Simon Rudd and Frank Ward. However, our middle order also suffered four losses such that it became clear the Somerset “tail” definitely needed to wag
Neil Folland (called into the team to cover Paddy Maclennan’s injury) played at No 9 and Martin Cashnella at No 10. They both won to secure the team’s victory. With the eyes of all their team colleagues upon them (nobody left the course as the drama in Match 10 unfolded), both Nigel Phillips (Wilts) and Martin put on a show for the gallery. With Martin dormie 3, Nigel holed an enormous putt across the 16th green. On the 17th, again it looked as though Nigel would prosper as Martin’s recovery shot looked destined to finish well past the pin. However, it hit the pin – very hard – to leave him a nasty 5ft downhill slider to win. He holed it!
Note 1: SGU President, Geoff Ogden presented half colours to the following debutants: George Ceely, Wheathill Jeremy Parrott, Burnham & Berrow Simon Rudd, Oake Manor Frank Ward, Burnham & Berrow
Note 2: For all the experienced Somerset players who’ve come to know ex player Pete Davies, it was marvellous to see him at Kingsdown lending his support. His current circumstances were all too apparent as his wait for a lung transplant continues. Pete has always been the embodiment of what Scots term “a bonnie fechter” and we wish him well. Richard Jeffery (Wilts Seniors’ Captain), in his post-match speech, asked that the best wishes of all the Wilts’ players be conveyed to Pete – job done!
Captain, SGU Seniors 14/05/19
(Left to right) Paddy Maclennan, Alex Kidd (Captain) and Barry Simpson
Alex and his selectors, Paddy Maclennan (Enmore Park) and Barry Simpson (Taunton & Pickeridge) work hard over the winter contacting all affiliated clubs to identify low handicap seniors who would be interested in competing for a place in the County Senior Team
" In terms of the number of players available to us, we normallyare are able to punch above our weight in the Channel League by finishing mid-table or better. However, in 2018, the improvement in the calibre of many of our opponents was striking. For example, three of the six opposing counties were able to field teams with handicaps of 2 or less. Proof, if proof were needed, that the Seniors Channel League is in fine fettle and should continue to improve and become even more competitive.
It’s vital that our efforts to broaden our talent pool are on-going because many former low handicap golfers do not necessarily seek out opportunities for representative team golf – outside of their own clubs. They are therefore unaware of the competitive opportunities offered by Somerset’s Senior Team
Over last winter, we identified a total of # eleven new recruits who participated in our pre-season trials. held in March and April"
# included a number of “comeback kids” who were unavailable during 2017
The players competing in our pre-season trials came from the following clubs (alpha order):
Bath; Brean; Burnham & Berrow; Cricket St Thomas; Enmore Park; Mendip Spring; Oake Manor; Taunton & Pickeridge; The Mendip; Wells; Weston-super-Mare
A Seniors Factsheet which illustrates the competitive opportunities provided by SGU Seniors can be accessed elsewhere on this page
Any golfer currently over 55 years (or approaching this milestone in 2019) with a handicap of 5 or less should consider finding out more about what’s involved in playing representative team golf at County level. Read the Factsheet (click the button on the right) and contact eithe Alex, Paddy or Barry for any further guidance