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Somerset Golf Union

South West Week 2018

Another hugely enjoyable festival of amateur golf was played out in the Wiltshire countryside as Cumberwell Park hosted South West Week 2018.

It was always going to be difficult for Team Somerset to match the success they enjoyed in 2017 when they won both the Team Stroke and match play titles, with Will Poole winning the indiviual event.  The team though gave it their very best shot though, and returned home with the Strokeplay Shield, the Individual and Cotls Championship, with Phil White producing 10 wins from 10 in the matchplay competitions, and winning the Clifford Burden Trophy. In all, Somerset won 4 of the 5 trophies on offer, but were not able to overcome a very strong Gloucestershire team in the Strokeplay.

We congtratulate their team on an oustanding performance, and wish them the best of fortune as they represent the South West in the National County finals in September.

Friday 15th June

The final day of the week, and for three counties, everything still to play for. If Wiltshhire could inflict a heavy defeat on Somerset then they could win the title, a narrow defeat for the Red Army could mean that Gloucestershire would come into the equation. Affter crunching the numbers, Somerset would need to amass more than 4½ points, or better still, an outright win to retain the Strokeplay Shield.

The team started off in determined fashion, but it was Wiltshire who took first blood as James Cooper overpowered Ali Balcombe in the top game. Somerset  struck back in games 2 and 3 as Sam Sloman & Will Poole recorded convincing wins. Sam Fernley battled all the way before losing 2&1, but the final four games all went in Somersets' favour. Phil White continued his winning streak, and further points came from Craig Adams and Johnny Grace. Tom Trowbridge scored the final point in the morning, clinching the game on the final hole. 

The morning ended 6-2  to Somerset, but with a further 6 points to play for in the afternoon, they could still be denied the overall victory. Again, it was Wiltshire who took the first game, as Sam Sloman and Will Poole lost out. Craig Adams and Johnny Grace were always struggling to rein in their opposition, whilst Justin Lane and Jack Palmer were also outgunned by dtermined opposition. For long periods in the afternoon Wiltshire looked looked as they were determined to deny Somerset the clean sweep.

However, the now established pair of Phil White and Sam Fernley again demostrated their strength of character as they battled their way to victory with a 2&1 win. This gave Somerset the crucial 1½ points they needed to win the match 7½-6½ to finish with a 100% record.

Thursday 14th June

What a battle this promised to be, two sides with a 100% record. Gloucestershire were in buoyant mood after their outstanding performance in the Strokeplay, taking on Somerset determined that they would end the week with one of the team prizes.

The morning singles were typically close affairs, with the advantage with Gloucestershire who led 4½-3½ at lunch. Somersets points came from wins by Ali Balcombe, Tom Plumb and Phil White. with Tom Sloman halving his match.

Gloucestershire increased their lead by winning the opening foursomes game, before Somerset turned the match around. The red Army came out on top in the last three games, winns from Phil White & Sam Fernley, Sam Sloman and Craig Adams, before a nail biting finish on the 18th green finally gave Two Toms - Plumb & Sloman, a 1 up victory to carry the team over the line.


WEDNESDAY 13TH JUNE

08:00 & 13:00 Gloucestershire v Wiltshire

09:00 & 14:00 Cornwall v Devon

10:00 & 15:00 Somerset v Dorset

Team Somerset did their chances of retaining the strokeplay title a power of good with a resounding victory over Dorset. The morning started promisingly as the red Army quickly leads in the first four matches which they never looked likely to surrender. In the event, Ali Balcombe, Sam Fernley, Taylor Stote and Sam Sloman all finished their matches early to give Somerset the first 4 points of the day.4

The second set of matches proved to be much tighter affairs as the Dorset team battled to gain some momentum, Captain Justin Lane added a 5th point for Somerset, followed by a hard earned half from Jack Palmer. Phil White added the final point of the morning, before the experienced Giles Legg finally overcame Craig Adams to end the session on a positive note for Dorset.

The afternoon foursomew were entirely dominated by Somerset who notched a clean sweep, and a winning margin of 12>5 - 1.5. This puts them at the top of the table on game points won, ahead of Gloucestershire, the only other team with a 100 record.

TUESDAY 12TH JUNE

South Western Counties Amateur Championship & S W Qualifier for the English County Championship

The big day of the week, the chance to be crowned South West Champion and for the counties, the opportunity to qualify for the National Finals. Somerset arrived in good spirits with the defending individual Champion in Will Poole, and the holders of the team prize.

Out early in field, it was Somerset's Tom Sloman who set the pace with a round of 65, later matched by George Bryant from Devon, with Gloucestershire's Andy Hales and Haider Hussain a shot futher back on 66. In total there were 20 scores below par showing the depth of talent we have in the South West.

In the team competiton, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire tied the lead at the half way point, with a combined score of 5 under par from their nominated 6 players, Devon were in third place at level par, with Somerset had a total of 4 over to be 9 shots off the pace. Larger margins than that have been pulled back in the past, so there were 4 teams hoping for a good afternoon. Reports coming in from the course were that Devon were not improving their position, but Wiltshire and Gloucestershire were recording improved scores. The feeling though was that Gloucestershire were having the slightly better of it. The reports proved to be true for Gloucestershire, who returned a lower second round total of 416 for a 15 under par total.  Mitch Waite and Jack Cope led the Gloucestershire charge with rounds of 64 and 65 respectively.

Wiltshire had in fact scored 1 point more in the afternoon, and so the Team prize was won by Gloucestershire, remarkably for the first time in 12 years.

Mitch had shot 67 in the morning and became leader in the clubhouse in the individual competition with a total of 11 under par. Attention turned to Tom Sloman who was finishing his round on the 18th green, and a superb birdie gave him another round of 65 to overtake Mitch by one shot.

Tom had an anxious wait as the remaining potential challengers came in, but mone were able to disturb the top 2 cores. Finally, the last group on the course, containing Andy Hale came into view. Andy was the last person with a realistic chance of denying Tom the title. It was a good round of 69, but not quite good enough, and so Tom ensured that Somerset could still boast of hiving the South West Champion in our team.

MONDAY 11TH June

08:00 & 13:00 Cornwall v Gloucestershire

09:00 & 14:00 Dorset v Wiltshire

10:00 & 15:00 Somerset v Devon

Another glorious sunny day at Cumberwell Park, and Team Somerset recorded another victory, taking down the colours of Devon with another performance showing good fighting sppirit and detemination. The morning singles went in our favour, with wins from Will Poole, Johnny Grace, Phil White and Craig Adams, plus a half from Sam Fernley giving us an early advantage.

The foursomes were dominated by Team Somerset awith early finishes from Sam Fernley and Phil White winning 6&4, Two Toms (back in harness - Plumb & Sloman) winning 5&4, and Will Poole & Craig Adams, also winning 5&4.

The only match to reach the 18th green involved Johnny Grace and Taylor Stote, who started the hole one down. The tables turned when Taylor 's approach gave Johnny a birdie opportunity which he duly converted to secure a valuable half point.

The Matchplay Shield is finely balanced, with Wiltshire and Somerset level on both match and game points, and Glouucestershire 3 game points adrift

For all the details on today's play, please follow this link

SUNDAY 10TH JUNE

08:00 & 13:00 Somerset v Cornwall

09:00 & 14:00 Devon v Wiltshire

10:00 & 15:00 Dorset v Gloucestershire

Team Somerset got off to the best possible start on the opening day at Cumberwell Park with a hard fought win over Cornwall. There was never much between the teams, and Captain Justin Lane had predicted that the morning singles would finish 4-4. Gor a long part of the first session, it looked as though the crystal ball was working as the sides notched up the points.

First blood went to Cornwall when Sam Sloman was forced to retire at the half way point with an injury to his knee. Will Poole came out on top of his match against Joe Cruse, but Taylor Stote could not match the firepower of Cornwall's Robbie Macgregor. Johnny Grace completed a convicing win for Somerset with a 6&5 scoreline, backed up by Sam Fernley in determined form winning 3&2.

Jack Palmer was up against it in his match, battling all the way to lose out 3&2, but Phil White, putting superbly,  took Somerset to 4 points in total with a 3&2 win. All eyess turned to the final game to determine the final outcome. Making a welcome return to South West Week, Craig Adams showed his experience in digging in to secure a half to take Somerset into the lead at the half way stage.

Cornwall struck back early in the foursomes, inflicting a heavy defeat on Johnny Grace and Tom Trowbridge, but wins from Sam Fernley and Phil White, followed by Taylor Stote and Ali Balcombe, took Somerset over the line. Will Poole and Craig Adams fought to the end to secure a vauable half point which placed Somerset on top of the leage on game points won.

In other results, Gloucestershire beat Dorset whilst Wultshire beat Devon.

The days full results can be seen here


Monday 11th June

Starting County Cornwall

08:00 & 13:00 Cornwall v Gloucestershire

09:00 & 14:00 Dorset v Wiltshire

10:00 & 15:00 Somerset v Devon

Thursday 14th June

Starting County - Dorset

08:00 & 13:00 Dorset v Devon

09:00 & 14:00 Gloucestershire v Somerset

10:00 & 15:00 Wiltshire v Cornwall

Friday 15th June

Starting County - Devon

07:30 & 12:30 (1st Tee) Wiltshire v Somerset

08:00 & 13:00 (10th Tee) Cornwall v Dorset

08:30 & 13:30 (1st Tee) Devon v Gloucestershire





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