Long Sutton Seniors played away against Wheathill Seniors on a sunny day on Wednesday 24th July.
The first team out was Captain Bill supported by Dave Butcher. Dave started in true fashion by hitting his drive out of bounds. However, Bill halved the hole against Captain Mike and his partner Rick. Bill pulled out all the stops on the 2nd by hitting a 9 iron second shot onto the green for a gimme and a birdie. Then only to go all square on the 3rd as both home players score 5 with a stroke in hand. Although Dave parred the 4th, so did Rick who had a stroke for a net birdie. Rick then parred the 5th to put Wheathill 2 up. The 6th was halved but Dave won the 7th to pull it back to 1 down. The next three holes were halved by Bill as Dave went into melt down. Captain Mike parred the 11th to go 2 Up again. Bill won the 12th with a par but Rick then won the 13th with a net par. The 14th was halved. The 15th was the turning point. Rick put his drive into the rough and Mike hit his down the left-hand side behind the trees. Dave put his drive down the right-hand side of the fairway and Bill put his down the centre. Rick had already taken 4 shots and Mike 3 before Dave and Bill had taken their second shots. Dave’s ended up 3 feet from the pin and Bill’s on the edge of the green. Bill’s two putts won the hole before Dave tapped in for a birdie. Dave got the birdie bug and did the same on the 16th Par 5 with the third shot coming out of the right-hand bunker finishing 4 feet from the pin. Match all square at which point the Captains agreed to halve the game. As it turned out Rick won the 17th and Bill the 18th.
The second team out, Rob Hartley and Steve Burfitt had an intriguing match against Richard and, near 80-year-old (!), Dick. They were 4 down after 4 but all square after 8! They started to counter the surprisingly slow greens in the second half, albeit with the tougher back 9 holes, and held a slim lead to finish 2 up. Game played in a good spirit. Interestingly, Wheathill have about 200 seniors and not surprisingly have often never met or played with their partners before. Rob’s partner, Steve, is a new Long Sutton member and obviously enjoyed the outing, especially on the par 3 eighth hole where he struck a 7 iron to 6 inches of the hole, pity it was Home sides's nearest the pin!
The third team out was Rod Tucker and Franco Calandrini. Rod Tucker had to give 16 &14 shots to the opposition pair, with Franco getting 10 shots, needless to say Rod had to play out of his skin. They went three down after 3 holes but by the 8th they had pulled those back. Winning the 9th put them 1 up at the turn. They held their nerve on back 9 by halving the next 6 holes, losing the 16th, winning it back on the 17th and then halving 18th to win 1 up.
In the 4th game Pete Hill and Dave Kennedy started well winning the first hole with a good putt from Pete but despite playing par golf they never led again losing 4 & 2 to Roy and Julian. Julian playing off a 28-handicap played exceptionally well; winning 6 holes. Pete solved his “Driving” issues by buying a new Driver, unfortunately he bought it after the round and not before.
Chris Thayer & Martin Howlett started the 5th match slowly going 3 down in the first 4 holes. Being only 1 down at the turn, Wheathill turned the screw to win the 13th & go 2 up. Winning 3 holes on the bounce, the Long Sutton pairing took the lead by 1 going up at the 16th and then halving the 17th. At the 18th Martin put his tee shot well right of the green & Chris put his in the left-hand bunker. Their opponents didn't fare any better with their tee shots & the hole was halved giving LS a victory 1 up
Steve Uzzell was teamed with Mick Capps in the final pairings and they got off to a good start against Martin and Gerry by parring the first. They took the second and it was nip and tuck until they went one up on the fourth and later two up on the sixth with a par. Holes were being won to par or birdie. Two up went to one up on the tenth as a birdie from Martin put them back in the frame, but a great par by Mick on the next opened the gap again to two. Sadly, the next two went to Wheathill and they teed off all square on the fourteenth. Halved in five with all to play for as we teed off at the extended fifteenth. Putting proved the difference over these next two holes and Martin was able to putt out on both to put his team two up with two to play. Mick played a blinder on the seventeenth with a par to leave us needing a win on the final hole to force a half. Again, Mick was putting brilliantly and managed to bag a three, leaving Gerry an eighteen-foot putt for a half. Well, with everybody expecting an overall half for the match, anticipation was high as Gerry’s ball travelled the distance and dropped into the hole, giving Wheathill pair the narrowest of wins.
A win to Long Sutton 3½ to 2½
Very enjoyable match and played in good spirit!!
Partner to Captain Bill