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Rosebowl team win the final Vs Saunton
We teed off on a windy day under dark skies, boosted by the support of a number of caddies and spectators who came along to help cheer the team on.
The first match saw Paul Wilson and Chris Drew fight it out in what was a close contest throughout. Giving 2 shots, the RND pair could never forge ahead in the match, which was extremely close until a loss at both 15 & 16 appeared to have handed the match to Saunton. However, a brave tee shot with driver from Paul on 17 paid off and the pair won the hole to take the match down the 18th. With both pairs just short of the green in 2, Chris only had one option, chip in or lose the match. He very nearly pulled off the improbable as he lipped out with his chip shot, and our RND pair were defeated by 1 hole. A great battle from our experienced first pairing who just came up short, but can be proud of the way they fought. 1-0 to Saunton.
The second match to finish saw the semi final heroes of Richard Hughes and Martin Gibbs giving 1 shot to the Saunton pair. Its fair to say that neither of our guys brought their best today, with an uncharacteristic display off the tee from Richard, and Martin struggling on the greens. They failed to win a hole in the match, and eventually went down by a 6 & 4 scoreline. Whilst they will disappointed with their performance in this match, Richard and Martin have been one of our strongest pairs throughout our run to the final, and their heroic win on 18 in the semi final to seal the match is one of the highlights of our competition. 2-0 Saunton.
At this point the match looked very much in Saunton's favour, and indeed the 3rd match to finish looked to be going the way of our rivals from across the Taw-Torridge estuary. Steve Flood and Hamish Cameron found themselves 1 down playing the 18th after a couple of short missed putts over the final few holes saw them fall behind. After Saunton had hit the left side of the fairway, Steve played an excellent mid iron down the hill to find the perfect spot in the middle of the fairway from the tee. With only a half needed to secure the match and win the Rosebowl for Saunton, the pressure took its toll and a heavy approach shot found the water.
Hamish held his nerve with his wedge over the water, and the RND pair took the hole and the match went on down the 19th. After the 19th was halved, the 20th was a lesson in how to sew up a tight, high pressured match. Steve hit a long straight drive up the hill finishing just short of the green, and Hamish hit a great wedge shot in to 5 feet, which Steve duly holed to get RND’s first point on the board. A great fightback from our guys, and a fantastic show of composure when they needed it most to finish the match off in the way they did. 2-1 Saunton.
The next match to finish was match 5, which saw the team captain Shaun Loze partnered with Neil Armstrong. Shaun has masterminded the Rosebowl success this year and should be lauded for the hard work he has put in to build a great team atmosphere and keep regularly up to date with how everyone is playing. Neil has been in great form this season and paired with Shaun, the experienced matchplay veteran, the pair were always in control. Despite a few early wobbles the pair took charge of the match late on the front 9, finding themselves 4 up with 5 to play. Saunton rallied late but it wasn’t enough, and the match finished 3 & 1 to RND. 2-2.
With the match seeming very much against us at 2-0, we had fought back brilliantly to level the match at 2-2, and news soon spread back to the last pair left on the course that it was going to come down to them to bring home the trophy. Chris Hampton and Mark Lee had been slightly ahead throughout their whole match, but after losing the par 3 16th they found themselves locked at all square on the 17th tee. When their opponents found the water hazard from the tee, Chris stepped up and hit a solid sensible iron to the middle of the fairway. Both pairs found the green with their approaches, but a 3 putt from long range from RND allowed Saunton back in to steal the half and take the match all square down 18. Mark hit a great mid iron to the middle of the fairway, and with both pairs in good position it came down to Chris Hampton to hit a gap wedge approach from 126 yards, to try and set up a birdie and put some pressure on. With a large crowd now gathered around the 18th green Chris duly delivered. The approach landed perfectly on the front of the green, checked on the first bounce, and rolled to no further than 6 inches from the pin. After the Saunton approach found the bunker, they failed to hole the bunker shot and the birdie was conceded to give the RND mens squad their first silverware in 10 years. 3-2 RND!
A massive thank you must go to the caddies and spectators whose support cannot be underestimated, especially in a match as tight as this one.
A great effort by the players who have been fully committed to the teams this year, attending practice sessions, winter foursomes, practice rounds, and playing a key part in helping to select pairings and teams. The future is bright for the mens teams, and its great to see so many people putting themselves forward to represent the club in our various competitions.
Mens Match Manager
High Handicap Team Result
Torrington v Royal North Devon
High Handicap Cup – Semi-Final
2nd September 2018.
Due to handicap reductions and the limited availability of players from the earlier rounds, we fielded a much-changed team in our semi-final match against Torrington. On a very muggy afternoon, three new parings ventured out to compete for a place in the final. With minimal shots being conceded either way in two of the matches; and none in the third, the advantage appeared to be with the home team.
Battle-hardened Andy James partnered Devin Job, one of our new recruits, in match one. They made a great start and, before too long, were two up. The Torrington pairing then started to rally; clawing the lead back to one. Andy and Devin held the lead for a while, but sustained pressure from Torrington swung the advantage to the home team – midway through the second nine Torrington were two up. Andy and Devin reacted fantastically though and turned the tables, clawing back the Torrington lead to end up halving the match.
Big-hitter, Ivor Smith, was partnered with Steve Sullivan, our second newcomer, in match two. Consistent play from the Torrington pairing contributed to Ivor and Steve struggling to get going and, nearing the turn, Royal North Devon were four down. The Torrington team continued to turn the screws on the back nine and never let up on Ivor and Steve. A few missed putts here and there meant that it could have been different story, but Torrington ended up winning the match seven and six.
Our final debutant, Ben Brace, partnered Julian Goddard in the third match. Ben flew out of the blocks, with a fantastic pitch shot on the first, helping Royal North Devon take an early lead. This seemed to galvanise the Torrington team though, and complimentary team play eased them in to a three-hole lead. As the match approached the ninth hole, Ben and Julian started to reel the home team in, pulling a hole back and leaving Royal North Devon two down at the turn. The match went one way - Torrington pegged back to one up, and then the other – Torrington back to two up with two to play. Great scrambling from a tricky lie in the trees left Royal North Devon with a fifteen-foot putt on the seventeenth to keep the match alive. The putt tailed off to the left of the hole - two, agonising inches short. A match played in great spirits by both sides, but a two and one win for the home team.
So, a disappointing 2 ½ to ½ loss for Royal North Devon, but an improvement on last year’s progress in the competition. Bring on 2019!
Parker Trophy Team Defeated In Close Quarter Final
Our Parker Trophy team were defeated 2-1 by Exeter last week in the Quarter Final of the scratch county knockout event on a very firm and fast running Tiverton course.
The first pair of Ollie Tanton and Blair McHarg put in a strong performance, led by an excellent display of ball striking from Blair, and the usual magic on the greens from Ollie. They wrapped up the win 2 & 1 in what had been a tight match throughout against high calibre opponents including Harrison Greenberry, the former County and British Boys Amateur Champion.
Our second pairing of Ben Keen and Junior Captain Scott Parker made a fast start in their match, again against a strong pair including yet another former county champion, James Reed. The pair were 2 up through 7 holes, but proceeded to lose the next 5 in a row from a combination of poor tee shots from our guys and birdies from the Exeter pair. They eventually lost 3 & 2, leaving the contest to be decided by the last match, with Steve Flood paired with captain Chris Brown.
Throughout the round a series of long par saves continued to fall in for the Exeter pair, with RND hitting most of the greens but not seeing a birdie putt drop. The longer the game went on with Exeter hanging on with some great scrambling, the more likely it seemed it would go down to the wire.
1 up stood on the 17th tee, Steve Flood played an excellent 4 iron tee shot to the middle of the tight fairway, and Exeter's Jack Pope proceeded to hit his tee shot deep into the trees, giving hope that the match might be about to go RND's way. However, Chris then pulled a 9 iron approach, which the RND pair then failed to get up and down. Exeter duly chipped out of the trees and again got up and down from 120 yards courtesy of another 20 foot putt from Fred Bishop who putted superbly all day.
This made it all square going down 18, and Exeter proceeded to hit driver into the left hand trees, seemingly blocked out. After a very solid ball striking day from both RND players, and taking a 4 iron for safety, Chris hit his second poor iron shot in a row under pressure, this time blocking the ball into the right rough and leaving his partner unable to get to the green.
Both pairs chipped out of the trees, with RND now 100 yards from thw green, and Exeter just 50 yards away. Unfortunately the story unfolded as it had for much of the rest of the match, with RND failing to hole a long putt, and Exeter getting up and down for par to get the win. A good 6 foot putt from Jack Pope under pressure on the last got the win.
A tough defeat to take considering how strong a team we were up against, and how close we came to turning them over on a course which clearly favours Exeter, both in terms of geography and course layout. Credit to Exeter for a great battling performance. They had good support watching the game, and ultimately their last pair kept themselves in it for long enough to squeeze through with a good performance under pressure on the last few holes.
Our run ends for another year, but there were a number of positives to take from the match. Thanks to all the players for their commitment in getting the game played in the short time window we were given.
Chris Brown, Parker Trophy Captain.
RND ROSEBOWL TEAM THROUGH TO SEMI FINAL
RND met defending champions Portmore at Holsworthy
Paul Wilson and Chris Drew were first off and knew they were in for a game as ex pro Andy Normal drove the first at Holsworthy but this never put off Paul or cool hand luke Chris, RND surged into the lead and were 2 up after 4 but their opponents played some great golf and were 3 up after 13 but our boys dug deep and and were level after 16 and duly won 17 and 18 to give RND their first point.
Stephen Flood and Ethan Jeffery were out second for RND looking to extend their unbeaten run but were up against some good golf from their opponents mitch and Adam, not even Steve great tee shot to 6 feet on the 208 yard par 3 fourth could save them from a 4&3 defeat, their opponents knocked in a total of 5 birdies which our pair couldn't match.
New pairing Chris Hampton and Mark Lee were off next after a bright start which saw them go 3 up after 5 but with a combination of bad luck and errant shots and by the 12th they were 1 down, the turning point in this match was when Chris attempted a one handed trick shot which he pulled off with ease. RND were 1 up going down the last, after Chris had a flyer from the rough into the ditch this handed their opponents a lifeline but they unfortunately lipped out handing the game to RND to go 2-1 up
Richard Hughes and Martin Gibbs were giving 4 shots and when they went 2 down after the first two holes they were always playing catchup. When 4 down with 4 to play and having to give a shot on 17 none of the spectators even followed the group! However they managed to win 15, 16 and the 17th with a clutch long putt and get back to 1 down on the last where they couldnt quite claw back a win and lost their unbeaten streak.
Captain Shaun Loze and Neil Armstrong were off last, they duly won the first with a birdie after a good approach from shaun and were 2 up after 4 when shaun put his tee shot to 10 feet on the long par 3 fourth. After losing the 5th Neil put his approach close on the 6th to restore the lead. The RND pair turned 2 up and were soon 3 up on 10 when Shaun sank a long birdie putt. They never looked back after then with some good steady golf and won on 17 when Neil hit a great approach to 8 feet (he even yelled get in the hole as he hit it straight at the pin), this handed RND the important win. 3-2
2018 Captains and Events
Parker Trophy: Captain - Chris Brown
Prestigious county Scratch foursomes trophy. Teams of 6.
Palairet: Captain - Richard Hughes.
Prestigious county handicap foursomes trophy. Teams of 10.
North Devon league: Captain - Shaun Loze
Teams of 6 play individual stableford in a league format.
Rosebowl: Captain - Shaun Loze. Vice Captain - Hamish Cameron
Handicap foursomes trophy, teams of 10.
High Handicap Cup: Captain -
Greensomes knockout, 6 man team.