After a great result in the first round of the Palairet Trophy, The RND Mens Palairet team faced the Lion Artisans of Mortehoe and Woolacombe in the second-round match held at Yelverton Golf Club on the 4th June 2023. With the weather hot and sunny the course was playing very hard and bouncy with all the surfaces, fairways and greens in remarkably green condition considering the very dry weather we have had over the last month or so.
With some of the players from the first match unavailable and plenty more potential players on holiday, the selection headaches continued up to the very last minute when a last-minute replacement had to be found (me😊) as a sudden illness caused 1 team member to drop out early Sunday morning. However, the two new additions performed admirably with crucial performances.
There had been rumours leading up to the game that the opposition would be “packing a few shots” but I do not think that anybody in our team thought that we would be staring a total of 43 shots in the face before playing parity would be found. Yes, folks believe it or not that’s 9 shots in three of the matches and 8 shots in the other two!! Giving in all!! An insurmountable task I hear you say, however our boys are made of stern stuff and the committed looks on their faces as they went out to play told us all you need to know about getting the win in the face of incredible odds.
Match Report as follows:
M Colwill and D Thresher
Match 1 saw the return of Bob Colwill and Dave Thresher. Having made such a gritty win in the first round they were raring to go and showed this by attacking the course with driver off the tee wherever possible. The strategy seemed to hold them in good stead but good play and a shot every other hole from their opponents and for all their courageous play the match was only 1up to RND sitting on the par 5, 8th tee. The RND pair continued to attack off the tee and manged to win more holes but again lost holes also to good play but seemingly giving yet another shot!
The back 9 continued in that fashion until the Par 3 17th (which it appears was the fateful hole in the match). Sitting at all square both pairs hit good shots onto the green and the balls both just finished up onto the first cut around the green. RND away and Bob lags his putt to gimme range. And then wouldn’t you believe it the Lion Artisan player from downtown sinks his best putt of the day and takes his pair 1 up going down the last. A hammer blow! Even a great drive from Bob down the 18th was not enough to win the hole and the match was lost 1 down.
Lost 1 down
Sturman and Loze
Match 2 saw the brick wall pairing of Shaun Loze and Chris Sturman. You cannot walk through a brick wall, and you cannot walk through these two fellows either. With the record that this pair holds they really need no further introduction and the boys set to task applying the pressure immediately winning holes 1 to 3 to be three up after three. Further wins on 4,5 and 6 and they were 6 up after 6 holes! Giving a shot on the 7th they only managed a half, but normal service was resumed on the par 5, 8th and the boys were 7 up standing on the ninth tee. Only a lip out on the 9th green by Chris stopped the lads being 8 up on the front 9 holes! However, with absolutely no quarter given in the match (or holes lost!) the boys wrapped up a truly professional job winning Holes no.10. and no. 11 winning the match 9 & 7 (is this a Palairet record?). Now I do not know whether the host club benefits financially for the use of their facilities or hosting of these tournament days, but whenever these two boys play they should offer a part refund because they only ever seem to play half the golf course!!!
Won 9 & 7
Worthington and Fisher
Match 3 saw the victory 4somes champions sent out again into the heat of battle.
A poor start from our lads festered like a bad wound throughout the front 9 being 3 down early in the match. Staring down the barrel of a (9 shot gun) the boys fought valiantly through the middle part of the game Gary, in particular keeping, them in holes with his reloads off the tee. However, they were fighting an uphill battle going down so early, and with the opponents having a shot on the next hole on any occasion where hope might have been offered by a win of the previous, they could never make inroads and finally were vanquished on the 14th.
Lost 6 & 4
M Colwill and D Willoughby
Match 4 saw a first outing representing the club in the Palairet for Mike who has recently been crowned Prince of Wales Champion. He was joined by Dean who had given a fine performance in the first round. Having lost the first hole, the RND pair bounced back straight away with wins on the 2nd and 3rd to be 1 up after three holes. Facing 9 shots in the match there followed a run of halved holes until they came to the Par 5 8th hole 2 up. Unfortunately having to play their provisional ball off the tee they lost the 8th but rallied on the 9th and found themselves two up at the turn. The back 9 continued with Mike relying on his awesome distance with the three iron off the tee and getting the RND pair in play. However, as well as they were playing, the next hole always seemed to be giving a shot and they just could not get that one more hole up until good tee work on 14 saw them finally get to three up………..and then more shots to give and 15 and 16 were lost. All of a sudden, their lead had been cut to just 1 up stood on the Par 3 ,200 yd 17th, tee.
After an arrow of a tee shot right at the pin from Dean, the ball just went too far off the bouncy surface and Mike found himself in a shocker of a lie under a tree that was clearly a hoofprint. However, having found the bunker on the same hole, the opposition disagreed that it was an animal hoof and refused to allow relief to be taken. A long delay ensued when the match referee had to be called who, when he finally got there, promptly adjudged it to be a hoof print and relief was taken. And would you believe it again, classic match play, the opposition then proceeded to make a miracle up and down from the bunker and the sound of whooping and mad caterwauls ensued from their team members watching. All square going down 18. At this point RND were 2-1 down in the match and on the ropes.
However, the “baying mob” style, mad caterwauling from the opposition team had stirred something deep inside of Mike and he proceed to rifle another pured three iron down the centre of the 18th fairway. Dean, then hit a fine lay-up with both teams now facing a pitch onto the green. Step up Mike and he nailed his pitch to ten feet. This was clearly too much for the rattled opposition and they then proceeded to not only hit their first pitch into a bush but also their reload and the match was won by RND 1 UP!! Match all square.
Won 1 up
F Stone and C Hampton
Our final pairing saw Frank Stone and Captain Chris Hampton who had to jump into the team as a last-minute replacement. The match started very well for RND with excellent tee shots from the RND pair on the 1st and 2nd holes enough to take the match 2 up after two. The match continued and the RND pair managed to win another hole to be three up after seven holes. However, having to give shots on 8 and 9 the Lion Artisans pair drew back two in two holes to be only one down at the beginning of the back nine. The back 9 continued to be nip and tuck with holes won and lost in equal measure until a shot on the stroke index 1, 13th saw the RND pair go 1 down for the first time in the match. Moving onto the 14th tee the pace of play slowed as the other matches became tighter with a painfully long wating time on the 14TH tee. Thankfully the Lion Artisans duo who, after winning the last had the honour, very sportingly put two balls OB and then a safe shot from the skipper onto the fairway and the match was all square. The long waiting times continued on the 15th and 16th tee boxes and as a result each of the following holes were lost by poor shots directly off the tee with the match all square stood on the Par 3 seventeenth tee. As a result of the need for a ruling on the 17th for the group in front, the wait on the seventeenth tee seemed to go on forever and at this time Frank and Chris had the message that we were 2-1 down with the final two matches on the course both at all square. After an absolute age it was the Lion Artisans honour and they pulled one left nearly OB but still in play under a tree. Now, anyone that knows Frank knows he is a very cool customer and he stepped up onto the tee, took his time and proceeded to smooth the purest 5 wood onto the right side of the green that just rolled up the green, getting better and better until it ended up about 8ft from the pin. What a Worldy of a shot! Hole 17 won and 1 up going down the last.
Stood on the tee box of 18 the RND pair were still unaware of the situation ahead but knew all they had to do was match the Lion Artisan pair on this hole and their match would be won. Chris, who has a fine record in Palairet matches, has a golfing brain and with the green out of reach in two hit a mid-iron off the tee to keep it in play. His astuteness rewarded as the ball landed on the bouncy fairway it must have kicked forward another 50 yds and was only 20 yds or so behind the opposition driver. In any case Frank laid up to 80 yds and the opposition also laid up, RND to play the third shot first. Now if there is anything that Hampton can do it is chip, pitch and putt and with the match on the line and with some similarity to the winning shot that brought the 2018 Rosebowl to RND, he stepped up with aplomb and hit his ball to 5ft. Boom! There was no way they could better that and even with a close chip from the opposition on their fourth shot the half on the hole was enough to ensure a 1 up win in the match and a 3-2 win in the match overall.
Won 1 up
Match result: RND WIN 3 TO 2
A very tight match saw the RND team come out on top. When the last two matches came down to the last hole our boys held their nerve and took a fine victory from the jaws of defeat.
Many thanks must go to our esteemed President Val Cook who came to support us and played “on course captain” for the day. Yelverton is a fair long way to travel from RND and all the boys would like to thank you for your support on the day I am sure you were a lucky charm!
Many thanks also to Yelverton Golf Club who hosted us on the day and provided an almost qualified professional referee to adjudicate the match for us. The food after, all agreed, was magnificent.
Finally, thank you and well done to all the players that took part.
Our next match will be against Libbaton on the 2nd July on the West Course at Saunton.
Can't rate Josh highly enough. He is sensitive to the golfer in front of him, adapting his advice and comments to the swing he sees. Backing any comments up with data that is equally as sensitive - a great combo. Josh doesn't try & overhaul a swing and make you feel lost, rather he provides care
Awesome golf course in an unreal setting and very well maintained, highly recommend playing here if you get the chance. Demanding but fair course that makes you think. If you’re getting a caddie ask for Dave, great guy who knows his stuff
At points wide open. The rushes and bushes are what will swallow your ball. The thing that makes this course tricky will always be fighting the wind and judging yardage. Greens true and well paced. Starter was helpful. Clubhouse like a museum of history