Golf – First Round of Knockouts
The first match of this year’s competition (South of the border) has taken place, with Nick Strachan going through to the next round to meet the winner of Match 10 between Anthony Sykes and Bruce Hyde. James Espey will be moving into the first round of the Plate competition, where he will meet the runner-up of match 10.
Thanks to James for the following match report:
I had a very pleasant drive to Liphook to play with Nick Strachan and was met with good weather. It is a delightful course indeed and what an amazing experience I had. I started brilliantly with a great par three on the opening hole, to set the scene for the rest of the day. Well, did I?
Nick won the next six holes comfortably. It was readily apparent he is an outstanding 24 and would be drastically cut at Royal Wimbledon! But not to detract from a great performance, he was absolutely outstanding and destroyed me in every single respect.
We staggered on around the course – me staggering and him swinging beautifully and it very much looked like it was going to be a dog-license.
I actually pulled one hole back to my surprise on the ninth, but soon was six down with seven to play and clearly on the 12th he was going to win; all he had to do was sink an 18 inch putt for a dog-licence victory. What an amazing surprise when his putt went 20ft past the pin and he missed the return. How generous, how kind, how thoughtful. Clearly he didn’t want everyone barking in the golf club at my 7 and 6 defeat.
So we continued and to my surprise I only lost 5 and 4. I then had a press for the enormous sum of £1 and lost that very swiftly and on the last hole had a further press for £1 after he elected to give up the stroke that he was entitled to, so we played level and again I lost.
Shall we say I was well thrashed by a very good, but very gracious golfer.
I rushed to the ATM machine to make the necessary withdrawal to settle my debt and we had a very pleasant lunch, after which I drove home.
What a pleasure it is playing in the Distillers’ golf knockout, irrespective of the result.
Nick and I did not know each other but four hours later were the best of friends and I look forward to seeing him at New Zealand in the near future. I would love to have him as my partner but after my performance he would probably not think the same.
It was all great fun and I wish him all success as he advances further forward, without any doubt, in the competition.