Match Report – Rest of World v Great Britain & Ireland – Kikuoka – 23 July 2016

All 32 participants woke up to a gloomy sky and poor weather forecast projected heavy rain for midday. Despite some torrential overnight rain Kikiouka was is remarkable good shape with only the bunkers showing some erosion damage. An encouraging feature of the day is that all 32 players turned up on time.

The average handicap of the ROW team was 12.1 against 9.9 for the GB+I team. The home advantage of the ROW team seamed to be cancelled by the slightly more skilled GB+I team. The two captains exchanged some pleasantries on the range and after a focused handshake, the first four players headed to the first tee.

GAME 1 – De Vet & Goes (ROW) v Dalrymple & Warde (GB+I)

De Vet had the privilege to hit the first shot of the competition. Oh dear! Goes was under pressure to hit the 1st fairway. A par and win on the 1st by Warde saw the initiative going to GB+I. The match was back to all square on 5th but solid golf by GB+I provided a 2 hole advantage by the 7th. Step up Goes and De Vet, with Goes net birdie on the 8th followed by a holed putt on hole 9 by De Vet from off the green, after Ward had done the same moments earlier. Match all square and first points on the board for ROW and GB+I teams.

The golf got better on the 2nd nine. Dalrymple birdied the difficult 11th to nudge ahead but ROW levelled the match on the 15th after superb play by De Vet. The 16th was halved after an excellent up and down by Goes. The 17th hole was pivotal. Goes, Dalrymple and Warde were all on the green in regulation, with De Vet out of it. Goes has a shot on stoke index 2. Goes aggressive effort at a net eagle slips by a good 3 meters. Deadly Warde’s putt secured the par but Dalrymple holes his putt for a birdie. Goes fails in his 3 metre return putt and the GB+ I team goes down the last 1 up and 1 to play. Goes and De Vet fight on with some excellent positional play down the last. However, pressure was intensified as Dalrymple hits the par 5 with his second. Goes shoots a great 3rd shot but roles off the green, but not far from the pin. Role up De Vet and he hits his shot of the round to within 2 metres. Dalrymple lags his putt one meter from the hole. Not given!!. De Vet strokes it in for birdie, but Dalrymple plays a Captain role by securing the half, also with a birdie and wins the match for GB+I, 1 up.

MATCH RESULT:- ROW = ½ – GB+I = 2 ½.

GAME 2 – Gilles & Eysinga (ROW) v Robertson & Graham (GB+I)

The charismatic and big hitting (but not always straight) pairing of Gilles and Van Eysinga was paired against the equalling charismatic and short hitting (but straight) pairing of Robertson and Goes. Graham has the claim to fame status of having recorded the first hole-in-one in a FROGS event earlier this year. (Graham is an honourably FROG by buying a round of drinks for all other FROGS present that historic evening in Kikuoka). The match was close in the front nine and all square on the 8th. GB+I holed a long one on the 9th to end the front nine 1 up.

Strong motivational words by Van Eysinga to Gilles on the 10th tee was expected of this part-time University Lecturer. No doubt he was scrutinising the rules to look for yet another notional deduction to gain an advantage, as all good tax practitioners would do. GB+I were looking good to go 2 up on the 10th with a putt of 4 metres for birdie. ROW somehow scrambled a 3 on this pivotal hole and GB+I missed their birdie opportunity. Match remains 1 up to GB+I. What followed was spectacular 2nd half collapses often seen by the Scottish and English football teams, with ROW winning 3 of the last 8 holes for a comfortable overall win. So confused with the speed of the turn around of fortunes, Robertson was ready to shake hands on the 16th green with the match still live. Graham said of his partner that “there was a short gap of getting warm and getting tired, unfortunately today that gap was not there… Robertson needs substance in the form of a good steak and chips”. A chirpy Van Eysinga stated that “my garden leave from Stibbe was the best preparation I could have had for this match”.

MATCH RESULT:- ROW = 2 – GB+I = 1.

CUMULATIVE RESULT:- ROW = 2½ – GB+I = 3 ½.

GAME 3 – Spadafora & Hartnett (ROW) v Botfield & Nevin (GB+I)

GB+I assembled on of their big gun pairings of Botfield and Nevin to take down the Golfaholic ROW pairing of Spadafora and Hartnett. The astute ROW captaincy of Terblanche made it difficult for GB+I by pairing a high handicap grouping (combined handicap 34) against the GB+I combined handicap of just 5. Nevin had to rely on his RAF prisoned short game while Botfield banked on his self belief and confidence. A sound front nine saw GB+I take a slender 1 hole advantage after nine holes.

Incredibly the match had swung around after the 11th hole where the ROW went 1 up on the match and 2 up on the back nine. When the going get tough the tough get going and GB+I managed to claw back 2 holes to win by the slender margin of 1 hole. Spadafora was the only player in the entire field to receive a shot on the last and the ROW was disappointed not to extract more than the ½ point.

MATCH RESULT:- ROW = ½ – GB+I = 2 ½.

CUMULATIVE RESULT:- ROW = 3 – GB+I = 6.

GAME 4 – Reidy & Johnston (ROW) v Birch & Sinclair (GB+I)

Game No 4 had a real Delphi feel about it. At 8.28 on Saturday morning a big black limousine manages to squeeze into a rather generous parking slot and then appear Johnston and Sinclair. What was Sinclair doing fraternising with the opposition, was the pre-match discussion. The other pre-match discussion was Terblanche’s decision to pair two Americans together. Did Terblanche forget that the US has not won any match play events in Europe for many years.

Early in the match it became apparent that GB+I had their work cut out to get anything from this game. The power US Delphi pairing won the first nine and offered no concessions heading in to the back nine and closed out the game with a 4&2 win and in doing so took all three points wiping out all of GB+I earlier gains.

MATCH RESULT:- ROW = 3 – GB+I = 0.

CUMULATIVE RESULT:- ROW = 6 – GB+I = 6.

GAME 5 – Chan & Ferreira (ROW) v Hill & Edwards (GB+I)

This was a much-anticipated match with 4 serious golfers equipped with a power game. Ferreira gained the initiative by winning the best-dressed golfer award, with a predictable loud blue number, which seemed to distract Hill more that Edwards. There was also mutterings in the clubhouse on Dalrymple’s decision to allow Hill and Edwards to play a FROGS 9 hole match play tie. These mutterings proved unjustified and the GB+I team secured a slender 1 hole advantage going into the back nine.

No shots were given in the second nine and the match finished on the 17th with ROW recoding a 2&1 victory in the overall game. This was a great back nine performance by Chan and Ferreira. On the FROGS match pay event Edwards beat Hill by 3&2 over the front nine, which capped a miserable day at the office for Hill.

MATCH RESULT:- ROW = 2 – GB+I = 1.

CUMULATIVE RESULT:- ROW = 8 – GB+I = 7.

GAME 6 – Have & Janssen (ROW) v McCorduck & Baxter (GB+I)

Ireland untied with the pairing of McCorduck and Ulsterman, Baxter, stormed off to a significant lead and won the front nine 5 up!!, with McCorduck holing everything in sight.

However, the dandy Danes mounted a significant fightback in the back nine to level the match by 17th, with Have recording three 3s on the bounce. Some noteworthy golf on the 11 with Have manufacturing a career defining iron [4 iron, red.] out of the rough from 180m to 6ft on the 11th. Baxter responded with a career defining rescue club from 180m to 10 feet from the fairway! A GB+I win on the last hole was probably the big story of this remarkable match. Indeed, Have looked distressed and battle weary coming off the 18th green, heading towards the clubhouse terrace where both ROW and GB+I teams were assembling to cheer in the remaining matches.

MATCH RESULT:- ROW = 1 – GB+I = 2.

CUMULATIVE RESULT:- ROW = 9 – GB+I = 9.

GAME 7 – Maitry & Bus (ROW) v Alford & Hutchines (GB+I)

Dalrymple paired Golfaholics Hutchines and Alford together to take on Maitry and Bus. Maitry had the distinction of being the only true Luxembourger in the 32 man field. Maitry played some of his best FROGS golf all season and recorded a good number of pars in the front nine, but this effort was only good enough to secure a half point for the front nine, with Alford playing steady golf for GB+I.

The second nine saw Maitry distracted by the constant calls from his phone. But it is believed that he was sorting out the prizes for the Mix Voip FROGS PAIRS (Maitry is the sponsor) to be held on Wednesday 3rd August at Junglinster. If you have not signed up for this event you should do so as you will be playing for the Don MacGregor – Dave Moody Trophy.

Back to the match… The pivotal hole was again the 17th. Maitry hit a good drive and placed a nine iron on the green. His first put was under a meter away. Not given by Hutchines and Alford! Maitry was distracted in his line of sight and missed the putt. The match ended 1 up to the credit of GB+I. Now GB+I are just one point away from winning the competition.

MATCH RESULT:- ROW = 1/2 – GB+I = 2 1/2.

CUMULATIVE RESULT:- ROW = 9 1/2 – GB+I = 11 1/2.

GAME 8 – Boutellier & Terblanche (ROW) v Winters Felfoldi (GB+I)

It all came down to the final match. ROW captain Terblanche was playing with the inform Boutellier. Reports were coming in that Boutellier was burning up the course and that ROW had already secured the front nine. GB+I just needed 1 point for outright victory. Dalrymple had placed faith with Winters as the anchor man with the big hitting Felfoldi as security.

The packed terrace went silent is disbelief as the fourball was searching in desperation for a ball beside the burn on the right side of the green. Was this another cock-up on the 18th by a Frenchman in a major event. However Boutellier’s socks remained on and deep concern was written on the GB+I faces watching on. It seemed that all was still to play for as putts were studied and restudied. And then a roar from the 18th green as ROW sunk a decent length putt. High fives from Terblanche and Boutellier send despair through the GB+I camp. It was official ROW won all three 3 points with a 4&3 win and with it came Game Set and Match for ROW.

MATCH RESULT:- ROW = 3 – GB+I = 0.

FINAL RESULT:- ROW = 12 1/2 – GB+I = 11 1/2.

Congratulations to the following for special prizes:-

• Longest Drive (hole No 6) – Nick Felfoldi

• Nearest to Pin (hole No 12) – Alan Botfield

• Leary (hole No 18) – Mark Gilles

Commiseration to David Winters and Nick Felfoldi who suffered a 4&3 defeat, the worse result of the day, but they were unfortunate to come up against Arnaud Boutellier who was under par for his round. The pink ball(s) had to be won by someone. Well done ROW team.

FINAL THOUGHTS

• If we followed the traditional scoring method the competition would have been a tie at 4 matches a piece. However the ROW won their matches more convincingly, but they also had higher average handicaps.

• Dennis was not able to reconcile the Scottish and French methods to cook a good steak. The clubhouse entertainment was excellent but Dennis should perhaps next time order the fish option, to help reduce his stress levels.

• The Delphi yanks were a good fun to have and recorded the second best win for the ROW team. Belief in American match play capabilities are somewhat restored in European circles.

• The GB+I team need to source some Welsh participants. Irish were the star performers with all participants winning their respective matches.

• Request of a repeat event next year were voiced. The chanced received a significant boost with a possible sponsor expressing an interest.

• Lastly, apologies to the Golfaholics participants, FROGS application forms should available on the day. These will be posted to you shortly !

Match report by GB&I Captain Gregor Dalrymple