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2012 WHVGS Matchplay – 23rd June : Stonebridge
After the 2010 WHVGS Captain’s Matchplay, (which due to the number of entrants had to include the three-way “4-2-0” format) and the 2011 Captain’s “Forthplay”, which did not actually include any element of matchplay whatsoever, the 2012 (ex)Captain Noz had come up trumps. 8 Competitors was a perfect number, each to play three head to head nine hole matches, over three different nines at Stonebridge, to crown the WHVGS Matchplay Champion – A title well worth winning.
An entry of 8 might sound small, but the competition was brisling with WHVGS golfing talent, including: All of the past OoM winners (the Star / Flame holders), The last 5 Green Jacket winners, The top 5 Ranking Points winners of all time, The 2012 Tour leader, The current King of the Majors, 2nd, 3rd and 4th in the 2012 OoM – It was a quality field, make no mistake.
The WHVGS faithful were massed in the clubhouse, (including the Green Jack holder, minus the Green Jacket again – apparently it is too big for him…), when out of the blue Millers mosied in and promptly took his shirt off, standing top less in the Clubhouse. Evidently he was there of for a different society do, (yes, he had chosen to play in a different society do, on the same day, at the same time and at the same venue as the WHVGS Matchplay….). Apparently he was doing his bit for charity, although we suspect that he just wanted to get up close and personal with a few ex-villa players and tell them his views on Boško Balaban – who is probably my favourite villa player of all time. (Ask Millers, he’ll tell you all about him.)
Gamblegibbon had been active with numerous bets being placed, including: The Idiot hall backing the Proff to come last (LLL), Curt and Bruce also backed themselves for (LLL), whereas the Proff, Noz and The Pres (who had just returned from playing the 2014 Ryder Cup and Kings Course at Gleneagles during the previous two days), all backed themselves to win (WWW)
The draw was done by Nozza: Donk v the Proff / Noz v Curt in the first four ball and Bruce v Pres / TS v Bacon in the second four ball.
The Proff had his match play head on beating Donk in a tight match coming back to win 2&1, whereas Noz beat Curt (who had backed himself to lose…) more easily 3&2. In the second four, the Pres beat an unusually inconsistent Juice 4&3, with the TD beating Butters 2&1.
This set up the second round, winners v winners and losers v losers etc…: The Proff v Noz, was easily won by Noz, (5&4), who was growing in confidence, with The Pres v The TD, being won by the Pres on count back, having comfortably out driven the TD on the ninth. Donk started to fire, (after the upset of losing to Pete in the first match) beating Curt (who had backed himself to lose) 2 up. Bruce had a slightly better 9, beating a very steady Butters 2&1 – Butters had been consistent all morning, but seemed to lack the killer blows required for the Matchplay.
Lunch came, which was a very good burger and fries, although for some reason the TD couldn’t wait for it and ordered a pasty and fries as well, which came about 5 minutes before the main lunch did. Gamblegibbon was drastically trying to get more funds in, because Noz and the Pres had both backed themselves to WWW and one of them was going to and Curt was still on for his LLL… Unfortunately, Stonebridge had to put us round a 9 that we had already played, rather than getting round the full 27 holes on offer, which was blamed on the speed of Millers’ other society during the morning.
The afternoon matches were Noz v the Pres for the Matchplay title, Bacon v Curt for the “LLL” mantle (which Curt had backed himself to “win”), TD v The Proff (for 3rd / 4th) and Donk v Bruce (for 5th / 6th).
The Pres (who had generally been playing pretty well) beat Noz after the 8th, which included some debate over a yellow staked hazard and required the input from Messrs Butters and Curnips, who decided that my ball was lost in the hazard and therefore did not require an R4. Unfortunately Nozza then thinned one out of a bunker and lost it through a hedge. Bacon beat Curt on the last and Curt secured his “LLL” winnings from Gamblegibbon. In the other matches the Donk who had stormed the last 18 holes stuffed Bruce (5&4) and the Proff beat the TD – The TD once again losing a head to head Big dog, which will come as no surprise to anyone.
1 Pres : (WWW) After honing his skills around a soggy Gleneagles, the Pres backed himself to win the Matchplay and did it the hard way, beating the current Tour leader (the TD), 2nd (Noz) and 3rd (Juice – the Green Jacket holder) on the way to victory.
2 Noz : (WWL) Came up against the Pres, (on a good day) in the final – Noz commented on the 7th tee, “Baxter is unplayable today”.
3 Pedro : (WLW) Nerves of steel to beat the Web Donk and the TD, when he came back from 3 down with 3 to play, effectively beating the TD on the head to head final hole longest drive.
4 TD : (WLL) Somehow came 4th, having lost c.70% of his matches, (the only person with a worse record was Curt, who had bet on himself to LLL), including losing head to head longest drives with both the Pres and Pedro, which is surprising given that he spends so much him in the gym – although not that surprising given that he have NEVER won a ”Big Dog”, ever.
5 Web Donk : (LWW) Came up against Pedro in fine form in the first match, then won his next 2 matches and would have scored c.45 Stapleforth points over the those 18 holes – Now sporting a beard, which needs a bit of work.
6 Juice : (LWL) Played terribly for the normally consistently high scoring Bruce, culminating in a mauling by the Donk in his final match.
7 Bacon – (LLW) Played ok(ish), did nothing wrong and would have scored well on a Stapleforth day, but his consistent “metronomic” style, is more suited to putting a steady round together rather than the rigours of Matchplay
8 Curt – (LLL) Bet on himself to lose from the outset and Gamble Gibbon took it…
The Donk took the shark and Nozza took the Big Dog. The results are below.
It was a great day, with a great format, which was well organised and explained by the current (ex)Captain – so I hope that it has been scored well by those who took part. I look forward to seeing the results of the WHVGS Minor Competition Satisfaction Survey, when the PR releases them in due course.