Thursday, 21 July 2022

The Old Brightonian Golf team have had a busy summer already.

Thank you to Adrian Wood (Al. 1971-76) for his write-up of last month's Cyril Gray tournament.

The Cyril Gray is a Scratch Foursomes event between 32 schools. Players must be 50 years of age on the first day of the tournament, on 23rd June 2022. It is played at Worplesden Golf Club, which is always in fine condition with fast greens.

Brighton was drawn against Kings Canterbury in the first round and arrived quietly confident since we had Riaz Rattansi (Ch. 1985-90) qualifying for the first time, and he would be in our first pair alongside Jules Hunt (Du. 1984-87).  They started out very steadily and were soon in the lead which they never lost and they closed out their match on the 14th hole.

Our second pair (Chris Gates Ry. 1985-90, and Julian Tate, Du. 1982-87) and final pair (Nick Toksvig Br. 1973-75, and Adrian Wood, Al. 1971-76) both played some excellent holes but also managed too many loose shots such that matches that perhaps should have gone our way were both lost on the 18th. So we were out of the main competition which was most disappointing.

Losing in the first round means you have a place in the Plate, and that meant going out again at 4 pm which was far from what we wanted. Our opponents this time were Taunton and we kept the same pairings. Pairs 2 and 3 both switched around who teed off on the odd-numbered holes and that seemed to work much better. After our lead pair had won again on the 14th hole, Adrian and Nick achieved a 3 and 2 win so that assured us a team win. The middle pair also won 2 holes up, clearly wanting to enjoy playing all the holes again.

Our plate round 2 match saw us drawn against Dulwich who put pressure on us in all 3 matches. Our lead pair succumbed to an inspired putting display from their opponents including the hammer blow of a 50 foot putt from off the green with the match tightly poised. So, pairs 2 and 3 now had to win to keep us in the event. Match 3 got off to a flyer with Adrian chipping in on the first for a win, but Dulwich then produced an impressive 2 on the par 3 7th for a win. No green to work with and their 2 handicappers from Rye produced a high wedge over the bunker which ran out into the hole. That seemed to inspire them since they won holes 9 and 10 to put them 3 up and they went on to close out 4 and 2. Meanwhile our middle pair had their own battle and they managed a win to at least make the match score 2-1.

Our event was over but we are looking forward to Andy Sweet (Du. 1986-91) joining the team next year as he will qualify for the first time. 2023 will be a year when we hope to progress further through the main tournament.

There is an extra event on the Saturday for a pair with combined ages of 140, each being at least 65 years old. Warwick Sabey (Br. 1959-65) and Robin Colbourne (Ha. 1960-65) represented us and came a creditable 2nd, and so winning a tankard each. Well done, both.

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