The 2015 Primary Club Matchplay Tournament
Poor weather fails to dampen the England & Wales Blind Golf Matchplay Tournament sponsored by The Primary Club being a roaring success
The Matchplay Tournament, sponsored by The Primary Club, is held at the Gaudet Luce Golf Club near Droitwich who have been great supporters to England and Wales Blind Golf (EWBG) for nearly 20 years. EWBG members play for the Lew Vizzard Knockout Trophy, this trophy having been given back in 1986 – sadly Lew passed away a couple of years ago.
We started the event with the draw on Sunday night as everyone gathered in the Clubhouse all waiting with anticipation to see who they were drawn against.
Monday morning came first day of June and unfortunately it was cold and windy, where was flaming June!!! The 3 first round matches went out first followed by 6 of the second round matches. In the afternoon there were 2 further second round matches involving the winners of the first round and one player who had a Bye. The weather turned atrocious and the two groups battled on through the gale force wind and at times torrential rain. Finally we had the quarter finalists.
Tuesday morning arrived the quarter finalists went out at 9.30 followed by those players knocked out in the first and second rounds who were playing for the Lew Vizzard Stableford Plate. The plate was won by Andy Gilford guided by his wife Mel, with 37 points and in second place Derrick Sheridan guided by his wife Mat with 36 points.
The quarter finals ended with Billy McAllister guided by Andy Dutton, Barry Ritchie guided by Geoff Iles and brothers Simon and Jay Cookson guided by Sue Broomfield and Paul Cloke respectively going through to the semi finals. The result of this round were Barry beat Billy 4 and 3 and Jay beat his brother Simon also by 4 and 3. Barry and Jay were through to the final.
Wednesday morning sunny but still windy the finalists set off with support being provided by many of the blind golfers and their guides. After 4 holes Jay was one up, at the turn he had increased his lead to five up. Barry pulled two holes back to be three down after 12 holes. Jay finally won on the 15th hole by 4 and 3.
The presentation was made in the Clubhouse by Steve Beevers EWBG Vice Captain.
Some thoughts from winner Jay Cookson
I am so happy to have achieved this win and felt quite emotional, I really am a big softy at heart. I probably didn’t say all I should have in my brief speech, so thanks to all who were involved in the organisation of this event as it was great, as usual.
My biggest thanks has to go to Paul Cloke, not only is he a brilliant guide, but a really good friend and I wish him and wife Laura all the best with their soon to be born baby.
Despite the weather on the first 2 days, I can’t remember having so much fun on a golf course. Derek, Steve and Simon all played great golf, but it seems all my hard work and practice has paid off, although I’m sure you all think that I need some chipping practice after my horrible display of this discipline on the back nine in the final. With this in mind, I must also give thanks to my wife Sam for putting up with me spending hours in my net and to my friend Peter Wheel for guiding me at my home course.
Barry McAllister battled tirelessly in the final and I was so happy to see my putt for a half on 13 go in, if I had lost that hole, I’m sure Barry would have taken advantage and the result could have been different. Thanks to Barry and Geoff for their company and the great match we had on Wednesday.
Gaudet Luce were fantastic hosts, as always, so another massive thanks to all there.
I can’t wait for the next event now and hope to keep my game together for the rest of the season.
Lastly, thanks to all who stayed behind to watch the final and I was very appreciative for all the words of congratulations at the end of the match.
See you all soon.