On Sunday 17th October the semi-finals of the Men’s Club Championships were decided on a perfect Spring day.
The top four seeded players were pitted against one another in the semi-finals.
The Pascoe Cup winner and defending Champion, Tristan Geerlings, and the number 4 seed, Aidan Cooper, were up against one another for the second consecutive year and Aidan was looking to reverse the 2020 result. It was not to be with Tristan winning 5/3 to qualify for the final.
The second semi-final saw the 2020 runner-up and 2019 Champion, Ben Cullinan up against the no 3 seed, Callum White. Callum jumped out to an early lead but Ben clawed his way back and proved too strong in the end winning 2up.
So, the Club Championship finalists were decided with the defending Champion Tristan Geerlings up against Ben Cullinan. Ben has a score to settle after last year and will be keen to make it 2 wins in three years, with Tristan trying to make it two in a row.
CLUB CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL – 36 HOLES
7.45am and 12.15pm (1) Tristan Geerlings vs (2) Ben Cullinan
The four first round losers from the Club Championship progressed through to the Minor Championship with the semi- finals played on Sunday.
In the first semi-final, Riley Gott played the consistent Gary Hing. Gary had to an early lead and after 4 holes was three up. Riley fought back and ultimately overcame a spirited challenge from Gary, winning 2 up.
In the second semi-final Scott van Heurck was up against John Venner, with both players keen to progress to the final. John proved too strong running out a comfortable 4/3 winner.
MINOR CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL – 18 HOLES
12.29pm (5). Riley Gott vs (6). John Venner
“A” GRADE CHAMPIONSHIP
The first semi-final saw John Samuels playing the 2020 Spring Cup winner, Paul Coni. It was a close match over the first nine and there was not much between the pair at the turn. Paul was able to assert his authority over the back nine and ran out a 3/2 winner.
In the remaining semi the defending Champion, Grant Evans, was up against the number 3 seed Gavin Furness. Once again this was a closely run affair with Grant winning the penultimate hole to take a one hole advantage into the 18th. On the final hole both players were on for 3 and Grant holed a 10 foot putt and generously conceded Gavin’s 5 foot putt to win 1 up and go through to his second consecutive final.
“A” GRADE CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL – 18 HOLES
12.36pm (12) Paul Coni (8 H’cap) vs (7) Grant Evans (6 H’cap).
“B” GRADE CHAMPIONSHIP
3 of the 4 semi-finalists were members of “The Gallery” and the number one qualifier, Ian MacDonald once again provided the highlight of the day.
Up against Bruce Palmer, Ian, for the second week in a row, was cruising on the front nine and was well in control and at one stage held a 4 hole advantage and was again looking to have an early drink.
But once again he faded letting a seemingly unassailable lead rapidly diminish leaving him 1 up with one hole to play. Make no mistake Bruce played some very good holes on the last nine to get him to the 18th.
And then the repeat from last week.
Bruce was on the green for 3 about 8 feet from the hole and Ian, as per the script, was in the right-hand greenside bunker for 2. Another “bladed” bunker shot saw the ball nearly OOB. The balcony crowd went mad. After being denied line of sight relief from the bench at the rear of the green, he moved it so it did not interfere with his line and chipped it rather strongly back to the other side of the bunker from whence he started. More mirth from the balcony!! Onto the green for 5 and in for 7. Needless to say, Bruce won the hole and they moved to the 19th hole. Ian recovered from his disastrous finish and managed a regulation par to win and progress to the final.
In the other semi-final, Wilfred Ong and Ian Mumford did battle. In a see-sawing encounter the former General Manager, and number 2 seed, overcame his worthy opponent on the 18th.
The final will be an interesting clash of two “Gallery Members” and no doubt people will be gathered on the balcony should the match go to the 18th. Should that be the case we will need a volunteer for traffic control. Anyone know a “lollipop” person?
“B” GRADE CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL – 18 HOLES
12.43pm (1) Ian MacDonald (13 H’cap) vs (2) Wilfred Ong (13 H’cap).
“C” GRADE CHAMPIONSHIP
The question on everyone’s lips was – How long could Paul Orchard (ORCH) keep up his rich vein of form? His opponent in the first semi-final was the congenial Jack Morris who had to concede 6 shots to the number one seed. Both players had solid victories in their quarter final matches and a close encounter was envisaged.
Paul came out a 3/2 winner, with Jack finding the 6 stroke concession a little difficult to overcome.
The second semi-final saw the defending Champion Tony Sarson up against John Clarkson. John was looking to avenge his 2020 semi-final loss to Tony. An early 3 hole deficit saw John’s hopes of a victory fade but a strong finish saw him overcome his disappointment from last year winning 2/1.
“C” GRADE CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL – 18 HOLES
12.50pm (1) Paul Orchard (27 H’cap) vs (6) John Clarkson (25 H’cap).
All final matches look to be close affairs with handicaps of the finalists in A, B and C Grade very similar.
There are 2 defending champions – Tristan Geerlings and Grant Evans. The CG Dudley Cup winner, Paul Orchard, will be looking to add the “C” Grade Championship to his CG win.
The finals of the 2021 Club Championships will be played next Sunday, the 24th October, and for the first time the Ladies’ and Men’s finals will be played on the same day. The Ladies’ finalists will not be known until Thursday evening.
So, we hope that all members will come up and support the finalists, both Men and Ladies.
From – Greg Fitzhardinge