This year’s championship came to a dramatic conclusion when 3 foursomes pairs tied and a four hole play off was needed to decide the winners. But more about that later.
It was a damp, dull cold day when competitors first arrived at the Ely club early Sunday morning. It soon brightened up and we were very fortunate in the end to have a rain free, sometimes sunny day.
The scoring was high in the 1st round with competitors find it tough to hit the greens in regulation and difficult to get down in two from the challenging lies around the greens.
Only six pairs broke 80 and the leaders at lunch were the Gog Magog pairing of Dave Quinney and James Stammers with 77. Their score could have been better as they finished with 2 bogeys. There were 15 pairs within 4 shots and very much still in contention. Last year’s winners James Reeson and Owen Davies were close behind on 79.
After a hearty lunch it was back to business and early leaders in the clubhouse with 156 were Links secretary Matt Hartley and his young partner David Marris, the current Boys champion. They were hoping to add the Foursomes Championship to the Ron Freeman Foursomes title they won last October.
Their hopes were short lived when John Summerfield and Jamie Hibbert of Elton Furze returned a commendable 73 to add to their opening round of 80 for a total of 153. They were then joined on this total by Steve Jarvis and Kevin Diss of Gog Magog, after Kevin chipped in on the 18th for a birdie 3.
When County Champion James Reeson and former County Captain Owen Davies joined them on 153 it looked like a 3 way play- off unless the leaders Quinney and Stammers could keep their momentum going. It was all looking good for them when they were 2 under par after 8 holes of their 2nd round but after an ugly 7 at the 11th hole it all went pear- shaped and they fell away, finishing with a disappointing 78 for a 155 total.
It then came down to a 4 holes play- off for the 3 foursomes pairs over holes 1, 11, 15 & 18.
Reeson and Davies quickly established a 2 shot lead after an excellent birdie 3 on the 11th hole. The title was then decided at the short 15th were the pair were bunkered, Reeson left his bunker shot short of the green then watched his partner chip in for an unlikely par 3. With Summerfield and Hibbert already off the pace, Jarvis and Diss, shocked by their opponents chip in, duly three putted to end any hope of victory.
A solid par at the 18th and James and Owen had retained the Championship that they won in style last year at the Links.
A special thanks to the Ely City Golf Club and their captain Alan Todd for their warm hospitality, and to Mark Smith for all his help in the organisation of this competition. The course was in excellent condition, with the greens running as fast and true as I have seen them for many a long year. Not to forget the catering team and bar staff who served us some hearty food at lunchtime. The competitors really appreciated the bacon rolls and coffee that was served from 7 30 am.
Next year’s County Foursomes takes place on 23rd April at the Saffron Walden GC.
Photos courtesy of Kevin Diss golf course photography
Written by Neil Hughes