last Monday in July was fine and sunny, with a slight chill, and enough of a breeze to concentrate the golfing mind, when 20 members faced the starter for the annual running of the Presidents Trophy. After 9 holes of stroke play on the West course, and some fierce side bets for bottles of wine, four competitors stood out from the field, David Hewitt with a nett 34.5, Geoff Vincent 35.5, Tony McLean, 37 and Newton Turner, 37. After a light lunch in the clubhouse these four gentlemen were declared to be the semi finalists for the sudden death matchplay, with stymies, starting on the first of the East Course.
In front of a small gallery the first match went off with David Hewitt playing two strong shots to reach the green in regulation, while Newton Turner, having taken three shots to get to the green, could not drop his long putt to halve the hole so David progressed. Back on the tee Geoff Vincents’ drive found one of the fairway bunkers on the right hand of the fairway but having successfully got out of one bunker, found a greenside bunker with his shot to the green. Meanwhile after a solid drive, Tony McLean was on for two and it was not long before Geoff conceded.
Both finalists drove the ball into the left hand side of the fairway up the second with David Hewitt having the bragging rights by about 10 yards. Tony McLean then found one of the right hand fairway bunkers with, what is called in polite circles, a blocked shot. Declining to take advantage of his good fortune David then sclaffed his fairway wood to within a 6 iron of the green. Tonys’ ball was lying well in the bunker with enough room for his back lift but, after failing to keep his head down long enough, he drove his next shot about 6 feet into the deep, and tangly, doo doo. Not wishing to make matters worse, Tony called David over and conceded the match while still in the bunker. David then hit a 6 iron into the green but failed to hole his putt for par; and not a stymie in sight!
All four finalists, and the small gallery of devoted golf fans, then repaired to the warmth of the clubhouse and toasted the winner with glasses of his recently purchased bottle of Champagne. It is interesting to note that for two of the finalists it was their first attempt at winning the Presidents Trophy which should encourage some of our newer members to give it a go next year.