The forecasters got it right – again. The possibility of showers, including hail, was what was experienced on the links as Tenby seniors entertained Haverfordwest on Tuesday. Whilst everyone was able to start their round in bright sunshine they were soon keeping a wary eye on the dark cloud approaching from the west. The sudden shock to all, as the temperature dropped and the wind picked up, was sharp and those who hadn’t started in wet weather gear soon searched their bags to alleviate the cold and the wet.
A hole and a half later and the sun was out again enticing all to remove outer layers. Very few did and it wasn’t until the later stages of the afternoon that the second shower caught the tail-enders.
Despite the interruption everyone was in good spirit and the competition, as normal, was intense. None more so than the last but one match between John Hancock and Mick Whale up against Rob Ridge and Tony Rayland. There was a hole-in-one in this encounter scored by Tony Rayland on the seventeenth. However, while it was enough to win the hole it was not enough to win the match. It was instrumental in helping them to tie the match. Mick Whale settled back into his routine and was able to support John in this close encounter.
Derek Cole had chosen his neighbour, Chris Beecher, to help him overcome the challenge from the two Steve‘s – Allen and Lewis. Everything was playing to their advantage as they found themselves three up after five holes. They managed to hold onto this lead until the ninth when Steve Allen provided a rude awakening by sinking a long chip from off the green for a three. The tenth was won by the Tenby pair but up popped Steve Allen again to birdie the twelfth. Chris Beecher, not to be out done matched this excellence to halve the hole. Derek and Chris held on to this lead and managed to finalise the result on the fifteenth.
It is a rare sight to see Roger Barton searching around in the rough but he did this more often this week as he discovered ‘the dreaded shank’. From the sixth hole on it haunted his game as he and Nick Rogers tried to overcome John James and Phil Rugg. Nick’s game was somewhat below par this week and so the pair struggled on home territory. This game did go down to the final hole but, unexpectedly, it was the home team that was disappointed. There will be a bit more practicing over the coming week.
Stan Hudson continue in his rich vein of form and was this week helped out by the late – sorry early Brian Jones. Not wanting to get on the wrong side of his captain Brian made sure that he was early this week, so early he was at the club on Monday (extra practice??). He was first in the clubhouse for the match – well done Bri. He was so geared up he even parred the third hole to help Stan reach a three hole lead after five holes. The two Dai’s, John and Watkins played their part by closing the gap to level the scores after eleven holes. Dai John was so accurate with his three wood that they nick named him ‘Dai’r Straights’. However, home team advantage played its part as Brian and Stan went ahead again with a par on the thirteenth. Brian completed his performance with a two on the seventeenth watched by the other three who also had the hole surrounded, but failed to putt out.
Allen Watts found himself two down after five but recovered to level the score on the seventh. His partner, Des Stone was not much help in those early stages as Ags Kalvik and Ted Buckett made good use of the shots Allen was conceding. Des did help him to retrieve the situation and they took the lead on the eighth only to lose it again on the eleventh. The home pair then won the next four holes (well, Allen did!) to bring this match to a natural conclusion.
Phil Carpenter was disappointed last week to lose his match and end up with -5 on the captain’s score sheet. Well, he has another -5 this week to increase his deficit. He and John Richards failed to overcome the challenge from Dave Phipps and Alex Jones. Phil was resigned to losing and ready to walk in as they walked up the fourteenth. John, however, had other ideas and he won that hole and made sure the match crossed the railway line to complete the course. That was as far as the competitive side of day went since they lost on the fifteenth.
Playing their part in keeping the captain happy Mick Seal and Keith Hubbard beat John Rees and Mal Davies. They finished their encounter on the fifteenth. Jim Moffatt and Idwal David on the other hand were enjoying their day in the sunshine so much that they extended their match against Clive Franklyn and Roger Matthews. They made it last until the seventeenth before retiring for a well earned meal.
David Rees had Austin Davies as his partner this week and they made a good pairing as they faced Gelli James and James Griffiths. Austin had to be home for an appointment so they made sure that this match ended in their favour with two holes to spare.
Old and new friends continued their banter and exchange of opinions over a pint and a fine meal looking forward to the return match later in the year.