The NAPGC annual knockout finals took place from Saturday 31 August – Monday 2 September 2019 at Staverton Park in Daventry, Northamptonshire.
It takes a lot to reach the final, so congratulations to all those who made it through. There were 64 players on Saturday, 86 players on Sunday and 56 on Monday with all green fees paid by the NAPGC for the first time. The weather was generally kind but with a few showers thrown in and the course was well presented for all three days, providing a good test for all.
Saturday began with the Siemens Bowl final- four ball better ball stableford. It was played from the gold tees, which have a par and standard scratch of 71. At the final there were four teams competing with 8 players per team. It proved to be a close affair with the outcome very tight, right up until the last pairing in. Thorney Park eventually prevailed with a score of 157 points from last year’s winners Rose Hill on 153 points. Well done also to Tilgate Forest and Belhus Park on reaching the National Final. The result turned out to be a fitting start to the weekend and a worthy tribute to Colin Ballantyne, a stalwart of the NAPGC who had recently passed away – it was his Club and he was Captain at Thorney Park back in 1995.
The Hawtree Trophy Final was the next competition to tee off. A mixed greensomes stableford played from the gold and silver tees, both of which had a par and standard scratch of 71. At the final there were four teams competing with 8 players per team. Rose Hill, the defending champions got off to a good start which they maintained throughout to win with a score of 142 points. Easthampstead did press for a while but eventually had to settle for the runners up spot on 134points. Congratulations also go to Hoebridge and Royal Epping Forest on reaching the National Final.
Sunday’s proceedings began with the Clapham Common Final – two trophies were being played for. The Platinum Shield for the outright winners and the Ellis Cup for the runners up. For this Men’s greensomes stableford, play was moved to the black tees with a par of 71 and a standard scratch of 73. At the final there were six teams competing with 12 players per team. The course proved to be a good test for the players with only two of the 36 pairs scoring 40 plus points. The best score of the day 43points came from the Royal Epping Forest pairing of Matt Tettmar and George Sharpe. At the halfway stage it was very close with only 3 points covering the top 3 teams. Rose Hill then exerted their pressure to move away from the field and win the Clapham Common Platinum Shield with a score of 216 points, an average of 36 points a pair. The battle for second place was much tighter with Haste Hill drawing level with Royal Epping Forest through their final pairing and subsequently taking second spot and the Ellis Cup on countback. Again congratulations must go to the other teams, Basildon, Ruislip and Portsmouth on reaching the final.
The Ladies Whitewebbs Final a better ball stableford from the silver tees took place on Sunday afternoon. Four teams were involved with 4 players per team. It was a very tight competition with Cannock Park on 40 points leading from Easthampstead after the first round pairings. However, the second pair for Hoebridge turned things around with Kim Price and Steph Williams top scoring with 44 points to ensure that Hoebridge lifted the title with a total score of 80 points. Easthampstead took second place with 77 points, on countback from Cannock Park. Congratulations also to Abbey Hill on reaching the final. There was an injury during play which delayed proceedings a little and meant it was quite dark by the time the competition reached its conclusion. For next year the tee times have been pushed forward.
On Monday morning it was the turn of the senior’s men in their Mitchell-Thomson Final, with four teams of 8 playing greensomes from the gold tees. At the halfway stage the competition was well poised with Leaside leading Ruislip by a single point, with Leaside’s Charlie Carroll and Will Smith top scoring for the event on 41 points. It was still close after 3 pairs, but Leaside eventually moved well clear with a finishing score of 144 points, an average of 36 points a pair. Congratulations also go out to Ruislip who took second spot with 132 points and to Huntswood and Rose Hill on reaching the final.
The Ladies Toprock Bowl, a single pair event, was the first of the match play finals. Played from the silver tees, the final was between Rodway Hill who beat Bird Hills in the national semi-final and Haste Hill who overcame Easthampstead in their semi-final. Rodway Hill got off to a good start which they maintained throughout running out 5&4 winners.
The Ladies Match Play Final, another single pair event, was the second match up again from the silver tees. It was between Haste Hill who beat Farnham Park in the national semi-final and Cannock Park who had beaten Easthampstead in theirs. Cannock Park took the early initiative and while the match result was fairly tight they kept their advantage to run out 2&1 winners.
The Men’s Toprock Salver Final, better ball match play, followed the Ladies. A single pair event played from the black tees saw Bird Hills, who beat Haste Hill in the national semi-final,facing Portsmouth who beat Cheshunt in the other semi-final. It was another close match with Portsmouth eventually beating Bird Hills by 2&1.
The last competition of the long weekend was the Men’s Team Match Play better ball final comprising 3 pairs teeing off from the black tees. This saw Ruislip who beat in Huntswood in the national semi-final facing Easthampstead who beat Stevenage in their semi-final match. Ruislip stormed into a lead in all 3 matches, comfortably winning the first, but Easthampstead rallied well taking the remaining 2 games to the 18th hole. They couldn’t quite get their nose in front though and both games were eventually halved giving Ruislip a 2-1 win and the title.
Special thanks go out to the NAPGC organisers who ran the various events throughout the year and particularly to the team who ran the final with me, Kathy Maloney, Jeff Retallic and Patrick Clasby.
We hope those who competed in the finals all enjoyed the course and competitions. We look forward to receiving your entries for these competitions in 2020-and hope to see many of you again along with some new faces at next years Finals weekend
NAPGC Competitions Secretary