Hampshire Golf Limited

Hampshire Dominate SE League Final


The sweet taste of victory! 

A throwaway comment from one of the BB&O players over morning coffee sparked a determined Hampshire Team in to an inspired 8.5-3.5 victory in the SE League Final on Sunday 8th October. An official had asked one of their players about an injury- 'Ah... it'll be fine' he said confidently, 'it's only Hampshire...' 

The Boys in Blue needed no extra incentive. The team had proven their grit already this year by winning the regional league by just half a point, scrapping for every single shot throughout the season as if their lives depended on it. The final standings of our league and our opponents results can be seen here, this set up an appetising final at Wildernesse in Kent on what turned out to be a weekend of perfect Autumn weather over a challenging, but fair golf course. 

The morning Foursomes teed off at 8am with Darren Walkley and Toby Burden leading the way. A nip and tuck front 9 lead to the top match reaching the 10th tee all square, but the back 9 saw the Portsmouth Duo step on the gas with a string of birdies including a 25 footer for a birdie 2 on the 13th hole that Darren knocked in to press home their advantage. The pair didn't look in the rear view mirror as they closed their match out 3&2 and headed in for an early lunch with the first blue on the board. 

The next match on the board was the pair of Harrison Pake's and Sam Parson's who overcame a slightly edgy start to close their match out in a 4&3 win. The pair from Stoneham and Blackmoor were ruthless in their approach, winning 5 holes in a row from the 8th through to the 12th and proudly shaking hands on the 15th green. 

Ryan Henley and Martin Young were next up and delivered the goods for the team in typical fashion. Young slotted a left to right swinging putt up the hill on the first green- gave a little fist bump to his partner and this set the tone for their match. The BB&O team rallied during the round but back to back birdies on the pair of par 5's at 11 and 12 kept the pressure on their opponents right the way up to the 17th green where their match eventually concluded. 

This left one final foursomes match live and Stu Archibald paired with Luke Hodgetts provided the galleries with an exciting finish- a tight match between the group had come down to the wire. Luke Hodgetts faced one of 'those' putts on the slippery 17th green to win the hole and take the game to the 18th tee all square, it was never in doubt for the young Hockley Member who held his nerve as he rolled in the 4 footer in to the heart of the hole. Heading down the par 5 18th, Stu used his experience under the gun to hit a classy 6 iron that flew over a copse of trees to find the heart of the green and left an outside chance for Eagle and the opportunity to potentially whitewash the foursomes. It wasn't to be though as the BB&O lads matched the Hampshire birdie following a sublime long distance putt that Hodgetts left within gimmie distance of the hole- the group shook hands on a half point and the Hampshire Team got themselves prepared for the singles and enjoyed their lunch with a 3.5-0.5 lead.

Toby Burden was first up in the afternoon singles as he had been in the morning round, well aware that the team needed to keep their foot down on the pedal and reach the 3 points needed to lift the trophy. Toby took to the course with the same passion he has shown all season. Toby had a string of winning holes on the front 9 which lead to a commanding lead of 3 up through 9 holes, he lost the 10th but then promptly made a couple of swift birdies to regain his lead. Toby set the tone for the singles when he placed the first blue point of the afternoon on the board in a rock solid 4&3 win. 

As is always the case with team golf, everything starts happening very quickly once one match has finished- Darren Walkley, sitting at number 2 in the order, battled hard throughout his match but found himself 2 down the 2 holes to play- digging deep, he won the 17th to take the match down the last. Both players made birdie 4's on the final hole which was good enough for BB&O to level the singles score at 1-1.

Harrison Pake, playing in his first team debut at number 3 in the singles order, rose to the challenge with aplomb. Harrison picked apart Wildernesse GC, as well as his opponent, making a bunch of birdies throughout his round. These were almost matched by his BB&O counterpart who all but matched his strong play. Harrison found himself 2 up as he played the 17th hole, looking for just a half to win the point and edge Hampshire ever closer to their goal of 6.5 points. Faced with a 5 foot downhill sliding putt Harrison, working with his caddie for the day and Challenge League team mate Harry Fairclough, held his nerve and rolled the putt in the middle before breathing a sigh of relief and turning to celebrate with his onlooking Captain and Club mate, Lawrence Cherry. 

Sam Parson's faced one of BB&O's strongest players in the singles order and fought hard throughout his match playing some great golf, his hard work didn't quite pay off this time as his match ended in defeat on the 16th green, losing 3&2.

Almost as if it was planned, this left the deciding points up to 2 of Hampshire's most experienced players in Ryan Henley at number 5 in the order followed by Martin Young at number 6. The team gathered nervously around the back on the 17th green did not have to wait long for Ryan's match to reach the green, with the County Champion holding a 1up lead he played an exquisite chip from the front of the green to gimmie distance which heaped the pressure on to his playing partner who had a breaking 5 footer to extend the match, the putt missed and the celebrations could begin! 

Team Hampshire waiting in anticipation around the 17th Green

There were still some golf to play though and some well deserved points to decide- Luke Hodgetts battled a tough opponent who holed some outrageous putts and chipped in down the stretch on the way to beating Luke 3&2. 

Stu Archibald won comfortably in the anchor match- doing most of the damage on the front 9 where he played some quality golf to reach a lead of 3 up which he kept intact until winning the par 3 15th to close out his match 4&3. This allowed Stu the time to come and celebrate the team and watch Martin Young's match conclude. 

Young had played a strong opponent who had hit some of the longest drives of the day- and also some of the wildest! Martin's style of play couldn't have been more opposite to that of his playing partners, the regulation- fairway, green consistency was of stark contrast to some of escape shots that Martin found himself up against. Suffice to say, Martin's solid play won through in the end and he made a superb up and down from the front of the 17th green to remain 1up and struck a lovely drive that cut the corner to perfection setting up a closing birdie which was good enough to win him a well deserved point and with that, Martin concluded his perfect singles record for 2023 being the only player to have played all three league matches as well as the final and win every singles point available. 

Vice Captain, Toby Burden (Hayling) and Captain Lawrence Cherry (Stoneham)

With that, the celebrations could begin and the presentation followed allowing Captain, Lawrence Cherry the chance to call his players up one by one to collect their winners medals as well as say a few words of thanks to his Wife- Izzy, all of the Hampshire supporters, Adidas Golf, Richard Arnold and Chris Harrison in the County Office and, of course, Kevin Flynn and Simon Andrews- the County Coaches who have 'lit the fire' for improvement this season and created a positive culture that has no doubt been the difference this season.

In the first training session of the season Kev pulled up a slide of the league table for 2022 with Hampshire sitting rock bottom and we've used that as motivation throughout the season. At every corner we've tried to improve by 1 or 2% and this has added up to the sum that we have today- where we can lift a trophy and celebrate with our team mates and as a County- back at the top of the league. 

#BeProud #BeHampshire



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