31st May saw the final match in this year's Mercedes
Benz Matchplay Championship being played. The inaugural event
started in January with many hopeful entries, over the last 5
months all competitors went through a knock out process until only
a handful remained.
There were three Matchplay Competitions running in parallel
through the shortened season; a Men's Singles, a Ladies Singles and
a Pairs event.
The Men's Singles was the first to reach the final stage with
William Welsh and Tony Huson competing for the coveted title.
Almouj Member Danny Renihan was on hand to watch the final- perhaps
Danny missed his calling as his report on what transpired is well
worth a read!
The eagerly awaited (but only by the two protagonists) inaugural
Men's Singles Matchplay final took place on Sunday 20 May
2012. It was contested between Billy Welsh and Tony
Huson. The volunteer referee was the author.
The conditions were probably the most hot and humid they have
been all year. On stepping out of his car the author
immediately regretted his decision as he witnessed the two
finalists standing there in a sweaty mess with Huson waxing lyrical
about the Champions League Final and the fact he only got to bed at
2 am and Welsh counselling him on what a waste of time the driving
range is!! The clues were right there and I should have wished them
well and got back in my car.
[From hereon in I will refer to them both by surname if not for
expediency then for the fact that they both clearly demonstrated
over the next few hours they did not warrant use of first or
The first hole set the tone for what was to come with Welsh
striding off the first 1 up having just beaten off the competition
from Huson who recorded a 9! Welsh continued to limp his way
to 3 up after 3 holes but this was not surprising as Huson was
playing like a man who had just bought some clubs off a pikey in
the club car park and on closer inspection had found they were all
It was clear at this stage that a referee was not
required. Someone who had a good head for figures would have
been more appropriate.
Thankfully, for the neutral, the competition then steadied
itself for the next 7 holes as both men proceeded to play is if
they were recovering from mild strokes (the medical kind) and they
stood on the 10th with Welsh still 3 Up. Oh how
the author wished it was all over but sod's law dictated that Huson
would eventually find a way to win a hole to make it 2 Up -
in keeping with the occasion it was not by way of a par he
basically just outlasted Welsh until he gave up!
Thereafter Welsh showed signs of making a full recovery from his
recent stroke and actually started to make bogeys - sadly Huson was
now in remission and fading fast. Albeit sad to see someone
struggling with such an affliction in terms of transparency I must
confess to wishing he (or Welsh) had faded earlier or expired
completely so we could all go home.
Welsh settled into a mode of play based on the old adage that 'I
do not have to outrun the lion so long as I can outrun the guy next
to me'. Huson settled into a mode of play based upon someone
who was mentally unstable.
The competition reached its anti-climax on the 15th
when thankfully Welsh sealed the deal to win 5 & 3 to become
the first winner of the Mercedes Benz Almouj Mens Matchplay.
Huson, ever the good sport, uttered the obligatory 'well played' -
I stood there with a puzzled look.
The next match to be played was that for the Ladies Singles
title. The two Ladies progressing through the draw to the final
were Kim Davis and Catherine Shackleton. It was ultimately
Catherine who came out on top winning the match by a margin of 4
and 3. Catherine's report on the match is below.
We both hit good tee shots on the first hole, so the match was
on from there. We left the first hole all square. Kim
took the early lead on the next hole after an errant tee shot from
me but I got it back to all square on the 3rd. On the 4th I
took the lead and managed to maintain it until the match was
completed on the 15th hole. Kim fought hard pegging back holes
after I won them, but I had enough of a lead that after a half on
the 15th, where both players visited the water with
their tee shots the match was completed.
The final match in this year's Championship was the pairs
fixture where Iain Liversage and Aaron O'Hara competed against
Edward Daly and Stephen Morris. Both pairs had a low single figure
player in the group with Aaron and Edward each playing of a
handicap of 4, it promised to be a great end to what had been a
hotly contested competition.
For whatever reason the pairing of Liversage and O'Hara never
really got things going and steady play from Daly and Morris saw
them home by a healthy margin of 7 and 6.
Being the inaugural season for Almouj Golf the Mercedes Benz
Matchplay was a great way for Members to interact, the spirit that
all matches were played in ensured that many new friendships and
healthy rivalries have been formed.
Almouj Golf would like to thank Mercedes for its continued
support and in particular of this event and looks forward to the
2013 version being bigger and better!