Mercedes-Benz Matchplay

17 June 2012Back

Mercedes-Benz MatchplayThursday 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 nicknames.]

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 wedges!

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!