plate final was held at Hankley Common GC between Clandon Regis GC & Sutton
Green GC on 14th October 2017. It was a beautiful fresh Autumnal day for a
keenly contested final. Both clubs know one another very well. Both sets of
players have numerous players who feature in both the Surrey 1st Team and the
Surrey A team. So we knew the golf would be of a high standard.
David Primrose v Ed Keep. This was always going to be a big match in the way the title may swing as David has not lost a single match this year for the Surrey 1st Team. However Ed Keep has also had a good year finishing off with a 4th Place finish in the Surrey Masters. Winning his own Mens Open with very low scoring. Keep was up early taking a 3up lead thru the first 6 holes. Keep was very steady and anytime he was off line had the game and the strength to tackle the heather to not allow Primrose back in. This seemed to be how the match would stay. As no matter what Primrose did he could not close the margin and Keep closed the match out 3&2. This news filtered to the other matches and sent a wave of optimism to the Clandon Regis players.
1 - 0
Stephen Hobson v Ross Buchanan. Again like all matches thru the day is was a tight encounter and the match never swung significantly either way. Only a 1 hole lead changing hands a couple of times. As both players came to the 18th Hobson and Buchanan both knew a point was going to be important as match 1 was over. So much so that nothing could split both players. The only thing for it was extra holes. Whilst both players were going down the 1st extra hole other matches were finishing ahead. Both players not knowing it at the time but this point in the end was going to be the deciding blow. Stephen Hobson made a great birdie down the 1st extra hole to swing the table in favour of Clandon Regis GC. Giving them a 2 - 0 advantage.
2 - 0
Alex Cooper v Danny Murray. Both Surrey A team players and close friends could played this one north of the border north of the border. As it was the battle of the Scots. Previously members and team mates at their old club faced each other for the first time competitively. It Was a great match with some outstanding golf being played. There were a lot of birdies thrown at each other during the front 9. Both players passing the halfway hut three under (-3) and all square.
The back 9 changed things early as Murray took advantage of drop shots on 10 & 11. Leaving him in the driving seat. Murray was not going to give holes back easily and it took Cooper until the 15th to make his next birdie to bring the match back to 1 hole. Both halved 16th in par. Cooper hit a long drive down 17 across the corner giving hope that they may go down 18 all square. But it didn’t come and 18 was halved in par. The matched finished in Murray’s favour with a 1up victory bringing the overall score back to 2 - 1. Both players played well and were under par at the end of the match.
2 - 1
Stephen Hobson v Callum Henderson. A matched of the young guns. The bombers both threw everything they had at it. All the way from start to finish. This match rocked from side to side. Holes were won with birdie and lost with bogeys and worse. A real take on what matchplay golf should be as nothing was left behind. The youthful approach of smash it, find it, play it was adopted. The match came down the 18th with Jono Hobson 1 down. Unfortunately for him he saw his tee shot fly wide right. With Henderson finding the fairway it looked ominous the way this tie would finish.
The search parties found Jono’s ball. He managed to escape to give him an approach. But Henderson stayed composed and found the green with his wedge shot. Closing the match out 2 up.
2 - 2
Will Goy v Duncan Robertson. This was one of the few matches that was on the course with little access to. So all the previous matches were unsure of how the overall score would stand until the latter stages. Will took advantage in the match early and was 3 up thru the turn. Giving Robertson a lot of work to do down the back 9. Goy is reliable and very rarely misses a fairway these days.
With Robertson not firing on all cylinders and unable to find birdies on the back 9 Goy was able to close this match out early 4&3. This left the previous 3 matches out on the course. With the news of Match 2 between Hobson v Buchanan being the decider Clandon Regis were able to breath a sigh of relief in lifting the Plate title 3-2 overall
3 -2 (Final Score)
Clandon Regis Gc would like to thank our opponents Sutton Green GC for spirited and sporting final and wish them well for 2018. We would also like to say a big thanks to Hankley Common GC for allowing us to compete for the Surrey Plate title over such a prestigious and beautifully presented golf course. All the players could not praise the course enough for the condition and we extend our thank to the staff of Hankley Common who also looked after us very well throughout the day with great food and drinks.
Our final thanks goes to Surrey County Golf Union and John Davies who attended on the day to present all players with their awards. We wish John a long and leisurely retirement when it comes.
Jono Hobson, Will Goy, Alex Cooper (Capt), Stephen Hobson, Ed Keep