French team beat Surrey in annual Friendship Trophy
We take part each year in the Friendship Trophy and this is our seventh year of involvement - it was started with help from the European Tour.
The match is a 36 hole strokeplay event with teams from France and Spain. The French are the region of Occitanie (Midi-Pyrennes and Lanquedoc) and Spain is Cataluyna.
This year the event was hosted by the French and we played at an excellent Championship course just outside Toulouse called Golf de Palmola.
Our team was very strong and consists of six junior players - 2 girls and 4 boys.
The team was Jess Adams, Rafiah Banday, Tom Spreadborough (Captain), Enrique Dimayuga, John Richardson and Harry Crockett.
Playing a 36 hole stroke play event is a hard format and we play over two days with the best four scores from each day counting for the final result.
The par at Palmola is 72 and our gross score for the 8 counting scores was 586 - an average of just over 73 so a very good performance.
The French team included a 16 year old who was quite exceptional - Jean Bekiran. His first round started with 2 over par on the front nine and then birdied every hole from the 11th to the 17th to come back in 29 - so a gross of 67, 5 under par.
France had a good lead after the first round and we hoped to chase them down in the second round but Jean had other ideas and shot gross 66 so a total of 11 under par over two rounds. He has now turned Pro and plays his first event early next year in Egypt - we wish him well and every success.
The standard of golf is very high from all three teams - our combined handicap for all six players was +3!
The French were worthy winners and had a very good team. We played very well but were not quite good enough for them but beat the Spanish.
The match is designed to promote friendship across different regions in Europe and it was a great experience for the players.
Our thanks go to the the officials from Occitanie for making us so welcome and also to Golf de Palmola for hosting the event.