WinColl at the Gerald Micklem

Winchester bowed out in the semi-final in the tightest of matches against Eton. Eton went on to lose a tight final to Bradfield (who are now complete with mind coach just for golf – )

Rob Moore (MIC Golf at WinColl) reports…

Unfortunately today we very narrowly lost our semi-final vs Eton 3-2. Bearing in mind that Woking is a tough test at the best of times, with the incredibly strong winds today the quality of the golf was fantastic. Some of the scoring, I think youÕll agree was quite impressive from both sides. Eton (hÕcaps 2,3,4,7,5) vs Winchester (hÕcaps 0,5,5,12,8).

O. Dickman WON 6&4
W. Townsend LOST 1st extra hole
J. Brockman LOST 1st extra hole
B. Steiner WON 2&1
J. Thompson LOST 6&5

The talismanic Olly Dickman was out in front for us and got proceedings off to a fantastic start. A point on the board early was exactly what we needed. When he won his match on the 14th, he was level par; in such conditions it was classy stuff.
By this point it was becoming clear the Jordan at number 5 was struggling. Playing against a 13yr old 5 handicapper named Peter Pan, he was up against it. With the middle 3 all very tight it became apparent quite early on that it was going to be a nail-biterÉand it really did turn out to be.

Not long after Eton had won the fifth match to draw things level at 1-1, the second match (Will Townsend) was coming to a thrilling finish at 18. Simultaneously, young master Steiner was picking up our second point at the 17th green having played what must have been one of the rounds of his life. A 12 handicapper, in those terribly tricky conditions had found himself +7 gross at the time of winning. A fantastic point to go 2-1 up!

Back on the 18th green, Will had played brilliantly. When he eventually lost, he was +2 gross which again, is just outstanding golf. More significantly it was his resilience in facing a very high quality opponent (who holed two 30ft+ putts for birdies amongst many other things) that was most impressive. Will was 2 down with 3 to play but showed such courage to play 16 & 17 excellently under pressure in the ever strengthening wind and force his way back to all square. He and his opponent (who was 2 feet from going into the water at the last) both parred 18 to leave the match level. As the overall match had not reached a conclusion (2-1 Winchester at the time), they had to carry on to extra holes to complete their match. With the adrenalin pumping Will hit his drive over the green of the 270yrd par 4 first hole, as did his opponent. Alas, WillÕs must have pitched and plugged in waterlogged turf, because, while the Eton ball sat pretty in the rough, WillÕs was never to be seen again. It was such bad luck after he had played so well and hit such a good shot in the circumstances Ð he even walked back to the tee and birdied the hole with his second ball for a 5 Ð unfortunately his opponent held his nerve to secure a par and win the matchÉ2-2.

While all this was going on James Brockman had been toing and froing in his match the whole way round. With extreme pressure he had missed a short putt at 17 to go one down and all was thought lost, only for his opponent to then 3 putt the last (with James holing a 5 footer for par that must have seemed like 10!) and take this match too, to extra holes. This time the Eton man really held his nerve birdieing the 19th and in doing so took the deciding point away from us.

It was a devastating loss in the end. The Winchester boys were outstanding and felt a slight sense of injustice Ð had both matches that played extra holes been called halves at 18, we would have been the victors. But, when they get past that bitter pill, they will hopefully look back and be very proud of themselves. The win over Stowe was impressive and they ever-so-nearly repeated the feat against Eton, most importantly they gave themselves the chance to. The team gave everything and played brilliantly. We just couldnÕt quite get over the line. Most importantly they conducted themselves in outstanding fashion throughout and were a credit to the school.