McDonnell helps GB and Ireland land PGA Cup

Chris McDonnell in action at Foxhills / Picture by Sam Hanson
Chris McDonnell in action at Foxhills / Picture by Sam Hanson

Golf At Goodwood academy manager Chris McDonnell made history at the PGA Cup with the Great Britain and Ireland team, who beat the USA 16-10, the home side’s widest-ever winning margin.

It was the most points that GB&I had scored against the USA since the PGA Cup began in 1973 and it was also the team’s first successful defence of the Llandudno Trophy since 1984.

The biennial PGA Cup, which took place at Foxhills in Surrey, consisted of a series of four-ball, foursomes and singles matches. The team from the USA started strongest, winning the Friday morning fourballs 3-1, but the home team struck back in the afternoon foursomes, winning 3.5-0.5.

McDonnell, who was paired with Damien McGrane for Saturday’s fourballs, defeated the opposition 2&1, helping towards GB&I’s 3-1 victory in the morning session. The USA won the afternoon’s foursomes 3-1, leaving the British and Irish team with a lead of only one point going into the final day.

Despite McDonnell’s own singles match ending in a 4&3 loss to US PGA Professional Player of the Year Rich Berberian, the GB&I team came out fighting for Sunday’s singles and stunned the opposition by winning 7.5-2.5 to finish the Cup 16-10 overall.

McDonnell said; “The PGA Cup is certainly the highest achievement in my golfing career. To represent Great Britain and Ireland is a very proud moment and to actually create history with the biggest winning margin is something very special.

The PGA Cup is certainly the highest achievement in my golfing career. To represent Great Britain and Ireland is a very proud moment and to actually create history with the biggest winning margin is something very special.

Chris McDonnell

“The Golf At Goodwood Academy is starting to create the ideal learning environment for all golfers and I hope this personal achievement can help inspire all our players.”

BOGNOR

Bognor golfers Martin Leo and Ian Hendry are delighted after retaining the National American Golf senior championship title.

The pair played brilliantly over three days of competition against top golfers from all over the UK and Ireland winning the match-play final to take the title.

Leo and Hendry, who play at the Goodwood and Bognor club respectively, beat Dublin’s Niall McDonnell and John Grier 3&2 in the final to book their place at the Hertiage Resorts tournament of champions in Mauritius.

However their route to the final wasn’t without a scare as the pair had to battle past Cheshire’s Trevor Wilkes and Martyn Hall in the semi-finals, needing two play-off holes to progress.

Leo and Hendry edged the victory in an exciting final but admitted they struggled with fatigue in the last day.

“It’s a difficult format matchplay over nine holes but we played well enough to win” said Leo. “We’ve had a good three days and it’s a big event here, we’re played lots of golf but we are seniors. We’re 60-plus but he’s a lot older than me as you can see!”

Hendry praised his playing partner, agreeing that Leo carried the pair in the final round.

He joked: “I’m dreading the TV highlights, because how they possibly edit out all of my shots. But I did have the winning putt, that’s the most important thing!”

Daniel Gathercole, director of marketing and communications at American Golf, said: “The senior championship has been a fantastic display of high-quality golf and Martin and Ian are worthy winners.

“You could see the determination on all the players’ faces to go out and give their best and I was delighted to have been part of the American Golf team who have provided the opportunity to play competitive golf on one of the world’s most famous courses.”

Leo and Hendry will travel to Mauritius in October to compete at the tournament of champions, where they will take on the winning pairs of the five other American Golf Championships.

The Bognor ladies’ championship was held in amazing weather conditions.

The first semi-final was between Chloe Court and Sian Southerton. It was a very close-fought match but Court triumphed on the 15th hole.

The semi between Heather Tidy and Katie Field was equally tight and didn’t finish until the 19th hole with Field sinking the winning putt.

The final was exciting with great-quality golf. Court won on the 17th hole – displaying a beaming smile and getting a massive hug from Field.

The ladies’ Junior Rose Bowl was held on a very humid, wind-free day. Heather Tidy won on countback from Sophie James.

Results: Silver Division: 1 Heather Tidy, 2 Sophie James, 3 Sue Crossen, 4 Bridget Samuels, 5 June Salt; Bronze Division A: 1 Sara Stoneham, 2 Jenny Bartlett, 3 Barbara Stevens, 4 Sally Cameron; Bronze Division B: 1 Elaine Conisbee, 2 Kim Mercer, 3 Vanessa Cole.

Bronze Division C: 1t Barbara Evans, 2 Kay Kingswell.

The Stableford final, open to all ladies who have won Stablefords during the year, was held on another humid but overcast day. The winner was June Salt.

Results: Silver Division: 1 June Salt, 2 Heather Tidy, 3 Sophie James, 4 Nicki Vincent; Bronze Division A: 1 Barbara Steven, 2 Linda Searle, 3 Chris Puddicombe; Bronze Division B: 1 Pat Fitzgerald, 2 Brigitta Paul, 3 Vanessa Cole; Bronze Division C: 1 Anne Coupe, 2 Barbara Evans.

COWDRAY PARK

Cowdray seniors’ home fixture against Farnham is one they had been waiting for since their early-season 8-0 drubbing on Farnham’s testing heathland course.

Cowdray match manager Mark Kelly had to withdraw with ill health so seniors’ captain Mike Hughes led the team.

Despite playing some good golf Hughes and John Doran couldn’t claim the first win against a strong Farnham pairing which included club president Terry Farmer.

Bill Hummerston and Robin Phillips did slightly better with a well-earned half before veteran pair George Crouch and Mike Cardiff claimed the first win of the year against Farnham, winning 4&3. This win seemed to open the floodgates for Cowdray, who went on to win four of the next five matches, with Cowdray eventually running out winners 5½-2½.

There was much Cowdray rejoicing but Peter Dudley-Hammatt, the Farnham match manager pointed out (with a smile on his face) that the overall score for 2017 was 10½-5½ to Farnham.

Results: Mike Hughes & John Doran lost 4&3, Bill Hummerston & Robin Phillips halved, George Crouch & Mike Cardiff won 4&3, Barry Overington & Terry Adsett won 3&2, John Kitchener & Ian Gunn won 1 up, Richard Burden & Eric Bounton lost 1 down, Dave Gaff & Gary Strowbridge won 3&1, Gordon Kendall & Phillip Singer won 3&1

A strong Cowdray team ventured to Hayling Island on a drizzly day but the course was in excellent condition and provided a great day’s golf. Cowdray had drawn the home leg 4-4.

Match manager Trevor Edwards and Sam Howes were first out and narrowly lost to Hayling’s Alan Mills and David Clark on the last hole after a competitive game.

Dave Lucking and William Hunter came back from being two down to turn it around, running out two up at the finish.

High handicapper Colin Tebbutt and Dave Gaff astounded their opposition with sparking golf, and when Tebbutt secured a nett eagle, the Hayling pair knew it wasn’t going to be their day.

Hayling’s Ed Spencer and Chris Penrose never recovered from that flash of skill and Cowdray prevailed. Other good wins followed and Cowdray ran out winner 5 - 3.

These matches have always been close – in the past five years there have been 80 individual games played in which Cowdray have won 40½ to Hayling’s 39½.

Results: Trevor Edwards & Sam Howes lost 1 down, Dave Lucking & William Hunter won 2 up, Colin West & Alan Bradley won 2 up, Nick Austin & Ian Heustice won 4&3, Ian Gunn & Mike Cardiff won 1 up, Graham Thompson & John Pleasants lost 2&1, Dave Gaff & Colin Tebbutt won 3&2, Richard Burden & Gary Strowbridge lost 4&3

Cowdray ladies’ two-day autumn meeting began with 42 ladies venturing out in wind and rain to play an individual Stableford.

The winners of the three divisions were Jane Holden in division one, Mags Curwood in division two and Pat White in division three.

Jane Holden achieved a hole in one on the ninth which helped her great score of 37 points.

The next day was bright and sunny and 45 ladies in teams of three played a waltz – one score on par fives, two scores on par fours and all three scores on par threes.

Results: 1st tee winners - Pat White, Pauline Lamb and Mary Sexton 68pts; 10th tee winners - Sue Smith, Jackie Cardiff and Barbara Smith 70pts.

The raffle raised £300-plus for the lady captain’s charity, Macmillan.