Devon’s Men’s Senior team faced a must-win Channel League game at Torquay, playing our nearest and dearest from across the Tamar. Having lost the last match against the same opponent, at Bowood Park Golf Club in May, a win was essential to keep the side’s hopes of reaching the League Finals in the autumn alive.
They got off to the best of starts in the morning Greensomes as Peter Bicknell (Torquay) and Chris Audin (Exminster) beat Mark Blaber (Carlyon Bay) and Kevin Mula (Newquay) 2/1. Captain Colin Papworth (Teignmouth) and Tim Aggett (Warren) followed up, pinching a 1 up win from under the noses of Charlie Phillips (Newquay) and Andy Rowe (Looe)
Tony Allsopp (Tiverton) and Paul Vicary (Saunton) halved with Richard Simmons (Tehidy Park) and Steve Barns (W Cornwall) at which point things looked rosy. However, the news behind was all about Cornwall.
First Warwick Holland (W Cornwall) and Martin Trees (St Enodoc) defeated Rick Osborne (Churston) and the home club’s Gary Passmore on his debut. Then the Thurlestone duo of Dave Eva and Daryl Day lost to Gary Stone (Bude) and Colin Kitt (China Fleet), leaving honours even at lunch and all to play for.
A fast start was needed and Devon got it with Bicknell defeating Trees 6/5 and Aggett winning 4/3 against Phillips. Audin was down early against Blaber but fought back from 3 behind to be 1 up going down 16. Blaber took that hole but Audin won 17. Both hit great shots into 18 but neither could make the birdie and it was a Devon win 1 up. Out fourth, Vicary retained control of his game with Holland throughout, eventually running out a 3/1 winner.
Further down the order things were a good deal less clear cut, with the clear exception of Gary Passmore, who had overcome the nerves to defeated Rowe 4/3 in a game with no halved holes. Of the other 5 games only Eva was level (with Mula); the other 4 were all behind.
Skipper Papworth came to the 16th tee 2 down to Simmons but won that hole and, when the Cornishmen 3-putted 17, he was level. Both missed the final green long and left, the worst of places and neither could up and down for par. The hole was halved in 4 giving Devon the half point needed to get them over the line. Devon had won.
But this is a tight Division and points difference could be crucial in qualifying for the Final. Could Devon get anything out of the game? The Cornish were determined they would not. First Barns defeated Allsopp at the 17th, then Kitt beat Osborne 3/2. Day had been 4-down to Stone but battled back to be dormy 2 down but couldn’t force the birdie at 17 to stay alive. Cornwall winning again.
That left Eva and Mula. Eva birdied 13 and 14 to go 2 up, but Mula won 15 and 16 to level the game again. Eva holed a brilliant 15-footer for par at 17 to stay level and, after Mula had mis-hit into the front bunker, conjured a fine iron shot to inside 15 feet from where he would hole for a finishing birdie and a 1 up win.
All that gave Devon a 9-6 margin on the day, and although equal with Cornwall on match wins, both having won twice from 3 fixtures, Devon have 4 more match wins. The next game is the final divisional game, away against Somerset at Long Sutton Golf Club in early August. The team will once again need to win and set a target for Cornwall when they play Somerset in September.