Devon v Somerset (First Team) - Tiverton Golf Club - Sunday 10th April 2022
Some 3 years ago Devon Women's First Team agreed to play a competitive match v Somerset at Tiverton Golf Club. Covid 19 halted this new venture but, like the tide, it turned allowing us to hold it this year and it was worth the wait. DevonGolf hosted this year's match and Somerset will host the return next year in what we hope will become an annual match. Devon, owing to a few absentees, fielded players both new and experienced against the current South West Champions. The final match score was 3½-½ to Somerset, but like the game of tennis that really doesn’t tell the whole story. The Greensomes matches were hard fought and the format gave Team Manager Sarah an opportunity to try some new pairings and consolidate old ones.
Lauren McGinnis, a Churston member and currently studying at Bath University, paired up with and Sophie Page, formerly of Exeter Golf & Country Club but now an East Devon Golf Club member. Sophie is also away, studying an intense golf programme at Hartpury College. Both girls gave the first Somerset pairing the shock of their lives by going 4 up, but despite some excellent golf by the Devon pairing, Somerset regained their composure and pulled it back with an eventual win 2 up. Liz Bird (Royal North Devon) partnered Sarah Hoff (Stover). They battled hard against a very strong pairing, but despite some good golf didn’t get to play the new 16th hole. Lorna Elliot (Dartmouth) and Rebekah Nicholls (Stover) combined well in a nip and tuck match where neither team were more than 1 down at any time. Devon went down the new 18th needing to win the hole - and did so resulting in a halved match. Finally, Tiverton`s new Juniors' Captain Carys Morris and Helena Standen (Saunton), joined forces to play the Somerset Captains past and present, Gill Brown and Alicia Rees. Despite some very good shots in the closing 9 holes, they narrowly lost out on the 17th hole. No doubt this Somerset fixture will prove to be a very valuable event in the women`s county calendar and, hopefully, more dates can be added in future.
It is important to say that Tiverton Golf Club were incredibly welcoming and Sarah and Gill were quick to thank John and his catering team for their excellent food and service. For those who are unaware, the Tiverton lounge is named after Joyce Wethered who in the 1920's was said to be 'the greatest golfer of all time'. She was famous for winning the British Ladies' Open no less than 4 times and the English Ladies' Open Championships 5 times. She was President of Tiverton Golf Club and there is a whole room dedicated to her golfing achievements in her former home, Knightshayes, a local National Trust property well worth a visit. Finally, I would like to mention that the condition of Tiverton Golf Club's course was a credit to the greenkeepers and the new configuration of the back 9, will, I am sure, be enjoyed for many years to come by all who play there.
Sarah Hoff - Women's Team Manager