DevonGolf Seniors made an emphatic start to the 2022 Channel League campaign with a resounding 13-2 win over Somerset at Teignmouth Golf Club.
All of the side had previous experience in the league, the only debutant being former Somerset player Tim Jones, now playing at Warren Golf Club, the other 9 being regulars from last year.
Devon got off to a strong start in the morning session of 9-hole Greensomes with 4-3 wins for both Pete Bicknell (Torquay) & Chris Audin (Exminster) and for Mark Evans (Royal North Devon) and Dave Eva (Thurlestone) over the pairings of Andy Harriott and Andy Fisher and James Ward and Simon Rudd respectively, though Rob Chandler and Neil Holbrook got a point back defeating Tim Aggett (Warren) and Rick Osborne (Churston) 2-1.
Tony Allsopp (Tiverton) and Jones came to the final hole of their morning match all square, but the Somerset pair of Gordon Archer and Jeremy Parrot ran into some chipping problems allowing the Devon duo to win the final hole for a 1-up victory. Nick Draper (Teignmouth) and Mark Taylor (Tavistock) halved the final match of the morning with Frank Ward and John Vickerstaff.
3½ - 1½ to Devon at lunch.
It would be hard to see the afternoon going much better. Devon won the first 5 matches of the afternoon, and all pretty convincingly. Osborne led and recorded a 3-2 win over Harriott, whilst Evans was even more emphatic winning 6-5 against Chandler. Bicknell beat Ward 4-2, Audin beat Rudd 4-3 and Aggett got his revenge on Holbrook, winning 5-4. Those results confirmed the match win for Devon, so it became a question of how many game points they could claim.
Draper was 1-down with 4 to play but took 16 with a par 3. After he and Archer halved 17, both hit glorious tee shots on to the green of the difficult 18th but neither could convert for birdie – match halved. Allsopp was 2-down after 12 against Vickerstaff, but won 13, 14 and 15 to take a 1-hole lead into the last three, holing an excellent putt for par on the last to win 2-up.
Jones and Fisher fought out a real battle, the Devon man going into the last 2 dormy before losing a ball at 17 and the 18th was halved. Taylor kept his cool to win 2-1 over Parrot whilst Ward got a real charge going from dormy 6 down to Eva before the Devon man closed the game out at the 16th.
By the end of the afternoon Devon had taken 9½ points from a possible 10 to run out 13-2 winners.
It creates a great problem for Team Manager Tim Aggett in picking the team for the next match against Gwent at Stover at the end of the month, but what a great problem to have.