The first Sunday in September saw the gathering of the final four teams left in the Parker Trophy to compete in Finals Day at the glorious Churston Golf Club. Defending champions were Sidmouth who had yet again made the finals. They were playing The Warren who made it through to last year's finals day. Sidmouth, The Warren, Exeter and Tiverton (who also both made the Palairet finals day) this year made up the final four teams. Exeter playing The Warren and Sidmouth playing Tiverton in the semi-finals.

Confidence oozed from all the players and it clearly was too tough to call who were favourites. With many county players within the four teams and scratch golfers alike, the morning did not disappoint with the talent on display.

Sidmouth on a mission to defend their 2022 title started strongly against Tiverton and were up in all three games at various points. Match 1 was still in the balance after 12 holes between Eliot Baker & Joe Baker and James Pickard & David Bater, until a run of strong holes from the Sidmouth pairing was enough to clinch the top match 3&2. As match 2 was unfolding, the tie was settled with Sidmouth moving through to the final after winning the third game of Neil Holland & Lewis White 5&3. Tiverton avoided a clean sweep as the Tiverton pairing of Jay Scott & Alex Gibson won on the last 1 up to conclude the match result 2-1.

Exeter GCC were up against The Warren who were a losing semi finalists last year and were determined to have a better outcome this year. A very fast start from the top Warren pairing of Tim Aggett & Tim Jones saw them 5 up after 7 holes against Peter Howell and Jack Jeffery. With four experienced county players going toe to toe the Exeter pairing made a fist of a comeback. Pulling the tie back to 2 down, a 3 putt on 15 from the Exeter pairing put a dent in the momentum which eventually resulted in The Warren pairing of Aggett & Jones winning 2&1. Match 2 was a lot tighter from the get go and the Exeter pairing of Harrison Greenberry & George Robinson got their noses ahead on the front 9 against Sam Dunn & Chris McGill. As we went down the stretch The Warren pairing were able to get birdie on two holes and get ahead to stand on the 18th tee 1-up. McGill hit what can only be described as a bomb down 18 just short of the green. A tidy chip from Dunn was enough to claim a Warren win 2-up and move the team into the afternoon final. Match 3 saw the Exeter pairing of Tom Woodhouse & Lewis Beer 2 up after 15 but called it a half as a result of the match result being determined.

The final was set between Sidmouth and The Warren to be crowned Parker Trophy winners 2023 and the level of golf that afternoon was tremendous. For most of the afternoon the matches had no more than 1 hole in it, with the score-line being 2-1 in both team's favour at various points. However, as the matches reached their conclusions it had swung toward Sidmouth as they had two matches 2 up and the other 2 down. Pickard & Bater got the first point on the board against Aggett & Jones winning 3&2, which was swiftly levelled at one a piece as Dunn and McGill concluded their match on 17 wining 2&1. That left the final pairing of Holland & White (Sidmouth) v Binch & Williams (Warren) to settle the tie and the Sidmouth pairing stood on the 16th tee 3-up. A half down the 16th was enough to settle the game 3&2 clinching the trophy. The final match result was 2-1 to Sidmouth who successfully retained the trophy for another year.

Sidmouth GC - Parker Trophy Winners 2023


The Warren - Parker Trophy Runners Up


Exeter GCC - Parker Trophy Semi Finalists


Tiverton GC - Parker Trophy Semi Finalists


Click here for match results

The Basil Steer Junior final ran alongside the Parker Finals which saw Exeter GCC take on Exminster at Churston GC.

First out was two of our junior girl superstars - Hannah Reynolds from Exeter Golf & Country Club and Susie Carr representing Exminster Golf Club. Their match was no more than 1 up all day but Hannah was 1 up on the 15th tee. Both had errant tee shots but were in play making for a nervous conclusion. Susie eventually came out victorious winning 3 of the last 4 holes for the first Exminster point. Match 2 between Olly Champion and Reggie Reed was a topsy turvy affair with Reggie (Exminster) 3 up after 8 but Olly was determined to battle to the end. Olly found himself 1 down standing on the 18th tee, but as all matches have to be played to a finish he knew he still had a chance. Winning the last with a par saw Olly back to all square and the match could still not be settled on the par 3, 19th forcing them to play down the 20th. Olly Champion from Exeter completed the comeback getting a point on the board for Exeter. Meanwhile Maddie Snell from Exminster was in blistering form back on the course and Ben Reynolds giving 20 shots found her steady golf too hard to compete against, finding himself 5 down on 14th tee. A solid bogey with a shot down the 14th for Maddie was enough to win 5&4 and win the Basil Steer Trophy 2023 for Exminster.

It was great to see a mix of junior girls and boys in the final across both teams. They all should be very proud of their run to the final this year - a great achievement.

Exeter GCC - Basil Steer Finalists


Exminster GC - Basil Steer Winners 2023


(L-R) Reggie Reed, Maddie Snell, Susie Carr, Hannah Reynolds, Ben Reynolds & Olly Champion


Click here for match result

Many thanks to Churston GC and all the staff for hosting the Finals day and presenting the course in great condition.

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