THE HEMISPHERE CUP
6th Hemisphere Cup -
May 12th/13th 2005
To Close to Call!
The 2005 Hemisphere cup delivered on all fronts with a fantastic venue, great weather and a match that went down to the last putt of the last game on the last green. Not since Billy missed his two footer (OK, maybe it was a bit longer) for the outright win at the Machrie in 2001 has the match been so close. Maybe it has something to do with when the Lions tour, so we can look forward to another tight battle in 2009.
As with every year, a lot happened both during and after the match and this year proved no different. What was unusual this year was that most of the action seemed to centre round one individual. Graham! If you wanted to follow the action in 2005 you needed to be on Graham's bag. Most of these events seemed to involve a large dollop of bad luck on his playing partners (So watch out next year). Key events included:
......The Air Shot........
About 17 of the players from both sides decided to warm up for the event by playing a round at Nairn. A Stableford competition was chosen and Graham found himself playing with Ross as one of his fourball. Ross had not played for a while and was looking for the Nairn round to iron out a few kinks in his swing. His game was a bit more rusty than he thought when Graham observed what he thought was a very aggressive practice swing. It was only from the look of guilt on Ross's face that it suddenly dawned on everyone that they had just witnessed the first Hemisphere Cup air shot off the tee.
Tony went on to win the Stableford with a score of 39.
......The Head Shot.......
It is customary in golf to normally wait for the green to clear before playing your approach shot, or, if you find your ball heading towards another golfer to shout 'Fore' in a loud clear voice. It was therefore a bit of a surprise to Ollie playing the 12th on the first afternoon at Royal Dornoch whilst waiting to chip up on to the green that he was suddenly struck by an amazing thought....
"What the f@#k was that"
.....as he was struck with a large thwack on the back of his head!!!
Having dismissed his first thought that a bit had fallen off one of the low flying Tornado fighters that were destroying the peace and quiet of the area, he realised that he had been assaulted by his own team mate. Graham had somehow not seen the group in front and had hit a 3-wood some 230 yards directly on to the back of Ollie's head.
Ollie was remarkably relaxed about the whole affair and re-created the incident in the bar afterwards (X marks the Spot). Graham was a little bit more upset as Ollie had headed his ball sideways into the rough.
......The Accurate Shot.......
For those that have not played the course, the 17th hole at Royal Dornoch is a dog left left where the drive is blind to a lowered fairway. The correct line is indicated by a marker post and Graham pointed this out to his playing partner Dave B on the first afternoon. "Your line is the marker post" Graham instructed Dave in case he had forgotten. Dave took this literally and nailed a drive straight at the post. Not moving an inch it hit the post and landed in the crap to one side. As a movable obstruction Dave Burns could have walked down the fairway and lifted the marker out of the ground, but having failed to do so he had to live with the consequences. Graham just laughed.
......The Broken Club Shot.....
It was in the afternoon singles that Graham had drawn Hughie in the last match but was paired with Paul C and Ian. At about the fourth, as Paul C prepared to drive off, Graham and the assembled golfers suddenly found themselves ducking as the head of Paul's driver came flying backwards still attached to part of the shaft. History books have been searched to try and find a similar event, but debate went on long into the night as to how this actually happened. Paul may claim that it was his immense swing speed that put too much stress on the shaft, others that it was poor build quality, but what seems most likely now is that it was the 'Curse of Graham'.
.......The Winning Shot.......
Playing in the penultimate group on the last day I had last seen Graham playing his second shot sideways out of a fairway bunker at the 17th whilst Hughie was lying bang in the middle of the fairway for net nought. With the match score poised at 9.5 to 9.5 this was the only game left on the course and things did not look good for the North.
But somehow Graham managed to ride his luck (and bring calamity on his playing partner!) by walking down the 18th one up. (Editors Note: I still don't know how he won the 17th hole, enquiries should be made to Hughie, Ian or Paul C).
Two solid shots and chip later, Graham stood over a 15-20 footer for the cup. A small and arithmetically challenged crowd (there was some debate going on as to what the match score was) saw the conclusion of the match when Graham rolled in his putt to help retain the cup for the North. (Graham sinks winning putt)
The Match Summary
Round 1 – Fourballs (Championship Course)
The South jump to an early lead taking the opening matches 3.5 to 1.5. Only Mike and Ollie make any headway for the North with wins for Matt & Greg, Paul M & James, and David & Philip for the South.
Round 2 – Fourballs (Struie Course)
The North bounce back and take the second set of matches 3.5 to 1.5 leaving the match tied at 5 all going into the singles.
Round 3 – Singles (Championship Course)
The North nick the match by the closest possible margin of 10.5 to 9.5. The North saw wins from Dave, Mike, Adam, Ian and Graham whilst the South saw wins from Philip, Greg, Tony and James.
Editors Note: Andy creates something of a record by completing his third tied game of the match. It is quite something to play the full 54 holes competitively and draw every one. By comparison Charlie only managed 44 competitive holes.
Dinner - The Goat is Back?
- The Goat is Back?
The Championship dinner was held in the Golf Hotel.
After the presentation of the cup and the handing back of the
Southern Team Shirts (Dave W is
looking for a new kit man next year!), Sarge took the conversation back a year
and proudly announced that he had at last found some new members for his Goat
fan club. I think this had more to do with the people not understanding
the question, but just in case, here is a photo to help them on their way.......
The Championship dinner was held in the Golf Hotel. After the presentation of the cup and the handing back of the Southern Team Shirts (Dave W is looking for a new kit man next year!), Sarge took the conversation back a year and proudly announced that he had at last found some new members for his Goat fan club. I think this had more to do with the people not understanding the question, but just in case, here is a photo to help them on their way.......
Too many good courses and only the opportunity to play one a year.