THE HEMISPHERE CUP
18th Hemisphere Cup – Rosapenna, Ireland
May 18th/19th, 2017
The Emerald Isle
It was back to Ireland for the third time for the Hemisphere Cup in 2017. Following Connemara in 2002 and Ballyliffin in 2007 it was Rosapenna in County Donegal’s turn to host the cup.
Most of the team decided to travel out via Belfast, and despite some late challenges when the original coach company cancelled two days before the event, Jimmy sorted us out with a coach at the last minute.
Jan also found a couple of new players for the South (of Ireland). Sean and Stephen made the long drive up and became the #28 and #29 players to represent the South.
The North were in a bit more trouble in getting their team mobilised and arrived a player short. A quick call to the club and Liam Breen (Player #23) stepped up to represent the North over 3 rounds. Liam was the perfect host and companion over the two days and a big thank you must go to him for embracing our golfing challenge with such gusto.
The match was played over the Sandy Hills Links for the first round and then two further rounds on the Old Tom Morris Links. It was a case of history repeating itself over recent years with a familiar result again……….
The Match Summary
Round 1 – Fourballs (Thursday PM)
Alex and David got the competition underway in a first up singles match that David went on to win comfortably 6&5. Brandon and Andy saw off Ollie and Dave 4&2, whilst the North’s possibly strongest pairing (before alcohol) of Graham and Ian saw off Jan & Sean 3&1.
It looked like it would therefore be all square at the end of the first day when Liam had a 2-3 footer to go dormie 4 on the 14th green after Liam and Pete had played some good golf against Stephen and Bronson who had had some challenges. What happened next can only be described as a ‘catastrophic breakdown’ by the North who went on to lose on the 18th by 1 hole. This left the South with a strong 3-1 advantage at the end of day 1.
David was pleased to find in the evening that they had used his image on the restaurant’s menu.
Round 2 – Fourballs (Friday AM)
The North needed to start fast on Friday morning and sent Ian out in the Singles against Bronson. One more to the South.
Liam picked himself (and Dave) up from the previous days disappointment and saw off Sean and Brandon 3&1. One back for the North.
Pete and Ollie contrived to lose on the 18th to Stephen and Dave with nobody really playing very well.
However all was not lost with the North having packed strength into the last game with Alex and Graham both feeling good. But it was a bit like putting out Tiger and Phil in the Ryder Cup. Looked good on paper, but a bit shit on grass. They went down 3&2 to Jan and Andrew who both played well.
The session had gone 3-1 to the South again and the overall score was 6-2.
Only 1 more point was needed by the South to retain the cup. Surely that would be easy to deliver, or was it………………
Round 3 – Singles (Friday PM)
Yes it was.
Andy ensured the cup was retained in the very first match seeing off Dave B 5&3. Bronson then ensured the cup was won outright when delivering a hard fought half with Ian.
Game over. 7.5 to 2.5 with 5 matches still out on the course. It was all about saving face now for the North.
Liam did his best, but only really helped Brandon’s handicap for next year by giving him an 8&6 thumping.
David then pistol whipped Ollie 6&4 with Ollie looking hard into the rule book to see if we can raise the handicap limit above 24!
Pete approached the last hole level with Jan for his third straight match to go all the way to the 18th. Would he choke for the third time? Yes, and Jan ran out a winner 1up.
Sean then also beat Graham 1 Up, to leave Alex out on the course with only pride to play for. He duly delivered seeing off Stephen 2&1.
Final score 10.5 to 4.5. Whitewash. Newspapers the next day were crying out for the North to extend its playing criteria to get back to a more even match. Pete was a bit more clear it was down to more practice and less drinking.
I did write in last year’s write up for Aberdovey “2016 was the first year that we did not see David Whiteing teeing it up after 16 straight appearances. Let’s hope he is back in 2017 to fall asleep in his starter”. I am pleased to report that David did make it back and did fall asleep in his starter.
It was also good to see two old blokes discovering modern technology and the value of Grinder as an app.
The Captains Cup
The Captains Cup was awarded to Sarge (1.5 points) for the second time. A clear winner in a losing team, or just a selfish bastard?