OWBA vs WBS Golf 2010

With just over a week to go before the annual golf match against the School, I found myself wondering if we would be able to field an OWBA team. My brother Stuart suggested using the OWBA Facebook forum, so I duly contacted Claire Hobbs, the Administrator, who kindly forwarded an appeal to all the members of the group. Two ‘old boys’ came forward, keen to join the team in match-play on the School’s notoriously tricky course. The two Facebook respondents were James Buckland (94-02G) and Scott Lambell (91-96G), both of whom were put together in a rookie partnership to play the School’s pairing of Noah Tilley and Tom Fletcher. With their higher handicaps, the boys benefited from one shot per hole, meaning that James and Scott had to play to their best to stay in touch. It was nip and tuck for several holes, but the Old Boy pairing got to grips with the demanding conditions; wind, drizzle, and the unpredictable bounces on very hard ground made it difficult to stop your ball on the demon greens. The school boys often stunned their opponents with some outstanding play and putting, even sinking one putt from well off the green to take the momentum away from Scott and James. Eventually, the Old Boy pairing proved too consistent and managed to establish a lead in the latter stages of the game, a lead they defended well to win their match-play pairing by 3 & 2. The second pairing saw the re-union of myself with schoolmaster, Tony Evans, attempting to live up to our victorious golfing partnership. On paper, our chances did not seem that good because of Tony’s complete lack of golf over the previous year or so, made more dubious considering he had shoulder surgery earlier in the year to re-attach torn tendons and he had not actually swung a club until two days previously. The other potential fly in the ointment was the fact that the dutiful captain had attended the School Summer Ball the night before, something not known for its immediate enhancement of balance and golfing concentration. The School pairing of Henry Burrows and Harvey James took full advantage of their early handicap allowance, going one up at the first hole. Tony, appearing to be completely unhindered, played as well as I’ve ever seen with long and short shots, even chipping in the hole from off the green to demoralise our opponents. The boys fought well but had no answer to Tony’s accuracy. With only a little contribution from me, we levelled the tie and then gradually pulled away to finish winners by 6 & 5. Winning both matches the OWBA team won a resounding victory after several years of the competition being tied. My thanks go to Tony Evans for organising the School team and playing so well for us. A big thank you to James Buckland and Scott Lambell for answering the call for players, as well as to Claire Hobbs for forwarding the appeal. Thanks also to David Clark for his barbecuing prowess with the promise of food being smelt on the far side of the course. Looking forward to taking on the School’s course next year. Robert Wheeler (80-86F)