30 Aug 2023
Match Play Finals Day 2023
Sunday 27 August was Finals Day at Annanhill Golf Club. The range of knock-out competitions that had been running since May reached its climax with four matches. Due to one player having made both the final of the Doubles and the Second Division, the latter will take place at a later time.
The Caxton Cup is the most prized singles competition and this year it featured Peter Clarke and Darren McCutcheon. Early on it seemed as if Peter might run away with the trophy having raced to the turn five ahead. But Darren reeled him in and drew level with a tremendous birdie two on the seventeenth hole. The pair were level after eighteen holes. They set off down the nineteenth for sudden death and it was Darren who was to perish in this epic struggle.
Peter found himself in the greenside rough in three with Darren 50 yards short having played two shots. A good-looking pitch hit the surface of the green and ran on only to fall off the back of the putting surface. In turn, Peter’s chip hit the hole and stopped a mere foot short. Darren responded with a brave up and down leaving Peter to sink his net par putt for victory.
In the Doubles, formally known as the John Martin Fourball Trophy, the competition featured current club Captain Scott Goldie partnered by Alan Purvis taking on Past Captain Billy Armitage with Jamie Dignam. Scott and Alan reached the turn one hole ahead and they were able to maintain this lead finishing the match on the sixteenth with a result of three and two (3&2).
The competition for the First Division title was played out between Alex Walker and Colin Paton. There was drama from the off with Alex striking a tree on the first hole and his ball rebounding onto the fairway. Unfazed, Alex was to go one-up on hole three after rolling in a long putt for a birdie. Colin responded with a birdie on the sixth and Alex matched this with another birdie on the seventh. Despite Colin making a birdie on the thirteenth the game ended on the fourteenth when Colin could not match Alex’s par and the match ended with a score of five and four (5&4).
The last part of Finals Day was completed when Alan Purvis played against Andrew Warnock for the Division Two title. Purvis, last year's Caxton Cup winner, set off in determined fashion winning the first two holes. Andrew Warnock steadied the ship with a half at the third but Alan won the next two holes to go four ahead. Andrew reduced the deficit at the sixth but Alan responded with a par to win Hole Seven. At the turn, Alan had increased his lead to five. He went further ahead winning the next two holes and finished the match off on the twelfth with a chip in for a par which halved the hole and finished the match with a score of seven and six (the old-fashioned dog license!)
The Third Division title saw a match between Steven Poggi and Allan Morrison. This was a close-run affair which was only finally settled on the eighteenth green. Early on Steven had rushed to a three-hole advantage but by the turn, Allan had reduced the deficit to just one hole. The pair were even at the twelfth tee and they continued to trade holes so that the situation was still level on the final tee. Allan’s third shot on the eighteenth went long through the green while Steven’s third ended up just two feet short of the pin. A brilliant Poggi birdie sealed what had been a thrilling final.
Congratulations are due to all the finalists and thanks to those members who came out on the day to ball spot and adjudicate the matches. High levels of participation and super-quality golf for the knock-out competitions should guarantee that when next season rolls around this year's title-holders will find that there is plenty of competition for their crowns.