Monday, 28 October 2013

Harey Cup 2013 - Day 3

Day 3. The final chapter. La Cala was still cloaked in darkness when ten gladiators rose from their beds, dressed for battle and fuelled up for what lay ahead. For Team Richie, clad in European blue and sporting a 4 point deficit, the proverbial mountain was in front of them. They would need to draw on every ounce of skill at their disposal, as well as drum up memories of the Miracle of Medinah to snatch the unlikeliest of victories.

Team Matt had dominated the first two days, fully deserving to win five out of six matches to put themselves on the brink of glory. Wearing Tiger red, it was surely only a matter of time before the Harey Cup would be triumphantly clasped to Matt's chest - the only question would be whether pride could be salvaged by the men in blue, or would it be an unprecedented second whitewash?

Over a beer the previous evening, both teams spent time apart discussing tactics and, frankly, it was inevitable that Team Richie would be front-loaded to try and generate some momentum for the rest. In contrast, and boasting three of the four lowest handicappers, Team Matt could afford to take a hit or two and still come out smelling sweetly.

When the teams came together to announce the matches, there were one or two repeat pairings but, realistically, the writing was on the wall for the blues, with many a bookie laying odds that the winning putt would come from either Match 2 or 3:

Match 1: Nick vs Phil
Match 2: Andy vs James
Match 3: Richie vs Matt
Match 4: Mark vs Julian
Match 5: Charlie vs Tom

The sun was starting to peek over the hills as the players gathered on the first tee of Campo Asia just before 8am and eagerly awaited the start of the singles matches. Nick would get us underway and, despite giving Phil a mammoth 20 shots, it would have taken a stretch of the imagination to think that The Spy would bring home the point to win the Cup for his team. Indeed, the final 8&6 win was no surprise although Nick would've preferred not to find himself one down after a wild opening tee shot on the first hole. 
Nick prepares to carve his tee shot on #1 Campo Asia

Everyone else tries (in vain) to see where Nick's ball went on #1 Campo Asia
Cup score: Team Matt 5 - Team Richie 2

Matches 2 & 3 played together with Andy searching for some form, particularly off the tee, and with Matt looking to extend his lead in the individual Stableford competition. Sensing the chances to deliver the all-important point for the team, James was keen to get off to a flyer against his wayward, yet dangerous, opponent in Match 2 and Matt was looking for a unique double against his fellow skipper. James started quickly, a birdie on the first laying down a marker to secure the point quickly. Whether it was overconfidence or simply lack of concentration, some sloppy play from good positions (triple-bogey from 70yds short of #8, for example) meant Andy was never out of it and was only 2-down after 11.
Unfortunately, the oft-witnessed lost tee ball issue would come back to haunt Andy over the next three holes so that, by holing a ten foot par putt on #14, James sealed the 5&4 win that delivered the winning point for Team Matt. 
Richie plays a provisional on #6 Campo Asia

Cup score: Team Matt 6 - Team Richie 2. Team Matt win the Harey Cup

In Match 3, Matt started brightly & quickly opened up a 2-hole advantage, but he was unable to sustain his earlier form and a plethora of lost balls eventually led to a handshake on the 16th fairway and a 3&2 win for Richie. 
Cup score : Team Matt 6 - Team Richie 3

The final group saw Matches 4 & 5 play together, Julian looking to prove that an irate Fuengirola Irishman can't put him off his golf. Despite setting an early pace (2-up after 2), Julian missed some chances to put the tie to bed much quicker and, in sneaking a hole back from dormie-4, a fightback threatened.  Mark would, unfortunately, prove that Thursday's practice round was his golfing highlight, missing the chance to win the 16th to keep it alive. He returned 0/3 for the weekend in losing 3&2 to the individual Stableford champion, green jacket recipient and wielder of a frankly illegal driver*. 
Cup score: Team Matt 7 - Team Richie 3

In the final rubber, Charlie was on a pride salvaging operation against Tom, having narrowly lost to him on Day 2 despite a brave & spirited fightback. The match turned out to be a mirror image of the previous day, Charlie taking advantage of Tom's relentless dispatching of golf balls into far-flung corners of Spain to build a comfortable lead, the safety of which was never questioned. A slight sniff of a Walker revival was ruthlessly quashed and a 3&1 win for Charlie would achieve the goal of restoring his, and some of Team Richie's, battered pride.
Final Cup score: Team Matt 7 - Team Richie 4

So, in the end, Team Richie took the day 3-2, a fine effort that fell just short of a miraculous comeback. Looking back, its fair to say the damage was done with the Day 1 whitewash, plus the final hole loss by Mark & Richie on Day 2 left them with too much to do in the singles.

I am the Part-Time Golfer

*the Taylor-Made R1 is not illegal. Julian just hits it a country mile so, for him, it should be illegal.


  1. Great work Wheels! I enjoyed taking a point off you in our only match! Welcome back to the Harey Cup for the first time since the inaugural event in 2008. Bring on #HareyCup2014

  2. Great read Wheels, thanks for taking the trouble to write it all up.