Happy faces but no cigars!
This year’s event was even bigger with 13 teams, some from as far away as Surrey and Suffolk.
The Devon boys were all off earl yon the Wednesday morning which meant some of us had to leave home before dawn to ensure we got there in good time. We teed off in typical Saunton weather, howling gale with rain looking very imminent,the conditions for playing were very tough to say the least. To make things even more difficult the rain of the previous week had made the fairways much softer than we usually see at Saunton, a consequence of this being that the ball didn’t roll anywhere near as much as usual making every hole significantly longer.
We thought we were going to be lucky and not get rained on, how wrong we were, as the Devon pairings all approached the final 2-3 holes the heavens opened, the rain and hail was horizontal and we got completely drenched. Thankfully, there weren’t too many holes to go before we reached the sanctuary of the clubhouse. The difficult conditions were reflected in our scores with only one of our groups, David Jack and Mike Jewell, managing to beat 30 points,so a big well done to them. Other teams were both better and worse than ourselves but we were 24 points behind the leaders after the first day.
When I left home on the Thursday morning we had clear blue skies and almost no wind, as we got closer to Saunton the clouds came in and just got darker and darker, with the wind getting even stronger than we had on the Wednesday. No matter which hole on either course you were playing the wind never seemed to be helping. The day was better from a scoring point of view with all our pairings getting over 30 points with the exception of myself and Graham Heaman. The best scores being Jeff Laing and Richard Beard gettinf 35 and Bob Webber and Neil Holland getting 34. Alas, this improvement wasn’t sufficient to get us anywhere near the prizes with us coming a poor 11th out of 13.
Compliments to Saunton for staging the event. I have to say that their fairways had improved dramatically from when we played there earlier in the year. We will have to make sure that we improve considerably when we are there next year for the Six Counties event because we will be defending the trophy.