Last week, I gave you the runners and riders of the Richard Mills fourball Quarter final. This week the match was played and what a spectacle it proved for the hundreds of spectators who should have witnessed it.
A quick reminder of the teams: your humble blogger, off 4 (was Razzle Dazzle, now more Drizzle Fizzle) was partnered by Mike (Boom Boom, my God a talking fox) Windsor off 9. Their opponents Sion Tudor Owen (Zorba the Leek) off 6 and his partner Peter Orton (rumours that he single-handedly ended David Baddiel?s career are completely unfounded) off 17.
The standard was high from the off, with yours truly just missing a birdie putt for a win on the first, and a fantastic two putt for par from Sion securing a half on the second. But on the next first blood was drawn.
Into a prevailing wind in damp conditions the 3rd, S.I.2, was playing all of its 446 yards. Everyone hit good drives, but only Sion and I had realistic chances of hitting the green in two. Employing his trusty 7-wood, the Welsh wizard piled on the pressure by leaving his ball 20ft from the pin. I pushed my shot to the right side of the green and missed my long birdie chance. The bearded wonder?s simple two putt secured the net birdie and win. However, a par from my partner on the par-3 4th was good enough to bring the match quickly back to parity.
The next five holes were either won with birdies or halved in par and at the turn the Blogger and the Brush were one up. But two holes later, after a net birdie from Sion (two shots, two wins) followed by a great par from Peter, (notice how I emphasize his positive rather than our negative) we were one down.
The banter was getting personal:
Sion: You do realise Mike that the head cover goes on the club, not your arm?
Mike: Shut it Topol.
George: After today Peter, you should create a new show: Bad Heels And Skins It Unplayed.
Peter: George, ever heard the expression ?good golf handicap ? unemployed actor??
This last comment made me see red. Say an actor is resting, say he is between jobs, even him temporarily creatively challenged. But never, NEVER, use the word unemployed.
The gauntlet had been thrown and my loins were well and truly girded. On the 210-yard 12th, Peter had a stroke. However, both he and Sion pushed their tee shots, finding the greenside bunker. Mike left his short, but not a difficult up and down. From the moment the ball got in the way of my 4-iron, it never left the flag. My resulting birdie brought the match back to all square.
The 13th, a par 5. Again Peter was stroking. After all hitting decent drives, Sion found the woods with his second and his ball would?ve been in his pocket?.. had he found it. Mike hit a solid second, leaving 120 yards to the green. Peter laid up short of the fairway cross bunker, or so he thought, the ball cruelly trickling in. Still not a difficult third so a five, net four, was very much on the cards. I had 247 yards to the green, but had to either hit a fade round a tree, or go low beneath the branches. I decided on the latter, closed the face and drilled it. I couldn?t see the result but hoped it was on or near the green.
As I walked up the fairway?.. well to quote John Betjeman
?It lay content three paces from the pin
A steady putt and then it went oh most securely in.
The very turf rejoiced to see that quite unprecedented three.?
Gene Sarazen had his ?shot that was heard around the world?, now I had my ?shot that was slightly audible in the West End?. One up and a fatal blow dealt.
The 14th was halved in par. Mike?s net birdie on the 15th put us two up and although Sion holed an extraordinary putt to halve the 16th, a blogger?s birdie on 17 saw us victorious by 3 and 1.
So a semi-final place for us and a packet of Hand Andies for them, but more importantly, the match had lived up to its billing. All had given strong performances with hardly a line fluffed. We retired to the bar for the after-show party, waited for the reviews, and relived both great moments and great follies. And of course, being actors, by the time we left I?d holed my 3-wood on the 13th, Sion had chipped in for a half on 16 and it had all finished on the last. I love the Stage.