Royal Winchester Results


…Or is the President “Biden” his time? At least we would get a result by the end of play on November 4th as two teams of IBM BGS golfers took to the fairways of Royal Winchester on Lockdown Eve along with most of the Club’s membership. Glorious weather justified the post-October date for the 21st holding of the event with Peter hoping to repeat his team’s triumph last year and use his extra year as Captain to become the first to win the trophy twice.

Sporting an impressive dressing covering half the left side of his face and eleven stitches from a minor op, Terry had used the odd number of entrants (17) to withdraw from playing and let his team do battle for him. In addition, as our third singles event of the year, the two Autumn trophies were to be decided, with Bill and Peter the leaders.

After the usual excellent breakfast, socially distanced of course, the first four set out in the strong late Autumn sunshine, with Peter and Brian setting a steady pace before Anthony, playing with Libby, caught fire from the 9th with six straight pars then a glorious 3-iron to the index 1 15th and a 3-foot putt to secure his birdie.

One under gross and 19 points in seven holes. He set a challenging target of 36 points for the day’s prizes, a ball into the trees at the 16th being his only real blemish in a great score off 7 handicap.

Second group out had Bill and Paul playing against senior ex-Captain and Chairman Malcolm with Steve. Bill’s two-stroke handicap cut to 8 for winning our previous event didn’t seem to hamper him at all, and Royal Winchester’s bunkers held no fears as he skipped through one on the 6th fairway and holed out from another at the 11th green. His reward was an excellent 77 gross for 38 points. Steve was also carrying a one-stroke cut for previous success.

The penultimate four had Tony and David matched against Liz and John Devlin, Liz having recently been cut to 12 under the old handicap system, pretty impressive! Fortunately the vagaries of the par/SSS gave her that stroke back, with John the star scorer with 34 points.

Finally, Mike Houghton and Gordon were playing with John White and Mike Brown, one of our BGS originals making a welcome return after many years and scoring a very solid 35 points despite zeros at the par fives, 9 and 10.

The players sat down to a very enjoyable and welcome roast beef dinner as the clubhouse filled to capacity with members enjoying their last opportunity prior to the golfing desert tomorrow. Prize-giving followed, with Bill taking his second win of the season to secure the Autumn Salver – astonishingly for the first time given its, and his, 33-year lineage and his record of winning everything else several times – and earning him a further two stroke handicap cut assuming we play again before they all expire.

Second place went to Anthony, and Mike B took third, just beating his North Hants partner John D (who was on a useful reconnaissance mission for the second leg of his matchplay final against Terry). Captain Peter secured the Autumn Ice Bucket that he covets as “the only useful trophy the society hands out”. Ideal for all those champagne bottles in the Norris household, produced, of course, by Peter himself at his own Windsor vineyard.

Nearest the pin at the 7th looked for a while as though all sixteen players might miss the green, Bill even suggested that Terry could use his “marshal’s” buggy to drive the marker to the 11th so everyone could have a second attempt! Fortunately John (Devlin) put a good running tee shot two paces short of the back of the green just past pin-high to quash that need. NTP2 was at the short 14th, where Anthony put his drive an awkward few yards short of the greenside bunker. A horror shot for most, with the pin near the front of the green, but he cleared the lip, rolled forward off the bank, and set a target the others could not match.

Finally the crowning moment of the day, and year, to see whether Captain or President would take home the CvP Trophy. After years of captains’ teams dominating the event the President’s team had had a run of success for three years before Peter brought it to an abrupt halt in 2019, and COVID had given him a unique opportunity for a repeat win in his second year in office.

First result round the tables was a well-fought tie, Peter and Brian on 39 equalled by Anthony and Libby. Second group sounded what might be a death knell for the challengers, though, with Bill and Paul on 40 and Malcolm and Steve putting the cumulative total eleven points behind with 29. Very hard to clamber back from that, but Liz and John combined well for 39 against Tony and David on 33 giving a difference of five to make up. Tough, but doable.

Gordon and Mike declared a respectable 35, so it would need a best of the day score of 41 to win it back. Breaths were held, recounts and appeals to a higher court were being considered (by Terry, at least), and John announced their score. John had plugged the gap in Mike’s round with two 3-pointers at 9 & 10, pushing them to a scarcely credible 44 points to secure the victory for the non-playing President 151-147!

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