The Champions Trophy 2016

 

This year’s event saw a change of location to the world famous Belfry Hotel and Resort, playing on the immaculate Brabazon course which has been the venue for several Ryder cup matches over the years.

 

After last year’s drawn match (with Brooks retaining the trophy), the team from Champions, Neill Birch and Steve Pilbeam, had high hopes against the out of practice Brooks team of Mark Fleming and Simon Greig.

 

The rivalry began early as Brooks once again deployed their special weapon, ordering strong lager for the pre match lunch. Yet again this canny gamesmanship paid off as Brooks won the first hole - or to be more accurate - Champions lost it! Sobering up by the second hole, Champions pulled the match back to all square. On the third hole Mark hit a slightly topped 3 wood approach which in the finest Barnes Wallis tradition bounced off the water and onto the green followed by Mark running down the fairway with arms outstretched humming the soundtrack to The Damn Busters film!! It was nip and tuck with Brooks completing the front 9 with a 2 hole lead.

 

On the 10th hole: made famous by “Seve” reaching the green with his driver during the Ryder Cup many years ago from the white tees, (using the old ball and club technology) the match relaxed for a moment as our players took part in the charity “Drive The Green” competition. Steve hit a great drive which was unlucky to find a watery grave, perfectly on line but just a little short. Next up was Neill who hit a nice straight drive to the safety of the fairway (was he playing safe or aiming for the green??). Simon hit a fantastic drive which landed on the steep bank to the right of the green and rolled down to finish pin high on the green just 12 feet from the pin! This brilliant shot earned him a prize of a free round of golf and we won’t describe the 3 putt that followed but it still secured a PAR and Brooks the hole. As for Mark’s drive…he didn’t!

 

By the 16th Brooks had a 3 hole lead with Mark 4 feet from the pin with a chance to win the match or at worst half the hole. But, from just off the green Simon unexpectedly (sorry Simon) sank his long putt to take the match 4 up with 3 to play.

 

As always a great time was had by all on a magnificent course in equally magnificent weather.