As is tradition with the Royal Cinque Ports leg of the Wedge Trophy, Waud undertakes a match by match guide for our cult following for the morning games.
Only the very best and most traditional clubs in the UK insist on a course being strictly 2 ball (unless you are a member of a Club with more than one course where there is a 3&4 ball option on the other course… guilty!) – so at Deal we are foursomes all day.
Foursomes is undoubtedly for the purists and allows players to fly around in 2.5 hours, then spend 2.5 hours in lunch, then whip around for a second round, in you guessed it, 2.5 hours!
Excitement and anxiety are now rife in equal measure as we are less than 5 days away from kick off in the most eagerly anticipated match since Wales versus England last weekend!
At 9.31 on Saturday morning, the first group will be teeing off in their brand spanking (ooo kinky) new Wedge Trophy jumpers (hopefully free from the tomato or brown sauce stains from the obligatory bacon sandwiches) and both teams will be eager to get a good lead come lunch time.
So, here we go…
Match 1 – Fewster & Baker versus Young Wootton & Berryman
A cracking match out first as Wedge stalwart Fewster partners The Bakery against a new Walton pairing of CYW and new Vice Captain Berryman. The Bakery has the best record in Team Deal so it will be important for the Walton boys to have a quick start.
CYW is a rookie to Team Walton – many would imagine he was picked for being a category 1 golfer, but alas, Waud picked him because he has the finest and most colourful selection of chinos and cords in the whole membership at Walton Heath. Berryman will have to deal with the pressure of being VC for the first time – but also for carrying the team as best golfer.
Prediction – if this is a flat game, then the smart money has to go on Walton bringing home the first point.
Match 2 – Yates & Earley versus Story & Prickett
Another belter in Match 2 as Hedges has paired Yates and Earley together. Both as stunning on the course as they are at the bar, this on paper is Deals top pairing. Waud has put two bandits out in the form of Story & Prickett. Story is unbeaten in 4 from 4 at RCP and Prickett unbeaten in 2 from 2 at Deal. The handicap difference is fairly large here so this will NOT be a flat game.
Prediction – Walton should be favourites here, but Earley and Yates have the ability to knock it around in a very low score. Waud thinks that Deal may be able to sneak a half here.
Match 3 – Mason & Biggs versus Waud & Waud
Let’s hope that the top two teams are fairly quick out of the blocks as this match could get around in 2 hours if they wanted. This match will be littered with commentary of the most banterous variety – concentrating on the golf could be challenging. There is no point even discussing handicaps here as Waud C and Mason always play flat. Sam Mason has been quoted – “I cannot wait for this match, Waud and Biggs are undoubtedly the best two putters in the game”.
Prediction – Waud M has not picked up club up since November, so favourites have to be Team Deal.
Match 4 – Hedges & Glynn versus Frith & Zorko
Many of you may think that these matches are fixed, but they really have come out of the hat. Another stonker out in Match 4 as Captain Hedges partners Glynn. A sensible move to play with Glynn in the morning round, as anyone that partners the mad Irishman after lunch will have to spend the majority of the afternoon feeding him ProPlus just to keep him awake! A great pairing of Frith and ‘Man of the Weekend’ Zorko will be taking shots off the Deal Dandies here.
Prediction – A close call but if Deal have a good start, then they should edge it.
Match 5 – Beard & Fent versus Stevens & Brodie
A very interesting penultimate morning game here as rookie Beard is paired up with the unluckiest man in Team Deal, Fent. Hopefully Beard will be just the foil Fentos has been looking for as he looks to register his first Wedge point in over 17,000 hours!
Waud has put out a powerhouse pairing of Stevens and Brodie. Brodie swapped teams in the January transfer window and looks to improve on his Wedge record. Brodie, a famously good foursomes player (when he has the right partner) should be an excellent partner for Stevens who looks forward to his first Wedge outing at Deal.
Prediction – Walton to sneak this match.
Match 6 – Karrberg & Cork versus Payne & Bowes
The more astute of you will notice that Bowes has been put out in the last match in the morning, and out very early in the afternoon. This is so we can try and avoid Bowesgate II that plagued the Walton 2012 Wedge. Partnered with ladies favourite, The House of Payne, this is Waltons strongest pairing. For Deal, The Viking partnered up with rookie Cork makes this a very boom or bust pairing for The Dandies.
Prediction – Walton will have to give shots here, but the class of Bowes and Payne should bring a point home for Team Walton.
Lunchtime score prediction – Walton to have a 3.5 to 2.5 lead