The 18th Wedge Trophy

DEAL ATTC (very occasional Captain)

Picture the scene – Waud stands proudly, nay cocksure, addressing the esteemed players of the 18th Wedge Trophy.

A lunch of chicken goujons, sandwiches and chips had just been encountered, sadly no longer coming with the plastic toy as Walton follow suit with Burger King to reduce such waste.

Fortunately, Webster and Gates had conspired to order wine with bottom of the list quality. In fact, Waud was clutching a rather large glass of said wine when he started his address – the theme for his lecture “why Walton can’t lose, and bless you for trying Deal”.

He recalled a lovely moment during lunch when he laughed in the face of Tim Hoolahan at the suggestion the match was still close at 3.5 – 1.5 to Walton. It was on about his 7th mid speech victory sip, the wine glass now near empty, he graciously listed the afternoon matches, while continuing to denounce any hope for Deal in the face of certain Walton victory.

The background to this Waud lunch time bravado and bluster was a morning when an experienced Walton team had turned the screws. JC himself with Bezzra (the God of soulful rock) saw off the massive gun pairing of Daws/Donoghue. Webster and Story declined a halve on the 18th green and duly birdied for victory against Mason & Farrell, hard lines for Farrell’s debut. Captain Confident and Gates won well against Golf Breaks premier pairing of Pike/Spearpoint. Thankfully some Deal resistance came in the form of Glynn and Williams who saw off Hedley/Russell for the only full point. The final back match saw Young Wootton/Stevens only halve with Austin & Hoolahan, despite the one-man advantage. A dominant Walton morning, labelled by Waud as unassailable.

The picture has been set, and most reading know the story to follow, because falls tend to follow excessive pride, and fat ladies like to sing their own tunes in their own good time.

Some people (me) have suggested that what happened that Sunday afternoon on Walton Heath Old Course in 2019 is the natural successor to Medinah Country Club 2012. Much as the Europeans drew inspiration from the spirit of their loved and recently departed legend Severiano Ballesteros, Deal Dandies were mildly motivated by their absent and fairly popular Captain, Michael Hedges. Every man on Team Deal stood up and delivered, not one game was lost, and needing an unlikely 4 – 1 score line to wrestle back the Wedge, a barely believable 4.5 points were won.

Special mentions to Patrick Glynn and Max Williams who both delivered two points, marvellous golf. Tim Hoolahan refused to win or lose with two halves; the consistency Deal needed. Callum Austin was impressive and undefeated on debut, with the more seasoned birthday boy Andrew Berryman the noteworthy resistance from Team Walton, achieving the same win and a halve.

The match report is kept purposefully short, I wouldn’t want to fall down the Waud shaped hole, where he can still be found recounting his chickens (he remains one short with a spare egg!).

I will just say it was an honour to Captain Deal for the day, but more so, a pleasure to play with a cracking group of gents. We seem to always have the perfect balance of debutants and Wedge stalwarts from both sides – it makes for an irresistible fixture. We are simply spoilt for quality competitive golf, on world class courses, played with such wonderful comradery.

I’m already looking forward to Spring 2020 and hosting Walton back down at Deal. Until then.

Sam Mason

ATTC (and very occasional Captain)