Bright golden morning, salivating at the prospect, excited, perhaps nervous, it was mixed emotions as Stephen Tillie pulled up to the McDonald’s arches. He had decided the usual Wedge social in the clubhouse preceding the golf was an inferior offering than that of Ronald McDonald. He perhaps thought of keeping his little pre-Wedge pitstop secret, but some rogue tomato ketchup around his chops was damning indeed. The rest of us shared some refreshments and enjoyed catching up in the more intimate format of just a 6-a-side Wedge, with the comfortable view from the Aisher Room belying the seaside hurricane winds!
Despite the small number, there was a Wedge debutant in the form of Thomas Massey, a wonderful addition adding further value and depth to the pool of Wedge golfers. However, it was a relatively new Wedger, Finlay Hutchinson, who had a rather shaky start to the day when he denounced the very modest win percentage of a Deal member, needless to say, Dr AEJ Cork was not amused. A separate situation that threatened to cause offense was nearly every player questioning the brand new plus one handicap of David Payne, luckily the House of Payne was in equal bemusement at the dark art mathematics of the new World Handicap System.
It was Payne and Ronald McDonald out first, in a quality match against “Good Duncan” Pike and George Donoghue. Unsurprisingly for a well-matched game, it saw honours even. The match actually saw a Wedge record being set, and DP now holds all positions on the top five slowest Wedge rounds.
Next up, Myles took a break from the new Waud brother hobby of making babies, and partnered Nic Gates. However, they came up against the might of P Diddy in scintillating form, not even his partner could get in the way of a Deal win; a solid victory from Captain Hedges & Karrberg.
Last out, the Walton debutant and foot in mouth Finlay combined well in a back-and-forth match, but there was no sweet revenge for Cork, as he and Mason gave up a healthy early lead to be pipped.
Scores all level at lunch and the non-playing Walton captain was busy on comms with his usual blustering of lunchtime confidence. Ronald had been rumoured to have headed back to the golden arches for lunch, but he did eventually materialise after a long shower to wash away the shame. Despite a criminal shortage of mayonnaise after Gates spooned enough on to his plate to feed a large Belgian family, a very well-oiled lunch was enjoyed. Luckily for all, during that time the wind had picked up to levels which now had the RCP flag and Union Jack in pirate flag tatters. Though 45mph is widely considered a typical Deal wind in late July!
The afternoon saw two tight games and a thumping. The latter will be skimmed over, but I will congratulate Ronald McDonald and Gates, as fast food and mayonnaise respectively, proved excellent sustenance to fuel afternoon golf. With gorgeous George always on form he inspired the Deal Captain to a double victory day. So, all down to the last match and it went down 18.
Myles did his best to lose the hole with a ditch dunch, but Cork was not to be outdone so followed it up with a wide slash out right. Thankfully for Deal the aforementioned slash found a pathway which split the deepest of rough. That left the door ajar for the classy afternoon sub, the office professional; Callum Austin, to float a tough chip to a foot from the hole. However, with Walton one up on the 18th tee, that only meant a halved match, and a resulting 3-3 tie of the fixture. Walton retains the Wedge Trophy.
Another cracker, and thankfully we have just a few months to wait till the Walton fixture. Numbers will have to be increased if Charlie is to get back in the team! Either way, it would be advisable to ask the Walton chef to prepare a few McMuffins to make sure all players can arrive on time.
I’m loving it!
By Samuel Mason (SYOS)
Assistant to the Deal Captain