Challenge Team WIN Opener

Match report by: Joe Smith.

Challenge Team Match – Venue Sudbury GC

Vs Bedfordshire 

Sunday 16th June 2024

Middlesex hosted their first Challenge League Match of the 2024 season, with a return one week after the County Championships, to Sudbury Golf Club .

Our opponents were Bedfordshire.

The scene was set on the wonderful but tough Sudbury in a day that was tricky with swirling winds to add to its playing difficulties.

A fascinating  and most fantastic match lay ahead…

Morning foursomes

We were led out by close friends Luke Fitzpatrick and Kane Stone  .. who sadly would lose on the 17 th hole.

Out second a new pairing of  Joe Eastwood and Tayan Wagjani, who sadly would face the same defeat on 17 th green


Player manager Joe Smith, commented that he was going to bank on experience at the  back and played former professional Michael Okon  with Andrea Bothma; the two South Africans brought home a much  on the 18th  hole ..

That left former European scratch winning champion  father and son combo Joe and Rymer Smith to try to level the score at lunch .. and they coolly played the 18th to Win by the same margin 2 up  ….  on Fathers day too!

2-2 at the interval

Joe smith said at lunch “I called my team in together, in a huddle  And said we’re going to  go with the very same  order .. and straight out of the traps Middlesex went with two super wins by Kane Stone and Luke Fitzpatrick.. by the margin of .. 3&2  and 2&1 respectively..

4-2 Middlesex – (just need 2.5 more points)

Hole 18 would serve Middlesex well next as Tayan Wagjiani hit a super shot to within 6 foot for a one up win .. and Joe Eastwood would hole a 7 footer for a much needed half point.


So this left Middlesex needing a point for the win, sadly  it would not come in the way of matches 5 and 6 as Andrea Bothma lost on the 17th and Micheal Okon having swung the the big clubs well all day would 3 putt 18 to lose by the smallest margin.

5.5-4.5 – tension mounting

In match 7 and 8 saw the father son pairing of Joe and Rymer at the back and having suffered some low back trouble Rymer seemed the unlikely candidate but he battled though the discomfort and won that much needed point by the way of 4 and 2. The winner by the biggest margin and the only player from both teams to win both points available.

This left just one match out on the course, between Bedfordshire star player Joe Kirby and Joe Smith.

Kirby was 3 up 5 to play but Smith battled back  to 1 down .. he said I told my players to focus on on their own scores and not so to much to what was going on around  but it was inevitable news was filtered around  and I knew it was very close. Down on the 17th  green I saw Joe Eastwood up the hill on the 18 the green punch the air then I was punching the air….then I had to watch Michael 3 putt as we’re waiting on the tee.

What mixed emotions I was going through I a hit good shot on 18 but didn’t make the birdie  I needed ..but I then finally asked the score  and was told I we had won by the the score 6.5 . 5.5  (PHEW)

Well  my team had given me a great Father’s Day present.. along  with my son Rymer winning two points and partnering me and my sons Aaron and  Joe JNR who caddied what more could I ask for  …

I would like to extend my thanks to my assistants Gary Gilbert and Phil Scott who where superb.. and to Bedfordshire who conducted themselves fantastically and professionally .. and all at Sudbury golf club for giving their tee times up and hosting us fantastically.

Last and not least  to Lee Patterson and Middlesex Golf for its support

Let’s have a go at Essex in a few weeks

Next match is at Wyke Green in July

Final result : 6.5- 5.5