The Men's Senior squad had high hopes of bettering last year’s 10th place (out of 11) at the 6-man qualifying event at East Sussex National GC this year. The team of Nick Clarke, Simon Westgarth, Tim Jones, Matt Bayford, Martin Walsh and acting skipper Mick McCormick travelled down on Monday in 30-degree heat for the practice round. We found we were playing the challenging 6700-yard blue course, a par 72 rated at 73.6 and the weather for Tuesday and Wednesday was set to be just as warm.
Early scoring was looking good, with the first three Middlesex players posting 77, 78 and 78, vaulting us up to 4th place with only 2 more scores to count. Was this the coming of age for Middlesex Seniors? Sadly not, with the other 3 scores coming in at 88, 88 and 92, we found ourselves back in our familiar tenth spot in the space of 30 minutes, only ahead of Bedfordshire.
Still optimistic though and heartened by our early euphoria, we returned to dinner at the hotel, where Simon demonstrated how to release the clubhead by launching cutlery at the restaurant wall and Nick tried to turn Mick’s white Boss shirt Middlesex Red by chucking his wine over it. Luckily the boys from Suffolk had already retired at this point and we're not privy to our advanced coaching and team-building methods.
An early start on Wednesday meant some cooler morning conditions, with the 9th placed Norfolk in our sights, we surely just needed to turn those 88s into something in the 70s and we could return home as glorious victors. The first 2 scores were 77 and 78 again, followed by an 82 and we were looking good on the live leaderboard, back up to 6th. Surely this was it, our time had come? Errmm no….an 85, 86 and 93 meant we were back in 10th again. Middlesex starlets Westgarth and Clarke made a creditable 21st and 22nd in the individual competition, and stand-in skip McCormick played a blinder with settling the bills and looking after us. Still, it’s back to the drawing board for the selection committee.
Final standing can be viewed HERE.
CK Lee - Men's Senior Team Manager