Ten days before the Pearson Inter-County Finals, Princes Golf Club hosted the last qualifying rounds for The Open, so we expected the course to be in fantastic condition and we were not disappointed! Everything was immaculate with perfect greens, undulating fairways and the most glorious views in every direction.
As winners of the Middlesex County Final, Enfield ladies were to have the honour of representing Middlesex at this iconic and very testing venue. If you were not used to playing links golf this was going to be a challenge. And as so often happens, the weather, especially the wind, was to play its’ part.
Enfield was drawn against Hertfordshire in the morning, represented by Hadley Golf club. Nizels GC for Kent was drawn against Roehampton GC for Surrey.
Conditions were calm in the morning as all 14 matches teed off in alternating order. As we went round in a buggy following the various groups all the matches were very close. After the 9th Enfield was up in 5 of the matches but not by many holes so nothing was certain. At one point a couple of players who up considerably went down to dormy and the outcome was looking less certain. When Enfield was up 2-1 one of the games went down the 19th and was won by Enfield. As we were walking back from the first green we heard from a referee that Enfield had also won another match out on the course so were the winners of the semi-final. 4-1 with two games called in.
Nizels from Kent beat Roehampton from Surrey, so Middlesex was playing Kent in the afternoon.
The morning games went on for so long that everyone ate a frantic lunch before being hurried off the 1st tee again at 3pm – very late. The conditions were no longer benign. It was chilly, grey and blustery. A real challenge.
After the 9th Middlesex were 3-4 down but in two of the games they were only down by one hole, there was still plenty to play for. First blood went to Kent. And then a second went to Kent. Everything then seemed to happen at once, we were up in the games on the 17th & 18th fairways and we heard we’d won a game further back in the field but almost simultaneously we heard that Kent had won two of the remaining four matches and had won the competition. It was very frustrating as it made it seem like a strong win by Kent but the reality was that Middlesex was very much in competition at all times, just the timing of the wins was unfortunate.
The ladies of Enfield and their caddies played their hearts out all day. They never gave up and they played their matches in the spirit of the Pearsons competition. They were gracious but exhausted runners-up and Sue & I were incredibly proud of them.
Congratulations to Enfield GC, runners-up of the Pearson Trophy 2022
Arlene Baily - Middlesex Pearson Trophy Organiser