Trophy Wynners

Dean Bailey reports on a great final to the Northern Golfer Matchplay Pairs

John Potts and Graeme Robson from Ramside Hall lifted the Northern Golfer Matchplay Pairs trophy for 2016 following a close final over the Wellington Course at Wynyard Golf Club.

Playing in spring sunshine in Teesside John and Graeme held off the team of Richard White and Malcolm Lumsden from Centurion Park to add their names to the list of champions stretching back to 2003 with a 2&1 win – Graeme sealing the win with a birdie two at the 17th.

“It was a really close game to finish off what’s been a great year of matches,” said John.

“We’ve only had one home tie and we’ve played some fabulous courses around the North East and Yorkshire,” added Graeme. “There are so many stand out moments from our matches this year and to finish it off with a birdie to win the final was a great feeling.”

Delayed from the end of 2016, the final was close throughout with just one hole between the pairs until the 14th.

Richard and Malcolm got off to a fast start – Malcolm’s nett birdie at the par five first hole putting them 1up. John responded with the only nett par at the second having found trees from the tee before reaching the green with a three wood for his third shot.

The match remained close through the front nine, John’s nett par at the sixth good enough to take the lead for the first time with a great putt down the hill from 5ft. Richard levelled the match at the short par four eighth with an excellent two putt for his par and the pairs made the turn all-square.

The momentum swung to the Ramside pair at the 11th, where Graeme’s excellent four iron from the rough found the edge of the green and his putt ran close for birdie. Par was good enough to return to 1up – a lead they would not give up. The Ramside pair wobbled in the middle of the back nine, though Richard and Malcolm couldn’t take good chances at the 12th and 13th as John and Graeme both scrambled well to maintain their lead.

At the 14th, having missed the green short, John’s up and down was enough to take a 2up lead, though he and partner Graeme would stumble at the 15th – finding the right rough and left hazard respectively – to gift the hole back.

Both then went close at 16 with birdie chances at the par five before Graeme hit a superb approach to 15ft at the par three 17th and made the first birdie of the match across the slope to close out a 2&1 victory.

• The final was delayed due to unforeseen circumstances. Congratulations to John and Graeme. If you haven’t entered this year’s event click here.