Surrey Fives – Final
On Sunday 15th October the Richmond Park B team made the journey to Clandon Regis to play West Surrey in order to determine the overall Surrey 5’s matchplay champions for 2023. The result was a convincing win for Richmond Park; a full report from captain Brendan Sullivan and photo of the team with the trophy is found below.
The day was bright and sunny but accompanied with a bitterly cold wind which made staying in the sun a priority. Clandon Regis had the course in excellent condition with beautiful fairways and fast undulating greens. Surrey County Golf provided a referee who with the use of a buggy moved between all five matches to answer any rules queries that may arise and also kept the teams well informed of how all the matches were progressing.
West Surrey had the honour and each match was announced on the tee by the Surrey County starter. George Taylor (Rookie) was out first for Richmond Park. This was George’s first appearance in the Surrey 5’s but his recent good competition form at Richmond Park justified his selection. George’s first tee nerves where his opening tee shot resulted in a lost ball was not a sign of things to come. With some outstanding play and excellent putting from both players it was clearly evident that this was going to be a close match but nobody was prepared for the drama that unfolded. The match was all square after 17 holes. Two good fairway drives followed by approach shots which found the 18th green (albeit with West Surrey 2ft from the pin and Richmond Park 20ft+ away) made it look as though West Surrey with draw first blood in the match. But in a true matchplay scenario George somehow sank his 20ft+ which had about 2ft of break to put the pressure back on West Surrey to hole his 2ft foot which seemed a formality. Somehow West Surrey missed and Richmond Park won the match to establish a 1-0 lead.
Out second was Pete Malla and again this proved to be yet another close encounter. In a match that was always either 1 up or level throughout also came down to the 18th with West Surrey edging a close 1 up victory to make the overall score 1 – 1.
Match 3 had the ever reliable John Perkins and again this proved to be very close with the score either 1 up or level throughout. John has been extremely consistent for the team all summer and today was no exception. John established a 1 up advantage after 17 holes and with a comfortable par on 18th gave Richmond Park a 2 – 1 lead in the match. Cometh the hour cometh the man.
Brendan Sullivan (Team captain) was out 4th and having lost the first hole to a birdie 3 soon established a stronghold on the match and ran out a 7 & 6 winner to give Richmond Park a 3 – 1 lead and overall victory.
In the anchor match we had Bernie McDermott who to-date had a 100% victory record in the Surrey 5’s for Richmond Park. Bernie some weeks ago was tidying his garage and came across a Ping G2 driver (not a misprint, it really is a G2) and decided to replace his trusty 25 year old Ben Hogan driver with this modern up to date newer model. The result was never in doubt and Bernie as always throughout this years campaign didn’t let the team down. With his straight driving, approach play and steady putting Bernie gradually wore the opposition down and shook hands with his opponent on the 16th green for a 3 & 2 victory to make the overall result 4 – 1 in favour of Richmond Park.
This year’s Surrey 5’s competition started at home on the 18th March against Kingswood and continued with the following:
29th April against Woodcote Park @ home
24th June against Wimbledon Common @ home
16th July against Reigate Hill @ home
26th August against Epsom ‘A’ @ Epsom
16th September against Epsom ‘B’ @ Hindhead
As team captain I would like to thank the following for representing Richmond Park at short notice when asked throughout this year’s competition:
I would also like to thank Peter Harrington, Richard Owen and Roger Rojas for suggesting and recommending various members for selection and supplying contact details for those members.
Lastly I would like to thank George Taylor, Pete Malla, John Perkins and Bernie Mcdermott for turning up to play a practice round at Clandon Regis. As team captain of this Surrey 5’s team their dedication and support to both myself and the team has been really appreciated. Their play in the final was exceptional and what they have achieved has put Richmond Park GC in the limelight and hopefully will inspire the club and it’s members to repeat what they have done in the coming years.
Surrey Fives, East Final
The Richmond Park team, captained by Brendan O’Sullivan, beat Epsom 4 – 1 in the 2023 Surrey 5’s East Section knockout final. More details below.
Having defeated one Epsom team in the semi finals, the Richmond Park ‘B’ team faced another Epsom team in the East section final. The match was played at Hindhead golf course, which had beautiful fairways and perfectly manicured greens that were exceptionally fast with lots of slopes and subtle breaks.
Our team was led off by Naveed Manazir (a last minute sub. for Pete Malla) who ran into a 12 handicapper who shot -2 gross for 12 holes to give Epsom the first point with a 7 & 6 victory.
Brendan Sullivan restored the deficit winning 8 & 7 to square the match at 1 – 1
The ever-reliable John Perkins was never behind and ran out an easy 6 & 5 winner to put Richmond Park 2 – 1 up in the match.
Russell Stewart was selected for the final following some impressive play over the past few weeks and justified his selection with a 4 & 3 victory to put Richmond Park 3 – 1 up in the match.
Bernie McDermott was never behind in the last match and also saw off his opponent with a 4 & 3 victory to record an overall result of 4 – 1 to Richmond Park and the Surrey 5’s East section title.
Richmond Park now await the winners of West Surrey v Hindhead to determine the overall Surrey 5’s champions for 2023. This match is scheduled to take at Clandon Regis on Sunday 15th October.
Surrey Fives, Semi-Final
On a beautiful sunny Saturday morning our Richmond Park B team made the journey to Epsom to play the Epsom ‘A’ team in the semi-final of the East Section of the Surrey 5s. In their first ‘away’ fixture of the competition, our B team were victorious and now progress to meet the Epsom ‘B’ team in the East Section Final.
The Epsom course was in beautiful condition with perfectly manicured fairways and greens and with more slopes than an Austrian ski resort. An excellent performance by our team saw a resounding 3.5 – 1.5 victory for Richmond Park. The venue and date for the finals match against Epsom ‘B’ is to be confirmed by Surrey County Golf.
Will Balakrishnan led the team off and went down fighting for a 4 & 3 loss to give Epsom an early lead.
Word quickly came through that John Perkins was doing a demolition job on his opponent and levelled the overall score to 1 – 1 with a 7 & 6 victory.
Brendan Sullivan’s 5 & 4 victory established the overall lead in Richmond’s favour to 2 – 1.
Match 4 saw Bernie McDermott relinquish a lead of 3 up with 3 to play to give Epsom a glimmer of hope of winning the point and levelling the overall score to 2 – 2. Before Bernie and his opponent went down the 19th it was agreed to wait and see how match 5 was progressing.
Richmond’s smiling assassin Kevin Prendergast, who should be a ‘postman’ because he always delivers a winning point for the team, didn’t let he team down. His effortless 2 & 1 victory made Bernie McDermott a very happy man and sent Richmond Park into the finals.
Well done and well played everyone.
Surrey Fives East, Round 4
On a beautiful but very windy Sunday morning our Richmond Park Surrey 5’s B team welcomed Reigate Hill to the Park for their quarter final match in the Surrey 5s. The chosen course (Prince’s) was in magnificent condition with fast greens, penial rough and fairways firm and running. Strong winds made club selection extremely difficult with a premium on tee shots. An excellent performance by our team saw a resounding 5 – 0 victory, with Richmond Park progressing to the semi finals where we will meet the winners of Epsom v Surrey National. More details on the match below.
Will Balakrishnan led the team off and went into an early lead which he never relinquished before finishing his match with a effortless 2 & 1 victory to give the hosts a 1 – 0 lead in the match.
Brendan Sullivan’s 3 & 2 victory was quickly followed by Richmond’s super sub and first time participant in this year’s competition Toby Hunt, who produced some short game wizardry to dispatch the Reigate Hill player with a commanding 4 & 3 scoreline, to give the hosts a 3 – 0 lead and send them into the semi finals.
The evergreen Bernie McDermott with his trusty 25 year old Ben Hogan driver was demoralising his playing partner with fairway-finding drives and a short game to envy, before dismantling his opponent 4 & 3 to put the host 4 – 0 ahead.
Kevin Prendergast who was 3 down after 10 quickly got in on the action and birdied his way back into contention and finished his match with a 3 & 2 victory.
Surrey Fives East, Round 3
On a beautiful Saturday morning our Surrey 5’s B team welcomed the Wimbledon Common A team to the Park for their 3rd round match. The result was a 3.5:1.5 win for Richmond Park, who are now in the Quarter Finals.
The match was played on Prince’s which had fast greens and fairways but the rough was penial if your tee shot strayed off line a fraction.
Will Balakrishnan let the team off and went down fighting to a narrow 2 & 1 loss to give the visitors a 1 – 0 lead in the match. Brendan Sullivan got things back level with a 2 & 1 victory which was quickly followed by Richmond’s john Perkins commanding winning 4 & 3 to give the hosts a 2 – 1 lead. As Richmond’s Bernie McDermott was putting out on 18 to finish all square, news filtered through that new debutant Kevin Prendergast had demolished the Wimbledon Common club captain 4 & 3 to put Richmond Park over the winning line and into the quarter finals where we will meet either Reigate Heath or Reigate Hill.
Surrey Fives Round 2 contd
The Richmond Park B team unfortunately lost their round 2 match against Epsom B 3&2 on the Duke’s course, Uli and Tamas both winning their matches.
Surrey Fives Round 2
The Richmond Park Surrey B team welcomed the Woodcote Park A team on a beautiful Saturday morning. The match was played on Prince’s which was in magnificent condition with fast greens and fairways manicured to perfection.
Will Balakrishnan led the team off and went down fighting to a narrow 4 & 2 loss to give the visitors a 1 – 0 lead in the match. Brendan Sullivan started the fight back with a commanding 8 & 7 victory which was quickly followed by Richmond’s Pete Malla winning 7 & 5 to give the hosts a 2 – 1 lead.
Richmond’s Ryan Wilson was beaten 5 & 4 to set up a tense and nervy finish, as it stood at 2 – 2 with one match remaining on the course. Those nerves were quickly banished when Bernie McDermott displayed some excellent short game wizardry to prove it’s not all about hitting it 300 yards off the tee to win 5 & 4, ensuring that Richmond Park B team progressed to the third round and another home match against the winners of Wimbledon Common vs Walton Heath.
Surrey Fives, Round 1 (contd)
The Richmond Park B team won their round 1 match against Kingswood and now face the winners of Woodcote Park or Lingfield Park in Round 2.
The day started extremely wet with the first 3 greens on Prince’s having lots of standing water, which made putting extremely difficult. As the rain eased and play became more tolerable, Will Balakrishnan continued his excellent form of late with a comfortable 7 & 5 victory over the Kingswood captain. This was quickly followed by Brendan Sullivan also winning 7 & 5. Kingswood then fought back with both John Perkins & Russell Stewart going down 3 & 2. With the match score level at 2 v 2 we then waited nervously for the final match to reach the clubhouse as nobody knew what the score had been throughout but Peter Malla put us all at ease with a 5 & 4 demolition of the Kingswood player.
Surrey Fives Round 1
The Richmond Park A team were successful in their 1st round away match against Reigate Heath and can now look forward to a home tie against either Cuddington B or Epsom B in Round 2.
On a chilly and cloudy morning, the team of Uli Katte (captain), Roger Rojas, Richard Owen, Tamas Ladacs and Justin Wildman travelled to Reigate for a 9am first tee time. Reigate Heath is an interesting and challenging 9-greens course, with 2 sets of teeing areas for each hole and the home team made us very welcome with coffee and bacon rolls before the start. The competition is singles matchplay, with the games played as 2-balls. The result was a 3&2 win for Richmond Park, with Roger, Uli and Tamas winning their games and the other two games being very close losses.