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10 out of 10 for 2020 clash

Tom Osborne and Charlie Daughtrey in action

Despite the weather putting paid to the original plans to see Yorkshire Men taking on a team of professionals at Rotherham, the event was saved by Ganton Golf Club – and the many spectators who went along got a real golfing treat.

Rotherham had let the organisers know their course wasn’t going to be up to the standard the club would want to put on such an event.

Yorkshire Captain David Appleyard reflected on a match which he says is already been planned for next year.

“After hearing from Rotherham on Easter Sunday we had a meeting on the Monday and said we still wanted to get the game on. Jonathan (Plaxton) approached Ganton and they said they could do it. That was great for the lads and the professionals to know they were going to be playing on one of the best courses in Yorkshire if not the UK.”

Adam Walker, who had dropped himself in the original team listing in favour of Dan Brown, got to play when prior commitments meant Sam Bairstow and Marco Penge had to withdraw.

Appleyard added: “I think it proved to be a lot closer and better than we expected. YUGC President Phil Woodcock said in his speech that if you consider we played 108 competitive holes of golf and we only lost by six holes, that shows how good the standard was and how close it was in the end.”

Appleyard’s regular lead-out pair, Charlie Daughtrey and Tom Osborne, ended up dropping down the list to be last out after 2020 skipper Adam Walker was delayed, but they were red-hot once out on the course, respectively shooting -5 and -6 as the Yorkshire Men had the last word in the final game, beating Walker and George Mason by three holes.

With the six fourballs all playing a full 18 holes to give an aggregate score, it could have been far closer than the final margin.

Jack Northgraves and George Hanson were all square after 16 against ‘uncle’ Chris Hanson and Simon Dyson before losing the final two holes, while George Heath and Jake Wallis were level against Jigger Thomson and Joe Dean after 17, just losing on the last hole.

Jake Sowden and Aaron Brettell  were 1-up most of the way round against Josh Berry and George Ash but lost two holes and halved the last three.

“That’s how close it was,” added skipper Appleyard. “Those matches could have gone either way. That’s how good the quality of golf was.”

Dan Brown and John Parry won by two holes against Ben Brown and Lucas Martin, while Nick Marsh and James Edwards won 3-up over Dan Thomas and Ollie Smith.

“ The wheels are in motion to continue next year … I think it was a resounding success,” said Appleyard. “The feedback we got from the 2020 players, our lads, the Yorkshire executive and indeed the people who came to watch was excellent. As my colleague Seniors captain Andy King said to me, ‘to get to walk round with European Tour player golfers and be right next to them – for free – it’s very much worth it! If you go to a PGA event or the British Masters you have to pay to watch these blokes play!’

“All around it was a win-win on all accounts. It showcased how the professionals who used to play for Yorkshire have progressed, and we saw the amateur golfers who are hopefully going to follow in their footsteps.

“It absolutely allowed our players to benchmark themselves against some of the best.”

“The original plan to play at Rotherham was hoped to have been preparation for the County match against Lancashire in June, but it still gave us chance to see some of the players stepping up into the Men’s squad’s winter coaching.

“It’s the same with the Lincolnshire fixture, a chance to put some of the new lads ‘under the gun’ as coach Steve Robinson says.”

And the general outlook for 2024?

“Things are looking good. Tom (Osborne) finished second in the Delamere Horn, Charlie won the Berkhamsted, it gives the whole squad a lift. They think ‘if they can do it, why can’t we?’ Bailey Hird (Cookridge Hall) was 4th in the Delamere Horn, Habib Khan (Fixby) finished 2nd in the Crosby Challenge Plate at West Lancs in atrocious conditions, so excited for the season ahead.”


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