Victory march! BB&O put on a command performance to claim their first win in the English Senior Men’s County Championship at Robin Hood Golf Club, Solihull.
BB&O (Berks, Bucks and Oxon) swept past Yorkshire 7½-1½ to take the title in considerable style, with team captain Ashley Brewer scoring the winning point.
“This is the holy grail of senior golf,” said Brewer, whose team was making their first appearance at County Finals – and were determined to grasp the opportunity.
“BB&O have been trying to win this ever since it started but there are stronger counties in the South East and we have been second seven times in qualifying. To have finally got past our nemesis, Kent, by 22 shots in qualifying and to play at the magnificent Robin Hood Golf Club was our chance.”
At the start of today’s play BB&O, Yorkshire and Devon were all in with a chance of winning the title, but the eventual champions started as favourites, knowing that a halved match or better would give them victory.
They set out with much determination and, throughout the perfect autumn day, played with great consistency – and with notable mastery of the fast greens. Their result today gave them a perfect score of three wins from three matches, the maximum six points, and put them out of the reach of their rivals.
They laid the foundations of today’s win with a clean sweep in the morning foursomes. They took early control of the bottom two matches thanks to Ashley Brewer and David Cromie (winning 5/3) and Malcolm Reid and George Wilson (3/2).
The final game involved three senior internationals – David Niven and Andrew Stracey for BB&O, Stephen East for Yorkshire – and was very closely contested, going to the 18th before BB&O secured a two-up win with a par four.
The team clearly carried the momentum into the singles and at the halfway stage a whitewash was very much on the cards. However Stephen East and Ian Clarke saved Yorkshire’s blushes when they respectively won and halved their games.
But the progress of the other matches was relentlessly in BB&O’s favour. George Wilson led the way, steadily increasing his early lead and scoring the team’s first point by the hefty margin of 7/5.
Immediately behind him was Brewer who was also a man in a hurry. He was quickly three up and then won the 10th, 11th and 12th to go six up. A steady par on the 13th gave him a 6/5 win and secured the title.
His team were far from finished. Malcolm Reid won on the 14th, Andrew Stracey claimed his point on the 16th and David Niven birdied the 16th to get back on level terms and went on to halve his game.
In the day’s other match, Devon beat Worcestershire 6-3 and finished the event as runners-up.
Devon were always the outsiders to take the title. They needed today’s results to all fall their way – and to win all nine of their games. Neither happened, but they put up a great fight, winning all three foursomes and going on to take three of the six singles.
Caption: The winning BB&O team with their trophy (Image © Leaderboard Photography)
BB&O beat Devon 5-4
Yorkshire beat Worcestershire 9-0
BB&O beat Worcestershire 5½ – 3½
Devon beat Yorkshire 5-4
Devon beat Worcestershire 6-3
BB&O beat Yorkshire 7½ – 1½
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