Story and photographs by Richard Bremner
ON Thursday 6th December I had the pleasure of witnessing the final of the 2012 Matchplay Final between Chris BURTON playing off 5 and Peter SAUNDERS playing off 20.
Giving a 15 stroke advantage was always going to be a challenge for BURTON as SAUNDERS had beaten some of the more fancied
starters to get to this final including Matt BELL, Ray ORR and Ian BRADBURN.
My part in this was simply to drive a cart, control the flagstick, score and be official photographer. BURTON had to concede
strokes on all holes except the 1st, 9th and 17th. He won the 1st but SAUNDERS came back to win the 2nd and third to go 1 up. BURTON then went on to win 4 and 5 to go 1up. The 6th was halved, SAUNDERS won the7th, BURTON the 8th and SAUNDERS the 9th to be all square at the turn.
At this stage it was anybody’s game and BURTON took the10th and 11 and 12 squared making BURTON 1 up after 12. BURTON won the 13th but SAUNDERS came back to win 14 leaving BURTON 1up with 4 to go.
To his credit SAUNDERS would not give in and if BURTON was going to win this match he was going to earn it.
Holes 15 and 16 were halved and it was down to the wire. Both players hit enormous drives on 17 with BURTON finishing in the drain alongside the fairway and SAUNDERS the same distance but just off the fairway and it looked like BURTON had left the door open for SAUNDERS to even up and unfortunately his second shot just clipped a small branch and dropped into the drain in front of the green. BURTON’S second was a shot a pro would have been proud of. Hitting out of the hazard his ball ended up in long grass to the left of the green some 15 metres from the pin.
SAUNDERS played a remarkable recovery from the drain to end up on the edge of the green and still be in the game.
However great players play great shots and BURTON holed out with his chip to birdie the hole and win the title.
Overall it was a great game and CHRIS BURTON is a worthy champion with PETER SAUNDERS a worthy runner up.
I am sure PETER will be back next year but definitely not playing off 20. He learnt a lot playing CHRIS this day.
It was a shame that I was the gallery of 1 today and perhaps next year we can schedule the final so more will come along to support this important event.
Your reporter…..Richard Bremner