By Dave Ransom
CONGRATULATIONS to our two finalists, Ron Hewson and Adrian Bell, in the Handicap Single Matchplay Championship.
Both have overcome determined opponents in the preliminary rounds and have deserved their place in the final with solid play involving clever tactics as well as having a steady nerve under pressure.
In the first semi-final Ron defeated defending champion Paul Hazeltine 3 and 2. Paul has made a good defence of his title winning his previous games with apparent ease. Ron, however, was able to withstand Paul’s challenge by taking advantage of those holes that he received shots and applying impossible pressure by playing very solid golf. Ron set up his win against the tried and proven match player with the canny use of the ‘Texas wedge’ and thoroughly deserves his place in the final.
In the second semi-final, Adrian Bell was up against a fresh Chris Goodwin. Despite having to give Chris several holes due to the difference in handicaps Adrian was able to win 4 and 3.
Adrian started out in terrific fashion and was 5 up after 8 holes. Unfortunately for Chris his usually reliable putting stroke was absent and Adrian was able to take advantage by playing steady par golf. A birdie on 9 seemed to inspire Chris and he closed the gap to 2 holes after 12. Adrian was not to be out done, however, and using all his matchplay experience, he closed out the game on the 15th with a sensational up and down out of the water hazard.
So the final has been set and the experienced Adrian comes up against the wily Ron. Again the question will be asked; Will Adrian’s consistent game be enough to cancel out Ron’s larger handicap and clever short game? Good luck to you both. I am sure it will be a very close encounter.