This week just gone saw the Estrella Damm N. A. Andalucía Masters make its first visit to the Real Club de Sotogrande. The Robert Trent Jones designed course proved an interesting test for some of the best players on the DP World Tour. James Morrison, who gave me some great coaching tips after the Po-Am at the Scottish Open a few years ago, shot an excellent 64 on Thursday in the strong south westerly winds with gusts reaching 45 mph. Over 50 players were in red figures after Day 1. Absolutely amazing in the conditions! At least the Tournament Committee slowed down the greens and made some sensible pin locations. Pro tip from James when it’s windy: feet further apart and widen your base for stability!
Weather was better over the next two days with wind and rain returning on Sunday for the final round. Here at San Roque there were similar conditions for the Raider Cup.
It was commuted to a 9 hole event on Sunday and ended in a tied match.
In the Andalucía Masters it was a win for Adrian Meronk with a total of -16.
James Morrison dropped back to -3 after his great opening round, but has probably done just enough to keep his Tour card for next year.
I understand from Mark Roe at Sky Sports that this event will return to RCS in 2024 and 2025. Kay and I enjoyed a fun morning with Mark on Thursday. He wanted a tour of the course with someone who could give him a few tips for his afternoon commentary stint.
Kay and I were happy to oblige. Amazingly, Mark has never played RCS! We had a whizz round all 18 holes on a buggy and I only lost my golf cap once in the wind. It was a great way for the 3 of to catch up and for Kay to see all of the course too for the first
time. We always think as a spectator going round from 18 to 1 in reverse order is the best way to go.
My thanks to Duncan for all his efforts during his tenure as Vice Captain this year. He has stepped down very graciously as he needs to focus on personal and work commitments which require his fullest attention. He will continue to be an active and supportive Member of the Club here, a key member of the League Team and a lively personality both on and off the course. Let’s all give him total respect and support as we move forward. Gary Ward will be my new Vice Captain.
Congratulations to Gary on this appointment. We look forward to continuing to work closely together for the best interests of all the membership. I’m sure that Gary and Nicky will be a
great team going forward in 2024–2025.
This was an opportunity to welcome our various Irish guests:
Richard Fanning and Mark Burke from Woodenbridge with their friend Aykan Arslan;
Jim Kelly and Barry McConville who were guests of Patrick O’Sullivan and Derek Whelan.
First: Derek Rogers (36 points)
Second: Andrew Lewis (36 points, on handicap)
Third: Terry Young (35 points)
Fourth: Radik Yamilov (35 points, on handicap)
Twos: Radik Yamilov, Derek Rogers, Keith Vince
Nearest the Pin on Hole 7: Paul Ingebrigtsen
Best Junior: Andreas Roman (72)
Best Gross: Andreas Roman (72); Keith Vince (77)
Tissue: Ross Easton (18 points)
A double for Derek and Tracey as they both won! Congratulations!!
First: Paul Holliday, Debbie Richards & Linda Fletcher (40 points)
Second: Andy Stanford, Ray Joy & Anne Middlehurst (40 points)
(on team playing handicap)
Third: David Tyler, Nicky Triay & Paul Cambridge (37 points)
This was a 9 hole Am Am fun competition with lunch afterwards. In terms of the golf the
two Par 3s were the deciding factor. The losing team managed just one point on Hole 7.
Paul Cambridge did however sign off with a fine closing birdie on the ninth.
Thank you to Kay Tyler for the photographs on the First Tee and also to Tina Ducker for making time to attend the lunch. Duncan Quigley made it to the bar in time for the final photographs. Jon Hale just missed out on these I’m afraid. Sorry Jon!
Linda and I wanted to continue the initiative started by Paul Holliday and Tina Ducker last year of having a social event with golf to get the entire group of Past Captains together. We didn’t have a full cast this year, but the idea is definitely a good one. It’s difficult to find a date which suits everyone. To this end, Ray Joy and Andy Stanford are organising 2 days in 2024 and these will be in the new Members Calendar for 2024-2025.
Thank you to Gary Ward for doing the Start List and to Derek Rogers for doing the Results whilst I was away at Sotogrande watching The Andalucían Masters Golf.
A small field of just 4 Three balls because of the poor weather forecast…
First: Derek Rogers (36 points)
Second: Pete Yeoman (32 points)
Third: Paul Ingebrigtsen (31 points)
Fourth: Lewis Doyle (30 points, on handicap)
Nearest the Pin on Hole 12: Pete Yeoman
Best Gross: Derek Rogers (+15)
Tissue: Ross Easton (24 points)
We had a great Team performance on the Old Course against La Quinta. The victory margin was 14 – 4. Despite the storm damage from the previous night the course was still in pretty good condition. The much needed rain had soaked in well. The greens were obviously slower, rolling at around 9 on the stimp, because the greenkeepers were too busy clearing up debris and did not have time to cut and roll them. But a big thank you to Borja and his team for getting things cleared up so quickly.
Good wins for 5 pairings out of 6.
Well done to Duncan Quigley and Francis Payne (3 points),
Jim Jenet & Andy Rogers (3 points), Terry Young & Gary Potts (3 points),
Tony Flanagan & Stuart Agnew (2.5 points) and Paul Holliday & Gary Adams (2 points).
Thank you to Kevin Bastone who is on the Board of Cancer Relief Gibraltar for inviting us to this special event. It’s a great community charity service which helps about 500 people at any one time. This was an opportunity to recognise the staff and volunteers’ care, commitment and dedication over the last 40 years helping countless families whose lives have been affected by cancer. The raffle during dinner was well supported and raised more funds for this good cause which has just been granted significant additional finance by the Gibraltar government. Linda, Bill, Kay, myself, David and Gianella Steele, Wynne Harcombe, Annette, Gillie and Liz Griffiths attended.
This Team event, which normally comprises of 9 holes Fourball followed by 9 holes Foursomes, was commuted to a 9 hole competition because of bad weather. This year it was a relatively small field with 8 Pairs v 8 Pairs. The overall result was a tie, so congratulations to both teams, one captained by Linda Fletcher, the other captained by Tony Holt. At least the rain is topping up the reservoirs and providing much needed water for the golf courses in Andalucía.
A big thank you to Linda for doing all the organisation, start list and cards.
Well done to everyone who supported this event!
The main focus on both courses is on clearing up after the storm damage. Ramón has also just applied for a licence to deal with the wild boar who are causing lots of damage everywhere.
Old Course: The greens, ante-greens and tees will be treated with wetting agent and insecticide on Tuesday. Fertilizer will be added on Friday.
New Course: Work continues to get this back in shape. We will be hosting the Sky Sports European Junior Open on this course at the end of November with TV coverage on the final two days, 22-23 November.
Wear PINK for Breast Cancer Awareness month for the Mixed Stableford on Thursday 26 October. All donations for Breast Cancer will be gratefully accepted that day. Please give cash to the Pro Shop, Linda or myself or send a small amount by Revolut. The Captains will then collate all donations and send off a group amount from the Club.
Tuesday 24 October: Midweek Competition – Stableford
Thursday 26 October: Midweek Competition – Stableford (Mixed) Wear PINK
Friday 27 October: Men’s ACL Match v La Quinta (Away)
Saturday 28 October: Halloween Texas Scramble (meal afterwards)
Tuesday 31 October: Midweek Competition – Stableford
Thursday 2 November: Midweek Competition – Stableford
Friday 3 November: Men’s ACL Match v El Paraiso (Home)
Saturday 4 November: Ranking
Tuesday 7 November: Midweek Competition – Stableford
Wednesday 8 November: Men’s Inter Club v Chatsworth GC (Home)
Thursday 9 November: Midweek Competition – Stableford WORLD SERIES
Friday 10 November: Men’s ACL Match v El Paraiso (Away)
Saturday 11 November: Quadrangular at Aloha
Sunday 12 November: Extra Federated Competition – Stableford
Adrian Meronk, who just won at Sotogrande, became the first Polish golfer to win on the DP World Tour with his victory at the Horizon Irish Open in July 2022. He now has a further three Tour victories to his credit plus one Challenge Tour win in Portugal in 2019.
He was rather unlucky to miss out on a place in Europe’s triumphant Ryder Cup squad last month. Interviewed after his most recent win on Sunday, Adrian Meronk said “It was a tough tournament, tough weather, didn’t have my best golf on the first day so to win the tournament is very special. I’m over the moon.”
Asked for his feelings immediately after completing a tense final round in changeable weather, with the start brought well forward due to the impending stormy weather, he said “Relieved, to be honest!”