A field of 56 players (48 boys and 8 girls) from 21 schools contested the fifth HMC Singles Tournament on the Red Course of The Berkshire Golf Club on Tuesday 8th October.
In 2018, the courses had suffered from the Summer drought but a huge effort by the club to repair the damaged fairways has brought them back to their pristine best. Apart from a short rain burst, the players enjoyed the pleasant Autumn conditions.
The average handicap of those playing was 3.2 which highlights how many good golfers are to be found in HMC Schools. In many schools, golf is becoming more mainstream and popular although there is still much to do to encourage more girls to play.
In the girls’ event, Harriet Lockley’s 75 was enough to win the Girls’ Championship Cup – Harriet’s Millfield compatriot, Ellie Laace, was runner-up on 78. Their performances were enough to secure Millfield the Girls’ Team Prize.
There was a three-way tie on 71 for the boys’ competition. The usual countback rules gave Riccardo Fantanelli (Whitgift) the HMC Singles Trophy with Josh Hamnett (Rossall) the Runner-Up Salver. Yago Rio Aja from Worth was the third player who scored the one-under par score of 71. There were no fewer than four players scoring level par 72’s and many others with scores in the low to mid-70’s. Rossall won the Boys’ Team Salver with Whitgift second and Bedford third.
Fitting 56 players into an Autumn afternoon was a tight squeeze but all got round in the daylight thanks to the Club giving us a two-tee start, the players adopting a good pace of play and the ever-vigilant coaches acting as starters, ball-spotters, organisers and supporters.
This competition continues to grow in popularity and next year we will try to increase capacity by playing in 3-balls on the Berkshire Blue Course with a two-tee start.
Girls’ individual 75 Harriet Lockley (Millfield) 78 Ellie Laace ( Millfield) 79 Liv Sinnes (Charterhouse) 81 Alex Jakins (Gordon’s) 81 Ella Hammond-Baveystock (Wellington)
Girls’ team 153 Millfield 163 Gordon’s
Boys’ individual 71 Riccardo Fantanelli (Whitgift) 71 Josh Hamnett (Rossall) 71 Yago Rio Aja (Worth) 72 Max Hayward (Warwick) 72 Dominic Barron-Holden (Rossall) 72 Josh Fallows (Rossall) 72 Pannawit Leelalumbert (Bedford) 73 Justin Chan (Wellington) 73 Oscar Fowler (Bradfield) 74 Oliver Dickman (Winchester) 75 James Earl (Tonbridge) 75 Austin Gambel (Reed’s) 75 Tom Youds (Stowe) 75 Rocky Chapman (Whitgift)
Photos of the event can be viewed below. Click on a photo and use the zoom on your device. Click on the arrow to see a slideshow.
HMC Foursomes Regional Rounds
The regional draws for the 2019/20 season are alongside on the left of the page It is the responsibility of both schools to contact each other to arrange their match. It is essential that the following deadlines are kept.
First round played by end of October 2019 (but by end September if possible) Second round played by end of December 2019 ( but by end of October if possible) Semi-final played by end of Spring Term 2020 Final played by end of May 2020 but preferably before public exams start in mid-May.
The Rules for the Regional Rounds are below.
Results should be e mailed to me as soon as possible
Rules for the Regional Rounds 2019/20
1. All matches are to be played between three foursomes pairs as match-play without consideration of handicaps.
2. Only school children in full time education studying a nationally-recognised course of study at their school (e.g. GCSEs or A levels or well-defined equivalents) are eligible to play in the competition.
3. The usual R & A rules for match play should be used. Any disputes in matches must be resolved by the masters i/c the teams.
4. Teams are expected to play their pairs in their presumed order of strength from the top, but this does not mean that they must play their lowest handicappers in the top pair. Whilst this rule is open to interpretation, it is hoped by the Committee that the integrity of Masters in Charge will not need to be brought into question.
5. Girls should play from the equivalent Ladies tees on the course – if boys play from the Men’s medal tees, girls should play from the Ladies’ medal tees.
6. Except for the clarification of the Rules of Golf, no-one other that the Team Captain (including Master in Charge, Coach, Golf Professional, Parent, other team member) may communicate with players playing a match and such people should therefore keep an appropriate distance away from players at all times during play. This rule precludes the use of caddies. Contravention of this rule should result in the loss of the hole on which the infringement takes place.
7. If a game is all-square after 18 holes, play must continue until a hole is won and a decision is reached. The only exception to this is when one team has already won two games the third game may be halved.
8. If a school is unable to turn out three pairs on the date arranged for the match, it should inform the opponents beforehand and automatically forfeit the bottom match.
9. The home team has choice of venue, but if the away team has to travel more than 50 miles, a venue must be chosen by the home team which equates the travelling time between the two schools as far as possible.
10. Dates for completion of rounds must be adhered to. Extensions may granted by the Organiser when there are exceptional circumstances, but if there is a significant delay involved, the match will be decided by the toss of a coin.
HMC Finals at Rye July 1st and 2nd 2019
After a gap of six years the HMC Schools Foursomes National Finals returned to Rye Golf Club - the spiritual home of foursomes match play golf. We were blessed with lovely weather, a course in magnificent condition and a bit of wind to test the players. The Club was superbly supportive of this event with members showing great interest in the talented young players who really enjoyed the challenges of this lovely course.
The eight schools which qualified were, in handicap order, Loretto, Tonbridge, Rossall, Reeds, Wellington, Whitgift, Warwick and Malvern. The average handicap of the 48 players was 4.4 and we were able to witness a great deal of fine ball-striking. The top six schools were very closely matched and any of them could have won – Rye is not a long course so success depended on good distance control of the approach shots, the ability to get the ball close from the edges of Rye’s convex greens and the ability to hole putts from within 6 feet.
In Group A, matches went by the form book leaving Loretto and Reed’s to play the effective semi final. Reed’s played very strongly to win all three matches and earn their place in the Final. The Loretto top pair unusually lost all their matches but it was Reed’s consistency that denied them. Last year’s winners, Whitgift, lost all three matches probably due to their young players’ unfamiliarity with links golf. Warwick were understandably pleased with their win over last year’s champions.
In Group B, the Tonbridge top pair lost a closely contested match down the 19th hole with Wellington to give Wellington a win ‘against the head’. Rossall had lost its top three players ( handicaps +3,+2,+2 ‼) a few days beforehand to Open Championship Final Qualifying and County call-ups but their three reserves did a sterling job in helping to win the first two matches 3-0. In the effective semi-final, Tonbridge needed to win 3-0 to reach the final and they were not far from doing it. Lea Dawson’s holed putt from off the 16th green and Josh Hamnett’s 35 footer for a 3 on the 18th sealed Rossall’s win and place in the Final.
The Final was therefore played between the third and fourth seeds, Rossall and Reed’s. After nine holes it was ‘nip and tuck’ but Rossall just managed to edge ahead and win two matches on the 17th green and one on the 18th green. This is a great achievement for a school that has only recently come to golfing prominence and for its Director of Golf , Stuart Hemmings. To win with three reserves in the team shows the depth of talent he has recruited and developed in a few years.
Four girls played in the event with both Rossall and Reed’s having girl players in their second pairs. Both played significant roles in their team’s success – the Ladies tees at Rye are well positioned so that the boys’ and girls’ best drives finish in the same area. I have no doubt that the change in the rules made a few years ago to play the girls from the Ladies tees was correct and we hope to see more girls take part in the future.
The other schools played for the Tankard on Rye’s nine hole Jubilee course, using the Scratch Stableford scoring system . Loretto won with 54 points, effectively level par from Whitgift with 47 and Tonbridge with 45. The Cup for the Best Pair went to Cameron Gray and Eilidh Henderson with a superb score of 21 points – three under par.
In the past ten years, seven different schools have now won this event which speaks volumes for the way golf has grown in HMC Schools. The players showed excellent sportmanlike qualities in facing the vagaries of foursomes match play golf. Having to deal with one’s own bad shots, a partner who might be struggling and the occasional lucky shot from the opposition all require a degree of fortitude and determination that make this such a wonderful format for golf.
Particular thanks must go to Jimmy James, the Rye Secretary who was so helpful in the planning and organisation of the event and the Rye Artisans Golf Club who provided a very congenial BarBQ on Monday evening. A highlight of the two days for both players and coaches was to experience the famous “Rye lunch” – not the usual snatched snack between rounds but a superb self-service lunch in Rye’s Dining Room. I would also like to thank the coaches for managing their teams so professionally, making sure that play proceeded smoothly round the course and for helping with starting.
Next year’s Finals will be held at Huntercombe Golf Club on Thursday 2nd and Friday 3rd July 2020.
Winners - Rossall: John Wilding, Dominic Barron Holden, Lea Dawson, Josh Hamnett, Charlie Ardron, Marc Prengel. Coach: Stuart Hemmings
Runners Up - Reeds: Thomas Hawke, Austin Gambel, Matthew Hawke, Axel Slijepcevic, Sasha Crockett, Skye Slijepceviv. Coach: Jimmy Wallis
Tankard – Loretto: Cameron Gray, Joseph Cookson, Eilidh Henderson, Timothy Chan, Archie Wyatt, Jonas Gebhardt. Coach: Rick Valentine
Barry Wild HMCFG Organiser
Some photos of the event can be viewed below. Click on a photo, click the arrow and then use the zoom on your device to view a slideshow.
Dates for your Diary
Monday 1st & Tuesday 2nd July 2019 HMC Foursomes National Finals Rye GC
Tuesday 8th October 2019 HMC Singles The Berkshire GC
Thursday 2nd & Friday 3rd July 2020 HMC Foursomes National Finals Huntercombe GC