This is the event that all the resident Members really look forward to as the opportunity for those born in the Duchy to display their ethnic origins. There is stirring Cornish music in the clubhouse before play begins to increase the atmosphere and tension and those Members who are normally friends suddenly become distant of one another. Each side had 14 teams of 2 playing a Four Ball Better Ball Match play format and, as was instituted last year, each match played to the 18th and the team result was based on the total number of holes up. The sides looked magnificent in their team colours kindly donated by Coors / Sharps as they shaped up for golf on a very windy and at times wet day which did nothing to dampen the spirits.
For the first time probably ever the Club with a Cornish Captain and a “foreign” Vice Captain were the team leaders on the day. Captain Tony Rounsevell and Mike Roach set the tone in the opening match beating the strong team of Vice-Captain David Elliott and Matt Mills by 5 holes. A close 1 hole win by Mike Worden and Malcolm Knight for the Cornish over Simon Lewins and Julian Darnell was countered by a 3 hole victory for Derrick Daniels and Tuck Clagett for the Rest of the World to be followed by a crushing 6 hole whitewash (or should that be high quality Dulux Exterior Emulsion) by Russell Combellack and Kevin Brenton meant that after 4 matches the tally was Cornwall 12 Rest of the World 3.
We then witnessed the strangest result of the day with a real reverse for the locals with the 12, yes 12, hole win by Rich Lawrence and Steve Smith which put the outsiders in front by 3 holes; to save their Cornish blushes their opponents will remain unnamed (you owe me a drink for that Keith). Thereafter matches ebbed and flowed a bit but always with the Cornish edging further and further in front; strong wins for Cornwall were from Ben Chapman & John Westlake 6 up, and for the Rest of the World by Mark Jarvis & Kevin Parker 3 up and Kenton Williams & Kevin Francis 5 up. Spare a thought for poor Keith Willmott who only went down by 5 holes holding off the marauding hordes of Trelawneyites single handed – where was his partner?
The final score was Cornwall 29 Rest of the World 24 which looks close but if the Lawrence / Smith 12 points are discounted a score of 29 to 12 makes sorry reading for the ex-pats. Under the old format the score probably would have been 8 ½ to 5 ½ which looks much better! As usual the locals enjoyed the spoils of victory with free wine to go with the excellent meal so they all went home happy. As for the downtrodden foreigners far from their ancestral homes there is only hope and next year.