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Champion start for Gooch

Gooch and Hill at 2008's Finals
Daily Mail
26 May 2009

HOLDERS Tony Gooch and Mark Hill are attracting plenty of attention as they look to defend their Daily Mail Foursomes title.

The pairing from Great Torrington in Devon, who lifted the men’s trophy at Marriott Dalmahoy last October, kicked off their defence after a first-round bye with a 2&1 victory over Brian Stevens and Ron Screech at Libbaton. Tony, 48, said: ‘We were a bit worried because we knew it was a really hard match for us and we wanted to give a good account of ourselves.

‘They knew they were playing last year’s winners and they had a big crowd following the match. There must have been 20 or 30 people watching them.’

It was a tough draw for the men’s champions as it paired them against last year’s Devon foursomes winner in the shape of Ron Screech.

In keeping with last year’s run to take the trophy, the Great Torrington pair did things the hard way in a match in which only one hole was halved. They were two up after seven holes but lost the next two to turn all square. They won the next three… but lost the three that followed to be all square again. But wins at the 16th and 17th took the reigning men’s champions into round three.

However, Tony and Mark, 43, dare not think of repeating their foursomes success in this year’s finals week at the Marriott Forest of Arden. Tony said: ‘We are still unbeaten in the Daily Mail tournament. But I do not like to talk about that really. We got through many close games last year and the one this year, but our luck is going to run out sooner or later.’

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