02 Aug 2022
BROTHERS Clint and Gordon Maxwell are proving to be hot shots on their debut in The Daily Mail Foursomes after becoming the first pair to reach the last 32 writes Cara Sloman. The siblings from Clober in Scotland are in blistering form in the world’s largest amateur golf competition after chalking up some emphatic wins. The duo made short work of their sixth round tie beating Larkhall’s Scott Gillespie and Kevin Murdoch 6&5 at home when Clint sunk a 30 foot birdie putt to wrap up the match. ‘We came right out of the traps,’ said an excited Clint, 41. ‘We never really gave them a chance.’ The duo fired an eagle at the tenth and three birdies on route to victory on the course designed by George Lyle, the uncle of Open and Masters champion Sandy Lyle who is the club’s Honorary President. There is one more knock-out match to negotiate if they are to be among the last 16 men’s and women’s teams heading to Mariott St Pierre in October. The brothers have been playing golf since they were both five or six and Clint added: ‘We’re absolutely buzzing for this tournament. It’s unbelievable. It’s all we have been talking about. How we need to keep going. ‘Gordon hits it good and we kind of gel. Fingers crossed we can go over the line - that would be amazing. It would be a great experience. Bring it on.’
25 Jul 2022
FORMER England cricket internationals Janet Tedstone and Linda Burnley are still in the hunt to make a hat-trick of appearances in the grand finals of The Daily Mail Foursomes, writes Cara Sloman. Both Tedstone, who played 12 Test matches and 38 One Day Internationals for England, and Burnley, who was a wicketkeeper for Yorkshire and also played in a One Day International, reached the grand finals in 2010 and 2019 for Willow Valley. Once again the duo are closing in on a place in October’s showdown at Marriott St Pierre after they knocked out Heather Benson and Alison Graham from Yorkshire rivals Huddersfield Fixby 4&2 at home to reach the last 64. ‘I think somehow we are able to dig in when it matters because the competition means so much for ourselves,’ said a thrilled Burnley. ‘It was a tough game. One of those where we had to grind it out really. The score flattered us a little bit. We’re just pleased to get it in the bag.’ As well as being naturally competitive Burnley credits the club for their success. She said: ‘It was established 30 years ago and it was always set up with everything equal for all members, so it was way ahead of its time. ‘We are always playing with and against men in large fields, so I think that has made us quite resilient and accustomed to battling hard for success in golf. When we look back we are quite grateful for the vision of the club at that time and what it meant we were able to do with our golf and it makes us quite proud to represent Willow Valley.’ The pair need to continue their winning form through two more rounds if they are to be one of the last 16 women’s and men’s pair competing for the coveted trophies at the grand finale of the world’s largest amateur golf competition. Burnley added: ‘It gets tougher and tougher as it goes on. If we could make it to the finals again we would be absolutely over the moon, but we are aware we’ve got some work to do first and it won’t be easy.’
18 Jul 2022
COED-Y-MWSTWR’S Simon Lake and Rob Wallace needed to conquer their nerves in an action-packed rollercoaster clash to snatch a place in the last 64 of the Daily Mail Foursomes, writes Cara Sloman. The duo got off to an inauspicious start going three down after three to South Wales rivals Pat Walsh and Huw Vaughan from Brynhill, but bounced back to lead two up heading down 17. 'This is where it started to go badly wrong,' said Lake, who missed 18-inch putt on the 17th after the visitors sunk a 20 footer which ensured the match would go down the last. More errors there meant the four men walked off the 18th green all square. With the rain now pouring the home pair managed to fend off the comeback to secure a dramatic victory at the second extra hole when Wallace sank a three-foot putt for a par. A relieved Lake admitted: ‘I don’t think I have ever been so nervous. I felt sick. We were in pieces because we messed up big time. ‘It was a crazy game. Even the weather got involved at the end. It was a tough match with lots of twists and turns. It's one I will remember forever. ‘I enjoy foursomes. There is no hiding place. The pressure is on you. You don’t want to let your partner down, which is why I felt so sick on 17th.’ The pair hope they can follow in the footsteps of clubmates Gareth Summerton and Andrew Hill who reached the grand finals of the world's largest amateur golf competition in 2017. Lake stressed: 'It is getting harder and harder. Let’s hope we can do it. It would be a great few days.’ The last 16 men’s and women’s pairs will head to Marriott St Pierre in October to compete for the coveted trophies.
12 Jul 2022
STEVE WOOD and Dave Camm produced a brilliant fightback as Stoke by Nayland reached the last 64 of The Daily Mail Foursomes at a windswept Thorpeness, writes Cara Sloman. The retired police officers from the Colchester club were four down at the turn to Richard Weaver and Ian Thornton after a shaky start but in an incredible turnaround found themselves one up going down the last after Camm had rolled in a 15-foot birdie putt at the 17th. Despite having all the momentum there was one last twist with Thorpeness nicking the 18th to take the tie into extra holes. Wood then needed to sink a ten-foot putt to keep their hopes alive at the 19th and followed this by unleashing an astounding four iron into the wind to within six inches of the hole at the par three second extra hole to decide the match. ‘That was a battle and a half,’ said a delighted Wood. ‘We won it with a career four iron for me. That was what we had to do to win it. ‘To go to Thorpeness, which is one of the toughest courses around here and win away from home was no mean feat. ‘To hole a ten-foot putt on the first extra hole and to have nearly an ace on the second extra play-off hole was sublime. I’m not going to forget that for a while.' The clubmates are closing in on a place in October’s showdown at Marriott St Pierre, where the last 16 men’s and women’s pairs will compete for the coveted trophies in the world’s largest amateur golf tournament. Wood said: ‘We’re enjoying the run and hoping it may continue. Dave quite enjoys foursomes. In a sadistic way, so do I. There are just the two rounds left, but these are always the hardest.’ It could be double joy for the club as women’s pair Clare Nixon and Katie Clark are also through to the sixth round after beating Amanda Rollings and Lynne Southgate one up at Colne Valley.
05 Jul 2022
WHITBY’S Karen Fellows and Janet Sherrard-Smith raced into the last 64 of The Daily Mail Foursomes with an impressive win at Seaton Carew, writes Cara Sloman. The in-form visitors looked to be coasting to victory on the links course near Hartlepool when they went three up after eight. They then successfully fended off a fightback from Marion Griffiths and Gloria West wrapping up the tie 3&2 after winning the 16th with a par to become one of the first clubs into the sixth round. ‘It was tough,’ said Fellows, who had never played the course before and has returned to playing after a back injury. She added: ‘We seemed to have the measure of the putting. The greens were beautiful and certainly worked for us.’ Fellows is the county junior organiser for Yorkshire and has been receiving congratulatory messages from the youngsters. She said: ‘I’m very supportive of the kids and they support us. You get messages from them saying: 'Well done miss, you’ve done really well.’' The pace is hotting up now in the world’s largest amateur golf competition, as the pairs only need to win two more matches to secure a place in October’s showpiece event at Marriott St Pierre in Chepstow. Fellows is also director of golf and chairman of the board at Whitby and is savouring the good run. She said: ‘I know a lot of people don’t like foursomes. They feel they don’t get into their rhythm, but I really do enjoy it. I like being able to work with somebody else. My partner Janet and I really gel quite well. ‘Previously I got to the fifth round, but lost. We’re aiming to get all the way if we can. It creates a buzz at the club when teams are doing well.’
28 Jun 2022
ROYAL MID-SURREY’S Liz Webster and Bev Mayes won an epic struggle at Coombe Wood to reach the fifth round of The Daily Mail Foursomes, writes Cara Sloman. The visitors could not let their concentration slip as they were giving their opponents 22 shots, but the friends reigned supreme beating Catherine Sunderland and Sherin Dhanji two up. ‘We knew it was a big ask to give so many shots on an away course, so as you can imagine we are absolutely thrilled to have won,’ said a relieved Webster after the closely fought tie. She admitted they breathed a sigh of relief when they were all square after the 15th which was the final hole they had to give two shots on. She added: ‘Neither of us are ever going to forget that match. It was very exciting. The ladies we were playing were lovely and it was all played in good spirits.’ The Surrey club which is located close to the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew is celebrating its 130th anniversary in 2022 and the pair were delighted to take another step closer to the October showdown at Marriott St Pierre. Webster said: ‘There’s still a long way to go, but we’ll be trying our best. Foursomes is great fun and one of the formats that we both look forward to playing. It’s a nice team format.’
27 Jun 2022
FATHER and son pair Dougie and Graham Barr are making a determined charge on their debut in The Daily Mail Foursomes after booking Gleddoch a place in the fifth round with a resounding win over Skelmorlie, writes Cara Sloman. The Scottish pair won the first and were never down on their home course, going four up after ten before wrapping up the match with a birdie to beat Michael Dorrian and Robert Bain 5&3. A four-time club champion Graham, 29, said: ‘We were pretty solid. In the 15 holes we had ten or 11 pars and a birdie, which in foursomes is pretty steady. I had a bit more distance than the other guys. That helped us a bit.’ Dougie, 56, has been a member at Gleddoch for 40 years and first took Graham there when he was nine. Now his son, who is hoping to compete in the Scottish Amateur in July, would love them to make it all the way to the October grand finals at Marriot St Pierre. Graham said: ‘We definitely would like to keep this run going. It would be good fun to do it with dad. ‘We seem to work pretty well together because he’s off 11 or 12 and I’m off between one and two, so it is a decent combination. We sometimes blame each other for sticking each other in a bush, but we don’t often fall out.’ Graham is a director at the Scottish Championship football club Greenock Morton and also works for Scottish Golf. ‘Sport is a big part of my life. Work, pleasure or voluntary, it is sport pretty much the whole way,’ he said.
13 Jun 2022
PERTHSHIRE club Blair Atholl are enjoying a double-pronged assault on the Daily Mail Foursomes after they became the first club to have both their men’s and women’s pairs reach the fifth round, writes Cara Sloman. Father and son duo Ian and Kyle Walker are representing the nine-hole parkland course with pride after only taking up golf just two years ago during lockdown. In the last round they triumphed 4&2 at Killin, knocking out Daniel Knecht and Richard Lewis. Meanwhile, Kay Fleming and Janette Kennedy beat local rivals Caroline Henderson and Susan MacDougall 3&2 at Aberfeldy. Ian said: ‘We’re not a very big club. The further we can get the better. We would like to do well for the club.’ He added the pair are gaining a lot of valuable experience by taking part in the competition. ‘Kyle’s not wanting to make a mistake and I’m not wanting to make a mistake. He’s thinking a lot more and it’s helping him. It’s a good format,’ said Ian, 50. Meanwhile Fleming added: ‘The Daily Mail Foursomes is something that people look forward to. The people we’ve played against we’ve known quite well, so it has been very sociable with some good local rivarly.’ They both have three more rounds to negotiate if they are to reach the October showdown held at Marriott St Pierre.
06 Jun 2022
MERLIN’S Polly Thomas is enjoying a dream run on her debut in The Daily Mail Foursomes with Bridie O’Hagan after they comfortably beat West Cornwall to earn a spot in the fifth round, writes Cara Sloman. The duo were one down after seven to Debbie Sedgeman and Kim Pellow on the heathland course which sits on the north Cornwall coast near Padstow, before taking control and wrapping up the tie 4&2 when O’Hagan sunk a three-foot putt for par. The pair never imagined they would still be in with a chance of reaching the October finals at Marriott St Pierre, as Thomas has only been playing the sport for just over a year and O'Hagan has returned after taking a break. ‘Polly was at a different club and I dragged her over to join Merlin. We thought we would give it a go as we had nothing to lose. We get shots for Polly and I’ve got the golfing knowledge. The mix and match works well,' said O'Hagan, who is also the club's manager. It is proving to be a successful summer for O'Hagan as she has also just been selected for the county first team. She added: 'So far it has been good. My aim is to play for the county and we would love to keep this run going for the club and see how far we can get. We're enjoying it and play for fun.'
31 May 2022
BROTHERS Andrew and Jonathan Tolman staged a stirring comeback to snatch a place for Brighton and Hove in the fourth round of The Daily Mail Foursomes and now have their sights firmly set on reaching the grand finals, writes Cara Sloman. The Sussex siblings were never up in their match against Singing Hills until the third extra hole when they beat Nigel Asplin and Thomas Smith with a par. ‘It is the best game we have ever played in,’ said Andrew, 37, who hopes they can keep the momentum going as they aim to be one of the last 16 men’s and women’s pairs who will head to Marriott St Pierre in October to compete for the coveted trophies. Laughing, Andrew added: ‘It was one of those games where we said if we come through this, it will be one we always remember and will be laughing about at the final.’ The home pair were feeling as gloomy as the thundery weather when they went four down after six. But they clawed it back to two down with three to play and then Jonathan chipped in for a vital birdie at the 16th to make it one down. The 34-year-old then holed a ten-foot putt to keep them in the match, before Andrew continued the fightback by sinking a 20-foot downhill putt from off the green to level the match and take them into extra time. Andrew said: ‘Being brothers we get on really well. Foursomes is a team event, which you don’t always get in golf. We gel well together and have similar games. It would be great to get to St Pierre.’
24 May 2022
MARCH’S Emma Athow revels in a sporting challenge and the Daily Mail Foursomes is proving to be just that, writes Cara Sloman. The club champion and partner Gail Arnold faced their toughest test yet in the world’s largest amateur golf tournament when they took on Cambridgeshire rivals Anne Edwards and Jennifer Wood at Thorney Lakes as they had to give their opponents a 17-shot advantage. Despite this the visitors were undeterred and went on to win 2&1, shooting one birdie and eight pars to book a spot in the fourth round. Athow, off seven, stressed: ‘We knew that we could not afford to get in any trouble and we just had to play steady all the way round and not take too many chances. That was the hardest match so far.’ They got off to a flying start going three up after three, but Athow admitted they were worried when the home side started to come back and their lead was whittled down to just one up after 15. She said: ‘We were thinking ‘Blimey we’ve gone all this way and they are going to come back and beat us on the last hole.’’ But they need not have worried, as they succeed to close out the match when they parred the 17th, which was the only hole they were not giving a shot on. Athow added: ‘We’re enjoying it. It’s a very different format to what we normally play. We take each game as it comes.’ This year’s finals will take place at Marriott St Pierre, which has hosted the Solheim Cup and British Masters, in Chepstow, South Wales.
11 May 2022
MORECAMBE’S Curtis Wood is dreaming of following in his sister Ashleigh’s footsteps by reaching the grand finals of The Daily Mail Foursomes, after he and his dad, Paul charged into the fourth round, writes Cara Sloman...
10 May 2022
FORMER England hockey international Sue Holwell drew on her big game experience to capture The Daily Mail Foursomes title for Lingdale with partner Barbara Suffolk, writes Cara Sloman. The Leicestershire duo were one of more than 3,000 pairs who set out in pursuit of one of the biggest prizes in amateur golf way back in February 2020. And finally, after a 12-month Covid-enforced suspension and the postponement of the finals last October because of torrential rain, Holwell and Suffolk have at last got their hands on the coveted trophy after winning at Slaley Hall. A delighted Holwell, 59, who represented England at the 1986 World Cup in Holland, said: ‘I do enjoy the pressure and performing at that sort of level. I played at the old Wembley five times. Obviously in hockey you’ve got ten other players you can rely on. In this instance it was just me and my partner.’ The friends have been playing together for nearly ten years and convincingly beat mother and daughter Nichola and Irene Hamilton from Whitecraigs, 6&5 in the semi-final. They had to give ten shots in the final and were taken all the way to the last green before they could finish off Sherborne’s Claire Woolley and Carol-Anne Raisbeck, winning two up. Holwell, off five, added: ‘We’re just thrilled. It’s the best thing we’ve done in golf. We’re still buzzing. It means everything. The trophy has pride of place in the club house and the reception we’ve had has been phenomenal.’ Meanwhile next-door neighbours and best mates Gavin Aris and Darren Welsh are still in shock after conquering their nerves to lift the trophy for Hellidon Lakes in the men’s competition. The Northamptonshire pair came through a roller-coaster semi-final beating Birch Grove’s Adam Trigg and Jordan Rollafson two up in testing windy conditions. They settled down in the final, getting off to a flying start against Richard Stedman and James Dewhurst from Upton by Chester going four up after nine before triumphing 3&2. Aris, 54, was not expecting to see his daughter Hope, 20, supporting them as she is studying at university in Leeds. He said: ‘It made me emotional seeing her there. She gave me hope. We felt very in control of the final even if we made it a bit heavy weather at the end. ‘It’s incredible. It still has not sunk in. When you think about how many people start at their clubs, you can’t believe you end up top. Anybody in the semi-finals would have been worthy of winning it. It’s nice to have done this for the club. ‘It most definitely the biggest achievement. We’re a really strong foursomes partnership. We often joke we’re better as a pair than as individuals. We can all learn a lot of lessons from foursomes golf.’
09 May 2022
WOMENS SEMI FINALS SHERBORNE – Claire Woolley (17), Carol-Anne Raisbeck (16) bt WEYBROOK PARK Sue Gale (8), Janet Swift (20) 2&1 LINGDALE – Sue Holwell (5), Barbara Suffolk (8) bt WHITECRAIGS – Nichola Hamilton (13), Irene Hamilton (28) 6&5 MENS SEMI FINALS UPTON by CHESTER – Richard Stedman (4), James Dewhurst (4) bt EDZELL – Will Bremner (+3), Mark Haggerty (9) 1up HELLIDON LAKES – Gavin Aris (6), Darren Welsh (7) bt BIRCH GROVE – Adam Trigg (3), Jordan Rollafson (5) 2up WOMENS FINAL LINGDALE bt SHERBORNE 2up MENS FINAL HELLIDON LAKES bt UPTON by CHESTER 3&2