The East Riding Union of Golf Clubs Match-play Championship final was played at Ganton Golf Club on Sunday 19th September between Ryan Gray (25 years) from Driffield G.C. and Tommy Risker (17 years) from Scarborough South Cliff G.C. Caddying for Ryan was Sam Dillon, good golfer and Driffield member and for Tommy was Chris Smith, himself an outstanding player.
The weather and Ganton course were in perfect conditions when the 36 hole match started at 8-30.
Opening drives from both player missed the fairway, Tommy’s ball finding the left rough and Ryan’s the right. Both players found the green and holed out for a half. It was the 9th before they halved another hole. Ryan dropped a shot at the 2nd to lose the hole but birdied the 3rd to level the match. Tommy birdied the 4th to regain the lead and went further ahead when Ryan 3 putted at the par 3 fifth hole. The tough 448 yard 6th went in Tommy’s favour, Ryan bunkered his second shot to the green and failed to match Tommy’s par 4. Ryan’s wayward driving cost again at the 7th, from a difficult lie he found more trouble to the right of the green when he had to take a penalty drop and subsequently conceded the hole leaving Tommy 4 up. At this stage things looked ominous for Ryan, Tommy was playing a faultless game with Ryan struggling to find fairways off the tee. However, on the 8th Tommy blocked his drive right into the deep gorse and he had to take a penalty shot which eventually cost him the hole. Both players birdied the 9th making the match in Tommy’s favour by 3 holes. Birdies on the 10th and 11th took Tommy further ahead and after the 12th he had a commanding 5 hole lead.
The 13th hole saw a change in fortune and momentum from Ryan, after hitting two shots with his trusty 2 iron onto the green at this 535 yard hole he then holed his 20 yard putt for an eagle 3. This seemed to un-nerve Tommy and his accuracy off the tee changed, he uncharacteristically blocked drives at 14th and 15th, on both occasions the ball was lost and so the hole reducing his lead to 2 holes. The 16th proved equally troubling when Tommy’s drive hit a tree to the right of the fairway and not seen again, so another concession and his lead down to 1.A bogey 4 for Tommy at the tough par 3 17th saw the match back to all square. Two 4’s from both players on the 18th left the match all square and hanging in the balance.
The second round began with Ryan hitting a magnificent drive well over 300 yards leaving him just a short pitch to the green, Tommy’s opening drive left him some 200 yards from the green but he did manage to recover to achieve a par which Ryan could only match. The 2nd proved to be troublesome for Ryan yet again when his bogey 5 gifted the hole to Tommy. Whilst playing the 3rd the forecasted rain hit, in a very short time the 3rd green was beginning to flood and it was touch and go if play could continue. The deluge did relent and the flooded greens soon cleared.
The heavy rain seemed to affect Tommy more than Ryan when Tommy had to concede the 3rd hole after visiting two bunkers. Both players birdied the 4th and parred the 5th, so all square at this stage. Tommy went ahead at the 6th when Ryan bunkered his shot to the green. By now Ryan had regained confidence with his driver and on the 7th his fairway splitting, 300+ yards drive left him with a short chip to the green, whilst Tommy was trying to recover from a poor drive which found him in the deep rough. The 8th and 9th holes were halved leaving the match all square after 27 holes.
The 10th hole saw Ryan take the lead for the first time in the match when he holed his 20 foot for birdie. Pars for both on the 11th & 12th meant the match was still just one hole in Ryan’s favour. The 13th hole proved again to be pivotal in this match, with both players finding the fairway, Ryan was first to play, his 3 wood shot to the green set off way right towards the deep punishing gorse, Tommy’s shot left him on the fairway some 100 yards short of the green. Ryan’s ball was found and he proceeded to hit magnificent shot to the green leaving him some 25 foot from the pin which he then holed for a birdie, when Tommy failed to hole his birdie attempt Ryan was two up. A bunkered tee shot from Tommy down the long 15th cost him another hole and consequently 3 down and dormy in the match. A half in four down the 16th left Ryan the winner by a margin of 3&2.
The Match-play Championship Salver was presented to Ryan by the East Riding Union President Mr. John Chambers.
Hull’s juniors capped a successful season by winning the East Riding Junior League Trophy on Sunday 19 September at Ganton.
Having topped the group stage of the competition, Hull were joined by Burstwick and Cottingham at a tough Ganton course which proved an extremely difficult test for all nine players.
Junior Captain Will Storr, Jacob Hodgson and George Clark defended the trophy last played for in 2019 with a stableford total of 79 points off punishing white tees and four holes of torrential rain! Cottingham would have pipped Hull to the title had it not been for one of their players signing for a wrong score.
Some excellent golf has been played throughout the summer by all five teams involved. Hopes are high that more clubs will enter next year.
Having clinched the League Championship on the previous weekend, the Men's Team were looking for another trophy by winning the Team Championship on home turf. When Hornsea was chosen as the host club in 2019, it was thought that the team would comprise mainly of players from that club but circumstances dictated that, two years later, none of those players was available. Only Steve Uzzell, who had regained his amateur status in 2021 and former member Mark Lamb had local knowledge, whilst last minute substitute, 17 year old Will Storr, had never played the course before.
Steve Uzzell (Hornsea) hit the opening tee shot at 7.00 am and was back in the clubhouse by 10.45 with a creditable 1 under par 71. Meanwhile, Mark Lamb (Ganstead Park) had one of those rounds to forget and was decidedly downcast with his 80 but Will Storr (Hull) breezed round in level par 72, under the tutelage of non-playing captain Andy Lockwood. Shot of the day was his recovery from the trees at the par 4 ninth, holing out for an eagle 2!
Next to record a score was Steve Lynch (Boothferry) with a 1 over par 73, whilst the best score of the Championship came from 16 year old Tommy Risker (Ganton), who found the greens much to his liking with a 5 under par 67. The final morning score was that of Jamie Gregory (Ganton) with an excellent 1 under par score of 71.
East Riding's total of 434 put them in the halfway lead, 2 shots ahead of Sheffield on 436 - and 10 shots ahead of York on 444.
As a cool northerly began to blow in the afternoon, giving the course some teeth, Uzzell added a level par 72 to his morning 71 for a total of 143. Lamb, still struggling with his game, improved to a 77, whilst Storr could not match his morning form and carded a 77 for a total of 149. Lynch, who “couldn't hole a putt all day”, still managed to knock it round in level par 72 for a 145 total.
Unfortunately for Risker, his exceptional early scoring did not continue as he transposed his morning 67 into an afternoon 76 to give a total of 143, whilst Gregory ended the day with, what he hoped would be a title winning birdie on the last for a closing 73 and a level par total of 144.
East Riding's afternoon total of 447 was 13 strokes poorer than its morning tally and this would prove decisive as Sheffield only suffered a 6 stroke deficit to 442, which gave them a winning margin of 3 strokes, 878 to East Riding's 881. Halifax/Huddersfield were a distant third on 897 with York fourth on 902. Teesside did not participate as they were unable to field six eligible players.
An air of disappointment and frustration hung over the team throughout the presentation ceremony on what was so near yet so far. The cold light of day was somewhat different. League Champions for only the fourth time and Larard Trophy winners as the Team Championship runners-up was an excellent return for the 2021 season's efforts.
The various awards were presented by Yorkshire Union President Cameron Thomson and East Riding Union President John Chambers. East Riding's Secretary John Illingworth acted as Master of Ceremonies and Championship Committee “fixer”, whilst East Riding Past Presidents, John Deeming was senior referee with Howard Palmer and Stephen Larard acting as starters.
Finally, thanks from the East Riding Union to Hornsea Golf Club for the use of its facilities, with special mention to Yvonne Wright and Richard Pace of Wright Golf Services, Jonny & Emma Hanson for the excellent catering and to Gareth Williams and his team for setting a challenging but fair course.
The Under 18's took a strong team to Yorkshire Golf's showpiece event - the 6-man team to Crosland Heath in Halifax/Huddersfield Union.
The East Riding got off to a great start with Captain George Clark shooting a 2 over par 73, only for Jacob Hodgson to perform even better for a level par 71. Our other team members performed well with Tommy Risker (76), Luke Thornton (79), Will Storr (76) and Tom Benson (80) meant room for improvement going into the 2nd round.
Into the afternoon and leading the East Riding out with a 9 was Tommy Risker to give the East Riding a shot at the victory, especially with Luke Thornton and Tom Benson improving on their morning rounds. Unfortunately the other half of the team did not quite repeat their morning performance and the East Riding had to settle for a team score of 455, the same as the mornings total.
Tommy Risker's excellent 2nd round score of 69 was enough to give him the prize for best 2nd round score...well done Tommy
Sheffield also equalled their morning round to give them victory by 15 shots. It has been great year for our u18's with 2nd place finishes in both the 6-man and inter-district league
Head PGA Professional
In a closely contested season, the ERU Men's Team have finished top of the league table for the first time since 2009. Their final day win over Bradford resulted in euphoric scenes in and around the Burstwick clubhouse as the team and its supporters celebrated the achievement.
East Riding went into the final match knowing that a win would secure the title unless Halifax Huddersfield won their match against Harrogate by a landslide. Both teams had won four games and halved their head-to-head three weeks earlier, with just one loss apiece. Sheffield were in with a shout to win the title, should the top two stumble and even Bradford had an outside chance. So a win was imperative and Captain Andy Lockwood's rousing pre-match briefing will long be remembered by those present!
The team saw the return of Alan Wright, making his 201st appearance, paired in the foursomes with Mark Lamb (only 93 appearances) as they ran out 4&3 winners. At the other end of the age scale were Tommy Risker and Will Storr from the Under 18s squad securing a final hole win , whilst Nick Raybould, making his last appearance before turning pro, and Jamie Gregory romped home by 7&6. The other three games were lost by narrow margins, leaving the teams tied at lunch.
Foursomes score: East Riding 6, Bradford 6
As the afternoon wore on, the mood of the watching supporters changed from relaxed to nervous, then back to relaxed and finally to confident. The top three singles were all closely contested with the result of each being in the balance until late in the game. Bradford were eventually to take an overall lead with Raybould and Aaron Brettell both losing 3&2 whilst Steve Uzzell won by 2&1.
Gregory at number 4 looked to be well in control at 3up through 11 but was taken to the last to provide yet more nervous tension for his Captain. At this point, the scores were level but then the floodgates opened and it became a question as to who would win the all-important 19th point.
Games 5 to 8 all fell to East Riding. Lewis Nicholls, another veteran with 94 appearances, won by 5&4 whilst Risker needed one more hole to secure his victory. Wins for Andy Woodhead (2&1) and Wright (3&2) took the team to 18 points.
When Will Storr stepped onto the 16th tee 3 up with 3 to play, the win was assured and he would go on to close out his match 3&1. Attention then turned to what was happening on the far side of the county and when the result of the Halifax v Harrogate match came through at 24:12, the league title was won.
Steve Lynch and Leigh Gawley both managed to win their games on the final hole whilst Lamb succumbed by 2&1
Singles score: East Riding 18, Bradford 6
Overall score: East Riding 24, Bradford 12
What a season! From the disappointment of the narrow loss in the opening match against Sheffield, through the afternoon fightbacks against Leeds and Harrogate and the nerve-jangling tie with Halifax/Huddersfield, this team of 27 players and its non-playing Captain, Andy Lockwood have done the Union proud.
Steve Uzzell is Player of the year with 37 points. Jack Maxey & Leigh Gawley tied for second place with 28 points, Tommy Risker, Steve Lynch & Lewis Nicholls have 27 and Jamie Gregory has 26.
ERU Men's Team Support
Congratulations to Tommy Risker of Scarborough South Cliff and Ryan Gray of Driffield Golf Club for winning their Semi Finals to reach the 2021 ERUGC Matchplay Final at Ganton!
The Final between
Tommy Risker and Ryan Gray
is to be played over 36 holes at
Ganton Golf Club
Sunday 19th September 2021
1st Round Tee Off at 8:30am
2nd Round tee off at 1:30pm
Spectators are welcome
After a very successful year in the YIDU Under 18's League, the East Riding team finished second in the table with just one blemish in on the card.
It was a fantastic season and the lads did a brilliant job of getting the Union six wins from seven matches. They should all be very proud!
The u18's travelled to Catterick GC in Teesside to play their last game of a hugely successful season. The match was a dead rubber, with the league already decided, but pride was high on the agenda along with the chance to blood new players in preparation for next season
The more experienced players were split up to give guidance and support to the new members and it gave the East Riding chance to experiment with some pairings for next year. The new pairings worked out extremely well with the East Riding taking an 8-4 lead into lunch with comfortable victories from Luke Townhill (playing high up the order and in only his 2nd game), Harry Mukerjea (debutant) and Bobby Beasley and Erjan Kuzu in the anchor match
The singles got off to the best possible start with experienced campaigners Tommy Risker and Tom Benson both claiming 2 points apiece to put East Riding in touch of victory. A small middle order wobble left the lower order to shine with the East Riding taking 11 from a possible 14 points. Luke Townhill, Ewan Mackenzie, Bobby Beasley and Harry Mukerjea all claiming wins which will stand them in good stead for next year. East Riding running out victors by a score of 25-11
It serves as a fitting send off to those who are leaving the u18's set up this year with Captain George Clark, Tom Benson, Jacob Hodgson, Will Storr, Harry Rogers, Harry Anderson and Marcus Moore who have all contributed. Not only have they contributed points on the course, but have served as great ambassadors to the East Riding and to their fellow u18's.
In the player of the year competition, Captain George Clark just beat Will Storr by a solitary point. 3rd place went to Tommy Risker.
East Riding Under 18s Team Manager
The tee times for the ERUGC President's day on Friday 24th September at Hull Golf Club have now been drawn.
This is a 3-tee start to optimise the Clubhouse experience for both the meal and Prize-giving. Meals will be served in 4s on completion of your round and at Registration (in the Proshop) guests will be asked if they require a Vegetarian option to the main meat course. Prize-giving is expected to take place around 3:30. There will be prizes for the top 3 team scores, together with donated raffle prizes drawn against tickets issued to you on Registration.
We are limited to 30 teams and therefore my apologies if you have missed out, but no further entries can be accepted although please let me know if you wish to be placed on a Reserve List pending last-minute cancellations.
The East Riding u18's went into their penultimate match against York just days after the disappointing loss to Leeds. Changes were made to rest key players with the upcoming 6-man team event just around the corner. This gave valuable playing time to future members of the team.
The morning foursomes fell the way of the East Riding by 7 points to 5 thanks to some great golf from experienced campaigners Luke Thornton, George Clark, Tom Benson and Will Storr. A special mention to Tom and Will as they shared their vast experience with Ewan Mackenzie and debutant Alfred Anderson.
In the afternoon singles York, on paper, York got off to a fast start by winning the first 3 matches. However, such was the margin of victory for the East Riding in matches 4-9 they were off the course before the first 3. 6-hole victories from Luke Thornton, Harry Rogers, Will Storr and Cooper Beck sealed the victory before Ewan Mackenzie (8&7) and Alfred Anderson (5&4) put the icing on the cake
In the player of the year, Captain George Clark maintains his grip on the title, but the gap has closed slightly. Only Will Storr can catch him as Luke Thornton will be away for the East Riding final match against Teesside at Catterick
The East Riding u18's team travelled to Darrington Golf Club in the Leeds Union for their 5th match of the season. As it stood before the match, Leeds were the league leaders having won all 6 of their matches. The East Riding, having played 4 and won 4 were the only realistic challengers to Leeds, which would effectively make this a championship decider.
The East Riding got off to the best possible start with a victory in the top foursomes match with Captain George Clark and Tommy Risker bring home the first points of the day with a 4&3 victory. That would prove to be the East Ridings only points of a disappointing morning with the Leeds Union taking a 10-2 lead into lunch.
A mountain needed to be climbed in the afternoon with the 'Miracle at Mid-Yorkshire' touted about. The East Riding gained momentum early on with 3 wins in the first 4 matches but the momentum stalled with a couple of losses and a half. This put Leeds on the verge of the victory, but a couple more wins from the East Riding asked a question of the Leeds team. Sadly for the East Riding it was not to be as they fell to a 24-12 loss and end their hopes of lifting the Yorkshire Inter-district League
In the player of the year competition, Captain George Clark is leading from the front and with changes expected for the more senior players it looks like it is Georges to lose. He has a 4-point lead over Tommy Risker and a 6-point lead over Tom Benson.