30 Nov Wentworth men’s team return victorious from The Mail on Sunday Classic Grand Final!
Heralded as one of the most prestigious national club competitions in golf, we are delighted to announce that the Wentworth Men’s Team are now the proud winners of the illustrious Mail On Sunday Classic trophy, courtesy of a 3-2 win against Middleton Hall from Norfolk.
It was a case of third time lucky for Wentworth, who were crowned men’s champions of The Mail on Sunday Classic after a thrilling last-hole, last-putt triumph over Norfolk club Middleton Hall.
The Surrey club have twice previously reached the Grand Finals and lost — in 1995 and 2000, when European Tour star Ross Fisher was in the side.
But on this occasion they were able to open the victory champagne after a tenacious fightback.
The match was decided when Leyton Hardwick rolled in the winning putt on the 18th green to beat Adam Lewarne and give Wentworth a 3-2 victory.
But the key to the win was the remarkable performance of Scott Bryan, 16 just two weeks ago, who won five holes in a row to turn a three-hole deficit into a 2&1 victory over Mark Butt.
Bryan is a member of the Wentworth Scholarship Programme — as was Fisher — which was introduced in 1991 to give local youngsters with potential the opportunity to develop their skills through the club’s facilities.
Tall and strong, comfortably able to hit the ball over 320 yards, Bryan was
three down at the ninth, but a sequence of three pars and two birdies turned that into a two-hole lead that he never lost. Wentworth captain Joe Gallagher, who caddied for Bryan, said: ‘There was a time on the front nine when we were down in four matches out of five and things did not look good. We had to turn things around and get the scoreboard moving our way, and young Scott did it for us.’
Bryan described the victory as: ‘Awesome. This is the biggest thing I’ve played in so far.’ Gallagher added: ‘We are all very proud of our Scholarship Programme and delighted when it can produce splendid young men like Scott. If he goes on to become a professional golfer that is great and we hope that happens.’
In glorious weather at El Rompido, Middleton Hall had taken the first point with Mike Thompson’s 3&2 win over Ed Spitzer, but Bryan’s win turned the tide and Alan Healy followed him home with a 2&1 victory over Anthony Stannard. Middleton’s Stuart Olley levelled the scores briefly at 2-2 with a 3&2 win over James Clark, until Leyton Hardwick, who had kept in control of his game against Adam Lewarne though the margin was never more than two holes, secured the victory on the 18th green and sparked excited celebrations.
‘I’m sure many people just think of Wentworth as a place where big professional tournaments are played, but we have a very enthusiastic group of amateurs, so to win this championship after trying for so long is magnificent,’ said Gallagher.
In the semi-finals, Wentworth had beaten Scottish champions Blairgowrie 3-2, while Middleton Hall had a 3½-1½ victory over another Surrey club, Cranleigh.