THE Inter-Company golf and tennis tournament in Portugal was an outstanding success, with a new golf competition and the appointment of a new vice-President of the Northcliffe Golfing Society.
Originally scheduled for 2020 but delayed because of covid, the weekend was finally given the go-ahead as travel restrictions were lifted. .
President of the Northcliffe Golfing Society, Lord Rothermere, was able to attend and captained a “Chairman’s” team against a “Northcliffe” team led by Vere Harmsworth.
Instead of a competition between six teams, the golf format was changed to a “Ryder Cup” style match and despite a fight-back after losing the first round, it was the Northcliffe that claimed the Viscount Rothermere Cup as the overall weekend champions.
The first day was practice at the intimidating West Cliffs course, where so many players saw their golf balls disappear into the surrounding undergrowth of the nature reserve never to be seen again.
The competition started the following day in head-to-head matches at the challenging Royal Obidos course, with the second round at Praia del Raia with spectacular views of the sea.
There was a clear cut 8 – 2 victory for the “Northcliffe” team, winning the “Associated Newspapers Cup” for the most stableford wins in the first round.
The Harmsworth/Mulchrone Trophy for the pairing with the highest stableford points was won by Mick Cooper and Ben Mason with 42 points. Close up in second was Lord Rothermere and Neil Darbyshire with 41pts and Luke Turner and Lauren Dick in third with 38pts.
The first round trophies were presented at a Gala Dinner with both the golf and tennis players joining together with prizes presented by Lord Rothermere.
Lisa Heywood received the Ian Wooldridge Trophy, awarded for Corinthian fair play on the golf course so typified by the Daily Mail legendary sports columnist during the year.
The JAK trophy reflecting the enthusiasm on the golf course of the former Evening Standard’s cartoonist was presented to Lee Terry.
Champagne prizes in the “Nearest the Pin” competition at Royal Obidos were won by Will Clazie on the 3rd hole; Andy Guiton 6th; Alex Hicks 8th; Jayne Burden 13th and Nick Stevens 15th.
It was at the dinner, to loud applause and cheering that Lord Rothermere announced Northcliffe team Captain, Vere Harmsworth, would be taking on the role as the golfing society’s new vice-president.
On the second day at Praia del Rey it was the Chairman’s team that took the honours by 5 matches to 4 with one match halved, winning the Arthur Fuller Cup for the most match play wins.
But despite this fight back on the second day, the Northcliffe team won the overall trophy by 12 matches to 7 with one match halved.
Guy Zitter and Ian McIlgorm from the Chairman’s team had the biggest individual match play win with a 7 and 6 victory for the Vere Harmsworth Challenge Cup.
Champagne for “Nearest the Pin” at Praia del Rey was won by Brian Viner on the 3rd; Garth Burden the 8th and Alex Hicks the 14th.
At every tournament, the Mail’s award winning cartoonist MAC donates a golfing cartoon to be auctioned and this raised £3,200 towards society funds to help subsidise future golf fixtures.
The raffle raised over £400 and among the various items to win, tennis player Babs Feeney included tickets for the “Laver Cup” at the O2 in September and these were won by golfer Clive Heard. Winners in the “Back the Winner” golf competition will be notified of payments when finalised.
It was a “double first” for the golfing society with five lady golfers playing and 10 ladies in the tennis competition outnumbering the men.
Announcing the tennis results, organiser Mark Wareham said in both the singles and doubles weekend tournaments, two first-time entrants, Jonas Hermans and Rosie Gladstone, carried off all the silverware.
As well as playing golf, Lord Rothermere, had managed a few sets of doubles with the tennis group between his golf rounds.
The tennis winners were: Jonas Hermans and Rosie Gladstone, Mixed Doubles Champions with Jacqui McCarron and Robert Jenkins, runners-up.
Rosie Gladstone, Women’s Singles Champion with Babs Feeney, runner-up
Jonas Hermans, Men’s Singles Champion with Charlie Muddyman, runner-up.