The Northcliffe had a dramatic last gasp win against the Press Golfing Society in this year’s annual match.
Trailing 5 – 3 overnight after a very strong start by the PGS at the championship Ferndown course in Dorset, Match Captain Vyvyan Harmsworth and his son, Rupert, had a crucial half in their match to share the points with their very last putt.
Vyvyan denied that at any stage he used sandpaper during his round to improve the flight of his golf ball and it turn out that his match would be the deciding result with the Northcliffe winning by 8 ½ to 7 ½ points to retain the Lord Northcliffe Challenge Cup, won back last year at Woodhall Spa .
Having to leave early and unable to stay for the prize-giving denying that he had thoughts of having to hand over the trophy to the very strong PGS team, Northcliffe Captain Lee Terry stood in for Vyvyan at the prize-giving to receive the trophy from PGS Match Captain, BBC journalist Khalid Javid.
“Once again this has been a great couple of days. It has to be one of the most social events of our year, though when it comes to the actual golf, it’s always pretty serious although in a very friendly way” said Lee as he received the Trophy.
The Northcliffe turned around the PGS overnight 5 – 3 lead with their strong finish, preventing the efforts of the PGS to prise the trophy away. In the 22 years the match has been played, the score stands at 13 – 8 to the Northcliffe with one match halved.
The result may have been affected by one of the PGS players being unable to play on the second day, having been taken to hospital after falling down the stairs overnight at the Hotel. Despite a late reshuffle of their team and some tremendous scoring, they were unable to hold off the strong late challenge by the Northcliffe.
Next year’s match will take place at Hoylake which will be celebrating their 150th anniversary. The following year, it is planned the match will be played at Royal St. Georges, just before they host the Open Championship, with the second round the following day at Royal Cinque Ports.