TheSocialGolfer.com, the online social networking community for golfers, held the TSG MatchPlay Championship Final (Sponsored by The Altonwood Group) at Westerham Golf Club, on Sunday 21st September 2014.
The finalists Mark Crane and Matt Taylor (both Kent based golfers) had spent the summer working their way through a field of 64 to secure their place at Westerham, having played six matches throughout the South East.
The match was full of up and downs with Crane – whose singing son has appeared on the X-Factor in recent years -proving that HE has it, finally claiming victory on the 16th hole after Taylor conceded to match 3 & 2.
The TSG MatchPlay Championship ran similarly to an FA Cup style knockout with participants arranging each round of matches at a course of their choice, with The Altonwood Group offering preferential green fees at its venues including Westerham, Woldingham and Surrey National throughout the summer for TSG members.
The game began nip and tuck over the first six holes with Taylor dropping a one shot lead on the 7th after having played the wrong ball, immediately resulting in the loss of hole. Crane capitalised on Taylor’s misfortune by taking a commanding lead into the back nine with a two shot advantage after the 10th. However, looking for his second TSG Major title this year, reigning TSG Masters Champion pulled back to within one shot after 12.
Many amateur golfers dream of what it’s like to play under such tense conditions, so it was time to see who could hold their nerve … Crane then dug deep and refocused and won two of the next three holes.
The game concluded when in real gentlemanly fashion, Taylor gave Crane his putt on 16 and the two shook hands.
With the light fading the other TSGers who had joined the finalists for the round, gathered to watch their new champion crowned. Taylor was magnanimous in defeat but Crane proved he was well worth his victory ….
Crane, commenting on his win said “Many thanks to The Social Golfer for all the time and energy they put into organising this competition, and for marshalling Matt and I throughout our final. Having a match referee was a new experience for me! I would also like to thank all my opponents for our enjoyable matches … we all watch golf on TV but now I know what’s really like to putt under pressure. I hardly slept last night thinking about the match and I couldn’t have played against a nicer guy!” Crane now qualifies for the 2015 TSG Masters at Warley Park.
Taylor, said “Thank you to Mark for making the matchplay final such a great event, despite coming runner up, hand on heart, I enjoyed every minute of it”
The competition ran from April 2014 with amateur golfers from all over the UK competing in the event. The organisers hope that the event will grow into a flagship competition for the innovative and forward thinking website, alongside its already established TSG Masters and the TSG Open Golf Day Championship, held annually in aid of disabled golf charity BALASA.org
Ian Mullins, owner of TheSocialGolfer.com said “Wow, what another fantastic event for TSG. The guys were such gentlemen throughout the game. I really take my hat off to them for coping under the pressure. And certainly Westerham proved to be a fitting venue for the final. Can’t wait for next year!”
By Ian Mullins