I spent Saturday afternoon on Old Conna golf course in Bray, supporting my cousins in the final of the Barton Cup, the biggest golf competition in Leinster. Or so I’m led to believe. About it being the biggest, I mean; I’m sure about where I was and what I was doing.
The competition had a certain historical importance to it. My grandfather and his brother were the pair that won the Barton Cup for Royal Dublin in 1946. Sixty years later, another pair of Coghlan brothers played in the final for the same club.
Having not lost a single match in the entire competition, they were expected to do quite well. Royal Dublin were already 4-1 up from the first leg of the final, so they only needed two wins from the five matches. My cousins went out fourth and led by a narrow margin for most of the match. They were two up going onto the seventeenth hole, so their opponents needed to win both remaining holes.
The first two pairs had already finished, with Royal Dublin having got the first of the two wins they needed to take the cup. It came down to our guys only needing to draw on one of theur remaining holes.
Which they did, on hole seventeen. They actually won by getting close enough to the hole that their opponents gave them a gimme, so they didn’t get the satisfaction of sinking the last ball.
It wasn’t quite as spectacular as the 1946 final is said to have been. That one went to a sudden death tie-breaker which my grandfather won with a chip in from off the green from about eight miles away. That may have been slightly exaggerated.
So watch out, whoever plays that final in 2066. You’re in for some difficult competition.
I have some photos up on Flickr.