BOV Malta vs. The Rest

Friday, September 27, 2013, 18:15

The BOV ‘Malta vs The Rest’ Tournament, one of the highlights of the golfing competition calendar organised by the Royal Malta Golf Club, was played between the 13th and 15th September.

This competition, made possible thanks to the kind support received by Bank of Valletta is our little island’s take on the renowned Ryder Cup, bringing together the 10 top ranked order of merit Maltese and non-Maltese RMGC members. In addition, the captain of every team picks two wild cards.

The trophy is a beautiful Wilkinson Sword that was presented to the Royal Malta Golf Club by the British Residents Association in 1973. The tournament has been held every year since then, with Malta winning the Sword 23 times, the Rest 14 and 3 matches halved.

Based on a format similar to the Ryder Cup, Malta has held its grip on the trophy for eleven consecutive years since 2002.

RMGC Club Captain John Fletcher, led his team which included Ian Macpherson, Paul Gray,Keith Woodward, Andy Holland, Danny Holland, Gernod Schmid, Quint van Beek, David Allsopp and Richard Crossley. Ingo Sausmekat and Simon Rattray were Fletcher’s chosen wild cards whilst Nigel Hall was appointed vice-captain for The Rest.

The opposing team consisting of Andy Borg, Victor Denaro, Stefan Borg Manduca, Bernard Bugeja, Bernhard Abele, Kim Borg, Michael Balzan, Alain Guillaumier, Ruud Critien and John Micallef, appointed William Beck as their non-playing captain who then added David Debono and Chris Lewis as wild cards plus Kenneth Micallef as vice-captain for Malta.

The first day foursome matches started well for The Rest who saw their youngest players Danny and Quint beat veteran Kim and his partner Ruud. Simon and Andy gave another win to The Rest against less experienced Alain and Chris whilst Gernod and Paul halved their match against David and Bernhard. The other three matches were won by Malta with Andy and Bernard, Victor and Michael, Stefan and John beating Keith and David, John and Ian,Richard and Ingo respectively. With two points for every match won and 1 point for every match halved, the result thus stood 7-5 for Malta at the end of day 1.

The Rest managed to even the score 12-12 at the end of the fourball matches that were played on the second day. Andy and Chris fought back to half their match against father and son Holland duo; whilst Ruud and Victor and Kim and John had comfortable wins against

Ian and David, Ingo and Richard respectively. Club Captain John playing alongside Simon registered a win against David and Bernhard, Quint and Keith won their match against Michael and Alain and Paul and Gernod won the other match against Stefan and Bernard.

So everything remained hinged on the 12 singles matches played on Sunday. Malta started well with Andy Borg grinding his way to tie his match with Ian Macpherson. The second match out was also won by Malta as Chris Lewis beat Keith Woodward. The Rest then proceeded to win five of the six following matches. Paul Gray won over Victor Denaro when the latter missed his putt on the 17th and then drove out of bounds on the last hole.

Andy Holland had a comfortable win over Bernhard Abele; Richard Crossley eventually turned the game around in his favour to beat David Debono; John Fletcher and Gernod Schmid secured wins over Michael Balzan and Alain Guillaumier respectively whilst Bernard Bugeja secured points for Malta by beating Ingo Sausmekat.

This left The Rest needing only one more win or two halved matches out of the remaining four to win The Sword. Danny Holland almost achieved this but Kim Borg fought back on the last two holes to tie their match. Malta’s hopes were then dashed when the youngest player in the field, Quint van Beek, rammed a putt on the 17th to win over Stefan Borg Manduca at a moment in time when Ruud Critien won his match against David Allsopp. The last match out,between John Micallef and Simon Rattray, had no bearing on the final result and, with the players laying all square on the 15th, the match was agreed as halved for a final result of 27 vs 21 in favour of The Rest.

The Sword was presented to the winning captain of The Rest at the end of the tournament by the losing captain of Malta. Both captains congratulated the players on their efforts and especially for the comradeship that prevailed throughout the three days of the competition.

This first win for The Rest since 2001 augurs well for next year’s edition when The Rest would need to maintain their control of The Sword whilst Malta tries to wrestle it back.




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