Teenagers oust Boxall and Cooper
Tim Glover sees the semi-final line-up settled in golf's Sunningdale Foursomes
Friday 29 March 1996
Reputations count for nothing. Yesterday morning, in the fourth round of the 55th Foursomes, Richard Boxall and Derrick Cooper, defending champions, were sent packing by a couple of teenagers. But then this championship, played by young and old, amateur and professional, male and female, prize rooster and feather duster, is a timely reminder that golf is perhaps the most humbling of sports.
Last Sunday the Australian Wayne Riley was being feted as the Portuguese Open champion in Lisbon, confirmation that he is now a serious contender following his victory in the Scottish Open at Carnoustie last summer. Riley, who won pounds 54,000 in Portugal, paid a modest entry fee to play in the Sunningdale Foursomes and yesterday he too shook hands with humility.
Riley, who has a house in Camberley, Surrey, partnered Gary Smith, the professional at Camberley Heath. Smith coaches Riley and Boxall so yesterday was not exactly the most memorable day of his career. Sean Whiffin, a professional from Enfield, and his amateur partner, Jeremy Jones, were four up after 12 holes before Riley and Smith, in tandem with pendulum putters, restored the balance.
The match went to extra holes and at the 20th Riley's 10-foot putt for victory bobbled alarmingly and kicked left. The end came at the 21st, the short par-four third, where Smith left his pitch shot woefully short and Jones chipped to within four feet of the flag, enabling his partner to win the hole and the match with a birdie three. Alas Smith and Riley.
Boxall and Cooper, seasoned campaigners on the European Tour, were given short shrift by a couple of amateurs not yet old enough to understand the coincidence of nerves with a four-foot putt. Luke Donald, 18, from Beaconsfield, and Michael O'Connor, 19, from Stoke Poges, were in receipt of two strokes from Boxall and Cooper but it was a superfluous advantage.
Donald and O'Connor won four of the first five holes and Boxall and Cooper were put out to grass at the 14th. The teenagers finished in style, Donald holing a 10-foot putt for an eagle three to secure a handsome 5 and 4 win. Donald and O'Connor took an even shorter cut, putting out Kenilworth's Warren Bladon and Gareth Jenkins 7 and 5 in the quarter-finals.
This morning Donald and O'Connor meet Whiffin and Jones in the semi-finals. In the other semi, the Scottish pairing of tour professionals Gillian Stewart and Julie Forbes play John Morgan and Mark Landrum. Stewart, a beaten finalist in 1987, has the assistance here this week of Ian Wright, the former caddie to Seve Ballesteros.
Stewart and Forbes were two down after two against Richard Hurst and Trevor Paterson and were one down playing the 16th. They won the hole with the benefit of a shot off the handicap and won the 18th and the match with a five to a six after their opponents had been bunkered. Humble pie was also on the supper menu.
Scores, Sporting Digest, page 31
Latest in Sport
Bath vs Saracens Premiership Final match preview: What time does it start and where can I watch it?
Hector Bellerin: How saying no to Barcelona paid off for Bellerin - and Arsenal
Paul Scholes column: With Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Fifa corruption live: Sepp Blatter tries to shift attention to Uefa and says he expects more from US investigators
David Gill rejects Fifa vice-president role after Sepp Blatter wins election because of the 'terribly damaging events' under his reign
- 1 Engineer pictured fixing plane's engine with 'duct tape' by concerned EasyJet passenger
- 2 Two-year-old says goodbye to bin man best friend
- 4 There is something wrong but very right about this Bible illustration
- 5 Remove smartphones from the hands of under-18s and maybe they will grow up to be less dumb
EU referendum: David Cameron's rules are a 'democratic disgrace', says French-born Scottish politician set to be denied a vote
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
A nation of inequality: How the UK is failing to feed its most vulnerable people
Australian man punched in the face for defending Muslim women from abuse on train
David Starkey 'tells Amal Clooney to shut up and stop over-promoting human rights'
£13500 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity for an i...
£14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity for the ...
£14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Full time Administrator/Secreta...
£16500 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the leading Mercedes-Ben...