Nail-biter ends with Inverness player David Joel sealing long-awaited victory
THE NORTH DISTRICT ended 18 years of hurt after capturing the GolfKings Men's Area Championship for the first time since 2000 in dramatic style at Cawder. The side, comprising Lewis Reid, Chris Gaittens, Jeff Wright, Jordan Shaw, Kyle Godsman and David Joel, raced into a 3-0 lead after the opening session, winning all three foursomes matches against their opponents from the Fife Golfing Association.
However, with six points up for grabs in the afternoon singles session, Fife hit back to win the opening three matches courtesy of wins from James White, Greg Wishart and Andrew Davidson. The teams then traded a point apiece to make it 4-4 with wins for Scott Crichton (Fife) 4&3 over Reid and Gaittens (North) defeating David Mitchell Jnr 6&4. That meant it all came down to the match between Joel (North) and Fraser Carr (Fife), which went right down to the wire with Joel winning by one hole to help claim a 5-4 victory for his side. Speaking after his tie, match-winner Joel said:
"I was so nervous. It's bad enough when you're playing for yourself but, when it's a team event, it's so much more nerve-racking as you don't want to let the other guys down. It was nice to have two putts for it on the last and I dribbled it down safely. I don't think I would like to go through it again if I am honest."
Moray player Godsman added:
"It's a big honour to represent the North District and to come out as the winners is difficult to put into words. It was a close match and it always looked like it was going to come down to David's match. I am absolutely delighted that David managed to pull through for the team and get the win."
Peter Abbott, secretary of the North District, said: "I am very proud of the team today. We would like to congratulate Fife Golfing Association on a great tournament. They played very well and it was a tight game that went right down to the last putt on the last green.
"I would also like to thank Cawder Golf Club, who have been fantastic hosts. Cawder is a beautiful course with a beautiful clubhouse and we have all made a lot of friends this week. We look forward to coming back in 2020 to try and retain the trophy."