World Number One Basil Beaver badly wants a win here to be the first Gent to grab a Career Slam. Felix is not inclined to lose, being the winner of the past 3 MM Finals and still channelling the Aurora Curse. He’s also sporting an unwashed shirt through the entire MM series (5 months) to add extra mojo and whiffo.
Can Basil do it? Or will Felix go B2B2B2B?
Follow all the action from another classic Gentlepersons’ World Tour Matchplay Masters Final, the 6th instalment.
Match Report from the BeaVeR
Fine misty drizzle and no wind; turned to warm, humid, sunny and a light breeze on the back 9.
Bas on 6 Hcap, Felix 16.
Tour photographer Cravo was on hand to witness the heat of the battle. Cmaaarn boys!
Felix has a shot on holes #
Hole 1 Par 4
Bas hits a low worm burner off the tee a bit left and in the rough. Felix hits a solid iron up the middle then draws one a bit short and left of the green. Bas then hits a hybrid short and left also. Felix then gets a bit over excited with his wedge and puts it over the green and then has a duff and finishes with a 7. Bas pitches on but two putts for 5 is enough to go 1 up.
Hole 2 Par 4 #
Bas hits his drive up the middle between the bunkers then nails a full pitch to two metres from the hole. Felix goes a bit right of the tee with his iron then hits his second a little fat up the fairway but then hits a great half wedge to centre of green and a two putt bogey. Bas needs a birdie for a win and he putts but it dies near the hole and turns left on the slope so he taps in a par and a halved hole. Bas 1 up.
Hole 3 Par 4 #
Bas hits a low flying bullet but gets caught in the wet rough and only travels about 150m on this long par 4. Felix goes a bit left off the tee close to trees but manages to extract himself well down the fairway. Both manage to hit green for 3 and two putt bogeys from medium range ensures Felix wins the hole.
All Square match.
Hole 4 Par 3
Felix hits his 7 iron a bit long a left towards a water hazard but it pulls up just outside the red pegs. Bas also hits a 7 iron well left of green but a bit short of the water hazard. Bas chips over the bunker and onto the green and finishes about 4m away. Rules committee is needed to resolve the issue of a water hazard rope fence interfering with Felix’s swing; he is given a free drop. He swings into the rough with his wedge but it gets caught up so ball lands short of the green and then next one only just trickles on. Bas 2 putts for a 4 and then Felix drains a 7m putt for bogey to half the hole. All square.
Hole 5 Par 4 #
The pressure is building and Leigh is excited as we step up to the next tee. Felix smashes his 4 iron down the left side of the right dogleg hole and Bas follows suit with his 3 wood finishing within a metre of Felix. Bas hits a very skinny low 7 iron that holds onto the right side of the green. Felix hits a cracker at the pin but it is a bit long and goes over the back. Felix then weaves an amazing bit of wedge magic (off a downslope green) and holes out from 20m for birdie. Wow brilliant, Bas is speechless and has a practice putt to get par. Felix 1 up.
Hole 6 Par 5
Felix hits his 3 wood a little left into the trees and has to punch one out down the fairway then lands a little short on his next shot. Bas drives up the right side then hits 3 wood off the fairway to about 15m short of the green. Felix chips on for four a little right of the pin and then 2 putts. Bas holes his short 1m putt for birdie and wins the hole. All Square.
Hole 7 Par 4 #
Bas and Felix both go left into the rough off the tee. Felix does not quite connect and hits his up the fairway. Bas has a tree branch to contend with on his backswing and needs to keep it low to avoid a high tree branch ahead from about 120m out so decides to grip down on a 6 iron ½ swing punch and bounces it up the fairway to finish 4m underneath the pin. Felix goes into greenside bunker on the right and splashes out well to about 3m. Bas drains his birdie putt right in the heart and Felix finishes with a 6. Bas 1 up.
Hole 8 Par 3.
Bas hits his 4 iron off the toe and it finishes way right and short. Felix hits a beautiful solid iron onto the left edge of the green. Bas tries to get a bit cute with his pitch and fats it well short then over hits it about 10m past the pin. Bas takes two putts to hole out for 5 while Felix does a great lag and putts in for 3 to win the hole. All Square.
Hole 9 Par 5 #
Felix goes well left off the tee with 3 wood but manages to find it in sandy wasteland and wacks his second up the fairway with a mid- iron. Bas hits a solid drive then 3 wood to about 100m out. Felix lands a touch short for his 3rd then hits a reasonable chip to 3m. His putter is on song with a great putt which trickles into the cup for 5. Bas has a two putt par. Felix wins and goes 1 Up.
Hole 10 Par 4
Felix hits a cracking iron off the tee that curls into the centre of the fairway. Bas hits a driver not much further down the right side of fairway. Felix doesn’t quite connect with his next one and takes a couple more to get on the green and finishes with a two putt 6. Bas manages to scrape out a bogey to win the hole. All Square.
Hole 11 Par 3 #
Bas hits a 9 iron off the tee but fades it off the toe to finish in between bunkers short right. Felix drills a 9 iron but over cooks a draw in back left bunker then hits a great sand shot to about 4m. Bas hits his chip a bit past the hole leaving a downhill curler from about 5m and is overheard saying to himself in angry overtones, “Bloody idiot, what are you doing”. Both gents just miss their par putts and Felix wins the hole with a 4. Felix 1 up.
Hole 12 Par 5
Felix hits a solid (4?) iron off the tee but it starts a bit right and collects a few small tree branches and leaves and finishes in the open rough about 150m from the tee bed. Bas throttles a driver up the middle then spanks a 3 wood about ten metres short of the green. Felix hits a reasonable recovery shot up the fairway but then cuts his next shot 20m right of the green and close to a pond. Felix then hits a pretty good pitch but it rolls on past the pin for a medium length putt. Bas chips pretty good to about 3m. Felix misses his par putt and has to settle for a bogey. Bas grazes the edge for birdie and has a tap in par which is good enough to win the hole. All Square.
Hole 13 Par 5 #
Bas cracks a pretty good drive about 220m up the middle. Felix absolutely crushes a 3 wood about 30m past Basil up the guts. The gents are hitting their straps now. Bas hits a very low 3 wood, off a downhill lie and just misses a fairway bunker to the right and about 130m to the green. Felix slams a great 5? iron straight over the bunker to about 100m. Both boys hit careful approaches a bit left of the sucker pin to avoid a bunker at the front right of the green. Both players two putt and Felix wins the hole. Felix 1 up.
Hole 14 Par 4 #
Felix hits a long iron off the tee but over cooks too much left and into a water hazard. Can Bas take advantage of a big opportunity here? Bas steps up to the tee with his driver and lines up well right of the water hazard and strikes the ball a bit over the top causing it to hook and bounce into the water hazard about 15m behind Felix. Oh my goodness, the pressure of an MM final may be getting to the Beaver. Both boys knock recovery shots up the fairway but both miss the green for 3 and have to settle on the smooth surface for 4 with medium putts. Two putts for both fellas and Felix wins. Felix 2 up.
Hole 15 Par 3 #
This long 200m par 3 is playing into a slight headwind to a back pin. Felix hits a great 4 iron put a slight draw just catches the breeze and pushes it into a left greenside bunker. Bas is feeling under the pump and knows he cannot lose this hole as well. He pulls out the 3 wood and throttles it straight at the pin about 6m short of the hole. Felix takes a good hard look at his 20m bunker shot and then gets down to business, settles into the sand and hits a superb SW to about 4m underneath the hole. Bas lines up his putt but pushes it slightly right of the hole and has to settle for a tap in par. Felix strokes his putt a little off line and taps in for 4. Tied hole. Felix 2 up.
Hole 16 Par 4
Felix steps up to the tee and leaks his iron a bit right of the fairway and it finishes in between some big tufts of grass. Bas sees a small chink in the Aurora armour and drives up the guts about 230m. Felix has to go out sideways to escape the long grass then hits an amazing 3 wood about 10m short of the green. Bas pulls out his trusty 9 iron and makes a determined swing but pulls it way left 10m left of the greenside bunker. Felix knocks a chip to about 2.5m for 4 shots. Bas decides he cannot play safe on his next shot (30m from the pin), he must take on the large bunker in front of him and hit a high open face SW out of the thick rough and hope it lands softly and finishes within 3m to give himself a chance at par. Bas hinges back and collects the Pro V in the centre of the face, it flies high over the bunker and drops down on the green to roll out and nestle about 10cm above the hole. Felix drains his putt for bogey. Bas taps his par in to win the hole. Felix 1 up.
Hole 17 Par 4
Bas hits his driver up the left side of the fairway and Felix throttles another long iron up the middle. Bas hits a solid PW but it sails over the front pin and just holds up on the middle right edge of the green before the bunker. Felix hits his wedge a bit short of the green and then chips up into a small bank that stops his yellow Taylormade a bit quick about 3.5m short of the hole for 3. Bas hits his long putt down the hill but it moves a bit right and finishes about 2m away. Felix just misses his par and taps in for bogey. Bas strokes his clutch putt into the heart to get par and win the hole. We have a tied ball game after 17 holes of incredible golf.
Hole 18 Par 4 #
Talk about pushing it to the wire. Felix and Bas joked in the car trip to RHGC about hoping the match went to 18 holes but both deeply wanted to win the game early, before the pressure cooker climax of walking down 18 in a squared match. Wow this is it boys, after 6 months of MM matches it comes down to one hole. Bas lines up his driver with the middle of the fairway and swings back, on the way down the club face turns in slightly resulting in a pull left which luckily bounces between two gum trees and cuts the corner of the dogleg finishing in the rough. Felix hits a gorgeous draw 4 iron that just keeps going and lands in a fairway bunker on the right side of the fairway. Felix hits his fairway bunker shot a bit thin and it catches the lip of the bunker but catapults forward another 50m. Bas hits a pretty good 9 iron but it only just catches and holds the very front of the green (pin is at the back). Felix hits a good solid iron into the centre of the green on the right side. On handicap it is dead level. Bas goes first from 25m (secretly hoping to get his putt within a metre so he can secure maybe a par). He takes a big hail Mary backswing and aims it about two cups to the left on the horizon. Leigh C. yells, “it is going in”, from 5m out but Bas is not convinced but when he hears it rattle into the hole and disappear from view he is a bit shocked. Bas gets a birdie. Felix has a chance to halve to hole with his putt but it slides a bit left and short. Bas just scrapes home 1 up. The Curse has been broken!
Thanks for an amazing, spellbinding final Felix. It could have so easily gone the other way on the last hole. I had to really dig deep and have a lot of luck to come home with my first MM Major and complete the Grand Slam.
Cheers Gentlemen for lots of close Majors to come! Hear, Hear!
for the record