The 2017 Jamboree was held at Frilford Heath Golf Club from 7th to 10th August. It was typical British summer weather - cold and wet! Frilford Heath was a pretty course with superb greens and a good test of golf. We had one rookie this year Tracy Bourne, the rest of the team being Julie Brown, Helen Lowe, Mary MacLaren, Debbie Warren, Sue Spencer, Caron Harrison and Carol Wild.
Day 1 - Midlands v South
The morning matches were hard fought and after the foursomes it was 1.5 points each. Caron and Carol secured a hard earned half which would prove to be so crucial later in the week. The afternoon saw more rain but the players adapted well and were getting the hang of the greens. Helen, as our Midlands Champion led the team but was unlucky to come up against and in form Jackie Foster. The next 3 games were won by the Midlands and Sue brought up the rear of the field and won her game. 5.5 - 3.5 to the Midlands, sweet revenge for last year.
North v Scotland 5.5 - 3.5 to the North.
Day 2 - Scotland v Midlands
A very wet morning made conditions difficult but the team went into lunch 2 - 1 up. Fortunately we didn't get as much rain as forecast in the afternoon and the course coped well. There were again some close matches but the team came strong on the back 9 and convincingly won the match 6.5 - 2.5.
South v North 6 -3 to the North.
Day 3 - Midlands v North
At last blue sky and sunshine! The team went to the course knowing what they had to do - a win would be good but a draw would do.
The morning foursomes I thought were nail biting but little did I know what was in store!
Julie and Debbie cruelly lost on the 18th, Helen and Tracy got an all important half and Caron and Carol sadly lost. We went in to lunch 2.5 - 0.5 down. We needed 4 wins in the afternoon a tall order but not unachievable.
The team came out determined and what an afternoon it was. After 9 holes we were comfortably up in 2 matches and the others hung in the balance. After the 13th things were not looking so good down in 3 and 1 up in the last. Then the team really dug deep. Julie Brown who was 3 down with 5 to go turned her match around with some great golf and won on the 18th. Helen and Debbie had relatively easy wins so we just required 1 more match. The last I had heard, Tracy was 2 down, but got it back to all square, unfortunately her opponent suddenly found her putting shoes and she lost on the the 17th. Mary had clawed back to be only 1 down going down the 17th. Sadly she lost the next hole. So now all our hopes were pinned on the last match. After the 16th Sue was dormie 2. All looking good until Sue's putt cruelly lipped out on the 17th. Dormie 1! With our hearts in our mouths off to the 18th we went. Sue had a great drive and second shot into the green but the North weren't beaten yet, after a bad drive they had an excellent up and down to par the hole. This left Sue with a four footer to sink, to halve the hole and win 1 up. We all held our breath - Sue kept her nerve and holed the putt to loud cheers and applause from the team! What a thrilling finale. Match halved 4.5 - 4.5 but we crucially had half a point more than the North. Midlands winners of the Miller Stirling Salver.
South v Scotland 7 - 2 to the South.
I witnessed some fantastic golf throughout the week often in testing conditions and the Thursday afternoon was so exciting - one I will not forget for a long time. My thanks goes to all the team for their great golf and the support they gave me. The team spirit throughout the week was second to none. Also a big thanks to Lady President Liz and Vice Captain Gillian for their help and support.
A thoroughly deserved win from a very united team. The first time the Midlands have won since 1994. It was an honour and privilege to be their Captain.
Cindy Ireland (Captain)
All the individual scores can be found under the Jamboree tab.