Early shock sets up intriguing season

EF_URBAN GOLF_BUNKER_2_0125_jjPitting together last season’s champions, the newly promoted Paula’s Creamers, a debut team and several experienced outfits, this is one of the most hotly anticipated leagues in living memory. The pundits and so-called experts have been unable to agree on who should be considered favourites, and rightly so as the first round of fixtures has left more questions unanswered.

A great deal has been expected of Paula’s Creamers who produced some quite mesmerising golf on their way to capturing the league title last season, thus earning their promotion. They came up against an unknown quantity in the form of Kan’t Putt Mine’s A Gimme, and all logic pointed toward Paula’s continuing their impressive run.

Paula’s Creamers, clad in head-to-toe golf wear, oozed confidence where their opponents resembled a little anxiety as they, sporting office chic, sprayed their opening drives into the vegetation. The opening salvo gave little insight into what turned into a truly great game of golf. Having overcome the early nerves, Kan’t Putt raised their game to a level that Paula’s were seldom exposed to in the lower league, going toe-to-toe with the water-supping favourites. This was reminiscent of a Rocky fight with the sides trading blows on every hole and only the finest golf able to win a hole.

The Creamers success has always been built around the strong game of their powerhouse, Drago, but today he met his match in the form of “Sam” who’s long and straight play was the glue that bonded his team’s performance. There was but a hairs breadth between these two sides all night with the loss of the first hole being cancelled out, the sides stood on the final green all square. With the prospect of upsetting one of the favourites in dramatic fashion, Kan’t Putt didn’t rely on a gimme on the home green, but instead poured in a lengthy birdie putt that Paula was unable to match. Jubilant scenes followed as a new force in the indoor game announced themselves.

Two sides that have borne witness to the changing of time faced up to each other in what has now become a regular fixture on the calendar. Keith Spieth & The Johnsons facing up to Something Els for the umpteenth time this year. There would be no surprises, no mind games, just good honest golf that always provides a great spectacle for the purist – which is just as well given the time they took.

Spieth’s team have proved to be the nearly men in Team League, while Something Els are more like quiet assassins who have become one of the best teams in the league and by not entering into the verbal sparring, sometimes sneak up unexpected with the high quality of their play.

Spieth got off to a flying start as they raced to a two hole lead despite Chris playing some dreadful golf that so-happened to coincide with his first week of non-drinking. As his complacent team heckled him and then shunned him, the golfing ninjas of Something Els quietly chipped away at the lead. Despite Spieth holing a 40ft putt for half on the 15th, Something Els found themselves just one hole down on the final tee. They have become as accomplished at snatching holes at the death as Spieth has been of blowing a lead.

Two things were almost inevitable in this game; Something Els would win the final hole for a half, and it wouldn’t be long before Andrew Slow-gier returned to his glacial ways. Andrew may make Jason Day look fast, but it has been noted that his whole team are “deliberate” – conspiracy theorists suggest that Keith Spieth is actually being funded by Uber who appear to be the only beneficiaries of these late finishes, with the tubes have long since finished by the time their matches conclude.

Current champions A-Nother team started their defence against Michelle Wie’s Wet Slice, who has lost her way of late having previously been one of the most impressive sides in the game. Wie has bolstered her side with one of the great transfer coups in the off-season, securing the services of “The putting machine” from a rival side. It was a move that compared to Mo Johnstone signing for Rangers, but one that looked to be paying dividends from the off as the new recruit poured in from 40ft for a half on the opening green.

The mood was set for a ding-dong battle that went back and forth. Every time A-Nother team stole a march, they were clawed back by Wie. Birdies were traded, and A-Nother-Team forged narrowly ahead with one hole to play. This was the third great tussle on the evening, and could easily have ended in a half, but for the drives struck by Wie on the 18th – both careering out-of-town to hand a relieved A-Nother Team the two hole victory.

This was a stunning start to the league and has left the patrons salivating at the prospect of another four rounds of matches. While A-Nother Team will undoubtedly remain favourites, this is a league that promises to change shape each and every week.

RESULTS & LEAGUE TABLE

Competitions: UG Team League, UG Team League Smithfield