The 2004 John Deere National Team Championship FinalWorfield Golf Club, from Shropshire, has won the Great Britain and Ireland National Final of the 2004 John Deere Team Championship, held for the first time at Forest Pines Golf Club, Brigg, North Humberside.
Worfield’s net score of 56 - 17 under par - in the modified scramble event was two shots ahead of Bingley St Ives Golf Club, from Yorkshire, in the GB field. Downpatrick Golf Club, of County Down in Northern Ireland, carded 60, beating Kanturk Golf Club, of Co Cork, on countback to become the Irish champions.
As overall winners, the team from Worfield – made up of club chairman Trevor Williams, secretary William Weaver, professional Steve Russell, greenkeeper Mike Fowkes and John Deere dealer salesman Pete Worthy of John Osman Groundcare, Oswestry, Shropshire – will be travelling to America in November to play in the World Team Championships at Grayhawk Golf Club, Scottsdale, Arizona, against teams from North America, Canada, Australia, Germany and Sweden.
“We are naturally delighted to be representing Great Britain and Ireland in the USA in November,” said Trevor Williams. “Everything just gelled on the day, we always thought we were playing very steadily, and just tried not to give a shot away to the card at any point. I think the key to our success was that everyone played their part. We all got our drives away, so we weren’t putting ourselves under pressure at the back end.
“We also had a very good professional in Steve Russell, and with him playing well it gave us all confidence. Mind you, we did cheekily suggest to our dealer player Pete Worthy that if we won, Steve had to give him some free lessons!
“I first played Forest Pines about five years ago, and I have to say that the course is a credit to the owners and to Course Manager David Norton and his greenkeeping team. For a young course like this to present such good quality in its layout and finish is exceptional.
“The attitude and friendliness of all the hotel staff was excellent, and the club head professional David Edwards made the day go extremely well. I’d also like to pay tribute to John Deere for its support, particularly through the financial contributions it makes to BIGGA and GCSAI,” added a delighted Tervor.
Like Worfield, Downpatrick’s team – club captain Fred Hamilton, competitions convenor Gerard McStay, professional Robbie Hutton, golf course superintendent Emmett Curran and John Deere dealer salesman Ricky Neill of Johnston Gilpin & Co, Lisburn – thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
“We thought 13 under around Forest Pines was a great score. We played really well as a team. I think we really only left two shots out on the course, and with only two teams making better scores I think we did the best we could,” said BIGGA member Emmett Curran.
“We could not have caught the winning team, their score was terrific and we wish them well in the Grand Final at Grayhawk. The John Deere Team Championship is a great format, and Forest Pines is a great course. We’re certainly glad to be the top Irish team, and we’ll definitely enter again.”
Altogether 24 John Deere dealerships organised regional qualifiers for this year’s tournament, with a total of 426 teams competing across Great Britain and Ireland. Donations are traditionally made to greenkeeping associations in all the countries which take part in the Team Championship, and this year John Deere Limited has contributed a total of £10,650 to support the educational activities of BIGGA and GCSAI.
In the battle of the Associations the GCSAI team, comprising Patrick Holohan, Terence McShea, Alan Mahon, Barry McElroy and John Deere Limited Managing Director Alec McKee, reversed last year’s final placings by beating the BIGGA team of John Pemberton, Ian Semple, Iain McLeod, George Brown and John Deere’s finance & administration manager Malcolm Jackson by seven shots - 55 to 62.
The BIGGA team did have something to celebrate thanks to Iain McLeod winning the amateur prize for Nearest the Pin.
“The 2004 John Deere Championship has been a major success, and some magnificent golf has been played. Our congratulations go to both Worfield Golf Club and Downpatrick Golf Club on a wonderful Championship, I am sure Worfield will represent us all very well in the US. Personally the BIGGA team had a good round, but we just couldn’t pip the GCSAI this year,” said BIGGA Chief Executive John Pemberton.
“On the business side of things BIGGA’s educational activities are important to the development of greenkeeping and it is crucial this is supported. John Deere’s support and financial contribution is very much appreciated and ensures we at BIGGA, can elevate the level of greenkeeping through education,” added John.