16 Aug 17
Muswell Hill Golf Club sealed a trip to Morocco for the SkyCaddie PGA Pro-Captain Challenge final after some ‘tough words’ boosted their victory charge.
Captain Phil Matthews, who owns a north London delicatessen chain, and PGA professional David Wilton - a former winner of the competition - triumphed in a close fought contest which the north London pairing won on countback.
They totalled 43 points from the event after a seven under par round at East Herts Golf Club. They joined Clacton Golf Club’s Sam Teer and Peter Hewett and the Stanmore Golf club duo of James Reynolds and Lee Patterson at the top of the leaderboard.
But Matthews and Wilton won thanks to a better back nine which saw them home in 30 shots and included a nett eagle at the 17th hole.
Wilton admitted he used his experience of the event to challenge for the top of the leaderboard having won the final in 2006 and qualifying again a year later.
They will now play in the £22,000 final, in association with Golfplan, which will be held between November 21-22 at Mazagan Beach Resort, Casablanca.
Matthews (pictured left with David Wilton) admitted he and Wilton knew they had to up their game after the first nine holes if they were to stand a chance of winning after making two bogeys
“The cup of tea at the halfway house was timely, we were able to rethink our objectives and have some tough words with each other - it was all done in good fun, but we knew we needed birdies from at that point,” said nine-handicapper Matthews, who owns The Hampstead Butcher & Providore chain.
“Then David went and rolled in three birdies in the next four holes and I came in with nine points from the last three holes, so between us we dovetailed nicely. It all worked out perfectly.
“The prize is great - we just need to get ‘bikini ready’ now don’t we! I’m really looking forward to the experience.”
Matthews, aged 54, has been a member at Muswell Hill for around 13 years after his son joined as a junior member.
“My son left to go on to other things as teenagers do, and I got the bug back and stuck around,” he said.
Wilton was determined to return to the final after his success of over a decade ago: “I’ve got a good record in his competition, and it’s an event that means a lot to me as a club pro who’s not going to play on Tour now.
“I play in it every year because I know what the prize is and how well it’s organised. So when we had a cup of tea and a chat at the halfway point, I just said to Phil, ‘let’s go for it’ and we did it.”