Almanac Golf: Monumental match decides the Metropolitan Golf Club’s C-Grade championship.



Weston Bate is 91 and played in Metropolitan Golf Club’s C-Grade golf championship on the weekend.

His opponent was ex-Victorian fast bowler Andy Burridge who’s battled MS for a decade.

Weston wrote the history of Geelong Grammar School and of Barwon Heads Golf Club – among many

other achievements.




An Unforgettable Day for Young and Old Champions


by Bruce Baskett (former editor of the Herald)


The 2015 Metropolitan C-Grade Club championships played in very trying

conditions saw the 91-year-old retired Professor [Weston Bate] battle the strong

northerlies and 31 degree temperatures to win by clinching an epic match in

extra holes against an opponent whose courage under difficulties was

inspiring to behold. It took 20 hard-fought holes and all manner of dramas

for Weston Bate to seal his match against ex- Richmond fast bowler Andrew

Burridge on the second playoff hole – with a final clutch putt.


It may not have been the greatest match ever played but in the history of

Metropolitan championships it equals the best for courage, excitement,

tenacity and the will to beat all the conditions that golf and life can

throw at you.


Weston Bate wrote the history of Metropolitan. Even he couldn’t be sure if

he’s the first 91-year-old to win the title.


Andrew Burridge, always with a smile and the ability and tenacity to produce

some great golf despite the MS he has battled for many years, never

complains and his love of golf is a joy to watch.


At times they both looked like they would falter and exhaustion would be the

final decider but off they’d go again and it was level for the last few

holes of the regulation 18.


As Andrew’s cart drew level with Weston on the 18th heading to a green that

was surrounded by members drawn from the bar after following earlier

matches, Andrew produced a faded white handkerchief and jokingly waved his

surrender as Fuzzy Zoeller did to Greg Norman in the US Open at Winged Foot

many years ago. A very touching moment.


He was not finished however. He produced a career shot over the bunkers from

the rough on the left side of the bunkers on 18 and managed to salvage a

half. By this time Weston was lying down on the back fringe as he mustered

his 91-year -old limbs for a last effort.


Down the first again where Weston’s drive skewed off to the right hand scrub

and Andrew was down the middle. Somehow Weston produced an amazing recovery

while Andrew found sand and they again halved the hole.


The second hole second time round was one where you just had to see it to

believe it. Straight into the face of the northerly Weston hit his tee shot

into the cross drain where it could not be found. He had to take a drop in

the sandy waste and then played a clever running shot up to and cross the

green where it trickled into the dip rear right. Lying three.


Andrew’s drive was short of the drain in the sandy waste in a bad lie and he

crunched his shot into the face of the drain where it could be seen but was

hard up against the bank. Unplayable.


By this time Todd Sinnott, on the brief visit back to his home Club before

returning to Spain to pursue his professional career, was there to help with

the decision where Andrew could drop his ball. Todd’s seen and played with

some of the world’s best golfers but golf at any level is a delight to

witness when you have two players fighting so hard to win.


As he stood over the ball, Andrew gave a short plea to Seve (Ballesteros)

to provide a miracle shot. It came up short but his putt slid across the

green to just over a metre from the hole.


Weston putted up the slope where it just trickled over the edge of the hill

and down to about 40cm from the hole. A difficult shot at any time but when

about 60 people are watching in the late afternoon, it is a test for any

91-year-old. Lying four.


Andrew sunk his putt for a six leaving Weston’s heart-stopping roll of the

dice slowly down to the cup where it decided the agony was over and the

ecstasy for Weston began.




The two combatants hugged for some moments in the centre of the green. They

were exhausted while members cheered and the long and happy walk back to the

clubhouse began.


It was a standing ovation when they finally made their entrance for all the

the presentations by Club Captain Tim Robinson.


As they say in the classics, you had to be there.



C Grade warriors Weston Bate and Andrew Burridge.


Thanks to Bruce Baskett, Ian Cordner and Alasdair McGillivray for sending this to the Almanac.

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