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‘Captain’s picks’ delight the captain

Sport | Published:

THE domestic majors are coming thick and fast.

Newly-crowned Island champion Jeremy Nicolle is through to the elite Ravenscroft field. (Picture by Gareth Le Prevost, 24900059)

Yesterday at L’Ancresse, many of the Island’s finest were doing battle over 36 holes for the Piccadilly and Brymay Cups.

Meanwhile, on the near horizon, is the Ravenscoft Open Matchplay where former Ryder Cup man Steve Richardson seeks to defend his crown from three other UK pros and Guernsey’s best.

Dave Jeffery, Guernsey’s non-playing captain, is keeping a close eye on it all as he seeks to find a selection that can beat Jersey in September and is pleased to see two domestic invites for the Ravenscroft at the end of the month.

‘I think it only right that four-times champion Bob [Eggo] and Jez Nicolle, the new Island champion, get an invite this year.

‘Jez has impressed me hugely so far this season, and a few people have commented that he looks to really have the bit between his teeth this year, something he possibly lacked the last couple of years. I’m sure he is going to be a big player for us come September.

‘Bob is Bob, a class act. I’m told he is taking a step back from Hampshire commitments this year which will hopefully mean he’ll be available for selection.

‘I’m delighted to accept the two "captain’s picks" that will make up the field of 16.

‘As Island captain I want to see our best players exposed to as much matchplay competition as possible. There will be no favouritism on my part and the picks will be awarded on merit and used to make the 16-man field as strong as it can be.’

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Eight qualifying spots remain open for the Ravenscroft where Jeffery himself will try to force his way into the knockout phase.

‘It never ceases to amaze me how top players [both amateur and professional] struggle to shoot par round La Grande Mare, which at 4,800 yards is extremely short by modern standards.

‘It’s a little unfortunate that this year’s event wasn’t pencilled in the diary at the start of the season, as it now follows immediately after the 72 hole UV competition played at L’Ancresse.

‘The UV has changed from the traditional Tuesday-Friday format, to Thursday-Sunday which will mean that those entering the Ravenscroft qualifier on the Sunday will have to play 90 holes in four days, and if successful in qualifying, potentially a further 72 holes in the Ravenscroft itself.

‘That is a lot of golf and a big commitment to make, but I hope and expect those pushing for a place in the Island team to make the effort and try and qualify.’

Rob Batiste

By Rob Batiste
Sports Editor

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