The Grafton Morrish is an annual golf tournament contested by public schools from all over the UK. The format is scratch foursomes with each team fielding 3 pairs of former school members. Sedbergh have tasted success in the past, winning the title on a number of occasions, however sadly not for a good few years. More recently however there have been signs of a revival in both form and fortunes with appearances in the final of the plate and the quarterfinals of the main competition. I have been lucky enough to play in this great tournament for around 20 years, the combination of its quality golf courses, strong competition and fantastic team spirit means it remains one of the highlights of my golfing year.
Qualifying Report 2022
Sedbergh produced another excellent performance at this year’s Northern regional qualifying tournament at Huddersfield GC, eventually winning the event by 2 points from a much improved Ampleforth side and thereby securing a coveted place at the finals tournament later in the year.
In some breezy conditions at Fixby, it was a solid performance from all 3 Sedbergh pairs and the team faired well in the individual pairs standings with Regan Botham (on his debut*) and Will Jeffries finishing 3rd, but most notably Molly Davies and Seth Waterworth finishing joint 1st overall with an excellent score of 31 points.
* This was Regan’s first appearance in the Grafton Morrish, with the highlight being his wedge shot into the 6th hole from 125 yards which landed some 6 feet past the pin and span back into the hole for a very rare eagle and 4 points!
Sedbergh qualifying scores (Total 87):
Molly Davies and Seth Waterworth – 31 points
Regan Botham and Will Jeffries – 30 points
Charles Webb and David Row – 26 points
Finals Report 2022:
This years finals in Norfolk saw 2 changes to the Sedbergh team that triumphed at Huddersfield earlier in the year. Thanks to an influx of talented young OS golfers into the squad in the last few years, this was Sedbergh’s youngest team at the finals for some time. Despite winning the qualifying tournament Sedbergh were again on the receiving end of another very challenging draw for the finals, with a combined handicap of < 10, this was a strong Sedbergh side and confidence was high before the team’s first match against Eastbourne at Hunstanton early on the Friday morning.
Match vs Eastbourne (1st round)
It was a glorious autumnal morning on the links of north Norfolk – clear blue skies and strong winds that tested all facets of the player’s game. Despite the tough conditions, Sedbergh’s first pair Henry Flather and Callum Austin produced a fantastic performance to win their match convincingly, closely followed by Sedbergh’s third pair of Will Jeffries and finals debutant Regan Botham.
The back 9 at Hunstanton GC winds its way through some classic links land with the atmospheric 18th green finishing a stones throw from the clubhouse where spectators regularly gather to see the culmination of matches that have made it all the way to the last hole. One such match involved Sedbergh’s 2nd pair of Molly Davies and Seth Waterworth, who after a close battle had reached the 18th hole 1 down. After a miraculous pitch from the bottom of a bank 20 feet below the level of the green by Molly, Seth was faced with a 15 foot downhill putt to win the hole and halve the match. In typically relaxed fashion, Seth stood over the putt and calmly rolled it down the hill and into the middle of the hole, much to the delight of his teammates and the cheers of the assembled crowd. Sedbergh had thereby won the match convincingly by 2.5 to 0.5 and booked a place in the 2nd round that afternoon against a consistently strong Uppingham side.
Match vs Uppingham (2nd round):
The afternoon saw even tougher playing conditions, with the wind being joined by torrential rain rolling in from the North Sea midway through the round. As such, it wasn’t long before the back nine was littered with golfers slowly but stoically making their way towards the clubhouse, either in search of shelter from the elements, or after their matches had finished early. Such tough conditions made the performance of Sedbergh’s 1st pair (Henry Flather & Callum Austin), even more impressive. The Sedbergh pair went 2 up in the match with birdies on the 2nd, 8th and 10th holes thanks to some characteristic solid iron play from Callum Austin and excellent putting from experienced Grafton Morrish campaigner Henry Flather. Uppingham however rallied on the back nine, managing to win the 14th and 16th holes to eventually finish the match all square. Sadly, despite strong resistance from Sedbergh in tight second and third matches, some straight driving and solid iron play from an in form opposition saw Uppingham through to the quarter finals 2.5-0.5
A big thank you to the following OS who represented the school at this year’s finals tournament (from right to left in the photo above): Callum Austin – Regan Botham – Molly Davies – Henry Flather – Seth Waterworth – Will Jeffries.
We are always on the look-out for OS golfers with low single figure handicaps to join the Grafton Morrish squad. If you would like to get involved, please contact the OS club or myself directly.
Will Jeffries. (Sedgwick, 1995 -’99)