Phillips and Scullard triumph in India

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on Tuesday, 04 December 2018 in News

Morgan Phillips and Kapil Dev

Morgan Phillips and Kapil Dev.

WHEN he was in his early 40s, Morgan Phillips, now 57 years old, had all but given up on competitive golf.

Then he turned 50 and his friend at Maritzburg Golf Club, Richard Nel, encouraged him to join seniors golf. Pulled him in may be a more accurate description.

It's a move Phillips has not regretted and has seen him travel outside of the country six times to play for South Africa since then.

The most recent of these was a trip last week to play in the Fellowship Cup in New Delhi, India.

He made a name for himself by felling Indian giant Kapil Dev, arguably their best all-round cricketer ever and now an accomplished golfer, 4/3 in the singles.

That was just one of many highlights of what was a fantastic trip, which saw the seniors and mid-amateurs (which included Derek Scullard of Mount Edgecombe CC) combine to win 14,4-1,5.

Phillips said he was under some pressure to play well against Kapil Dev.

“It was mentioned to me that I'm the SA senior champion and that there's no way I should lose to a former master cricketer,” he said.

Phillips considered that some 'psychological motivation'. 

“I just went about my business quietly. We had a good game. We don't realise just how big he is in India. Just about everyone calls him Sir.”

Phillips didn't realise it at the time, but he went to India as South Africa's top ranked senior. “I was a bit surprised,” he said.

It was the second time Phillips has been to India. Two years ago the tournament took place in Kolkata.

“The people are very different ... they're very patient and tolerant, especially in traffic and there's plenty of that in those huge cities,” he laughed.

Phillips and Scullard both agreed that they were incredibly well looked after. 

“We were treated like royalty, it was quite an experience,” said Scullard.

He said the golf course, a Greg Norman design, had a similar feel to San Lameer Country Club.

“Lot of water, but a good course,” he said.

They group did some sight-seeing, including a trip to the race track... and no, not to watch the horses.

“We got a chance to be a passenger in a Mercedes-Benz ML 63 for a lap. I have to admit I was terrified,” said Scullard (or words close to that effect).

“In fact I'm pretty sure all the boys shared the same fear,” he laughed.

They were supposed to see the Taj Mahal but time had run out and they had to head back to the hotel.

Scullard enjoy sampling some of India's finest cuisine, including spicy curries and tandoori chicken.

League fixtures for 2019 were released recently, with some changes to the format.

In premier league, there are two pools. The top two teams in each pool go into a semi-final, with the pool topper playing the other pool's runner-up.

This will be played at the home course of the pool topping club.

The final will be played at a neutral venue.

In the A and B sections, the formats are the same, except that there are only nine teams in each section, meaning that in one pool there will be some repeat fixtures.

There are four teams in the C section.

Blue pool - Durban CC, Cotswold Downs, Royal Durban, Umhlali, Zululand.
Red pool - Mount Edgecombe CC, Kloof, Maritzburg GC, Toti, Durban CC '2'.

A section:
Blue pool - Southern KwaZulu-Natal, Maidstone, Royal Durban, Bluff.
Red pool - Prince's Grant, Victoria, Mount Edgecombe 'A', Zimbali, Midlands.

B league: 
Blue pool - Durban GC, Central Durban, Ethekweni, Kloof.
Red pool - Cato Ridge, Kloof, Camelot, Durban CC 'B', Umhlali 'A'.

C league:
Simbithi, Bluff 'B', Toti 'A', Victoria 'B'. 

David Rush

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