Burhill Golf Club played host to a transatlantic tussle between injured service personnel of the British and US forces last week as they contested the annual Captain Pietsch Trophy.
The competition pitches a team of 10 from the UK’s Battle Back programme against 10 of their US counterparts from the Wounded Warrior Project, all suffering from various injuries, including lost limbs.
Home advantage proved to be decisive as the Battle Back Golf team claimed victory with a 12.5 to 7.5 points win to claim the trophy, which the US team had won in San Antonio the previous year.
Played over both Burhill’s outstanding golf courses – The Old Course, with mature trees lining the fairways together with typical Surrey heather and the New Course, four-time host of the Europro Tour – the matches follow the same format as the Ryder Cup was fourballs contested on the first day, followed by greensomes the second and concluding with singles matches.
Keith Davies, captained the Battle Back team of Mahendra Phagami, Andy Thompson, Gary Meekins, Paul Swain, Kevin Foster, Karl Ingram, Corie Mapp, Jack Holmes and Richard Cross.
He said: “Winning the Kent Pietsch Trophy has been the pinnacle of achievements for Battle Back golf. The setting at Burhill Golf Club provided the perfect atmosphere to secure the trophy, the kind hosting and support from the staff at Burhill Golf Club made the event truly special for all those that participated.”
The US Wounded Warrior team, captained by Brian Donarski, included Esteban Garcia, Kenneth Hendrickson, John Hyland, Joe Caley, Dan Nevins, Denis Oliverio, Richard Pollock, Brian Saaristo, John Boerstler.
Kent Pietsch, after whom the trophy is named is a former Captain of Wentworth Golf Club, aVi etnam veteran and Purple Heart. He joined the US team for the first and final days, with Boerstler taking his place on the second day.
David Cook, Burhill Golf Club General Manager, said: “It was an honour to host this magnificent event and these true heroes from both the UK and US. It was truly humbling to see these men who have given so much in the line of duty, playing some sensational golf despite their disabilities.
“As a nation we have been inspired by the recent Paralympic Games and the amazingpeople taking part – the Capt Pietsch Trophy reinforces this and everyone at Burhill Golf Club enjoyed having the two teams around for the three days of the match – they will be welcome back at any time.”