The Aggregate Cup, the combined scores for the Spring and Autumn Meetings was won by Steven Smith (AMT) with 72 points and the Johnson Pot for 16+ handicaps went to Tanya Epshteyn.
The weather at Walton Heath proved unseasonably cold, with scudding drizzle, the odd shower and a stiff breeze, which seemed always to be in one’s face. In addition, the greens were fast but true and the fairways were hard, allowing the ball to run, which made it difficult to avoid the myriad bunkers lying in wait for drives and approach shots. Not for nothing did Walton Heath host the Ryder Cup in 1981 and the British Masters recently.
Third place in the morning singles went to Adam Sussmes (AMT) with 34 points, just two behind the redoubtable Rob Draisey, but the winner with 37 points was Tanya Epshteyn (SocGen), who takes the Gold Cup and who also won the prize for Nearest the Pin. The prize for Longest Drive was won by the Captain.
The Aggregate Cup, the combined scores for the Spring and Autumn Meetings was won by Steven Smith (AMT) with 72 points and the Johnson Pot for 16+ handicaps went to Tanya Epshteyn.
The afternoon competition was played over twelve holes of the New Course in teams of four with the best three scores to count. The runners up on a count back were Steven Spencer, The Captain, Jan Rommer and Rob Draisey with 76 points from Alex Heath, Edward Sawbridge, Peter Watkins and Brian Woodbridge but the winners by pone point on 77 were Yang Liu (LME), Rebecca Liang (BH Resources), Neil Poulter (Ocean Partners) and guest Tom Richardson
Photo: Brian Collins and the Hon Sec prepare for the afternoon foursomes, umbrellas and waterproofs at the ready
The three Ws struck at Effingham on Friday – windy, warm and wet – making the rapid change of golf gear look like the action at Portrush in the Open. Dragged away from the television in the clubhouse, all the talk in the morning was whether Rory or Tiger would make the cut.
The friendly morning fourball, in which each team fielded one player off full handicap, resulted in an almost unbelievable range of scores.
The lowest two scores for each team of 10 are dropped in the fourball. In wet and windy conditions, with greens showing variable pace, the Bank of England posted 205, the lowest total for some years, and the LMEGA and the Stock Exchange posted 242, but the FOREX posted an impressive 275 with a highest score of only 37. That equals the record held by the LMEGA in 2018 but which then included a 41 and a 39. The range from highest to lowest of 70 points was also a record for the competition.
The afternoon round was a foursomes competition and in this the LMEGA did very well adding 143 points from their best four pairs, an average of about 36 points, but it wasn’t quite enough to catch the FOREX, who added 140 points to their morning total.
So the trophy goes away again after its brief sojourn in LMEGA hands.
We returned to a summer fixture at Hankley Common for this annual match in an attempt to regain the trophy that has languished in the Stock Exchange coffers for too long.
When the team sheets were drawn up we saw that the combined handicaps for the LSE team was 145 compared to our own total of 200! Still, that shouldn’t matter, right? That’s what handicap differences are for, so we sallied forth on a sticky day, hope springing eternal in the LME breast - until we saw the rough and the heather!
When the scores from the morning fourballs rolled in, the awful truth dawned. A last minute appeal for someone of the 63 other LMEGA members to stand in for the injured David Hardy fell on deaf ears, so David played despite his injury and he and Alex Heath managed a win, while Paul Lillis and Steven Spencer scrambled a half despite having been three down with three to play. The scores stood 4 ½ to 1 ½ at Hankley’s splendid lunch, but all was not lost – there were twelve singles to come in the afternoon.
Sadly, David Hardy's injury prevented him playing in the afternoon singles, so Rakesh Gupta was selected to play two singles matches, which he did extremely well, halving one match and winning the other. Alex Heath also came in victorious, as did David Farrar and Steven Spencer, but apart from two halves by John Ambery and Dr Colin Griffiths, all the other matches were lost, the afternoon singles going 6 ½ to 5 ½ to the Stock Exchange.
The final score was thus 11 – 7 and the trophy remains with the LSE for another year.
The RAC Club at Woodcote Park was in lush condition on Captain's Day, with rough thick enough to punish any wayward shots and slick greens with some interesting pin positions. The weather was glorious and hardly a cloud dared show its face.
The breakfast reception in the Derby Room was followed by 18 holes singles stableford over the Old Course, played in fours with thirty-six players turning out. Steven Smith, going out in the opening fourball with Captain, Allan Kerr, came in with an astonishing 40 points - 21 on the back nine with seven pars and a birdie overall - and was the leader “in the clubhouse” as he watched the rest trail in. Bill Green following Steve in the next fourball came in second with 36 points and Rakesh Gupta, straight off a plane at Heathrow, was a late challenger with 35 points. Steve Smith thus wins the Silver Challenge Trophy, the gigantic silver cup dating from 1905 that sits in the Gallery at the London Metal Exchange. Steve also takes the Carr Sargent trophy for Cat1 and Cat2 members for AMT, and Martin Abbott picked up the Directors Cup, for directors of Cat1 and Cat2 members for Mitsui on a countback from Bill Smit. The Captains Cup was won by Bill Smit with 32 points.
(Photo - Tanya Epshteyn, Yang Liu, Jan Rommer, Edward Sawbridge)
(Photo: Steve Smith (right) wins the Silver Challenge Trophy with Bill Green (left) runner up)
Among the other trophies played for in the morning, the Scratch Prize went to Jan Rommer and the King Cup for 24 handicaps to Ashok Singhania. The guest prize went to Phil Beck with 31 points, who also won the nearest the pin, while Charlie Richardson hit the longest drive.
The club provided an excellent lunch and, duly fortified, the players went out to play the afternoon round, which was split into two competitions; The Charles Davis Salver foursomes for Cat1 and Cat2 member companies over 14 holes of the hilly Coronation Course and a greensomes competition over nine holes of the same course.
(Photo: Seamus O'Connell, Steve Smith, Paul Day, Colin Griffith, Alex Heath)
The Charles Davis Salver went to Alex Heath and Steven Spencer for Lonconex with 26 points, in a close finish from Tanya Epshteyn and Edward Sawbridge for Natexis with 25 points. The greensomes was won by Martin Abbott and Bill Green with 22 points from two guests, Tom and Charlie Richardson with 20 points.
The prizes were generously provided by the Captain, Allan Kerr and your Hon.Sec. is deeply grateful to Bill Smit for his help in the scoring of the results.
The inaugural LMEGA Friendly International Match took place on Saturday 22nd June at The Buckinghamshire, basking in pre-arranged blue skies and soaring temperatures. Teams of four players from the UK, Japan, China and the Rest of the World arrived eagerly in the morning to enjoy the full-on hospitality one would expect from such a special venue, and to receive guidance for what lay ahead in the morning and afternoon competitions.
The day was split into a nine hole Texas Scramble in the morning followed by eighteen holes of stableford (best three of four scores per hole) in the afternoon. A well-rehearsed explanation from the Match Manager using the latest British technology ensured all teams were playing to the same rules in the morning. At 10.00 sharp, Team China duly despatched all four of their balls down the middle and out of sight, which turned out to be a good indication for what was to happen in the afternoon session. Other teams also put some balls out of sight (but only because they didn’t float!) with Team UK performing consistently (including the 8th hole!) throughout their morning adventure.
The Texas Scramble session ended in an incredibly close result with just four points separating all teams. The results of the morning session were announced at lunch to ensure the unmistakable air of competitive tension remained for the afternoon. Results for Texas Scramble were as follows (lowest total shots wins);
UK = 34 shots (despite collectively putting £20 of golf balls into the lake on the 8th!)
China = 35 shots
Rest of World = 36 shots
Japan = 37 shots
At the end of lunch and to provoke indigestion, all teams were pre-warned of the back nine holes of the eighteen they were about to face. Sure enough, these holes stretched both patience and ball supplies as The Buckinghamshire stole back most of the well-received Triland sponsored golf balls! Scores dipped for most teams in the afternoon with the exception of Team China who went from strength to strength or rather from birdie to birdie! Team China racked up points at a rate of knots normally reserved for Lord’s Cricket Ground and opposition players were quickly exhausting all superlatives. It was clear early in the afternoon session that other teams were playing for second place. After a mind challenging count-up, the results for second place were very close with just a single point separating second and third. As this was the main competition of the day and due to the friendly nature of this match, only the top two teams were announced;
China = 125 pts
UK = 106 pts
Next Best = 105 pts
There were many standout performances of the day but special mention goes to Rebecca Liang and Geng Mingjun who both scored 41 points in the afternoon for Team China. Not to be entirely outdone, Colm Brady shot a “net” hole in one on the 13th, which was only a 410 yards, par 4, stroke index one. Go figure!!
Through astute planning(!), every competitor left The Buckinghamshire with a prize. A dozen bottles of red wine awaited the winners (not each!), with all other players walking off with a coveted pair of LME socks!
In all seriousness, the LMEGA should consider expanding this event further next year. The day brought together many different nationalities to have fun, meet new people and make new friends. Such benefits are the key goals of the LMEGA. Let’s aim for teams from US, Germany, Netherlands and many more for next year! Thank you to all those who attended.
LISEGS were so enamoured by the lunch at Denham last year that they demanded we book the course again this year. At last we were blessed with some decent weather after three and a half inches of rain drenched the South East for the previous two weeks.
The morning fourball better ball saw LISEGS register early successes when Dr Colin Griffiths and John Ambery went down by 1 hole and Steven Spencer and Rakesh Gupta also succumbed by 2 & 1. However, Martin Abbott and the recently returned Seamus O'Connell handed out a 6 & 5 beating to their opponents. Unfortunately, Captain Allan Kerr and Jan Rommer also went down 2 & 1, so at lunch, the wonderful lunch, LISEGS stood 3-1 up.
There was all to play for in the afternoon singles and, fortified by the lunch, Seamus O'Connell registered his second victory of the day by 5 & 4. The Captain, likewise, brought in a point making the match all square at 3 all with six singles still out on the course but Jan Rommer and John Ambery were both beaten by 2 & 1, the score now lying 5-3 to LISEGS.
Steven Spencer halved his singles but Martin Abbott beat the LISEGS secretary, Bill Ford by 5&3 as Colin Griffiths took a half, leaving the score 6 - 5 to LISEGS. Everything hung on the last singles as the team waited with bated breath for Rakesh Gupta, who brought home a resounding victory by a dog licence, seven and six, leaving the scores tied at 6 - 6.
As the Beckermet trophy was held by the LMEGA, we retained it, the great lump of iron ore sitting somewhere in the Captain's cabin for another year.
On a day that promised nothing but pouring rain and duly delivered about 3/4 of an inch in a constant drenching drizzle the LMEGA once again took on the Scrap. One look at the BSMA handicaps revealed possibly the greatest work of fiction since Leo Tolstoy put down his pen and said "Finished at last - now do you think I could call it 'War and Peace'?"
However, nothing daunted by weather or the competition, we played an 8-a-side match with singles matches going out in fours, making for a very friendly mix. This year the match was restricted to only 18 holes, followed by the usual excellent Berkshire lunch, although there is a majority vote for next year's match to revert to morning fourballs and afternoon singles.
Sadly none of the younger working LMEGA members applied to play in this match despite this being one of the premier courses in Britain and the venue having been expressly booked to attract more members who said they would only be prepared to take time off work if they could play the top courses. It is to be hoped that the RAC and Walton Heath drag them out. it is a shame that the pressure is consistently put on the old guard.
The first singles between The Captain and Gary Holloway ended in a nail-biting half with Allan Kerr sinking a putt on the last green, while their companion match ended with Edward Sawbridge winning so the score stood at 1 1/2 to 1/2.
The second pair of singles saw the President go down but Alex Heath salvage a good win, the score standing now at 2 1/2 - 1 1/2 to the LMEGA. Surely this could not last, but in the third pair of matches John Ambery recovered form to record a 7 and 6 victory while Jan Rommer gave way, but the score was now 3 1/2 to 2 1/2.
There was all to play for in the final pairs but sadly it was not to be. Colin Griffiths slipped up and Steven Spencer went down 2 and 1, leaving the Scrap winners by 4 1/2 to 3 1/2, the trophy remaining with the BSMA for another year.
The Summer Tour this year was to Estoril, a little west of Lisbon, with the party billeted in Cascais.
Certain rules were in force for the Tour, specifically the LME pamphlet on harassment and abuse, which resulted in deducting shots from handicaps for such offences as calling other players names or commenting on their inability to extract themselves from bunkers.
The winner each day is cut by two shots for the next round and the runner-up by one, while the lowest scorer receives two shots and the next lowest one shot. Every player can reject one of their five rounds and the four remaining scores count towards the final tournament score, the winner receiving the Foster Plate.
(Photo - The ruins of the monastery at Penha Longa)
Day One dawned at Penha Longa's Atlantic Championship course with 40mph winds predicted, gusting to 60mph. This was good as far as the temperature was concerned as it kept the players relatively cool in the 30C heat. Most of the party were straight off the plane, so with that and the high winds scoring was very difficult, but a remarkable 32 points by Tanya Epshteyn, two clear of Derek Raphael and another two clear of the Captain saw Tanya's handicap cut by two shots and Derek's by one. "Encouragement" in the form of additional shots was granted to the two lowest scorers. The average score was just over 20 points.
When your correspondent woke to a temperature of -7C it did not bode well for the annual Xmas Fayre just half an hour down the road at Tandridge. Unsurprisingly we arrived to find that all 18 greens were frozen and were temporary and the ground was in places ringing like a drum.
It was to be expected that scores would be high, given that the course was playing some 1,000 yards short and the temporary greens were unprotected by bunkers, but the winning score was a surprise.
In cold but bearable weather, with luckily no wind to speak of, the 36 entrants were competing for the Winchester Bowl and for the first time this year any players who had worked on, in or behind the Ring were competing for the Harry Scott Memorial Trophy, presented by Triland Metals.
A number of scores in the 40s came in early as Tanya Epshteyn carded a 42 to take the clubhouse lead for the membership, while guest Charlie Richardson led the guests with 43. It was not long before both were eclipsed as Steven Smith came in with 45 and guest Phil Beck with 46. Even those stratospheric scores were not enough, and perhaps because the course conditions improved slightly, the later starters scored more heavily.
Rakesh Gupta, who has now joined as a member, scored 46 and outdid Phil Beck on a countback to win the guest prize while Melanie Wells came in with 47 to take the Harry Scott Memorial Trophy. The very last threeball, however, produced the score of the day with Chris Edwards scoring 50 points to take the Winchester Bowl.
Melanie was presented with her trophy by Sakai-san, Chairman of Triland, who gave a touching tribute to Harry as did Melanie in her acceptance speech. Appropriately enough, for those who knew Harry well, the trophy is a wonderful claret jug!
Sakai-san was also nearest the pin and Bill Green outhit Tanya Epshteyn to take the prize for the longest drive.
Due to the very poor course conditions and the lack of facilities for the ladies due to a locker room refurbishment, the club was kind enough to offer a discount. All players who would like to receive their £10 rebate should contact David Ratcliffe with their bank details. Ladies receive £20.
The new Harry Scott Memorial Trophy was created by Triland Metals in memory of Harry and was presented for the first time at the 2019 Xmas Fayre by Sakai-san, Executive Chairman of Triland. The trophy will be played for by any member who has worked on, in and around the Ring or the LME itself. The claret jug might be seen as a most appropriate shape for those who knew Harry well.
Here is Sakai-san's speech:
Captain Edward Sawbridge, Honourable Vice Presidents & Secretary Steven Spencer, thank you very much for allowing me the great honour to offer the Harry Scott Memorial Trophy to the LMEGA. Thank you, Martin Pratt, for your all arrangements.
One year ago I joined the Service to celebrate the Life of Harry Scott with many of my LME friends. The entrance music was The Eagles’ playing “Take It Easy”. That event and music reminded me of my old days.
I stayed in London for 2 months in 1989 as a trainee of Triland Metals. After that I worked for the Triland Tokyo Desk for 3 years (1990-1993). My professor was Harry Scott.
Harry was in his late 40’s, much younger than many of us here today, but already he was affectionately known as “Fossil” in the Ring! He loved smoking, drinking, eating and chatting. He was short-tempered, but very generous, like the big holes on the today’s temporary greens! He taught me a lot about conventions including LME trading, life in London and even table manners.
I had plenty of pleasant memories with Harry. He was a special man.
I often went to the Ring together with the team. Every time, he tried taking me to a pub before lunch. I don’t drink a lot, usually enjoying only one or two glasses in the evening and I always become very sleepy immediately after drinking. One day I inadvertently slept on the sofa just outside of the Ring (at Plantation House), and a naughty guy called “Mr. Busy” from another broker (I cannot remember his real name) made drawings on my glasses with white correction liquid!
One day, Harry nicknamed me “Typhoon”. On one weekend when Harry was visiting Tokyo to visit our Tokyo LME desk, I took him for a drive to the seaside near to Tokyo. We faced heavy traffic jam and made a lot of U-turns. He told me later he wished to call me “Disaster” at that time!
Now, I would like to present the Harry Scott Memorial Trophy here….
22nd November, 2018
Executive Chairman Triland Metals Limited
Reports from recent and past matches will appear on this page.