Season Eight Final, 8-11 November 2011

Season Eight Final - The Waldorf Astoria Orlando

The Swingers Season 8 final may have just finished but it has been our most memorable yet, and we are already counting down to the start of Season 9!

If you are not already a Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Swinger and want to be part of one of the world’s most unique and accessible golf competitions, make sure you register for Season 9 now and ensure you are the first to know all about the exciting plans we have in store for next year. Join here and get Swinging!

The Final - Our Final Thoughts

Well, last week seems a long time ago sitting in the office on a dark and damp day back in the UK. Looking back, it really was a great final. We had players from all over the world and from all different walks of life come together for 4 days and produce a really special team spirit which we will fondly remember for a long time.

We hope some lasting friendships will be made from this trip. And as far as we are concerned, it makes us even more determined to make Season 9 our best one yet.

Congratulations to Team Europe for wrestling back the trophy under the captaincy of Steve Faulkner. But also congratulations to Red (Ian Readman) and his Team ROW for a really great effort.

And a a big thank you to our fantastic sponsors Callaway Golf, Glenmuir, Golfbidder, Brand Fusion, Bushnell, Serengeti, Marriott, Stewart Golf, Volvo and Level Four who helped make the season and indeed the final such a success.

The event was competitive to say the least, but it was played in the right spirit. Importantly it was a celebration of everything that is Swingers, and long may that continue.

See you in Season 9!

The Final - Day Four (For a selection of photos scroll down)

And so ended another Swingers Final but Season 8 certainly went out on a high. Another gloriously sunny day saw our finalists battle it out in singles with Europe holding a commanding 3 point lead over night. 

The first point of the day however went to Tom Riddell who beat Dave Hoyland on the 18th green in a superb match. Peter Parker evened things up for Europe with a 3&2 victory over Dennis Gyde. James Green and Garett Endenburg halved their match, whilst Paul Densham added another point for Europe with a 4&3 victory over Kribs Govender. Sandy Douglass played superbly to beat James Hayes 5&4 giving ROW some hope, before European Captain Steve Faulkner edged Europe closer with a 5&3 victory over Mo Reardon. But back came the ROW again with victories for Brian O'Connor over Bob Scott (6&5) and PK Dhawaan over John Elliott (8&6).

Hugh O'Connor played some awesome golf to beat Joan Heeter 5&4 and it was fittingly left to Alastair Price to secure victory for Europe with a 5&4 victory of Ian Readman. Andrew Lyth beat Nigel Cutting 5&4 before the last match was sportingly halved on the 17th green between Mark Crossan and Andrew Davies.
 
Everyone enjoyed team photos together and swapping of shirts, before the prize giving which saw the following individual prizes:

Paul Densham - Nearest the Pin Day One, Longest Drive Day Two (Tied), Longest Drive Day Three
Ian Readman - Longest Drive Day One, ROW Shot of the Tournament
Steve Faulkner - Nearest the Pin Day Two, Best Overall Performance - Europe
Mark Crossan - Longest Drive Day Two (Tied)
Andrew Lyth - Nearest the Pin Day Three
Bob Scott - European Shot of the Tournament
Hugh O'Connor - Most Inspirational Team Member - Europe
James Green - Most Inspirational Team Member - ROW
Andrew Davies - Best Overall Performance - ROW

Thank you for everyone who took part in yet another memorable final, and an even bigger thank you to all Swingers who competed across the season. We hope to see you all back again next year for Season 9!

The complete set of results are:

Day One Foursomes

Heeter/Douglass (ROW) bt Hayes/Elliott (EUR) 4&3
Densham/Endenburg (EUR) bt O'Connor/Dhawaan (ROW) 3&2
Riddell/Gyde (ROW) bt Crossan/Hoyland (EUR) 4&3
Davies/Lyth (ROW) bt Cutting/Price (EUR) 2&1
O'Connor/Faulkner (EUR) bt Govender/Green (ROW) 3&2
Scott/Parker (EUR) bt Readman/Reardon (ROW) by 1 hole

Day 1 Match Score ROW 3 EUROPE 3

Day Two Fourballs

Faulkner/O'Connor (EUR) bt Dhawaan/Riddell (ROW) 2&1
Endenburg/Densham (EUR) bt Davies/Lyth (ROW) 5&4
Hayes/Crossan (EUR) bt Glyde/O'Connor (ROW) 3&1
Parker/Price (EUR) bt Reardon/Douglass (ROW) 8&7
Green/Govender (ROW) bt Elliott/Hoyland (EUR) 4&3
Readman/Heeter (ROW) halved with Scott/Cutting (EUR)

Day 2 Match Score ROW 1.5 EUROPE 4.5

Day Three Singles

Riddell (ROW) bt Hoyland (EUR) by 1 hole
Parker (EUR) bt Gyde (ROW) 3&2
Green (ROW) halved with Endenburg (EUR)
Densham (EUR) bt Govender (ROW) 4&3
Douglass (ROW) bt Hayes (EUR) 5&4
Faulkner (EUR) bt Reardon (ROW) 5&3
O'Connor (ROW) bt Scott (EUR) 6&5
Dhawaan (ROW) bt Elliott (EUR) 8&6
O'Connor (EUR) bt Heeter (ROW) 5&4
Price (EUR) bt Readman (ROW) 5&4
Davies (ROW) halved with Crossan (EUR)
Lyth (ROW) bt Cutting (EUR) 5&4

Day 3 Match Score ROW 6  EUR 6

OVERALL MATCH SCORE ROW 10.5 EUROPE 13.5

EUROPE WIN SEASON 8 SWINGERS FINAL!

The Final - Day Three (For a selection of photos scroll down)

Glorious weather greeted the golfers this morning on a day where Europe dominated in the fourballs.

The partnership of Faulkner and O'Connor got the first point on the board for Europe with a 2&1 win over Dhawaan and Riddell. Endenburg and Densham quickly added a second with a 5&4 win over the two Andrews - Davies and Lyth. The young rookies - Hayes and Crossan beat Gyde and O'Connor 3&1 before Europe made it 4 out of 4 with an 8&7 victory over Reardon and Douglass.

The ROW salvaged some pride however with a 4&3 victory for Green and Govender over Elliott and Hoyland, whilst a titanic battle in the last match saw Readman and Heeter half with Scott and Cutting.

This left the final match score ROW 4.5 Europe 7.5, with Europe now strong favourites to win back the trophy.

Disaster in the afternoon as our bus to Boggy Creek broke down forcing the cancellation of the trip although the group were delighted to be entertained by the dancing bus driver. The evening saw dinner at the House of Blues followed by the fantastic Cirque du Soleil after which the guests were treated to a Q&A with two of the artists.

And so to the singles for tomorrow:

 Riddell (ROW) v Hoyland (Europe)

Gyde (ROW) v Parker (Europe)

Green (ROW) v Endenburg (Europe)

Govender (ROW) v Densham (Europe)

Douglass (ROW) v Hayes (Europe)

Reardon (ROW) v Faulkner (Europe)

O'Connor (ROW) v Scott (Europe)

Dhawaan (ROW) v Elliott (Europe)

Heeter (ROW) v O'Connor (Europe)

Readman (ROW) v Price (Europe)

Davies (ROW) v Crossan (Europe)

Lyth (ROW) v Cutting (Europe)

The Final - Day Two (For a selection of photos scroll down)

The sun shone as our finalists stepped out on the tee for their early morning practice rounds. It was the perfect opportunity for everyone to assess the course for the first time, before the serious competition started after lunch. And what a first round it was. After 9 holes ROW were up in 3 and down in 3 and so it continued all the way through to the end.

Joan Heeter and Sandy Douglass put the first point on the board for the ROW with a 4&3 victory over James Hayes and John Elliott. Paul Densham and Garett Endenburg then squared things up with a 3&2 victory over Brian O'Connor and PK Dhawaan. ROW went 2-1 up after Tom Riddell and Dennis Gyde beat Mark Crossan and Dave Hoyland 4&3. That soon became 3-1 as Andrew Davies and Andrew Lyth beat Nigel Cutting and Alastair Price 2&1. But some great golf by the Europeans in the final two matches saw Hugh O'Connor and Steve Faulkner beat Kribs Govender and James Green 3&2, whilst Bob Scott and Peter Parker edged out Ian Readman and and Mo Reardon by 1 hole.

So it's honours even at 3-3, and all to play for on Day Two.

After a fantastic meal in the Bull and Bear Restaurant, the pairings for fourballs were decided and they are as follows:

Dhawaan/Riddell (ROW) v Faulkner/O'Connor (Europe)
Davies/Lyth (ROW) v Endenburg/Densham (Europe)
Gyde/O'Connor (ROW) v Hayes/Crossan (Europe)
Reardon/Douglass (ROW) v Parker/Price (Europe)
Green/Govender (ROW) v Elliott/Hoyland (Europe)
Readman/Heeter (ROW) v Scott/Cutting (Europe)


The Final - Day One (For a selection of photos scroll down)

Our finalists have all arrived at the Waldorf Astoria, some after some very long flights. Spirts were very high at the Welcome Buffet this evening as the Swingers mingled and shared a drink or two. Our team captains Ian 'Red' Readman and Steve Faulkner both got up to say a few words before presenting their teams with their shirts and caps.

It was then onto the team meetings to decide pairings. Both meetings were taken very seriously with tactics discussed and different scenarios worked on. Finally both teams returned to be told the following pairings for the first round Foursomes:

Heeter/Douglass (ROW) v Hayes/Elliott (Europe)

O'Connor/Dhawaan (ROW) v Densham/Endenburg (Europe)

Riddell/Gyde (ROW) v Crossan/Hoyland (Europe)

Davies/Lyth (ROW) v Cutting/Price (Europe)

Govender/Green (ROW) v O'Connor/Faulkner (Europe)

Readman/Mo Reardon (ROW) v Scott/Parker (Europe)

All thoughts now turn to the foursomes matches tomorrow afternoon, but before that the players have the chance to take a practice round in the morning.

1 Day to Go!

Played the Waldorf Astoria course this morning - a stunning layout in spectacular condition.  All our finalists are in for a real treat!  We look forward to welcoming you to the Season 8 Final tomorrow!  Safe travels everyone ...

2 Days to Go!

After a great flight we finally arrived on site late last night. The resort is buzzing with lots going on. Our office is located on the 11th floor with a fantastic view over the first hole - check the picture of the view here. Weather is a pleasant 75 degrees today and unlike the UK yesterday it's definitely not raining!

We have spent the day packing goody bags, stocking up on refreshments for the excursions, meeting with hotel and golf club, unpacking our pallet of branding and prizes and setting up our tournament office.  Just wine tasting left!

4 Days to Go!

Last day in the UK is spent mostly printing, checking, packing and checking again. Everything that can be prepared over here is ready, and we now set off tomorrow for Florida for two days of preparations onsite before our finalists finally arrive on Monday.

5 Days to Go!

Our shipment of event gear, goody bags and prizes has safely arrived at the resort today, ready for unpacking when we arrive this weekend. Last of the printing is done, a few final checks to make tomorrow and then it's time for us to pack! According to the forecast today, our finalists should be arriving on a pleasant sunny afternoon with a temperature of 27 degrees.

6 Days to Go!

Weather for the weekend looks good for Orlando, fingers crossed this lasts into next week! Last few preparations now well under way, and its hard to believe that it's just 3 days until we relocate everything to Orlando.

7 Days to Go!

Our Finalist shirts have arrived. Royal blue for Team Europe and Red for Team ROW. Although similar colours to last year, we have added some additional embroidery commemorating our trip to Orlando and of course including the new Swingers logo. Perhaps wearing the same colour shirts will be a lucky omen for the Rest of the World?!

13 Days to Go!

Scorecard labels are being prepared, competition rules are being printed. When that starts happening, we know we are getting close!  We've also had our two captains send in their Final previews and judging by what they have written we have made the right choices. It's certainly going to be an interesting final. We've never seen so many single figure handicap golfers on an event like this before, the majority of them in the European team. However, with plenty of shots to give Team ROW, they are going to have to be at their best to win back the trophy, that's for sure.

18 Days to Go!

The regular Season is over and our Finalists have all been informed. It's been 12 months in the planning and 10 months since we first visited the venue, but the Season 8 Final is now almost upon us. Three rounds of competitive golf and to give everyone a change of scenery there's also an airboat alligator safari and a trip to Cirque du Soleil, which is always a fantastic show.

There's still lots of work to do to get ready, but we are on course for a memorable final. Make sure you check back for the latest news on the final, and during the event itself check out our daily report, results and photos! 

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Team Europe

Leading Club Swingers:

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Bergh, Matthew 1 26
Mani, Mahesh 2 18
Gray, Rebecca 3 18

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Team Rest of the World

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Castles, Duncan 1 39
Heap, Clinton 2 35
Hamilton, John 2 35
Murray, Scott 2 35

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Uzunovic, Emir 1 29
O'Connor, Brian 2 49

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Clinton, Steve 1 32

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