The 2019 Golfbidder £500 Challenge with Rick Shiels and Peter Finch

Thomas Tanner
Apr 15, 2019
5 minutes

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Picking the clubs

In 2019, the drill was the same; however, this year, there was a kicker. Once the bags were finalised Donal hosted the inaugural Golfbidder Putting Challenge in our new Putting Studio at our Chessington HQ. A sudden death shootout to award a mulligan to the winner. The first mini battle saw Pete hole his second putt to claim the lifeline for the round this year.

Entering the “Aladdin’s cave” that is the Golfbidder warehouse, Rick went straight for the wedges determined not to replicate the gapping issues he has faced in previous years. Pete, on the other hand, started ta the top with the SLDR 3 wood. Labelled an uncontrollable but hot 3-wood, it is a weapon that Pete is familiar with.

This year the round took place at Woburn Golf club. Woburn is known for being tighter than tight, so accuracy is key to shooting low on the Dukes course.

Rick's bag Pete's bag
Driver Titleist Pro Titanium 905R TaylorMade Tour Burner

Fairway woods

Ping i15 TaylorMade SLDR
Hybrid / Utility irons Callaway X Utility
Iron set Titleist 690 CB Cobra Pro Fly Z Forged
Wedges Callaway Mack Daddy 2 (52° & 56°) / Callaway Mack Daddy Jaws 60° Cleveland 588 Tour (54°) / Cleveland 588 Tour BeCu (60°)
Putter Odyssey O-Works 1W Scotty Cameron Laguna Classic

The Round – Tighter than tight

The first at The Dukes course at Woburn is a straightaway par-5 measuring just over 500-yards. Out of bounds on both sides add peril to this otherwise gentle opener. Both drives found the left-hand side with Rick forced to chip out from a small copse. With the door open, Pete drew the driver again. One of the shots of the round left Pete a short chip from the left-hand side of the green. Rick’s approach shot lauded praise over the spin it generated. Despite being a second-hand wedge, Rick saw his shot land pin high and rip back 12 feet! After a chip from Pete and two-putts a piece, they were all-square after the first.

An exchange of pars at the second saw the signature par-3 third come into view. From the tee, Rick’s ball was a yard too long, and Pete’s a yard too short, leaving two outside looks at birdie. A simple two-putt from Pete left Rick a long par put for the half. A lip out gave Pete a lead going to the fourth.

Having found the bunker on the 4th Pete refused the mulligan after an awful lie left an almost unplayable shot. Rick made no mistake in squaring the match.

After, in his own words, one of his best shots ever, both Rick and Peter were chasing eagles at the next. However, they had to settle for a birdie each to keep the score tied. A win for Rick at the 7th and one of Pete at the par-3 9th saw the match all-square at the turn.

Regulation pars at the tenth were followed by another birdie from Rick at the 11th to go back to 1-up. This lead was stretched to two shots after a rare bogey from Pete opened the door to Shiels after a well-played par.

There was nothing between them over the next few holes with Rick missing a long par putt for a half on the 15th which saw his lead trimmed to just 1-up, with three to play.

Calling this a tighter match than its predecessors is an understatement. A half on the 16th gave Rick his first opportunity at victory if he could win the 17th. Taking a 3-wood for safety, Rick inevitably found the trees. After a chip put and a long iron to the green, he managed to recuse a half to take a 1-up lead to the 18th.

On the final hole a combined distance of 6-feet for birdies saw Rick seal a 1-up victory and to square the series at 2-2 as we look forward to the fifth, and final, Golfbidder £500 Challenge!