On Saturday, May 19, Paul Bolton and Brian Rintoul from Carluke Golf club set off for Albatross course Le National Paris to represent a Great Britain and Ireland team.
The squad faced the daunting prospect of playing against a French team loaded with seven sub six handicap golfers at the venue for this September’s Ryder Cup.
Saturday afternoon saw some team bonding and course familiarisation, with the French and Great Britain and Ireland teams going off in alternate fourballs.
Playing from white tees and with the course being set up for the French Open it very soon became clear how long and tight the course was with water in abundance and the rough up to two feet high.
After the practice day was completed it was back to the hotel for some rest and relaxation.
Day one competition format was six pairings playing in fourballs, with the international stroke scoring system where every player received all their strokes (points).
Paul and Brian were paired together against a six and nine handicap pairing.
But the Carluke duo got off to a good start and were soon three up.
Good play by the French saw them bring the match to all square going down 18.
The French low man managed to make a solid five with a good approach putt which was conceded.
Paul, with two putts to halve, could not match the Frenchman’s effort and the match was lost one down.
The remainder of the GB and I team suffered similar fete and after day 1 , GB and I also lost the one foursomes match to finish day one. 4 1/2 - 2 1/2 down.
Day two was a similar format with just six fourballs and GB and I adjusted the pairings. Paul found some solid form and with his partner chipping in for a par four at the 4th, his solid play saw the match finish at the 13th green with a 6 and 5 win for team GB and I.
Brian, with solid ball striking, good course management and dovetailing well with his partner, also ran out victorious with a 5 and 4 win, the rest of the GB and I team also rallying well leaving the scores level at 6 1/2 - 6 1/2.
Day three singles saw Paul still playing well and have a comfortable 4 and 3 win, shaking hands halfway down the 15th fairway.
Brian, despite not playing well, managed to hang in and win the match on the 18th green .
The rest of the GB and I team also played well, losing only three singles to win the match 15 1/2 - 9 1/2.
There was fantastic hosting by the French on a sublime course with the French Pro Stephane Chauffour pulling out all the stops.