Mailer & Underwood Victorious in Calcutta Cup
Played on the New Course at St. Andrews, Scotland, (“the Home of Golf”), the Calcutta Cup is the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews’ signature annual team event and is held during the Autumn Meeting of the R&A in September. This year’s competition attracted a record 177 two-man teams for the grueling foursomes competition.
In a Hong Kong-dominated final that came down to the last putt on the 18th green, Jim Mailer and Chris Underwood edged out John Ball and Tony Taylor by 1 Hole to win the prestigious alternate shot handicapped tournament.
Mailer, Ball & Taylor are all members of the Hong Kong Golf Club, and Underwood is a former resident of Hong Kong, where he was a member at Discovery Bay Golf Club. By contrast, four continents and six nationalities were represented in the quarterfinals stage of the tournament just one day before.
Reaching the finals requires the competitors to win seven consecutive head-to-head contests, including five matches over a grueling three-day period leading up to the final tilt. Although the physically demanding tournament was played in a variety of weather conditions – sunny, rainy or cool – it was constantly windy.
In the final match, Mailer and Underwood received 8 strokes from Ball and Taylor. In a titanic battle, Ball and Taylor were 3-up at the turn, after which Mailer and Underwood clawed their way back into the match, covering the last 6 holes in level par, including that nerve jangling putt on the last.