Mahela Jayawardene holes a 20 foot putt to square the 116th Burdett Trophy
Mahela Jayawardene of cricket fame holed a 20 foot putt to square the 116th Burdett Trophy between Nuwara Eliya Golf Club (NEGC) and Royal Colombo Golf Club ( RCGC). Brilliant sunshine greeted the 124 golfers who came up to Nuwara Eliya for the much awaited Burdett weekend last Saturday.
NEGC hosted the 116th Burdett Trophy and the 82nd Puffin Cup which is a tournament between the ladies of these two most prestigious Golf Clubs in the country. The 125th Anniversary Trophy and the Masters Trophy were also played alongside these tournaments, thus creating an exciting atmosphere in the cool climes of Nuwara Eliya.
The Puffin foursome teed off early that morning in chilly conditions and was followed by the Burdett Foursomes. As the conditions got a little warmer and comfortable, the Masters team took on the challenge to conquer the tough terrain of this beautiful 18 hole course.
Finally, the morning session drew to a close as the 125th Anniversary teams took their turn as a four- ball format where two players from each team was drawn to compete with each other as 60 golfers took part in this format of play.
The RCGC ladies returned with an unbeatable lead of 4 matches to none, whilst the Burdett foursomes were a closer finish with RCGC leading 2 ½ matches to 1 ½ matches as the final match was an exciting tie on the 18th hole with Kapila Dandeniya another of cricketing fame and young Praveen Dias holding their nerve against Manjula Chandrasoma and Priyanga Hapugalle.
The scene was now set for an interesting finish as the singles teed off and the RCGC ladies were first in as they secured the Puffin Cup winning 6 matches to 2. Sharon Hall representing RCGC won both her doubles and singles matches convincingly for the winners.
The Burdett singles were an intense competition as their skills and mental toughness were tested to the hilt on this demanding course which rewards good positional play and strategy.
Sachin De Silva, the star player in the NEGC team stamped his class as he won 5/ 4 followed by Chamara Abeyratne who had already won his foursome match that morning and then Nooni Sethwala brought in the next win for NEGC. Thereafter, the president of NEGC, Major General Srinath Rajapakse proved that experience mattered as much as skill as he overcame a much younger opponent and won his second consecutive match for the day. The RCGC Vice Captain, W.A.K. Fernando pulled back the next match for RCGC as did Sheron Fernando, an experienced Burdett campaigner.
As it seemed that the final match in progress between Avinesh Nareshkumar and Chandana Weerasinghe could not be completed due to bad light, it resulted in Avinesh representing RCGC securing a win as at the 9th hole.
The focus now turned towards the final match that was approaching the 18th hole in virtual darkness between Kushal Johnpillai and Mahela Jayawardene.
As both Kushal and Mahela got on the green for 3 on the par 5 18th hole, Kushal was unfortunate to miss out on a birdie by just a few inches. Then, the spotlight literally fell on Mahela as he lined up for a 20 foot putt. With nerves of steel, Mahela holed it to the amazement of everyone around and helped RCGC tie the 116th Burdett Trophy in one of the most exciting tournaments in recent times.
The Masters Trophy, captained by Nimal Perera went to RCGC, and the 125th Trophy resulted in a tie although Team NEGC, captained by Trevine Fernandopulle retained the Trophy by virtue of their win in 2017.
The prize giving and team dinner that followed was well attended with live music and a sizzling barbeque which kept the players and invitees in good spirits. Mahela was indeed the hero that evening as he prepares to dazzle and make headlines in golf with his stylish swing.
166th Burdett Trophy Teams: RCGC: Avanka Herath ( Team Captain), Chandra Gunasekera, Sheron Fernando, Sanjeewa Wick ram ana yake,W.A.K. Fernando, Damindra Fernando, Avinesh Nareshkumar, Mahela Jayawardena, Arvind Fernando, Sanjiv Vairavanathan, Praveen Dias, Rajeev Rajapakse,
NEGC: Harsha Abeywickrama (Team Captain ), S rina th Rajapakse, Sudath Kumara, B. P. N. Hapugalle and Chan dana Weerasinghe, Afflli Raheem, Chamara Abeyratne, Kushal Johnpillai, Sachin de Silva, Noordeen Sethvala and Manjula Chandrasoma.
As both Kushal and Mahela got on the green for 3 on the par 5 18th hole, Kushal was unfortunate to miss out on a birdie by just a few inches. Then, the spotlight literally fell on Mahela as he lined up for a 20 foot putt. With nerves of steel, Mahela holed it to the amazement of everyone around and helped RCGC tie the 116th Burdett Trophy in one of the most exciting way
Teams RCGC (L) and NEGC (R), who competed at the 116th Burdett Trophy