Canadians Dave Williscraft and Brett Wall conjured up a spectacular final-hole finish to overhaul France and win the 2010 International Pairs World Final at The Carrick on Loch Lomond.
Williscraft and Wall trailed their French playing partners Pascal Pietrois and Thomas Gotfryd by one point in the 36-hole event as they stood on the tee of the 407-yard 18th hole at The Carrick, the flagship venue of De Vere’s 11 golfing destinations in the UK.
But, while Pietrois and Gotfryd failed to find the green in regulation, both Canadians had birdie putts with Wall sealing victory in sensational fashion as he rolled in his birdie from six feet for a winning two-round total of 80 Stableford points – one more than the French with England’s Chris Wall and Mark Green back in third on 72 points.
The victory capped a memorable week for the duo, members at Caradoc Sands Golf Club in Strathroy, Ontario, who had already played golf at Open Championship venues Royal Troon, Muirfield and Carnoustie prior to arriving at The Carrick.
Wall, who plays off 12, said: “It doesn’t get any better than this. That is the best moment I have ever experienced on the golf course.
“It was very tight between us and the French guys the whole way round and they played some great golf. I really feel for them but we dug deep and I somehow managed to produce something special on the 18th.
“That is the biggest pressure I have ever felt on the course but I loved every minute. The competition is world class.”
Pietrois and Gotfryd, who play at Montereau La Forteresse Golf Club near Paris, led Williscraft and Wall by one point after the first round at The Carrick after scoring 44 points in the event – the world’s largest of its kind for club golfers – with a round that included six birdies.
Vietnam’s Loc Ha Ngoc Hoang and Tu Le Ngoc lay third with 40 points, two clear of the second Canadian pair of Mike Knight and Brent Ashlee with Wall and Green, from Middlesbrough Golf Club, a point further back.
But, as their nearest challengers dropped back, it soon became a two-horse race with the lead changing hands several times before the Canadians’ fantastic finish.
Wall and Williscraft’s victory means that Canada will be looking to complete a historic hat-trick of titles in 2011 as they followed in the footsteps of 2009 International Pairs world champions Marilyne Cadieux and Saby Dagenais.
Williscraft, who works in the engineering industry and plays off 24, added: “We feel extremely honoured to win this event and what was great was we had our club owner and general manager, Frank Toth and Denton Hackney, with us as caddies to see it.
“We can’t wait to get back to Canada to tell everyone about our experience. It will live long in the memory.”
Williscraft and Wall’s victory brought to an end three memorable days of events on and off the course at the seventh International Pairs World Final.
Competitors from countries including America, South Africa, Nigeria, Spain, Portugal, Antigua and, making their debuts, Vietnam and the Czech Republic, took part in a torchlight procession at the venue’s spectacular hotel Cameron House while the Provost of Argyll and But, Councillor Willie Petrie was on hand to formally open and close proceedings.
Cllr Petrie said: “It has been a privilege for our region to host such a wonderful competition and so many people from all around the world, and we look forward to welcoming everybody back very soon.”
Ross Honey, founder of International Pairs, added: “Every year, the world is better than the last and we have raised the bar to a new level in 2010. “The Carrick on Loch Lomond provided an amazing location for some sensational golf, we have been treated to some of the best hospitality anywhere in Scotland and Dave and Brett are worthy champions. “Many new friendships have been forged during the course of the last few days and we look forward to these being expanded over the coming months and years.”
2010 INTERNATIONAL PAIRS WORLD FINAL RESULT
1.) Dave Williscraft and Brett Wall (Canada) – 80 points (43 + 37).
2.) Pascal Pietrois and Thomas Gotfryd (France) – 79 (44 +35)
3.) Chris Wall and Mark Green (England) – 72 (37 + 35)
For full details of the 2010 International Pairs World Final results, go to www.golffrontiers.com