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Fajara Club Ryder Cup 2022

My Magazine 2022/04
10 min
The 2022 Fajara Club Ryder Cup. Probably one of the most widely enjoyed Golf Competitions in The Gambia. Based on the format of the famous US Ryder Cup, a matchplay competition between Team Europe and Team USA, the Fajara version has for years featured Team Great Britain & Ireland (GB&I) versus Team Rest of the World (ROW) with a majority of golfers being from GB&I. Over the last few years with more rest of the world members joining the Fajara Club, it is being played between Team Europe versus Team Rest of the World. Team Europe included all Geographical Europe.

This competition has been sponsored for the last 10 editions primarily by Vineyard Multicuisine Restaurant & Comafrique and for the last 6 editions with excellent sponsorship from Best Water and Super Pipes.

The Sponsors conduct this Tournament over 4 days at the Fajara Club's Sir Dawda Jawara Golf Course at Fajara. The Tournament also includes a two-day competition for Professional golfers, a Caddy competition and then under Ryder Cup format, a 9 Hole Competition for Pairs and an 18 Hole Singles Matchplay competition. Each match scores a point and a draw is a half-point. The Ryder Cup competition is played purely for pride and no prizes except a token case of sparkling wine and certificates are given to the Winners and Runner Ups.

The Professionals play over two days, 36 Holes for Prize money that has also been growing gradually over the years – not so large an amount – but the best by far at the Club level sponsored competitions. 

The top 5 caddies get prize vouchers as well as Solar Lights from Comafrique's CSR Initiative

The PROs and Caddies get additional prizes which are most often bags of rice for the longest drive, nearest to the pin and longest putt. 

The DRAW was conducted on 17th March at the Vineyard Restaurant amidst a lot of fun and frolic as the teams were drawn – drinks flowed and snacks followed. The two chosen team captains, Ester Walsh for Team Europe and Daniel Socha for the Rest of the World, rallied their teams – and then alternatively drew the playing partners, each draw, drawing loud cheers and catcalls from tea mates and opponents – all in good sporting cheer.  And as the evening got along, the event gradually became more like a party, rather than a sporting draw. Popular singer Papa Rudy entertained those present till late. Club Golf Captain Matt Gribbin lifted everyone’s spirits – Club Chairman and Sponsor of the event, Ram along with his daughter, Rehane and Club Secretary Lenin Balan kept notes of the draw and posted them for players to keep track, ably assisted by Comafrique's Isatou Jallow.

All players were given designed T-Shirts in Team colours with Red being the Team Europe Colour and Blue being the Team Rest of the World colour. 

The PROS were given white Polo Shirts and The Caddies turned out in smart Blue T-Shirt. All Brownsweepers and players’ caddies were also handed out T-shirts.

On Friday, 18 The Amateurs played the 9 Hole Pairs Competition after being offered Coffee/Tea and Snacks along with a traditional Bucks Fizz (Sparkling wine & Orange Juice) before tee off. By the end of the first day of 9 Hole Matchplay competitions, Team Rest of the World had a slender lead of 3 points with the scores at 4-7.  But it was too early and close to call as Sunday’s Singles Match Play Competition had 21 points going up for grabs, and team Europe was quite confident of regaining their lost ground.

On Friday, in the afternoon, the PRO Golfers teed off at 2.30 PM in 3 groups after driving off Tee No 1 for their Longest Drive event. The Three groups did take quite some time to complete the first day's 18 Holes. The top of the leaderboard at the end of Day ONE for the PROs had Yusupha Tamba and Doudou Gassama tied at 2 under and Edrissa Jammeh closely behind at 1 under.


Saturday, the 19th, Morning  - the PROs teed off for their round TWO. The champion from the last few years, Doudou Gassama took a further 1 stroke lead to add to his overnight score. The round was tough on Day 2 with far higher scores turning out from the others.

On Saturday, the 19th, in the afternoon, The Caddies, 30 of them, teed off at 2.30 PM vying for a place in the top 5 who would join the prize winners at the gala lunch on the 20th Sunday after the results of the Ryder Cup. The Caddies too teed off Hole 1 for the Longest Drive, Hole 2 brown for the longest putt and Hole 6 for the nearest to the pin while going around playing stroke-play medal format over 18 holes. 

Sunday Morning, 20th March – the Ryder Cup 18 Hole Singles Matchplay brought golfers early to the Clubhouse Car park, getting their BEST Water bottles and downing Bucks Fizzes (for the more adventurous), coffees and teas with croissants and mini zaatar pizzas – with a lot of banter and teasing. Group photos were taken, and following the brief speeches and some more team pics with the caddies and brown sweepers, the very colourful event went underway at 9.00. Gradually by 11.30 onwards, the results trickled in one by one, as matches were completed. Drinks and merriment followed.

As the various match players trudged in, the scores were updated – and very soon it was evident that Team Europe was not able to overturn the lead they had conceded on Friday. 

Team Rest of the World won 19 points to 13 points.

The British High Commissioner, David Belgrove consented to give away the prizes to all the Caddies and Pros.

The Caddy Competition

Yankouba Jatta came first with a par 69 followed by Second-placed Ebou Jarju (73), Third - Saul Jarju (74), Fourth - Abdoulie Drammeh (4 c/b) and Fifth - Lamin B Drammeh (79). They received vouchers worth a total of 7,500 GMD and each won a Solar Light from Comafrique worth 1,500 GMD each. The Winner was also given a new Golf shoe sponsored by Bakary Njie, the Fajara Club Operations Manager and a Fajara Club Belt from the Chairman.  Paul Jatta won the Longest drive, Usman Sanneh won the longest putt and Abdoulie Njie won the nearest to the pin.


The PRO Competition

Among the Pros, Doudou Gassama took the winner prize-winning 3 under (135) while Edrissa Jammeh came in 2nd playing 1 over(139) and Yusupha Tambia came in 3rd with a 6 over (144). Doudou also won the Longest Drive. Ousman Sallah won the Longest Putt and Club Pro J J Jatta won the nearest to the pin. Each of them won a bag of rice. Doudou took home a prize of 10,000GMD and a Fajara Club Belt as well from the Chairman. 

High Commissioner David then presented certificates to the Runners UP team members and then to the members of the Winners Team – REST OF THE WORLD. The winning cup was then presented to ROW Team Capt. Daniel Socha. As has been the tradition, several bottles of sparkling wine were given to the winning team and this was graciously shared with all golfers. The Sponsors had invited a number of guests, for a fairly widespread buffet from the Clubs 19th Hole and Vineyard Multicuisine Restaurant. Food and drinks flowed while the live music band played up some good music and the party went on till late evening.

Since Vineyard has been sponsoring this event in 2012 Team ROW has won 6 editions out of 10.

All other caddies and brown sweepers had also been provided with a meal given by the Sponsors at the caddy area. Soft drinks that were also provided, benevolently offered by Multitrade and SASCO

Sponsors BEST Water ensured that all players and caddies as well as the grounds members and field workers had sufficient water on the course on all days of the tournament.

My Gambia was there to cover the event on all the days and will be also along with the sponsors making a movie of the event as souvenirs – the sponsors intend selling the movie to the golfers and use the proceeds for charity. 

Read more about The Fajara Club.

The Fajara Club

Established in 1954, The Fajara club moved to its current location in 1971. The Fajara Club and Sir Dawda Jawara - Fajara Club Golf Course is the olde...
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