The days are getting longer but nobody seems to have told the sun about getting up any earlier. The game was about three or four holes before any rays started to make their presence felt around the course. It took even longer for the chill to come off the air but, by the thirteenth or fourteenth, it was getting downright tropical and some of the layers had to be stripped off. All in all, a beautiful day for golf and it was perhaps a little disappointing that only 18 and a half players turned out to contest for the July Monthly Medal. Why only eighteen and a half, you might ask. Well there were actually nineteen started but Trev had to depart after nine. The course looks quite green but, when you look around for your ‘place’ when taking preferred lie, it is sometimes a but hard to fins an actual grassy spot within range. The third green is still looking pretty average but the curators have relocated the temporary green a bit. Probably because the original position was taking too much wear and was thought to be unfair. There is a fair chance that the old green will not be back in service before spring, provided, of course, that the hoons stay away.
As Dennis finished his ‘practice’ round on Thursday he opined that he had probably blown his chances for the week-end by having had a good one. But, as always, the cream rises to the top of the milk jar and Dennis backed up again today to take out the medal that was on offer. He did say that he was a bit disappointed that he had taken one more stroke today than he did on Thursday. Regardless, an 85 off the beater for a nett 66 is pretty good in anybody’s terms and fitted in precisely with SOS’s prediction during the round that two under would win the day.
Peter was hanging around the 18th green watching the groups come in. It turns out there were a couple of reasons for this. First, he had his name on the marker for the BallPin and he was very keen to see if anyone could knock him off. Second, at that stage, he was the Club House Leader and he was anxiously sussing out scores to see whether he would get beaten. He was really ruing a couple of missed putts and, particularly, the ‘fat lady’ on the 14th. Still and all, his final tally of 67 was still pretty good.
It’s been a while since the Beast has graced us with his presence but he would not divulge whether he had been off to China or Mexico or where ever he goes to practice his golf. He certainly showed few signs that he had forgotten how to hit a golf ball and the power draw was in evidence on a number of occasions. Almost a mirror image of Chrispy’s power fade as the ball powered over trees (and fences) to turn back in and finish in the centre of the fairway. Bill was a bit concerned about ‘winning’ as his absences put him out of the running for the medal itself. Gordon, on the other hand, would have loved to have won and he started out in fine form and tallied 38 off the beater on the front. Then he ran into the lesser known Batman villain known as The Tjoker and could only play to his handicap overall and join Bill on the podium.
Then there was quite a gap to 4th place and a veritable herd of players came in with 73. These four Musketeers were Noodles, Targe, Rob and JQ. Noodles and JQ played off for third place in the Matchplay final and it was a pretty close run thing all day. John did garner a bit of an advantage mid round after sinking a 10m putt on the 11th and almost broke Stephen’s heart. Noodles had gotten his nose in front by the 17th and looked like hammering the last nail in the coffin by chipping close. Unfazed, JQ went not quite as close but both made the birdies to halve the hole and the match went dormie for the last. As an aside, those two birdies made up a fair proportion of the five that were carded for the day. A square on the last gave the match and third place to Noodles.
SOS and Chris teamed up on 74 to take out the final set of points for the day. SOS had, probably, one of the best results of the day on the third hole. His drive caught ‘the tree’ and finished in the penalty area with not much open space to deal with. The exit wasn’t great but in the right general direction. His chip never looked like missing except that it was going a ‘million miles an hour’ and, if it hadn’t hit the pin dead centre and dropped into the hole, it could easily have been out of bounds. That’s one way to get a par.
The big match of the day was between Dave and Porks. Now, Ryan made a bit of a mistake and had a big win a few weeks back which meant that he only got four strokes from Dave. And, unfortunately, Ryan was not able to reproduce that winning form today. Despite that he did manage to hold on reasonably well until after the turn when four losses in a row handed the match and the Matchplay Championship trophy to Dave, 5 and 4. Dave’s view was that it was a good match but pretty ordinary golf. And the points did no harm to his potential standing in the Vardon Trophy Table. Now he just has to turn up the requisite number of times.
The ProPin today was on the 12th and, with the pin placed to the right front, the lie of the land took its toll on quite a number of aspirants. For one aspirant, though, it was no problem and Rob was able to get his to 4.255m. The extra precision was obviously in case it was a close run thing. The second BallPin was on the 15th and Pepsi was the only one to get his name on the card if not the only one to get his ball on the green. And, as somebody, probably unkindly, put it, it was the only shot he made for the day.
There were rumours that Pepsi was playing with a Wilson ball but it is a fact that Harry found one on the third. It is also a fact that Dennis played his full round with one, and the same one at that, and he will have none of it that Wilson are not worth playing with or for. At the other end of the scale, Brendon reckons he was losing balls right, left and centre. Now the course is cut pretty short, so the centre thing is a bit hard to believe.
There were a few draughties today. Ken and Rob were overheard saying that theirs cancelled out after Rob didn’t make the reds on the 2nd and Ken missed out on the 15th. Dave had a bit of a shocker on the 3rd when his first went over the fence and out and then his replay did not make it to the reds although it did hit a tree and come back. And the group in front were concerned that he might drive the green! The Beast and Chris both had moments when drives caught trees dead centre and came dangerously close back to the reds. Ken, on the other hand, managed to get one shot to finish lodged up in a bush about a metre off the ground. A baseball bat might have been the appropriate club to use.
Results for Saturday, 06 July 2019
1st Dennis Ward(66) 2nd Peter Damou(67) 3rd Bill Eastoe(68) 3rd Gordon Hill(68) 4th Stephen Butterfield(73) 4th Targe Mifsud(73) 4th Robert Priems(73) 4th John Quinlan(73) 5th Stephen O’Sullivan(74) 5th Chris Vinecombe(74)
Seniors Results: 1st Dennis Ward (66) 2nd Bill Eastoe (68) 2nd Gordon Hill (68) 3rd Targe Mifsud (73)
Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin12th Robert Priems BallPin No 1 15th Andrew Petricola BallPin No 2 18th Peter Damou