The last chance to win a Medal for this year. the thrill of the chase bidding for the horses in the Calcutta, the thought of sizzling snags (no, not Craig), the beautiful weather or just the prospect of good golf and good company. Whatever it was, it brought the numbers out in droves again and we had pretty much a full complement out on the tees. Kiwi Dave was here again and the time that he has been putting in coaching son, Brendon, seems to be paying off at last. Though, it must be said that Brendon did not card the best score submitted. That honour went to Mark, who, unfortunately did not meet the criteria of having played in the last month to be eligible for the Medal. Still, that’s the way the golf ball bounces sometimes.
Brendon did not have it easy though as his nett score was tied with Stefan however his higher handicap won the day for him in the count-back that was necessary to break the tie. Stefan will have to come back next year and tidy up his front nine to try for some heavy metal to hang around his neck.
CraigC was playing in exalted company today as he was teamed up with Michael and Pepsi, our two low markers but he seems to have been unfazed by the prospect and kept his head down to bring home the third place bacon. It seems that the anticipated shoot- out between Michael and Pepsi went off with more of a whimper than a bang and some are wondering whether Pepsi went a bit flat in the face of such opposition. Michael kept on bubbling however and put together another of his 70 off the beater rounds to claim his fourth (mostly fourth) placing in a row.
Next in line, and playing exactly to his handicap was the Man Who Never Was, at least to some of our newer members, so rarely does he grace the hallowed fields of Ivanhoe with his presence. And Rodger didn’t have it on his own-some as he was joined by none other than that son of a gun, Targe.
The ProPin was set at the 12th today and from the back tees it didn’t seem to be that easy a target but at least one member managed to put it within spitting distance of that very elusive beast the hole-in-one. Well done Stefan for putting it within about 300mm of the hole which pretty much excluded anybody else from the competition. A similar difficulty was in play on the 12th for the Nearest the Pin for a ball and the Denizen of the Darklands, Dennis was the man to put it pin high but a few metres out to the west of the hole. Dennis didn’t manage to get the birdie but there were a total of 15 today which is a pretty fair average for the number of players in the field.
One man who did get a birdie was Paul who was playing today to put in his second card towards his handicap and he did it pretty easily on the 6th. However, the hole of the day for Paul, had to be the 11th when his drive hit the pine tree and bounced hard left to finish at the feet of a player on the 2nd. The second shot threaded through the spotted gums towards the green. A less than successful chip ended just off the green and he proceeded to chip it into the hole for the ‘easiest’ of pars.
So, there was some very good scoring done today and you would have to say that there was some pretty ordinary scoring done as well. Some of the less-do-wells spread their misfortune out over the whole round but at least one made an heroic effort to concentrate a very sorry tale into a single hole. Even the computer objected at the prospect of having to digest a score of twenty-two (yes 22) on the one hole. How can this be you might ask. Well, all it requires, is for you to put nine balls either into a water hazard or out-of-bounds. And it seems that Mehm did this from a spot that he didn’t even have to play the ball from after the first one went into the hazard, but, he just kept blazing away. Must have a good supplier of balls or he gets them really cheap somewhere.
One of the upshots of this was that none of the contenders for the Title of Club Champion managed to gather any points from todays event and the almost undisputed Champion for 2014 is none other than Ed. He came in at the beginning of the year with the stated intention of taking out the big one and, lo and behold, he went out and did it. It wasn’t a one horse race, however, as it was one of the closest run things that we have had for quite a few years. Mehmet might have had a chance today, except for the 17th, but he will have to settle for runner-up and set himself a target to do better next year. Chrispy hung on to gather third place and if it hadn’t been for his gypsy caravan weekends and trips to Mansfield, the ultimate prize might very well have been his.
The Seniors Championship was also a bit of a close run thing and once again it has turned out that we have a dual Champion as the man at the top of the list at the end of the year was none other than Ed again as he squeezed out Bill and Oliver who were in with some sort of a chance to the bitter end.
Then there was the Eclectic. This required the scoring of a goodly share of birdies and the occasional eagle to be in with a chance. And the one who came in with the chance was our number one twit(ter) in the person of Noodles who grossed 52 for a nett of 46.2, almost a stroke in front of his nearest contender Oliver. And both had eagles to their name.
Next week sees the start of a new competition year with the prestigious Vin O’Meara stroke event that also forms the last two rounds of the stroke play Championship. Sorry about todays result Mehm.
Of course, the Vin O’Meara is the subject of our annual Calcutta Auction that was carried out after todays event. The state is obviously in a very good position after four years of a Liberal administration as the bidding was vigourous with plenty of competition for the favoured runners. Whether the same will be able to be said next year is still somewhat up in the air. The top price was paid for Stagehand who will be under the capable hands of jockey Ed Kloprogge. Whilst there has been more than a little noise from the owners camp during the year, the recent form has been a bit under the weather and it is the brave punter that puts his eggs in this basket. But then again, if you want to make an omelette, you first have to break some eggs.
There are a few changes coming up in the competition in the coming year and president Gordo will be making an announcement on the committee decisions in the very near future. In the meantime, we look forward to the next couple of weeks of competition and the Champion of Champions event on the 20th December that will be our break-up and presentation day as well. If we can get an early indication of number for this event that will help immensely with the catering for the Christmas lunch. To this end we will be surveying over the next two weeks and advice by e-mail or phone would be greatly appreciated if you are not attending the events.
Results for Saturday, 29 November 2014
1st Mark Berthelsen(64) 2nd Stefan Belevski(65) 2nd Brendon Mitchell(65) Medal (c/b) 3rd Craig Cameron(66) 4th Michael Gourlay(67) 5th Rodger Clarke(68) 5th Targe Mifsud(68)
Another great roll-up today. Maybe it is the warmer weather or maybe people are just trying to suss out the form for the Vin O’Meara or maybe the close finishes in the championships have created a new interest. Whatever the reason it is great to see the tee times full and if a few more of our sick and injured make it back we might need to plead for extra space – which would be good – a sign that the Club is kicking along. The course continues to be maintained in close to the pink of condition and it was pretty darned good today except maybe for some casual water in front of the 6th green. At least we didn’t need our raincoats as the sprinklers had been turned off (more or less) by the time that we got there.
Well, just as some were beginning to think that the young Turk, Zimmer, was showing signs of slipping a bit he puts one together and picks up the top points with the greatest of ease though there was one hole that showed signs of being into double figures. That is what comes from playing a par and a stroke event in combination – no option to pick up. This will do wonders for what the punters are prepared to pay next week though they will have to take into account the handicap adjustment that goes with it. Right along-side, in the field as well as in the result was the other half of the terrible twosome, Stefan. And they marked each others cards. The saving grace is that they were playing with Michael and Snags and it might have been the incentive to try to better Michael that lifted their game. Well done, B1 and B2 – and no the B doesn’t stand for Butthead.
Michael also had a pretty reasonable round and came in with a +1 to share third spot with Harry. Both had their chances in the main comp with a number of putts just missing the mark. But the real story was from the Yellow Ball Team consisting of Michael, Snags, Zim and Stef. They were going gangbusters and had managed to be seven up after thirteen holes. A ‘safe’ shot by Stef from the 14th into the fairway on the 16th didn’t look as if it would pose a problem. However, the ball was nowhere to be found despite strong suspicions that it had been souvenired by players on the other fairway – who incidentally denied all knowledge. Maybe it was just karma as a pay-back for Snag’s shot on the 13th that was heading so far out of bounds that it looked like going into orbit when it hit the No Trespassing sign and ricochetted back into play.
A nice little group of three came in square with the card so CraigC, Oliver and Pepsi have done their handicap no harm and Oliver picked up a couple of valuable points in his chase for the Championship. It must be the different shape of the earth down here compared to Sydney as Pepsi is still ‘spraying’ them a bit – relatively speaking. Craig has become quite a regular in the winners list and could be one to watch for the Calcutta and the Vin O’Meara. Last cab off the rank was Chrispy who also picked up a valuable point to remain in the group of four who have a chance to win or tie the Championship Table. Should make for an interesting round next week which will be the December Monthly Medal and also the first round of the Club Stroke Play Championship.
The Seniors Championship also has a bit of life left in it with three of the old codgers with a chance to win or tie and given that they are also contenders for the Club Championship, the Leader Board will take care of that grouping as well.
Not a great number of birdies around today considering the number of players in the field and almost the only change to the Eclectic were down to the newer players in the Club. But there is still some interest in the result and a couple of strategically placed birdies or eagles next week could make all the difference. The dash has been left a bit late for handicap movements to help out.
The Nearest the Pin for a ball on the 12th went to Michael and rumour has it that he had his name on the inside ProPin on the 4th as well. Our ProPin on the 18th was taken out by Stefan who seems to have had a pretty good day of it.
Today we welcomed along for his first card round Paul Rowland and according to all reports he enjoyed himself. He was in a group with Blighty who went to great lengths to convince them all that today was actually the December Monthly Medal and a stroke round. So there was a mad scramble to work out the Par scores after they were told in no uncertain terms by Snags what the real situation was.
Brendon’s Dad, Dave, was along again today and provided one of the more amusing shots of the day. The ball was quite deeply buried in long grass on the river side on the 17th green and Dave fairly bravely opted to play it out. Lo and behold when he struck the ball, two balls emerged from the rough. It seems that there was a second ball buried even deeper in the long grass right next to his that he hadn’t seen. That would be one for the Rules fanatics! Quite probably, Dave didn’t want to be out-done by Brendon who managed to put one close to the 4th green – from the 8th tee. Not a shot that you would see too often. He had a bit of trouble getting the distance to the flag with his laser ranger from there.
Not sure if Chrispy found his ball on the 14th as there were some reports that it was deep in tiger country on the slope down from the tee boxes. Maybe that is why he tried to steal the Beast’s beer from under his nose after the round.
On the subject of Rules, there has been some discussion recently about the rules for relief from (lateral – the only type that we have) water hazards. A while back, there was a post on this topic and in the interests of providing easy access, there is now a link to this under the Rules menu at the top of the page. It would be a good idea if everybody had a read and makes sure that they understand the application of the rules so that nobody is seen to be unfairly advantaging themselves by incorrect practice.
Don’t forget, December Monthly Medal, Bar-be-que and Calcutta Auction for the Vin O’Meara is on next week. The order of sale will be reverse Championship Points for those that have nominated. Scratchings and unlikely starters will not be sold. This round, together with the two rounds of the Vin O’Meara make up the Club Stroke Play Championship that is determined by the best nett score for the three rounds off your starting handicap. We should be back to the normal Blue tees for the Vin O’Meara.
Results for Saturday, 22 November 2014
1st Kazim Akdag(+3) 2nd Stefan Belevski(+2) 3rd Harry Boughen(+1) 3rd Michael Gourlay(+1) 4th Craig Cameron(□) 4th Oliver Gross(□) 4th Andrew Petricola(□) 5th Chris Priems(-1)
Well, how about that, a whole round played from the back tees. And more to come over the next couple of weeks as the Course Championship plays out its course. Sounds as if Ed might have had some input in urging the Course Management for such a move. Perhaps he thought it might nobble a few of his pursuers in the Championship Table. In the event it was Old McDonald (that is Bob) who showed that his performance a few weeks ago in the Fred Kitson was no flash in the pan and obviously the longer shots required suited his game. The bare stroke under his handicap means that most of the pain comes from the winners penalty and it will be interesting to see if Bob can back up again next week and show some of the lower markers a thing or two about playing from the ‘tigers’.
The fine weather has done no harm to the condition of the course and there were favourable comments about the condition of the greens and fairways. It seems that a few people were seeking to explore other areas of the course with a number of OOB’s, particularly on the 13th. Some sort of Great Attractor seems to have settled up there amongst the houses with Chrispy, Snags and Trevor (twice) finding the dreaded course boundary. It seems Snags almost found one of the actual houses. Noodles was maybe a bit luckier in that his got caught up in the temporary fencing which allowed some much needed relief and maybe saved him from a worse fate.
The other Craig had no such problems and in his first outing with us for a few weeks managed to match his handicap for second place on his ownsome and also picked up a nice little dividend in the form of the ProPin on the 15th which stood at a very healthy $24 in line with the full complement that presented at tee time today. Though there were a couple that were running a little late when the first tee time was imminent. Some people just can’t get out of bed in the mornings.
Another one of the quiet achievers who has been gracing the podium a bit lately was Keith who was only a single point behind Craig and there were a couple that got away, particularly on the back nine where three misses separated Keith from a really great score. It was also noticed that the ibises on the course were looking quite relaxed, so the trauma of a few months back seems to faded from their memory.
There was a fair cluster filling the 4th level on the podium stairs and all of them could very easily had significantly better scores. The group included Gordon, Pepsi, SOS and Michael. The golf gods didn’t smile on Pepsi today with a number of birdie chances just slipping by or perching on the lip of the hole. And despite the longer course there were a reasonable number of the little feathered ones today with 12 in all. There were some Eclectic improvements but nothing of significance in the front runners. With only two weeks to go, time is running out to make a last minute bid for the prize but a couple of well placed birdies could make all the difference.
The last single point fell to RodG who seemed to find it hard to believe that he was left in the points table, but there you go, it’s not over till the fat lady (or at least the President) sings.
The Nearest the Pin for a ball was on the 12th and it must have been pretty hard to hit as over half the field had been through before Harry put his name on the marker and nobody managed to get inside him, so he has a ball to collect for that.
The interesting thing is that none of the front runners on the Championship Table were able to garner any points today so the status quo remains with six with a mathematical chance to taking or tying the Championship. So, the Leader Board will prevail with the setting of most of the last two groups over the next two rounds so that they can try to sledge one another out of the running. The Seniors is still a three horse race so there is still some interest there as well.
On the subject of racing, the Calcutta on the Vin O’Meara will be run on the 29th after the December Monthly Medal. There are a swag of rules associated with this and they are on the web site under the Rules tab. So that we can set the Order of Sale and get the Form Guide in place we need to know who will be playing and who wish to be available for the Calcutta Auction. An email will be sent out that everybody should respond to with their intentions to avoid unnecessary work and confusion on the day.
In other news from the course.
SOS was so intent on looking for somebody else’s ball that he didn’t see some course furniture and promptly tripped over it but his Academy training obviously sank in well and he executed a perfect commando roll to avoid potential injury. There is no news as to whether he drew his weapon or was actually travelling ‘commando’ at the time.
Chrispy had a pretty bad day of it and at one stage decided (if you can decide to do something stupid) to kick his bag in disgust. No injury to himself but it seems that the bag is a little worse for wear. Another member, in a fit of pique, helicoptered his wedge some considerable distance after a duffed chip.
One player thankful for the ‘rub of the green’ was Oliver whose ball, a few centimetres off the green at the 4th, was struck by another players ball and knocked well onto the green in the direction of the hole. Others benefitting from lucky chance were Michael and Keith when shots that would have been well off the green or even OOB hit the pin for a save and in at least one case the ball might even have dropped in.
Ryan blasted the ball from the tee on the 11th and went close to reaching the green. Was he happy with the result – not really as the ball ‘came off the heel’. Just imagine the result if he had centred it.
After the round, Craig was noticed sitting next to Mehm and was absent mindedly stroking Mehm’s knee. It was the one that Mehm had bandaged so maybe Craig was just massaging it. The bandage didn’t stop Mehm taking his characteristic metre long backward leap as he strikes the ball and his playing partners had to be reminded not to stand too close behind on a couple of occasions.
Results for Saturday, 15 November 2014
1st Bob McDonald(37) 2nd Craig Cameron(36) 3rd Keith Delzoppo(35) 4th Michael Gourlay(33) 4th Gordon Hill(33) 4th Andrew Petricola(33) 4th Stephen O’Sullivan(33) 5th Rod Grant(32)
Well, Movember is upon us and it is not clear whether Mehm is being sponsored for his efforts but there were definite signs of hirsuteness about the young Turk’s chops (that’d have to be lamb of course) when he fronted up with a determined look in his eye though he did get off to a bit of a shaky start over the first few holes. But, the head seems to have kept down pretty well after that and he emulated the Melbourne Cup winner by leading the field home by a couple of lengths (well, strokes to be precise).
It was a good day for scoring as the warm weather has dried the course out quite a bit with a bit of run to be had and the rough not quite so thick and grasping as it has been in the recent past. The greens were fairly speedy but that doesn’t seem to have affected the ability to make birdies. There were fourteen an all and a couple of notable ones. One from Michael who who followed up on his Nearest the Pin effort at about a metre from the hole on the 4th and another from Trevor who swept all before him for the ProPin on the 18th with a 1.7 metre effort.
There were a few improvements in the Eclectic scores as a result and the event is still fairly open with about half a dozen within one and a half strokes so some birdies (or eagles) over the next few weeks could turn the field over itself. On the main Club Championship, there are still half a dozen with a mathematical chance of making the top podium spot over the three weeks of competition that are left in this year’s calendar. Mehm, of course, leapt right into calculations with today’s effort and any of the six are easily capable of making up the points. The Seniors also still has a few permutations that could eventuate but it is really only a three horse race at this stage. Speaking of Championships, the Course management will be running their stroke play championship over the next three weeks in the usual three grades and our Stroke Play Championship will kick off on the 29th (December MM) and run on over the two rounds of the Vin O’Meara. So more than plenty of reasons to turn up for good fellowship and, just maybe, some good golf over the next six or so weeks leading up to our Champion of Champions, Presentations and Christmas Lunch on the 20th December.
The larger field was good to see today and there were a couple of faces that we haven’t seen for a while, including Targe and Dennis. Let’s keep the home fires burning and with any sort of luck with a few more back from gallivanting and returning from injury and so forth we will see the whole block of tee times filled on a regular basis.
And, no, I haven’t forgotten the rest of the field. In second place was one of our more senior players who quietly lurks around and every so often gets one of those soft little smiles of his when he hands in a good card. Unfortunately not quite good enough for Keith to add to his trophy cabinet but a very creditable effort and his handicap will suffer just a little as a result. Blighty was also there or thereabouts and just a single stroke behind though it seems that there might have been a bit of Chrispy’s technique of using the trees to advantage and finishing with par where, in different circumstances, bogey (or worse) or out-of-bounds might have been in the offing.
Bob is also keeping up his run of recent form and played nicely to his handicap to snag the fourth spot alongside Michael who seems to be intent on showing that the handicap that he so recently acquired with us was no fluke by playing to it on a regular basis though there were also a couple of double bogies to belie what might have been.
And so we come to the one point brigade and quite a brigade it was. Brendon brought along his Dad, Dave, to show him how much better the courses are in Australia than New Zealand but as a result he had to restrain himself so as not to get a clip around the ears for misbehaving. Targe is back, not so much in golf form as back from his break at being shop-keeper and whatever else has kept him away for the last little while. Joining them for the point was Gordon who has also been a little on again off again in recent times but who assures that he is back.
And now for the also-rans – well at least those who didn’t get a podium spot today. Ryan was spotted looking as if he was in trouble on the 13th but it seems that it was unclear whether his first tee shot had gone into the left hand hazard so he played a provisional and again and again until he reached his original ball which had made it into the hazard. He dropped the ball and played it out for a respectable enough bogey rather than who knows what for his provisional. On the 16th, the group had the pin nicely surrounded with three putts of a metre or so and one maybe only half or less. The short putt person pleaded to the golf gods for a full set of single putts and it seemed as if the golf gods were going to smile upon the group as in turn one, two, three of the longer putts fell into the hole. Needless to say, Oliver was close to tears when the final putt rimmed the cup and didn’t fall.
We’ve booked six spots for next week so another good turn-out would be good. Bren (Gun) Mitchell is going to bring Dad and Dave along again (only one person unfortunately) so an ideal chance to see who’s really to blame not to be missed. Don’t forget, if you are not happy with the way the Club is being run, all Committee positions will be open for contention at the AGM and nominations are open so that you have time to prepare your campaign and arrange financing and vote rigging. The Committee will be meeting in the next week to finalise next year’s Calendar and a few others matters relating to the end of year festivities.
Results for Saturday, 08 November 2014
1st Mehmet Akdag(64) 2nd Keith Delzoppo(66) 3rd Andrew Blight(67) 4th Michael Gourlay(68) 4th Bob McDonald(68) 5th Gordon Hill(70) 5th Targe Mifsud(70) 5th Brendon Mitchell(70)