What a difference a week makes! Or did it? The weather was still pretty inclement with rain fronts to the left and rain fronts to the right. The course was pretty soggy, even water-logged in places and the enthusiasm of , at least some of, the Club members had not waned in the quest to take home the Fred Howe Cup. At least they would have been able to take it home if last year’s winner had brought it along to be presented to the new winner. No names but he has a golf ball named after him and it is long and soft.
Nothing soft about the man who seems to revel in the soft conditions about the course at the moment having broken his old handicap two weeks in a row to leapfrog from second spot to the top with 37 points this week on top of his 40 points last week making an aggregate of 77 points and an easy victory in the end for Rob. He was obviously a man on a mission to pick up his Dad’s trophy and the old fella would have been pretty proud to see him get his name on the ‘auld cup’. And last week’s prediction that he shouldn’t have a 2 in the front of his handicap has also come to pass. Have to keep your head down now Rob.
Now, the big question is, did he leave his Strepsils at home? That’s Mehm, of course. There were some saying he just had to turn up to hoist the trophy but it was not to be and the cause certainly wasn’t helped by a pretty average performance on the front nine. The final margin (77 to 73) might have been a bit closer as well if it hadn’t been for a four putt effort on the 14th though it must be said that that particular green is one of the trickiest on the course.
Blighty looked a bit taken aback when he was Club House leader for a while but he obviously had hopes as he went around because he trudged manfully back to the tee on the 17th hole when his tee shot could not be found. Surely somebody must have seen it land and plug into the mud? And so, consistency from week to week paid off once again and a nice little batch of points for his aggregate of 70 points. Pepsi was up and in with a chance from last week and in an attempt to distract Mehm he is reported to have made a bet with said Mehm that he would catch him by the end of the day. Pepsi is seriously out of pocket if the the ante really was a bottle of Chivas. Pepsi did make up some ground but did fall a little short of his target with an aggregate of 69 points.
Five places, five place-getters, that is something that doesn’t happen all that often. But that was the case today and the final spot was grabbed by a man who was a bit off the pace after week one but put together the second best round of the day to give CraigC fifth spot with an all up score of 67. This result gave Craig second spot in the Seniors after Blighty and now that he has been credited with his entitlements in the Seniors Championship he is well up there with a fair chance that there could be a bit of a competition coming into the end of the year. In the main Championship Table, the gap is closing on Stef with Mehmet less than a win behind and still without a win against his name. Let’s hope todays result doesn’t cost him dearly at the end of the year.
As for the rest, there were some pretty ordinary scores put in on both weeks and if you really want to find out who is feeling miserable tonight just have a look at the Leaderboard menu tab. Still, despite all the doom and gloom on the scoring front, we carded 16 birdies today so obviously birdies don’t translate into good scoring. CraigC got one on the 7th after putting his ball inside 1.5m to collect the Nearest the Pin. And despite the tee being well back, the event was well contested with three names on the card. The Jackpot ProPin on the 18th on the other hand belonged to just one man and that was Brendon who made it to 1.9m but unfortunately he was not able to convert it into a birdie. SOS put his ball onto the 17th again this week and only took two putts to put it away this time. Still, the eagles nest isn’t worth raiding just yet. Not sure whether the nest is going to be filled with ProV1s or the Callaway equivalent. On the subject of birdies and eagles, Pepsi now has a three stroke break on the Eclectic so we need a lot more of the bird varieties to give him a run for his money.
The other Birdie that flutters around from time to time whispers that there will be a celebration in the US of A this week as Oliver racks up another milestone of the birthday variety. Hippy Birdie Oliver!
In the IGL, the ladder leaders both had victories and so the positions at the top of the table remain unchanged. The Tigers accounted for the Bulldogs 68 to 62 and the Hawks rolled the Magpies 67 to 59. By a similar margin, the Blues defeated the Saints by 70 to 63. With four rounds of the Home and Away season to run, the top three are looking pretty secure. The big question will be who of the others will make it into the five?
Stef monstered one of his tee shots again on the 8th and finished on the front of the 9th tee with the big tree between him and the green. Ryan reckoned he couldn’t get it over the tree from there – but he did – putting it just onto the green. Went close to snagging the birdie. So there, Ryan! There are all sorts of records in the Club, not all of which are recorded in the annals or the Hall of Shame (if we had one) but there was one that rates mentioning today. Four players teed off on the par 3 12th and four players finished the hole but only after they had accumulated a total of 19 shots between them. And they were all evenly distributed between the four. Maybe they were planning for their MasterChef experience.
Trevor was back on deck for the first time in a while and while he was his normal cheerful self, his recent ups and downs took their toll and he didn’t quite finish the round. Maybe next week Trev. Noodles was also back – back to spending most of his attention to his mobile possibly to the detriment of his game. Seems he was arranging a social outing for tonight, whatever that might mean. Our winner had a bit of luck on his side when his ball looked to be going out of bounds on the 14th and it just managed to trickle back into play. But, in the scheme of things, it probably wouldn’t have made any difference to the result as he only made one point on the hole anyway.
As usual, after the round, we had out bar-b-q lunch and players rolled up expectantly to the bar-b-q that had been located in its usual spot for the MasterChef group to do the honours. But, no smells of burgers cooking or sound of sausages sizzling. It seems that somebody didn’t do their homework and the gas bottle was empty. Presumably, IPGC management will cop it sweet for that one. After the snags and bread had disappeared (literally) down the assembled cake-holes, Pepsi made the presentations (well the announcements anyway – thanks Noodles) and spoke a few words about Fred and his involvement in and dedication to the Club over many years. He particularly remembered his powerful handshake, his enjoyment of life and the game and his encouragement of having fun with your mates. Then followed a small ceremony with Chris and Rob spreading a small part of Fred on the 17th tee so that he will forever be out there on the course that he loved. Despite a fair northerly wind blowing, somebody observed that Fred did not make it past the ladies tee and it was therefore his shout. Fred would have liked that.
Results for Saturday, 25 July 2015
1st Robert Priems(40, 37, 77) 2nd Mehmet Akdag(42, 31, 73) 3rd Andrew Blight(36, 34, 70) 4th Andrew Petricola(36, 33, 69) 5th Craig Cameron(31, 36, 67)
Nothing like a favourable weather forecast and a major event with double points to get people out of their beds. Fortunately the high pressure system hadn’t arrived just yet so the temperatures were relatively mild to start with though there were a few complaining about cats and razor blades. Lucky we weren’t playing tomorrow as there is a fair chance that skates might be in order if the skies stay clear. So twenty two smiling faces teed off and one smiling face finished.
And why wouldn’t you be smiling after turning in a 42 pointer. The man with the smile is Mehmet of course and you get the feeling that all his moaning and groaning about his poor form might just have been to lull everybody into a false sense of security. The big question now is whether he can keep it up next week, particularly when he will be playing with the other wannabe’s who will be doing their darnedest to put and keep the pressure on the young(ish) Turk.
Leading the wannabe’s is the ‘good looking’ Priems boy, Robert, who managed to card 40 points and that included three holes with no score against them and another with just one point. As one of his playing partners commented, whoever put a 2 at the start of his handicap made a big mistake. Let’s just put it down to him playing out of his skin for Fred.
With a bit of work to do, but not beyond their capabilities, are a pair of Andrews, to whit, Pepsi and Blighty who, with an eye to protecting their handicaps, played exactly to theirs with 36 of the best. Pepsi’s was enhanced a little by dint of an eagle on the 17th for which he robbed the big bird of three eggs and set the tally back to a singleton for the next couple of weeks.
Nipping right at their heels are an unlikely pair of Damo and Bob. Damo claimed to have struggled all the way but he obviously struggled better than some. And Bob is starting to get a bit of a reputation for being up and in amongst them for the major events. Rounding out those with some sort of a chance was Dennis who seemed rather more pleased with his performance than he has been over the last couple of weeks.
There was another round of the IGL this week and with only another five rounds in the Home and Away season the Table is getting to look more settled leading up to the finals. This week the Blues (72) defeated the Tigers (65) which led to the Tigers dropping a place on the ladder. The Dogs (77) defeated the Magpies (65) which leaves the Magpies firmly in last place and they will have to work hard if they want to feature in the finals. The Hawks (77) did a job on the Saints (61) and in the process put themselves back in the top spot.
As well as Damo’s eagle, there were 12 birdies which is a reasonably respectable tally. JohnQ managed one on the 1st with a chip in that he was urging to hit the pin but in reality it didn’t really need to. Another went to Harry on the 7th with an appreciative audience in the group coming up the 6th. But, he would prefer to forget his tee-shot on the 15th that resulted in another draughtie on the hole for the second week in a row. Chrispy also racked up one of those on the 5th after having scored a birdie (a mudlark to be precise) on the 4th. Despite reports of a recovery after the event, later intelligence suggested that the poor thing had indeed expired and the efforts of mouth to beak resuscitation had been in vain. There was an unconfirmed report that Brendon had executed a very stylish Windie and he was observed executing a very stylish duff coming up the 18th. Which possibly explains his placement in the MasterChef squad next week along with Gordon, Targe and SOS. Nuff said.
However, despite all that, Brendon was able to get in at least one good shot for the day and put his name on the marker for the nearest the Pin on the 4th for a ball. The pin position on the 18th might very well have contributed to the fact that there was nary a name on the card and so there will be a Jackpot pool for next week. That should bring the ne’er-do-wells out of the woodwork even if they have no chance for the big prize.
SOS was another one that almost did great things despite a not so great round. With his tee shot a mere 2 metres from the pin on the 17th he could easily have been sharing the balls with Pepsi. Wouldn’t you know it, he managed to three putt for an average sort of a par. Stef was lucky that the course was wet and there wasn’t a lot of run to be had when his tee shot on the 11th went through the green (while people were still on it). In the dry he could easily have been in the middle of the sportsfield and out of bounds.
Damo made no secret of the fact that he thought there was a round of drinks in the offing when his group went off the tee on the 15th (not the hex again?) . But, fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on your point of view, the ball managed to pass the red markers by a good 300mm and saved the day.
Tentative groups for next Saturday, subject to drop-outs and new starters, will be 1) MasterChef, 2) Simon, Graham, Taner, Ryan, 3) Harry, Stef, JohnQ Noods, 4) Craig, Chrispy, ChrisV, Dennis, 4) Damo, Bob, Blighty, 5) Pepsi, Rob, Mehm.
There has been an excellent response for the Weekend Trip to Numurkah. As yet there isn’t a need for hot bunking or top and tailing but there has been a certain amount of lobbying for who doesn’t want to be room sharing with whom. This augurs well for a great weekend. Tee times will be early (8:30 ish) so that we can get finished in good time to celebrate or commiserate and to get back home on Sunday. If you wish you can play in the local comp on Saturday but you will need to take your GolfLink card as they have a card reader system. It will be interesting to see how it all works given the potential for a similar system to be introduced at Ivanhoe Public.
Results for Saturday, 18 July 2015
Leaderboard Round 1 1st Mehmet Akdag(42) 2nd Robert Priems(40) 3rd Andrew Blight(36) 3rd Andrew Petricola(36) 4th Damien Lee(35) 4th Bob McDonald(35) 5th Dennis Ward(34)
How lucky were we. Fifteen took their chances after a band of rain and showers went through over-night and cleared the area in time for tee-off. There were even some sunny patches and it all stayed dry (and reasonably warm) until the last group was in. Then the temperature started dropping noticeably and as the last of the stayers were leaving the club-house the next rain event arrived. So, all who stayed at home under the doona missed out on quite a good day for golf though not necessarily a day for good golf.
The man who did have a good day out there was the new kid on the block, Simon who followed up his win on the ProPin last week with a comp win this week having carded a mere 39 points. And he let a few get away, so the handicap damage could have been worse than it was. The 13th was the nemesis for Simon and perhaps it was just hubris after a small bit of bragging on the previous hole or two about how well he was going. Still he was well pleased with the result and so he should have been after showing fine touch with his approaches and putting. Came close to chipping in on the 8th on the second bounce but it was just a little high and fast and the pin dropped it just outside the hole.
Pepsi didn’t have his impending birthday celebrations to distract him this week and he put together one of his (not quite) regulation rounds. He did par the back and scored a couple of birdies though he didn’t improve his eclectic. He actually went back a bit with the cut to his handicap and his lead in the event is now only two strokes. Nobody else made much of an impression on the table as there were only 5 birdies for the day.
The podium was remarkably uncrowded today and another to stand on his own in third place was Chrispy who played a very steady round and just squeezed in under his handicap with 37 points. He reckons he was a bit disappointed as he was hoping to get his handicap out more for the Fred Howe. Just a little secret Chris, you should have started working on that a lot earlier. And, no, we won’t be taking it easy on you and Rob (especially you) over the next two weeks, you’ll have to win it in your own right – so there.
Mehmet has been doing a lot of placing this year and he is the highest ranking in the Championship Table without a win to his name this year. Come on Mehm, pull your socks up and get a few more than 35 points and get a number in that first place column and you could be right in there with a chance (specially if it is a double header). Somebody has to catch Stefan and there was very little inroads made this week. Perhaps if you can win the Fred Howe even your mother will love you!
The last point of the day went to JohnQ a couple of points back on 33. Perhaps John can be forgiven as he was also embroiled in the last of the Matchplay semi-finals with David. It was really an off-the-stick event as they both lay claim to the same handicap and the first couple of holes went both ways but then John found his swing (or his putting stroke perhaps) and reeled off four wins in a row to set up a handy buffer. David won a couple back but was not able to maintain the rage and the four hole margin remained more or less in place until the 15th where the result was decided 4 and 3.
So, the Matchplay Championship play-off will be between our incumbent, CraigS and JohnQ. The playoff for second runner-up will be between David and Goliath – errr – Zimmer. These matches are scheduled for 01 August so cast off all thoughts of skiing, soccer matches and other past-times likely to result in injury, hangover or just tiredness and schedule yourselves to fight it out to the death on the green, green jousting grounds that are Ivanhoe Public.
As well as coming second in the comp today, Pepsi cleaned up in quite another way. He won both the Nearest the Pin for a ball on the 4th and the ProPin for the dosh on the 12th. Simon, Harry and Taner collected the points in the Seniors today although Simon was a little bemused at being included in the Seniors comp. He says it makes him feel older than he really is. And while on the topic of ages, Graham Forbes will be celebrating a milestone in the coming week if the Birthday Birdie is to be believed.
Even though the numbers on the course were small, there were enough players to get a result in all matches although the poor old Magpies did have to rely on Targe for their score-line today. As a result, they were comprehensively beaten by the Tigers who remain at the head of the table. The second draw of the season was played out between the Bulldogs and the Saints and the shared points did not do much for either team’s standing in the table. The Hawks/Blues match was a close run thing with the Hawks getting up by a three point margin.
Not sure what it is about the 15th but it seems to result in a rather disproportionate number of draughties and the victim of the hex today was Harry who left the ball on such a steep slope that it was deemed to be too dangerous to attempt to play and therefore unplayable. The replayed shot was ‘parred’ which resulted in a single point for the hole. ChrisV chipped in on the 11th when the second bounce hit the base of the pin and the ball dropped into the hole. A little bit either way and it was anybody’s guess where the ball might have finished it was travelling so fast. Craig also had some experience with over hit shots when he was noticed playing back to the 10th green from well down the 11th fairway.
Taner must have been keeping his eye on Chrispy’s style as he was making good use of the fortuitous ricochet on a number of holes although it must be said that there were one or two that were not quite so favourable. David also had some tree problems while playing the 10th though he was on the 13th fairway at the time and didn’t look too pleased with the outcome.
There was a straw poll relating to the members attending the proposed Challenge Weekend at Numurkah in August and by the looks of it there will be a pretty healthy roll-up. The Mustard Jacket that is up for grabs is likely playing a big part in this enthusiasm. Or maybe not. Whilst, most names were recorded and the list will be sent to Gordon, it would be a good idea to e-mail/ring Gordon to confirm your intentions rather than rely on the note taker. If your name is on the list Gordon will be dunning you for your deposits by next Saturday. Also, indicate your willingness (or otherwise) to share a room (hopefully not a bed as well) so that the accommodation allocations can be worked out and extra sought if necessary.
Don’t forget, the next two weeks are the Fred Howe Winter Cup and given the recent passing of Fred, this will be a special and moving event for all Club members and in particular for Chris and Robert. A good turn-out and a fierce competition will make for a couple of weekends to be enjoyed and remembered.
Results for Saturday, 11 July 2015
1st Simon Powell(39) 2nd Andrew Petricola(38) 3rd Chris Priems(37) 4th Mehmet Akdag(35) 5th John Quinlan(33)
Another lovely day that brought twenty four of the denizens of the deep out to sample the delights that Ivanhoe had to offer. And it would have been a lovely day for golf provided that you had a caddy to hold your umbrella, to wipe the mud from your ball, to keep your glove dry and all the other little things that make playing in the rain more pleasant. Still, nobody chucked in the towel and we all grinned and bore it to make it to the end of the round though some of the scores were less than what you might call spectacular.
The man who proved that cold and rain is no impediment to breaking your handicap was none other than our redoubtable Treasurer, Stephen (affectionately known to all as SOS). Nothing spectacular, mind you, just good steady golf with hardly a hiccup for the whole round and with a nett 67 the biggest damage to the handicap was down to the winners penalty. And, in the scheme of things it’s only a single stableford point after all. Nobody else managed to break their handicap so a very good effort all round.
Brendon probably should have broken but for a bit of a brain-fade on the 9th with what should have been a regulation shot to the green from the fairway turning into a couple of difficult mountain-goat shots coming up the hill. He kept his head down on the back nine to be only three over for the half and retrieve a still pretty respectable 69 nett to gather the five points for second place.
JohnQ reckoned he needed a round to get his swing back in order after his escapade to the Old Dart but it seems that there weren’t too many cobwebs to be cleared away or maybe there was an element of truth in his first tee statement that he had really been away playing golf in exotic climes. Whatever, he managed to team up with Chrispy to claim a share of third place with a score of 71.
When Harry offered snakes on the 14th tee as is his wont, Noodles wasn’t backward in coming forward and, besides looking for red ones, took two. The thinking is that he was wanting to get his energy up for a trip to Ballarat that was going to need him to keep his Tindr dry or maybe it was to help him get the birdies that he so desperately needed for his scoreline. Whatever the reason, he eventually got his birdie on the 17th after going reasonably close to the eagle. On the way he ended up joining with CraigC and Allan to get the fourth spot. Allan’s round was slightly infamous as he managed to score a double set of penalties on the 14th and, if it hadn’t been for that, he would have much further up the board.
According to Bob, the golf gods were against him (again) and he did manage to score a draughtie on the 15th but he did manage, despite all this, to get a point for the trouble. He also got a couple more points in the Seniors behind Allan who copped top spot and ahead of Blighty who came in third in that event.
The ProPin on the 4th was a jackpot from last week and so was worth winning and the man to do just that was Simon who now has quite a number of reasons for thinking that it was a good idea to join us. Even though he managed to get closer than 2 metres, the birdie managed to evade him. Not so for others who had a total of fourteen birdies on their cards. Some even managed to improve their Eclectic but there is still a bit of catching to do to overcome Pepsi’s current two stroke lead in the competition. Speaking of Pepsi, the Birthday Birdie thinks that he must have been thinking about the forthcoming celebrations as a possible explanation for a rather ordinary front nine. So much so that Peps was heard to mutter that he wasn’t sure whether he should return the card for the inside comp. Damo was in a similar boat but what really brought him undone was a rather diabolical 9 on the 17th. Still a long way short of Mehm’s record though.
The Nearest the Pin for a ball on the 15th went to Stefan who was just outside the points and with today’s distribution further down the table, his current lead is being maintained.
The IGL round today saw some movement on the table as well with the Tigers defeating the Hawks, the Saints defeating the Magpies and the Blues defeating the Bulldogs. This puts the Tigers back on top, the Saints have moved into the middles of the table and the unfortunate Magpies are still in the running for the Wooden Spoon.
One random fact to emerge from today’s scores was that there were four cards on which the strokes taken for front and back nines were equal – not necessarily a good thing in the scheme of things. Also, it turns out that Whitey is a bit unusual in his pattern of scoring. Most long term members have been scoring equal to their handicap (nett 68, 36 points or square) 6-10% of the time. Whitey still hasn’t done it in 66 rounds.
Gordon has nominated 21-23 August as the date for this year’s weekend away and the venue will be Numurkah. Everybody should have received an e-mail with full details but if you haven’t seen it get onto Gordon and he will fix you right up. In a nut-shell, $95/day gets you accommodation, dinner, breakfast, discounted drinks and unlimited golf. Nominations should be in by next Saturday (11th July) and a $50 deposit should be paid to Gordon by the following Saturday to secure the bookings. Plenty of awards and the much sought after yellow blazer to be played for. There will be a social round at Ivanhoe for those who cannot attend.
The last semi-final of the matchplay will be decided next week and the the grand final and play-off will be decided on 01 August after the Fred Howe Winter Cup event is out of the way. Wowsers, three weeks of Stableford – shouldn’t be any complaints about that. It should be an exciting Grand Final as it seems that Snags is saving himself for whoever his eventual opponent turns out to be if today’s performance is any guide. He and Mehm managed to keep Simon amused if not enlightened.
Results for Saturday, 04 July 2015
1st Stephen O’Sullivan(67) 2nd Brendon Mitchell(69) 3rd Chris Priems(71) 3rd John Quinlan(71) 4th Stephen Butterfield(72) 4th Craig Cameron(72) 4th Allan Davies(72) 5th Bob McDonald(73)