It was a chilly-willy sort of day but the usual suspects still fronted in their shorts showing off their finely toned calves, knobbly knees and surgery scars depending on who you looked at. The rest of the 25 players were conventionally dressed for the conditions.
Early taws there was little wind but later in the round it sprang up a little and some of the less well padded types reached for their jumpers again. The course continues to show stress from the lack of rain but the greens are well watered and give fairly readily under impact. If only every player repaired two pitch marks (without slowing down play, of course)!
Chrispy made his long awaited return from injury and put on a great act looking for sympathy and a handicap review before tee time. Well, he got his handicap review after turning in a card with 40 points with a suspicious looking two scored over the last three holes. Chris reckons the change in his weight transfer because of the injured ankle and the change in his weight due to inactivity contributed to improved accuracy from straighter ball flight. Have we seen the last of the ‘power fade’?
Harry put together a pretty good front nine which came in for some comment at the 10th. This was quickly followed by only three points over the next four holes. Waiting for the green to clear on the 14th, SOS delivered a homily about the role of the mind on performance, taken from a recent management course. This seemed to have hit a chord and 14 points more brought the total to 37 and a share of second place. Enzo might not have needed the same pep talk, or even had anyone to deliver it, but he made an identical pair of nines to get his first points in both the Championship and the Seniors.
As Blighty so perspicaciously pointed out, nobody played exactly to their handicap as third place was filled by Brendon and Dave with a score of 35 points. Dave reckons he should have scored a lot better if not for missing a swag of birdie putts because of the dew on the greens (any excuse!). Perhaps this is why we only managed to gather 13 of the little blighters today. Meantime, Brendon was given a pretty good impression of all four of the wiggles (including the girl) with his multi-coloured and not necessarily colour co-ordinated outfit.
Blighty, the perspicacious one, managed to score 34 points with five horizontals and two verticals in the mix. Matt had one horizontal and five verticals, precisely the same number as Damo, on their way to join Andrew in 4th place. All could have been so much better. Dennis was more than happy to take a point for his 33.
The Nearest the Pin competition had one closely fought hole today. Blighty put his onto the BallPin 4th and probably thought he had a very good chance with his ball five golf shoe and 10mm from the hole. Harry’s shot to 5 golf shoe just pipped him out until along came Brendon, who apparently got closer than five golf shoe, to collect the ball. Not to be outdone, Blighty got his name on the chit at the 18th and took out the ball there instead. The Jackpot ProPin on the 12th went to Enzo who managed to make it to about 2m from the hole.
There were a swag of matches played today. In the second round, Rob and Jason squared up and, literally, squared up and had to go to a chip off. Rob held the lead pretty much all day but Jason pegged him back to square on three occasions. Jason was 2 down at the 16th and had yet to putt when he went to shake Robs hand as if the match was over. When it was pointed out that he could square the hole and make the match dormie two he carried on, got the square and then won the next two. Was he really confused or was he playing mind games? If he was, it was all for naught, as the chip off went to Rob.
Matt took on Mehm and, after a square on the first he was never headed and he took the match 3 and 2. Matt played a very nice shot into the 8th green while Mehm’s skulled approach was lucky to be in bounds when it was saved by the long grass at the front of the green. Matt sank his putt for the birdie but Mehm chipped in from the grass to win the hole. You don’t have to post pictures on Instagram, hey Mehm!
JQ played Bob and had to concede a fair number of strokes. Unfortunately for Bob, he had a pretty ordinary front nine and John was six up at the turn. Bob either woke up or settled down on the back nine and managed to bring the score-line back to 4 and 3. Noodles took on Stef and reckoned the match had all the attractiveness of a Blighty chip-off. However it was a close run thing until some erratic play by Stef on the 14th and 16th gave the match to Noodles 3 and 2.
In a little bit of gun jumping, Dave and Peter played their round three match. Dave was never really headed but the match went dormie two at the 16th and an easy win at the 17th sealed the match for Dave, 3 and 1. Perhaps Peter was lucky that those putts weren’t sinking for Dave.
Damo tried some sort of ‘special’ shot on the 6th and ended up well over on the 7th with another need for a ‘special’ shot to negotiate the trees in the way to the green. Rob might not have been trying anything special when he failed to reach the red markers on the 9th and scored the only draughtie for the day. Dennis was 95% sure that his drive on the 17th was in the penalty area and he took great delight in pitching across the pond and sinking the putt for a par.
Porks was conspicuous by his absence today so he was obviously off somewhere, up to no good, celebrating his birthday. Whitey will be breaking out the candles later in the week. The Birthday Birdie says have a good one guys.
Results for Saturday, 27 April 2019
1st Chris Priems(40) 2nd Harry Boughen(37) 2nd Enzo Cirone(37) 3rd Brendon Mitchell(35) 3rd David Mullenger(35) 4th Andrew Blight(34) 4th Matt Hunt(34) 4th Damien Lee(34) 5th Dennis Ward(33)
Seniors Results: 1st Enzo Cirone (37) 1st Harry Boughen (37) 2nd Andrew Blight (34) 3rd Dennis Ward (33)
Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin12th Enzo Cirone BallPin No 1 4th Brendon Mitchell BallPin No 2 18th Andrew Blight
While various wives made the salads for the afternoon’s barbie and hosed out the back seat of the car, nineteen resolute members fronted up to the course to try their hand at the Par Competition on offer. The BOM had promised a remarkably warm day for this part of April and, although it was a little cool to start, their prediction soon looked like being spot on and the jumpers, if not the gloves, were off. The greens were manicured to within an inch of their life (other than the odd unrepaired pitch mark), so there were few excuses for missed putts.
We haven’t seen a lot of David this year but today was obviously important to him as he made a point of playing a round on the course yesterday just to get the feel of the place. He has also been doing some work on his equipment and this has obviously paid off with drives on several of the par fours in danger of passing the green. On the 16th, the drive finished effectively pin high not all that far off the green to the right. With the tee well back, that is a massive shot. There’s probably a chance that Rod would have been taking pretty close to three shots to reach that far but that did not stop him from matching Dave’s score of +4 to share the winning honours for the day.
Dave and Pepsi were matched up in the second round of the Matchplay and both were virtually playing out of their skin. Pepsi had to give Dave three strokes but by and large they were pretty well matched. Pepsi gifted one to Dave on the second with a little ‘tap in’ that didn’t and was disappointed to have to lose the hole with a par on the 4th. Dave’s winning birdie on the 5th was one of the ten carded for the day. In the end, 70 off the stick was not enough to win the match which went to Dave 2 and 1. As a consolation, Pepsi scored +3 and came home in second place.
Peter was also embroiled in a face off with Targe in the Matchplay. Targe got away to an early start and, by winning the odd numbered holes, he was 3 up after six. Peter pulled his socks up and won four of the next five to snatch the lead which Targe never got back and at the 16th the match was square and Peter had no more strokes to give. The position was unchanged at the 18th where Targe missed a very short putt for the match and the pair proceeded to chip off, which Peter won. Neither chose to wait around for Blighty to finish to ask him for advice on strategy. Peter’s personal score of +1 was matched by SOS and they shared the podium in third place.
Gordon, Damo and Porks put together some pretty impressive runs of squared holes and, in between, they seemed to alternate between plus and minus. So much so that they all finished on -1 in fourth place. Targe continues to get his nose into the points table and managed -2 for fifth place. He wasn’t alone though. Simon joined him but he probably thinks he deserved better after a call of ‘fore’ from the 16th during his backswing on the 15th contributed (according to Simon) to a shank into the rough stuff to the right of the fairway. Can’t have been too bad as he still managed a four.
Speaking of fore, there were a lot of shouts today. A shout of ‘fore right’ from the group on the 14th went unheeded by Blighty who just happened to be on his phone and the ball missed by millimetres. Both Harry and Dale sprayed their drives on the 15th and put the cat among the Enzo’s on or about the 16th tee. And, with Dave bombing them 280metres off the tee there were a few precautionary calls on his behalf as well.
The Nearest the Pin comps today started on the 4th with the first BallPin. Peter, in the first group put in a good claim but it was not until one of the later groups that anybody got closer and that anybody was SOS. The second BallPin on the 18th was also up for contention and unfortunately Rod was pipped out of it by Dave. The ProPin on the 15th had one claimant after Gordon put his shot out to the left and ran it off the Hill (where else?) to finish at 5.2 m. Close, but no cigar and a jackpot for next week.
There were two draughties reported today. Blighty managed on on the 17th by ricocheting off the fence by the chipping green while Dennis managed one off the 14th. And, on the subject of the red markers, JQ’s tee shot from the 13th was a low skull that hit the red marker so hard that the ball made a dent in the plastic and bounced high and carried to just short of the penalty area on the left of the fairway and only a few metres behind Damo who had hit a really good shot. As they say, you don’t have to post pictures on Instagram. JQ did not want to elucidate on how the rest of the hole went.
Harry found a bit of strife on the 6th and, with four shots, hit four trees and advanced the ball about ten metres from the original starting point. Rod, on the other hand found a new way to play the 12th by playing around the right side of the right hand penalty area.
Make sure you wish Porks a Happy Birthday next week, just in case the Birthday Birdie neglects to mention it next time.
Results for Saturday, 20 April 2019
1st Rod Grant(+4) 1st David Mullenger(+4) 2nd Andrew Petricola(+3) 3rd Peter Damou(+1) 3rd Stephen O’Sullivan(+1) 4th Gordon Hill(-1) 4th Damien Lee(-1) 4th Ryan Porker(-1) 5th Targe Mifsud(-2) 5th Simon Powell(-2)
Seniors Results: 1st Rod Grant (+4) 2nd Gordon Hill (-1) 3rd Simon Powell (-2) 3rd Targe Mifsud (-2)
Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin15th Jackpot BallPin No 1 4th Stephen O’Sullivan BallPin No 2 18th David Mullenger
There was some trepidation in the management team as the inaugural Ryder Cup Teams event approached. Would the members turn up in droves or would they stay away in droves? As it turned out it was the former and there were 22 members and Enzo who joined us again. With his membership application in and his adjusted GA handicap set as his Club handicap, Enzo could easily be a force to be reckoned with in the near future. For today, he tagged along but acquitted himself admirably in the ball run event.
But first, the main event. There was excitement in the air as the extras who did not indicate beforehand that they were going to play rolled in and the list for the captains to select from was finalised. Then it was quick fire, select, opponent, select, opponent until they said ‘That’s it’. Hang on, there’s 22 names on the list and only ten members per team. Who’s been missed? Oh, it’s Brendon and Ben, they’ll have to play each other then – which one do you want?
The Europe Team was carefully selected by that well known ranga Gordon who headed confidently to the first tee to take on the opposing captain of the United States team, JQ. His confidence appeared to be well founded as he parred the first to take an early lead and, in the scheme of things was never really headed until the match finished in his hands 4 and 3. John was rather miffed that it seemed Gordon could skull a shot through almost any obstacle to finish within spitting distance of the hole and the frustration was obvious on the 13th when a club might have left his hands in a non-regulation manner.
A battle of the giants was anticipated with the matching of Damo and Pepsi. After sharing the honours on the first, Pepsi, uncharacteristically, although this is the second time in two weeks, didn’t make it through the greenery in front of the tee on the second or to the red markers for that matter. This handed a lead to Damo who never really looked back, despite Pepsi claiming a couple of holes late in the round, to take the match 3 and 1.
Noodles and Ryan played a see-sawing match and it was a pretty close run thing with the match going to Noods 1 up after they squared the last two holes. The Beast and Dale squared up on the first but from then on Dale was never headed and took out their match 3 and 2. Rob and Stef took it in turns to win two, lose two (pretty much) and as a result the match ended up square after the 18th. A chip-off decided the result in Rob’s favour.
Bob and Targe were on equal handicaps and so there were no strokes (or quarter) to be given and the match was never far from square the whole round. And even when the round was finished, the match was still square until a chip-off decided the match in Bob’s favour. Simon got off to a good start in his match against Brent by making a par on the first and it seemed as if he was going to roll on to an easy victory. After the 10th, Si was five up and could have been forgiven for thinking he had it in the bag. Then Brent woke up and won four of the next five and it was game on. But, in the end, Simon won the 17th to come out victor 2 and 1.
SOS and Jason battled hard for the first nine and the honours were even at that stage. SOS put on a burst, Jason put on a burst and then SOS put on a final lunge for the line, winning the 16th and 17th to finish up 3 and 1. Trev took on Blighty after a six week break brought on by treatment and rest and recovery from trying to deep-fry himself. While he was struggling, physically, Trev was actually playing pretty well (despite his protestations) and, at the end of the match, the game was all square and the duelling duo proceed to the green for a chip-off. And what a chip-off it was. Trev won the toss and went first and made it onto the green but quite a long way from the hole. Blighty’s first chip was well short of the green and the expectation was that he would put it close to the hole to put pressure on Trev for the putt. But, no, he gave it a good whack and went close to finishing under the dumpster at the back of the green. Another two chips were required to even get on the green and a couple of putts gave Trev plenty of margin to win, even with his three putts.
Ken and Harry were pretty well matched over the front nine but by the 14th Harry was four up. A foray into the penalty area handed that hole to Ken and the connections began to get a bit nervous. A square on the 15th made the match dormie three which meant that Harry would have to lose every hole for the match to finish square. A loss on the 16th started on that path but a win on the 17th finished the match 3 and 1.
At this stage, the teams were even with five matches apiece. So one match was going to decide the event. And that match was between the ‘forgotten boys’ Brendon and Ben. Neither of them got off to a particularly good start. Ben is well known for having trouble from the first tee and when SOS found a ball in the garden bed in front the natural assumption was that it might be one of Ben’s. But, today, Ben didn’t put it in the garden but he did barely make it past the reds markers. And, wouldn’t you know it, Brendon did almost exactly the same thing. Despite that, they were able to slug it out with very little advantage one way or another until a win on the 17th put Brendon one up. On the 18th, both were set to putt for par when Brendon missed by a michael hair and Ben had the chance to square the match and go to a chip-off. Unfortunately, the putt did not fall and so the inaugural Ryder Cup teams event went to the United States team six games to five.
We had out Nearest the Pin competition as usual and the Jackpot ProPin was located on the 12th hole. Damo got on but didn’t write his distance but it didn’t matter as Simon got inside him with a shot to 1.49m. After he hit his shot SOS was heard to say ‘We did agree to go quarters, didn’t we?”. There was a BallPin on the 15th and Brendon got to put his smiley face on that one after his ball landed short of the green to the left, took a sharp right turn and went very close to the hole before stopping a metre or so away. He still didn’t get the birdie though. The second BallPin on the 18th went to Harry.
Although not everybody filled in a normal card, points were calculated from the match cards for those that didn’t for the purposes of determining the ball run for the day. Any missing scores were awarded two points. SOS will hand out balls next week.
Results for Saturday, 13 April 2019
Matchplay: Gordon Hill d John Quinlan 4 & 3, Damien Lee d Andrew Petricola 3 & 1, Stephen Butterfield d Ryan Porker 1 up, Dale Webb d Bill Eastoe 3 & 2, Robert Priems d Stefan Belevski Chip off, Bob McDonald d Targe Mifsud Chip off, Simon Powell d Brent Rowley 2 & 1, Stephen O’Sullivan d Jason Hopkins 3 & 1, Trevor Jackson d Andrew Blight Chip off, Harry Boughen d Ken Watson 3 & 1, Brendon Mitchell d Ben Akdag 1 up USA (captain John Quinlan) d Europe (captain Gordon Hill) 6 games to 5.
Ball Run: 1st Stephen Butterfield(40) 2nd Enzo Cirone(39) 2nd Gordon Hill(39) 2nd Damien Lee(39) 3rd Andrew Blight(36) 4th Trevor Jackson(35) 5th too many to mention (33)
Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin12th Simon Powell BallPin No 1 15th Damien Lee BallPin No 2 18th Harry Boughen
The question has to be asked – will it ever rain again? The ground staff must have reached the bottom of the barrel. The green sward that we have become used to is starting to look a bit brown in places and some of the cracks are getting large enough to swallow a ball. But, there is a bit more run to be had and the greens are still soft enough and in good condition, so there is no reason that eighteen keen beans could not score their pants off. There was a little bit of wind about from time to time but not enough to claim any blame.
Just before he was due to tee off, Porks had to make a trip back to his car to put away his coach’s (read girlfriend) putter so that he only had the regulation 14 clubs in his bag. It would have been a shame to have disqualified him after he took to the course and rattled off a mere 39 shots to complete the first nine. The standard continued, almost unabated, on the back nine where another 38 gave a total of 77 for a net 64, more than enough to claim the first spot and the Monthly Medal for April.
Could anybody have challenged such an effort? Well, if it hadn’t been for an eleven (yes, eleven) on the second, then Targe could easily have made a real contest of it. That made a bit of a mess of the front nine score, but, on the back, Targe took only one more stroke than Ryan and finished the day with a very creditable net 67 to take second place in the main event and top place in the Seniors. Those points keep him in the front of both Championship events although Porks is nipping at his heels in the Club Championship.
Blighty and Harry level pegged it for third place for the day and second place in the Seniors with their handicap equalling score of 68. Harry was spotted patting his pockets and inspecting his cart and bag looking for his ball to tee off on the 10th. Then it was pointed out that he had it in his hand. Just shows what concentration will do. Stef, Noodles and Craig tied it up for fourth while Steve was just a stroke behind with 71.
The Nearest the Pin saw a bit of competition today with a series of names written on and then crossed off (except for one). The BallPin on the 12th eventually went to Craig who got close enough to win but not close enough to get the birdie. The BallPin on the 18th went to Damo, who didn’t get around to crossing off Stef’s name but we gave it to him anyway. None of those three got the birdies, so it was up to others to tally up the fairly ordinary total of eight for the day. The ProPin on the 15th defied all efforts and so there will be a nice fat Jackpot next week.
Speaking of next week, this will be the inaugural attempt at the Ryder Cup teams event. This will be played in a Matchplay format with teams chosen by the team captains. There will be Championship points awarded for each Match winner and for each member of the winning team. There will not be points for individual performances, nor will there be handicapping. If players happen to be selected against their Matchplay Championship Round 2 opponent, they can choose to use the result for their match if they so nominate before starting the round.
And, speaking of Matchplay, there were two matches contested today. Stef and Steve finished off Round 1 and a very close run thing it was. There were only two halved holes in the match and it all came down to a putting contest on the last. Steve had done some homework on a previous putt and was shattered to see the ball do a lap of the hole and finish about 20mm outside the circle, handing the match to Stef, 1 up. A square result would have been interesting, as the practice green was chockers with a kids class and it might have been difficult to demand that it be cleared for a chip-off. Harry and Porks also played to get Round 2 under way and, despite the scoreline of 3 and 1 in Porks favour, the match was pretty closely fought. Harry just happened to strike Ryan on fire and a number of putts missing by the barest of margins could easily have been the difference on the day.
Trees rated a few mentions in the aftermath of the round. Rod and Jason variously tried left hand, back of club and upside down club to extricate themselves from close proximity. The Beast was also moved to mention that he had never seen so many balls so close to trees in a round and these weren’t the stray ones that seemed to litter the course. Pepsi also fell foul when his shot to the 17th first caught a tree, and then bounced off a fence to finish hard up against the tree. Probably saved it from OOB though. Toe of putter was the only shot to play.
Chrispy came along and carted his way around the course and he thought he had attached himself to the marquee group which happened to include Pepsi. Chrispy had expected to pick up a few pointers in preparation for his return to play but he ended up being somewhat disappointed. He did opine that Pepsi must be a shareholder in CUB after he managed to rack up two draughties early on. Peter and Blighty racked up an air shot each. Peter claimed extenuating circumstances with the ball hard up against a tree while Andrew’s was in the middle of the fairway.
The Birthday Birdie has been having a quiet time of it recently but there are a couple of items of note this week. Everybody’s favourite Turkish Delight, Mehmet, will be breaking out the candles tomorrow and later in the week Rod will be celebrating the double four nothing with a nosh up after golf on Thursday.
Results for Saturday, 06 April 2019
1st Ryan Porker(64) 2nd Targe Mifsud(67) 3rd Andrew Blight(68) 3rd Harry Boughen(68) 4th Stefan Belevski(70) 4th Stephen Butterfield(70) 4th Craig Cameron(70) 5th Stephen Kelly(71)
Seniors Results: 1st Targe Mifsud (67) 2nd Andrew Blight (68) 2nd Harry Boughen (68) 3rd Craig Cameron (70)
Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin15th Jackpot BallPin No 1 12th Craig Cameron BallPin No 2 18th Damien Lee