The list of contenders was short for the December Monthly Medal on 30 November 2019.
No matter which way you dice it, the weather gods have been kind in recent times. A goodly bunch of showers passed over during the night and deposited a bit of moisture around and about to keep the course in its fine condition. Sort of like Goldilocks, not too wet and not too dry but juuusstt right. A few of the clouds tried their best to look threatening and Blighty got a bit jumpy when a couple of drops appeared from somewhere, if not the sky. All in all, it was little wonder that 21 members turned out to fight it out for the last medal on offer for the year and, for a few of them, to fight it out for the prize horses on offer in the Calcutta Auction after the round.
As well as the medal, there were a few other things going on today. There were some places to be decided in the Club Championship and in the Senior Championship and the competition for second and third places in each was expected to be fierce. As it turned out, Targe made it easily into second place by taking out the day by a good margin with his nett score of 67. Technically, he won it on a countback from Dave but, unfortunately, Dave did not qualify for the medal and he had to settle for a few more points and an even bigger tally on his Vardon Trophy win. The result might, or might not been different if Targe hadn’t had a draughtie on the third and if Dave hadn’t been three putting on a regular basis
Jason saved his handicap nicely for the Vin O’Meara by coming in second with a handicap equaling nett of 68. This score was helped along by a couple of birdies on a day that delivered an impressive tally, for recent times, of 17. Craig and Bob shared the honours for third place with their cards of 69 and Craig would probably like to claim that he intended to hit a branch to slow and deflect his ball for a chip-in on the 3rd.
Brendon managed to squeeze himself into third place in the Championship by gathering the two points for fourth place on the day. And that was despite consigning two balls into the penalty area on the 17th. Matt rounded out the very last point for the season with his nett of 71.
Dennis and Harry were slugging it out for the minor placings in the Senior Championship and, although the golf wasn’t great, there looked like being some sort of a contest until a quintuple at the 13th was enough for Harry to realise that nothing short of a miracle could change the placings and he would have to settle for second runner-up.
Gordon was probably wishing the the Nearest the Pin competitions had been set on the 4th and the 7th. His tee shot on the 4th finished centimetres from the hole and there was an unverified claim that he went close to hole in one on the 7th. The fact that his card showed a four for that hole suggests that if it did go close it was travelling too fast to fall or that the flat stick failed miserably. As it was, there was a BallPin on the 12th that was fiercely contested but eventually went to Porks in the last group. The second BallPin on the 18th went to a shot by Dave that barely made it onto the green. The ProPin was on the 15th (again) and Harry was able to make good use of the contours to finish 3.845m from the hole.
Peter produced a mixed bag today with some shots departing almost at right angles to the intended direction and going close to taking out Bob and Allan in the process. On the other hand, he went close to driving the green on the 11th and went within millimetres of putting his second in for an eagle. He cracked two birdies for the day, but he already had them for the Eclectic. Blighty, on the other hand, managed to get a par on the 6th to improve his and missed out by a whisker on catching up with Peter who took out the Eclectic for the year.
In other news, Blighty managed to have a ‘ground’ shot on the 11th. And when he shaped up for the next shot, he appeared to go close to repeating the trick. JQ pulled some spectacular ‘rescue’ shots out of the bag but still managed to finish a little way down the order. SOS was feeling a little the worse for wear after the previous night’s activities.
The Calcutta Auction was ably conducted by that well known auctioneer, Gordon, although he did drop his knob a number of times and actually missed the table once when a very late bid came in. This almost resulted in a protest but the matter was settled amicably. The purchasers will be in contact with the jockeys in relation to settling any sharing arrangements. Any auctioned jockey who changes their intention to race should advise their purchaser at the earliest opportunity. Settlement must be in cash to the purchaser and from him to Gordon before the start of play next week. The $25 ‘buy yourself’ option must also be settled with Gordon before start of play.
Results for Saturday, 30 November 2019
1st Targe Mifsud(67) (c/b t9) 1st David Mullenger(67) 2nd Jason Hopkins(68) 3rd Craig Cameron(69) 3rd Bob McDonald(69) 4th Brendon Mitchell(70) 5th Matt Hunt(71)
Seniors Results: 1st Targe Mifsud (67) 2nd Bob McDonald (69) 2nd Craig Cameron (69) 3rd Dennis Ward (72)
Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin15th Harry Boughen BallPin No 1 12th Ryan Porker BallPin No 2 18th David Mullenger
Man can this mango on 23 November 2019
Another glorious spring day in Melbourne. The day started off just about cool enough to need an extra layer and promised to warm up just enough to be pleasant. And, it delivered. So, with the course in very good condition, there was no cause to excuse poor golf. As a result there are a few of the 21 members who will have to scratch around to explain the scores that they were able to turn in. They could use the excuse of being put off by the lady in the yellow jump suit who seemed more intent on filming the birdlife around the course than on her own personal safety. As somebody said, ‘seen one duck, seen them all’, so spending most of the morning in their pursuit did seem a little extreme. Shades of the Pokemon Go craze with people wandering around the course with their eyes on their phones!
For those wondering about last week’s photo, yes, it was not our Ken. But, it was a Watson. Or at least an actor who has played Watson. Who was the side-kick of Sherlock. The situation has been rectified this week because, to prove that last week was not a fluke and to get his actual picture in the blog, Ken went out and took the course apart to return a very impressive +8 points. He was helped along more than a little by three double pointers and, according to reports, a couple of them went very close to being triple pointers. The one on the 16th actually rimmed the hole, ran around the edge and finished a matter of millimetres away. The damage to the handicap was just a little bit more severe this week.
Noodles was hitting them long and soft this week and the relaxed approach paid off and he could have forgiven for thinking that he had a chance of taking out the top spot and closing the gap on Porks just enough to have a chance of catching the new Club Champion on the last round of the season. Unfortunately, it was not to be, as the two pointers proved to be elusive and only one fell into his net. He did manage a tally of three birdies which represented a quarter of the little feathery blighters that were caught today. Pepsi gathered another quarter which sort of puts the lie to the report that his putting was off today.
The Beast was putting together his usual very steady round and he probably fancied his chances of finishing near to the front of the field. So, a nicely struck seven iron from the 17th tee gave a reasonable look at the green but it was followed by the most horrible shank imaginable. The next shot across the penalty area disappeared into the long stuff along the fence, never to be seen again. Rod managed a Kanobi on the 14th from a shot taken from the 16th but he was pretty pleased with his double pointer on the 8th after a duffed chip was followed up with a chip in for the par. Brendon almost, but not quite, managed to bogie every hole that he didn’t get a stroke on. As a result they all came in with +2 and a share of third place.
Daniel played off twenty three, which just happens to be the same handicap as his good mate Peter. And, guess what, they both took an extra stroke on the 8th (rating 6). Wonder which of the two can’t subtract! Craig started out pretty steadily with a solid run of plus and square. The back nine did not treat him so well although it did include one double. SOS was rather up and down and could well have done with some up and downs. These happy chappies shared the honours for fourth place.
Harry was feeling a bit disconsolate after three minus scores in the first six holes but three consecutive pars to finish out the nine perked him up no end. Jason probably perked up a bit after he put it close enough on the 18th to take out the BallPin there and then sank the putt for the birdie and a double pointer. Of course, he also took out the BallPin on the 4th much to the dismay of Harry and Matt. Chrispy was on a hard lie at the back of the 12th and there was some discussion about the possibility of relief but that was ultimately decided against. The ‘duffed’ chip finished short of the green but the trusty Brosnan putter did the trick and the par was sealed. The ‘Magpie’ putter might be in for relegation if this keeps up. Whitey also managed a double pointer on the 18th to join in for the last point in fifth place.
On the 13th, Rod managed to put his drive just into the right side penalty area. Bill was helpfully wondering whether the plant that the ball came to rest amidst was some sort of endangered species that needed protection. Bill didn’t really have to wonder about his tee shot on the 15th, however, as it finished pin high and 3.065m from the hole to take out the ProPin uncontested.
Targe apparently covered a fair bit of territory on his round today. He was noticed buying some drinks courtesy of a draughtie on the 6th where the ball finished in the penalty area beside the tee box and well short of the red markers. Chrispy also scored a Kanobi on the 14th when the allowance for the power fade brought the ball into contact with an overhanging tree branch and sent it in the general direction of the car-park. Chris reckons he is going to come in during the week and remove the offending branch. Matt managed to get a two pointer today with a chip-in on the 4th after leaving his tee shot well short. On the 16th, he had to pursue his ball well down the practice fairway, not because he had hit it there, but because it had been picked up by one of the juniors in a class with the Pro.
During the gab-fest after the round, Chrispy did a lay-back stretch in his chair that caused his shirt to ride up and reveal the he was wearing his Saturday undies. Apparently, he has a set of one for every day of the week although there is no guarantee that he will be wearing the Tuesday undies on Tuesday. It was unkindly suggested that they could easily read ‘yadrutaS’.
The next four weeks have a lot going on. Next week is the December Monthly Medal, the last points scoring round for this season. A lot of interest in the battle for second and third place so the sparks could fly in the last group. This round is also the first round of three for the Club Strokeplay Championship. The Calcutta Auction for the Vin O’Meara will be conducted after the round. Plenty of talent to be snapped up and there could be some bargains to be had.
The following two weeks will see the contest of the Vin O’Meara to start off the new competition year and to round out the Strokeplay Championship. And then, the week after sees the contest for the Champion of Champions and the Chump of Chumps which will be followed by the Presentations and Christmas Feast to be held this year at President John’s residence. If you haven’t marked your calendar, just do it!
Results for Saturday, 23 November 2019
1st Ken Watson(+8) 2nd Stephen Butterfield(+6) 3rd Bill Eastoe(+2) 3rd Rod Grant(+2) 3rd Brendon Mitchell(+2) 4th Craig Cameron(+1) 4th Daniel O’Rourke(+1) 4th Stephen O’Sullivan(+1) 5th Harry Boughen(□) 5th Jason Hopkins(□) 5th Chris Priems(□) 5th Rodney White(□)
Seniors Results: 1st Bill Eastoe (+2) 1st Rod Grant (+2) 2nd Craig Cameron (+1) 3rd Harry Boughen (□)
Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin15th Bill Eastoe BallPin No 1 7th Jason Hopkins BallPin No 2 18th Jason Hopkins
Centuries and cover drives on 16 November 2019
You could be forgiven for thinking that the cricket season is well under way. There was certainly the crack of willow on leather and shouts of ‘Howzat’ from the grounds across the road from the course. Michael looked around to watch the replay but, alas, the local ground does not run to such luxuries as a scoreboard let alone one that features replays. The conditions were a bit cool to start with and a few clouds and the occasional A380 got between the 18 players (plus one guest) and the sun but, all in all, it was a great day for golf and the course is still in good condition after some rain and careful attention from the ground staff.
Ken and Blighty were playing in the second group and were concentrating so hard on trying to keep up with Elton and the Rocket Men in the group in front that they lost track of how many and which holes that Ken had two strokes for. Correcting this little miscalculation propelled Ken into first place with a handy little 37 points. And this included the ignominy of having executed a draughtie although it must be admitted that it resulted from a return from the outfield by a tree.
Targe did a fair bit of wandering with shanks pony as he negotiated the front nine and looked to be among the also-rans as he turned into the back. Whether he raided the canteen for sustenance on the way through or whether he just managed to keep his head down, the back nine was a totally different game and he fairly cantered into second place.
Brendon was ensconced in the group that included our guest, Gareth, the course manager and, in the process, he managed to find out all sorts of information about the running of the course. Despite being side by side, it was still deemed necessary to call on a club member to rule on whether Bren’s ball was in a ‘garden bed’ or not over by the 14th green. Porks, on the other hand, was trying his hardest to just keep the points ticking over and conservative club selection was the order of the day. One exception was on the 13th where two balls finished OOB or lost from the tee. In the process, he brought up his century, which is a pretty good result in anybody’s book.
Stefan, the Rocket, blasted off so mightily on one hole that his driver couldn’t stand the pace and finished up somewhat the worse for wear. Despite this set-back Stef still manged to come up with 33 points and got himself a couple of points for his trouble. Harry thought he could have scored better if it had not been for so many edgy putts and Blighty thought he could have scored better on the cricket field, his cover drive was working so effectively.
Michael is just working himself into his comeback and is still a bit tentative about his knee. His tee shot from the 1st did not inspire and his second almost didn’t make it off the tee(peg), scoring Michael his first ever draughtie. To almost cap it all off, on the third he managed to bust out of his favourite pair of shorts. Fortunately, he was wearing jocks, so there were no embarrassing sights to behold. He thought he had snared himself a ball for the BallPin on the 12th and had confidently inscribed his name on the ticket but, when he walked onto the green, he found that the nearest to the pin really belonged to Porks. The pin on the 18th was up on the back deck and proved hard to get close to. JQ won it by getting his ball onto the bottom deck and Blighty reckons he was unlucky to finish much closer but just off the green. Neither got a birdie on the hole and so did not contribute to the nine that came up for the day. Jason had more than a few problems with his game during the day but he came good at just the right moment on the 15th to take out the ProPin with a ball to 2.27m.
Brendon arrived at the course without his usual super crushed up note in his card caddy and had to put the bite on Gordon for a loan to pay his subs for the comps. Not sure of Gordon’s ancestry but he was certainly talking about an usurious interest rate. On Thursday, Gordon thought he might have been able to see some light at the end of the tunnel, but, after today, he thinks it might be more like the express train coming from the other direction. The whole of his group was flipping about plenty of words starting with the same letter according to reports.
One report from the Birthday Birdie this week and, if Daniel is here next Saturday, be sure to wish him a happy one.
Only two more competitions for this season and it is possible for some big moves in the Championship. With Porks out of the equation next week, if the right results turn up, there could be a ding-dong battle between the top four the week after as they battle for the Championship and the December Monthly Medal. That will also be the day for the Calcutta Auction and the first day of the Stroke Play Championship that runs over three weeks and takes in the Vin O’Meara, the opening skirmish in the battle for next seasons Championship.
Results for Saturday, 16 November 2019
1st Ken Watson(37) 2nd Targe Mifsud(35) 3rd Brendon Mitchell(34) 3rd Ryan Porker(34) 4th Stefan Belevski(33) 5th Andrew Blight(32) 5th Harry Boughen(32)
Seniors Results: 1st Targe Mifsud (35) 2nd Andrew Blight (32) 2nd Harry Boughen (32) 3rd Bob McDonald (31)
Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin15th Jason Hopkins BallPin No 1 12th Ryan Porker BallPin No 2 18th John Quinlan
It paid to be pugnacious on 9 November 2019
You could be forgiven for imagining that we had been transported back in time to the middle of winter. The temperature was barely into double figures and the wind-chill made it feel a lot less than that. Plus, there was the prospect of rain from the occasional angry looking cloud. But, the clouds deigned not to rain and the sun broke through from time to time. It turned out to be a pretty nice day for golf for the twelve members who ignored the forecasts and made it to the course to try their luck as the 2019 playing year winds down to its inevitable conclusion.
The championship leader can be caught but a few things have to fall into place. Porks has given a chance with a couple of absences in the remaining weeks and, if the chancers can get high enough placings, it is possible that it could be a tight run thing in the end. The other big question is, can he make the tonne?
Gordo started off pretty well and looked to be doing it easy when he turned in positive territory after the first nine. Now, whether he just got the yips or he started to think about his handicap for the Vin O’Meara, there were a few scoring chances that went begging on the back and the round finished just one on the wrong side of centre. Just about right to get a bit of a stroke back, thought Captain P. Little did he realise that -1 was going to be the winning score and he became the only person to lose strokes in the whole field. What really rubbed salt into the wounds was the ‘unnecessary’ birdie on the 4th but it did contribute to the eight that we scored as a group.
There was a veritable squadron of players fronting the judges for second place and SOS was torn in trying to decide whether he could afford to extend the ball-run beyond the two that went to Gordon for his win. Chrispy was calling for a countback to determine who should get the third ball. He still would have missed out as he would have been beaten by none other than his little boy, Jake. And Noodles had no chance (in the countback, that is).
Harry had suffered quite a number of ‘just missed’ putts including a careless short range miss on the 11th. So, when he lagged one just shy of the hole on the 12th, the consensus was that he should rest and take his time. So careful was he about ‘taking his time’ that he was walking away from the green with his ball marker still firmly in place marking where the ball had been. And he hadn’t taken the putt either. A bit of a burst of form as the round closed brought him home in third place.
Dennis was apparently playing hooky today and that doesn’t mean that he had skipped school. It seems that his usual arrow straightness has taken a nasty turn to the left. A bit like his politics, perhaps. Blighty played his normal boring game – just ask him any time and Adam had to dash off and nobody was game to dob him in for anything. But they all managed to share 4th place. That left Targe and Stef to take out the last points on offer for the day.
The sharp eyed among you will have noticed that, so far, there have been eleven players mentioned in despatches. Shall we just say that Peter took some beautiful divots today, especially when hitting from the tee. He has a big game on tomorrow so he was planning to head straight to the driving range to try to sort something out. And, while on the subject of sorting things out, Chrispy reckons that, after 30 years of playing golf, he has worked out what he has been doing wrong and the Seniors Championship next year is as good as his.
The BallPins today were on the 12th and the 18th and it was left to Gordon to put his name on both. With this and his comp win (plus a ball-run from last week) Gordon was pretty much up to his balls at the end of the day. The ProPin was on the 15th and Gordon had another go but finished about half a metre out of range. This left it up to SOS, who made it to 4.1m, to take out the money.
Gordo could have been forgiven for thinking that he was wearing some sort of a target today. Dennis had a go at taking his head off while he was standing on the 1st green waiting for Dennis to make his third shot on the second. Then, as he waited on the 7th tee, Jake managed to slice one from the 6th fairway, between Harry’s legs, and hit Gordon on the foot.
Targe covered a fair bit of territory today by traversing from one side of the fairway to the other. His tee shot on the 11th was heading a fair bit to the right and Peter opined that it would hit something and finish OK. Which it promptly did. Nice call, Pete. Stef was up to his usual tricks today and went close to driving the green on the 9th and 11th to name just a couple.
Results for Saturday, 09 November 2019
1st Gordon Hill(-1) 2nd Stephen Butterfield(-2) 2nd Chris Priems(-2) 2nd Jake Priems(-2) 2nd Stephen O’Sullivan(-2) 3rd Harry Boughen(-3) 4th Andrew Blight(-4) 4th Adam King(-4) 4th Dennis Ward(-4) 5th Stefan Belevski(-5) 5th Targe Mifsud(-5)
Seniors Results: 1st Gordon Hill (-1) 2nd Harry Boughen (-3) 3rd Andrew Blight (-4) 3rd Dennis Ward (-4)
Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin15th Stephen O’Sullivan BallPin No 1 12th Gordon Hill BallPin No 2 18th Gordon Hill