Santa seems to have managed to negotiate the various rules and regulations in place to cross borders and to gain access to households to deliver gaudily wrapped items into stockings and under Christmas trees. Eight members were not satisfied with what Santa had left and came out to try for more goodies in the form of Championship points and with the secondary aim of limiting Noodles ability to score too many of those same points. The weather was certainly kind to them in their endeavour although it did warm up a bit as the day went on.
Simon must have been on Santa’s goodie-two-shoes list because, not only did he deliver on Christmas day, he delivered again today with a personal best 74 strokes off the stick and a very impressive total of six points (check your handicap, Si). If it hadn’t been for three gashes, boy oh boy, what a day it would have been. Now, Si reckons that he tends to play his best golf on Thursdays so Harry, Rod and Gordo are expecting to be gob-smacked this week.
Stan took a couple of holes to get going and looked as if he was about to settle down and be right up there with Simon. A bit of a stutter just before the turn undid the good work, but he settled in his run and finished with a burst to cross the line with a plus two score-line. The field didn’t quite succeed in keeping Noodles right out of the points as his score of minus one was enough to snag him a share of third place. A flash of brilliance leading into and around the turn and a final lunge at the line really saved the day. Damo, on the other hand, set a good pace early on but could not find his stride on the way home and could only finish neck and neck with Noods.
Pepsi started a bit slowly and finished a bit slowly and never really did hit his stride throughout to finish a point further back for a share of 4th place. Keith, on the other hand, just plodded along slow and steady like the tortoise but, unlike the tortoise, he did not win the race and tied up with Pepsi in fourth.
Michael has decided that he is going to throw everything into his game this year to make up for lost opportunities in recent years. And that seems to include the kitchen sink that he brought along strapped to the roof of his car. He has even volunteered to try to fill the very large boots of the GOATee Marshal to give CJ a hand. He was only able to grab a single point today but, the secret is to keep attending and keep the points ticking over if you want to finish in or near the top spot.
Now, the sharp eyed among you will have noticed that there are seven players in the points today which, by a process of elimination means that there was only one person not included. Discretion prevents mention of names, but it is worth pointing out if he hadn’t taken about five holes to get going, there could have been a clean sweep with points all round.
The first BallPin was set out on the 4th and Stan showed his prowess again by getting his ball closest. It mustn’t have been quite close enough as he did not make the birdie. The ProPin was set on the 12th and Simon really made a day of it by sneaking his ball inside the 5m circle to 4.3m. He didn’t make the birdie there either. Noodles won the ball on the 18th, but was obviously not close enough to make the birdie. So, the upshot was, that the NTP winners did not contribute on their respective holes to the total of five that the field brought in today.
Next Saturday will be the first round for the new year and, hopefully everybody will be over their hangovers after the NYE celebrations. There is a Monthly Medal up for grabs so get your registrations in to ensure you have a spot on the tee. There are still a few people who have GolfLink memberships with us who have not indicated their intentions about continuing. So, if they do not advise in the next day or so, they will be de-registered.
Results for Saturday, 26 December 2020
1st Simon Powell(+6) 2nd Stan Blackshaw(+2) 3rd Stephen Butterfield(-1) 3rd Damien Lee(-1) 4th Keith Delzoppo(-2) 4th Andrew Petricola(-2) 5th Michael Gourlay(-3)
Seniors Results: 1st Simon Powell (+6) 2nd Stan Blackshaw (+2) 3rd Keith Delzoppo (-2)
Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin12th Simon Powell BallPin No 1 4th Stan Blackshaw BallPin No 2 18th Stephen Butterfield
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness,…..and it was the age of pandemic. But time is running out for 2020, and with 2020 (rear) vision there is some chance that we will view the past year and the world in general in a completely different light. But, we have managed to scrape through it with our sanity pretty much intact and this was probably in no small part due to the fun and friendship that we all enjoyed through the year, interrupted as it was. The weather was pretty kind today although it did start off a little freshly and there was a desultory effort to dampen the ground, if not the spirits of the 21 members out on the course, before the sun came out and warmed things up enough to require removal of jerkins and jackets.
The main event of the day was the Stuart Clarke Champion of Champions and, although the field was somewhat reduced due to the reduced program and a couple of absences, there was quite a feeling in the field that it could be a close run thing with any one of the 10 starters likely to present to the judge. In the end, nine of the ten finished within five strokes but, at the end of the day, the honour went to Targe with a net score of 67. Targe just pipped MattH who had been Club-house leader all day with his net of 68.
The rest of the field battled it out for the Chump of Chumps and, just to prove that he is no chump, the best score in that field was presented by SOS. Now, SOS is fairly recently back from getting his hip fixed and reports that they also removed his ‘shanks’ seem to have been pretty well founded, with an exemplary back nine of 34 off the stick for 21 points and a total of 38 for the round.
That score was more than enough for SOS to also take out the top spot for the handicap round and to keep up his world-beating points scoring of 8 per round for the year so far. Craig (that’s what fairways are for) was also let off too lightly by the handicapper as he was able to break his again to nab second spot just a single point behind SOS on 37 points. This also matched the total that Targe produced from his winning stroke score. MattH and Ken (battle of the Centurions and he wasn’t talking Roman army, but he did forget one of his double stroke holes) shared the third placing honours.
Porks and Brent started out confidently but their mojo seems to have deserted them a little after the first nine. Perhaps they started to think too much about lunch and refreshments afterwards. Simon, on the other hand, took plenty of opportunities to bewail the pair of sevens that he managed to accumulate. But he did manage to accumulate 35 points and join up with the other two in fourth place. In actual fact, seven seemed to be a fairly popular score as four of the five players sharing fifth place had one on their card. Pepsi was the spoil-sport and didn’t join Harry, Noodles, Gordon and Bob with that distinction. And we won’t mention that Harry also had a nine.
The first BallPin was set for the 7th and, although this hole has had its moments in recent times, it looked as if it was going to resist all attempts to get a ball on the dance-floor. That is until along came Stan who, for a moment caused some breath holding on the tee as his ball looked to finish perilously close. Stan went close again on the 12th and was only a metre or so from the hole. He sank the putt for the birdie and contributed to the total of 13 that we managed for the day. The second BallPin on the ‘almost beer time’ 18th went down to Noodles. The ProPin was on the 15th and MattH managed to get it within the distance limit. We don’t know by how much because Brendon took the box home. In actual fact, Gordo put a shot from the tee much closer to the pin than Matt’s, the only problem was that it was his third shot after the first went wide and out of bounds.
Rob seems to be in the grip of a bit of a slump in form and he decided that, after nine holes, he might as well get himself a refresher. The sad news was that the bar was not yet open in the Club-house. So, he had to wait until after the 13th and, what do you know, like spinach to Popeye, the beer revived him and he parred the last three holes. He did break a club during the round but it was purely accidental when his follow through followed through too far and got caught up in a tree.
Brendon was well down in the lists today and one contributing factor was an airie for his second shot on the 17th as he tried to lob one over the trees after a less than stellar tee shot. But, he did have some tree help after a stray shot on the third was brought back into play by a ricochet. It seems that Pepsi might have had similar help on the same hole. It was even suggested that on the 7th, SOS bounced his drive off a tree on the left onto one on the right and the ball finished in the middle of the fairway.
After the round most of the field and a few others repaired to JQ’s place for our break-up lunch and Trophy Presentations. A great venue with plenteous food and refreshment made sure that everybody was well satisfied by the end of the day. A big shout out to JQ, Andrea, Christie et al for making the venue available and managing the catering to perfection. The trophy presentation went off almost without a hitch with Rob squinting to read the names on the trophies and Gordo tossing them as carefully as he could down to the recipients below. There was only one near disaster when Porks fumbled his trophy like an Indian fielder at the Adelaide Oval.
Results for Saturday, 19 December 2020
1st Stephen O’Sullivan(38) 2nd Craig Cameron(37) 2nd Targe Mifsud(37) 3rd Matt Hunt(36) 3rd Ken Watson(36) 4th Ryan Porker(35) 4th Simon Powell(35) 4th Brent Rowley(35) 5th Harry Boughen(34) 5th Stephen Butterfield(34) 5th Gordon Hill(34) 5th Bob McDonald(34) 5th Andrew Petricola(34)
Seniors Results: 1st Craig Cameron (37) 1st Targe Mifsud (37) 2nd Ken Watson (36) 3rd Simon Powell (35)
Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin15th Matt Hunt BallPin No 1 7th Stan Blackshaw BallPin No 2 18th Stephen Butterfield
What a day! Thoughts of pandemic have drifted into the background for the time being and everybody is hopeful that the returning travellers can be kept under control so that we can continue to enjoy one another’s company without the impediments of face masks and so forth. The weather man was certainly very kind today with gentle breezes and not too much of the heat filtering down from the north. The course continues to be in fine fettle and there should have been very few excuses for not being able to score well. Conditions and the prospect of a fierce competition for the trophy was more than enough to attract a bevy of 28 members and two guests to take to the tees. We seem to have managed to squeeze the extra group in without too much trouble and the pace of the game was much improved. Keep up the good work everybody.
Next week is the Stuart Clarke Champion of Champions Tournament. The winners from the competition year will fight it out for the trophy in a stroke competition. The rest of the field will compete for the Chump of Chumps and everybody should keep their stableford scores to determine who gets the points for the day from the whole field. Please register for golf for the day. Also, if you have not registered for the break-up and plan to be there (even if you aren’t playing) please register for that as well so that we can finalise the exact numbers to be catered for.
Chrispy was on record as saying that this was the closest run field that he had ever seen for the Vin O’Meara in his long experience with the Club. There were a dozen or more potential contenders within five or six strokes of the lead, a not impossible turn around in our sort of field. In the end, we had a three way tie for first place and it required a count-back on today’s round to determine which of the three got to raise the victory cup. In the end, the result fell to Michael by half a stroke on the last nine holes. If we had needed a count-back to determine second and third we would have needed to go back to the last six holes to separate SOS and Craig. In that case SOS would have eased out Craig by one third of a stroke.
This created more than a little discussion when it came to dividing the spoils for the come-by-chance Calcutta on the result. The prospect of dividing the pool three ways was eased a bit by the fact that nobody had actually drawn Craig and so the third dividend was paid out on Brendon who, fortunately, slotted into second place on the table with his final tally of 132 strokes. His round was not without its moments after he managed to pull off a draughtie on the 7th leaving his drive a tantalising 400mm short of the red markers. Michael was more than happy to collect the dividend from the buy-your-self Calcutta.
Damo managed a pair of 69 (titter, titter) to drag himself up into a share of third place. Keith saved himself from the wrath of Gordo by staying just out of the Calcutta dividend range. Peter also played a slightly better hand to join in on 3rd spot.
CJ had a few moments today. Despite having to deal with lies such as this and despite nearly taking out Harry on his way to the 11th tee, he did manage to put in a good enough round to stay in the points with a share of 4th place. Porks did manage to avoid venturing into double figures (just) and held onto his grading from last week. JQ had a bit of the good and the bad but not quite so sure about the ugly. The good was a stray shot into a tree by the 16th heading towards the practice fairway that caught his ball and very conveniently tossed it back onto the green. This was countered by a draughtie on the 3rd. Pepsi produced another of a number of ‘pairs’ for the event to collect his first points for the year. Zimmer seems to have felt the pressure of leadership a little and slipped just enough to come in for a share of 5th.
Today was also the final round of the Club Stroke Championship and in the scratch event, Michael came out the winner with a grand total of 224 off the stick, comfortably in front of Pepsi who scored runner-up with 231. In the handicap event, Craig’s leading round for the day was enough to take out the trophy and to knock Harry off by 202 to 205 net strokes.
The first BallPin today was supposed to be on the 15th but ‘somebody’ forgot to put out the marker so a no contest was declared much to the chagrin to Brendon, at least, as he would have been in with some sort of a chance. On the 18th, the BallPin went to Craig who knocked off Noodles and Brent to get at least a bit of loot for the day. The ProPin was on the 12th and Harry putted the ball 1.74m to miss the birdie by being 0.005m short of the hole. And so, he did not contribute in any way to the total of 21 birdies for the day.
Patrick put in his third card today and so he is now eligible for competition with his new Club handicap. MatthewV was the second guest today and he now has two cards to his name. Noodles managed to sneak in for his 600th game today without too much fanfare as the system did not do a recount on the handicap sheet for this week. The Birthday Birdie has a big job to do this week to get a well-wish out to Stef who has a bit of celebrating to do later in the week.
Now, when we talk about draughties, we tend to think of the ball going forward, at least to some degree. Well, today, Ken put the lie to that little theory. It seems that his tee shot on the 14th went more than a little sideways, hit one of the nearby fence posts and bounced back over the comfort zone, that just happened to have been provided by our own Club. Ryan could have suffered a similar fate on the 11th when his drive caught a tree squarely and finished not too far in front but out on the 10th. Ryan had a fair audience from the following group as he tried to thread the ball between the trees. Michael says he drove into the trees on the 10th and the ball ended up in the same divot that it did last week. Which begs the question as to why he didn’t fill it in then.
Results for Saturday, 12 December 2020
1st Craig Cameron(69, 65, 134) 1st Michael Gourlay(68, 66, 134) (c/b t9) 1st Stephen O’Sullivan(67, 67, 134) 2nd Brendon Mitchell(68, 68, 136) 3rd Damien Lee(69, 69, 138) 3rd Keith Delzoppo(70, 68, 138) 3rd Peter Damou(71, 67, 138) 4th Chris Priems(67, 74, 141) 4th Ryan Porker(69, 72, 141) 4th John Quinlan(68, 73, 141) 5th Andrew Petricola(71, 71, 142) 5th Kazim Akdag(66, 76, 142)
Seniors Results: 1st Craig Cameron (69,65,134) 1st Michael Gourlay (68,66,134) 2nd Keith Delzoppo (70,68,138) 3rd Chris Priems (67,74,141)
Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin 12th Harry Boughen BallPin No 1 15th No Contest BallPin No 2 18th Craig Cameron
Today marked the start of a whole new year of competition for the Club’s comprehensive list of prestigious trophies. And, arguably, there is none more prestigious than the year’s kick-starter, the Vin O’Meara Christmas Cup. And, in case you haven’t already, you should make a point of feasting your eyes on the Club’s brand new Trophy Cabinet which will house the perpetual trophies in perpetuity. Sorry, guys, no more – straight to the pool room. Many thanks are due to SOS for sourcing the fine piece of furniture and to SOS and Gordo for doing the heavy lifting to bring it into service. The weather was cloudy and warm with a change due to bring wind and rain about lunch-time. So, the forecast was no impediment to the 24 members and two guests who turned out for the fray. There were some who thought that the change in the weather could very well arrive before they had completed their round. And, although it was compared in length to Tolstoy’s infamously long War and Peace, everybody was safely home before the weather set in. Seriously, though, keep in mind those little time saving tricks like, ready golf, mark your card at the tee, plan your shot before it is your turn, read your putt while waiting for others, one practice swing, and so forth.
Young Zimmer is on the come-back trail after an extended break from the Club. He put in his three cards to re-establish his handicap and the consensus view was that the number might have been on the generous side. Is that the case or this just a flash in the pan? The proof of the pudding will be in the eating and Zimmer will have to be on his mettle when he comes up against Stan next week. Now, Stan is a man who has not been with us all that long and maybe he has been hiding his light under a bushel. He certainly pulled one out of somewhere today and was able to tie it up with Kazim with their net scores of 66 strokes. Game on!
CJ chucked a bit of a hissy-fit during the week when he received all sorts of requests after the tee list went out. In future, guys, put in any requests by the close of registrations or they will not be considered. Any way, he seems to have settled down a bit and that seems to have reflected in his game with a very respectable, and in there with a chance, score of 67 on the bottom line. SOS was keen to get away to work but the pressure did not prevent him from being right in the mix with his 67 as well.
In one of the most bunched up fields that we have had in a long time, there are three players with the scent of a win in their nostrils on a dead-set handicap equaling round of 68. Michael, who is also back from a spell and could be ready to fire, Brendon, that unflappable precision player from New Ziland and JQ, who takes the occasional break from the mire of legalese to play, made up what could almost be styled the Three Musketeers on Third.
Yet, there are another four within back-stabbing distance of the leaders, and they comprise Craig, Adam (also back from a spell), Damo and Porks on everybody’s favourite number, 69. Titter, titter. Last in the game for hypothetical points was that old dark horse, Keith. Now, the big question is, will Keith come back next week for the kill. Or, will Gordo kill Keith if he does (and wins).
The other game in play is the Club Stroke Championship. In the scratch division of this event, there is a close run thing going on between Michael and Pepsi for the top spot with only a couple of strokes in it. From what Pepsi said today, a few what-ifs could have made all the difference. Craig and Porks have a bit of work (or some knee-capping) to do. Despite some woes brought on by an excess of three putt greens, Harry has managed to hang onto his lead with still a bit of a margin over Craig. Michael and SOS are a few strokes further back. The full table is on the web-site under the Competitions Menu.
The ProPin today was on the 12th and Porks went oh so close to snagging the elusive golfers dream, leaving the ball a mere 320mm from the pin. Naturally, he got the birdie and so contributed to the total of 21 that the field was able to card for the day. Gordo was able to squeeze one close enough on the 15th to collect himself a ball and it was up to Craig to get one close enough on the 18th to take out the final BallPin for the day.
A quick welcome to a couple of prospective members. Pat McSweeney has been along a couple of times now as a guest of Pepsi. He has decided to throw his hat in and join us, and he now has two cards to his credit. Matt Van Dam came along today as a guest of JQ and, he too, has expressed a wish to join our merry band, and he has his first card in the system. While we are on the subject of Membership, the Club membership of $30 and the GolfLink membership of $90 normally falls due in December. So, if you can see your way clear to pay your subs into the Club bank account (details on the web-site under Contacts) that would be much appreciated. The Committee is prepared to be a little more relaxed about deadlines coming out of this difficult time, but, we really do need to know your intentions about GolfLink before the end of December so that we can adjust the database before the census on 31st.
SOS also scored a birdie today on the fifth hole. Damo reckons that the score was down to him when his leg got in the way of SOS’s ball and prevented it from going into the rough stuff behind the green. Noodles broke a club today and he didn’t even mean to. He was playing a fairly simple shot and the shaft folded about halfway down the grip. Presumably he had to grip down on that club from then on.
MattA went a little astray on his approach to the 2nd green and finished on the 6th tee. Not a problem, he just chipped it over the bank, onto the green and it rolled in for the easiest of pars. Adam smashed his drive almost out of sight from the 16th tee and his tee peg finished past the red markers. He was wondering whether there should be a new tradition where the rest of the group buy him a drink for the feat. Peter was convinced that there was a curse on the ball that he was using and decided to change from the yellow to white. He was then searching for a yellow ball thinking it might have gone into a hazard, and completely ignoring his actual white ball, even to the extent of planning to drop another.
Blighty caused all sorts of havoc after the round by having forgotten to get cards and his handicap when he registered at the ProShop before the round. Much scribbling and transcribing of scores as the crowds waited on. We know they do things differently over the ditch but, do they really turn taps anti-clockwise (and in line with the pipe) to off as Brendon was noticed trying to do when he finished washing his cart. Bob sank a long turning putt for a birdie on the 18th for what he reckoned was his only decent shot for the day. Apparently, Bob and Damo were arguing all the way around about the scores, and they were still arguing up until the moment that the cards were handed in. Damo reckoned his head hurt from dealing with such large numbers.
Don’t forget, you still have to register for your game each Saturday even though, next week, the Leader Boards will determine the pecking order. The week after next will be the Stuart Clarke Champion of Champions and the Chump of Chumps. This will be followed by the Break-up and Trophy Presentations. Once again, this will be held at JQs house which is located at 24 Atkinson Street, Templestowe. If you haven’t already, can you please also register for this event so that we can be sure of the needs for catering.
Results for Saturday, 05 December 2020
Leaderboard Round 1: 1st Kazim Akdag(66) 1st Stan Blackshaw(66) 2nd Chris Priems(67) 2nd Stephen O’Sullivan(67) 3rd Michael Gourlay(68) 3rd Brendon Mitchell(68) 3rd John Quinlan(68) 4th Craig Cameron(69) 4th Adam King(69) 4th Damien Lee(69) 4th Ryan Porker(69) 5th Keith Delzoppo(70)
Seniors Leaderboard: 1st Stan Blackshaw (66) 2nd Chris Priems (67) 3rd Michael Gourlay (68)
Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin12th Ryan Porker BallPin No 1 15th Gordon Hill BallPin No 2 18th Craig Cameron