Everybody was looking forward to a nice gentle Stableford round after a rash of Par, when a rash of COVID put the kibosh on just about everything. It was just about enough to give you a rash, because the weather was fine even if it was going to be fresh to start off. Still, it did give people a chance to stand around in the cold waiting hopefully to get their vaccination, and it is good to know that our system is not the only one that ‘crashes’ on occasion.
With any sort of luck we will be back on the course next Saturday for the June Monthly Medal. The calendar says that it is the last chance for the third round of the Matchplay and there are two matches to be played. Given the precedent from last year, it is likely that a one-week extension could be negotiated so Michael, Bob, Mehmet and Mark should get their act together to negotiate their match or a result and advise the Handicapper of their plans forthwith.
In the meantime, stay safe and COVID free. Get vaccinated and get to enjoy more golf.
After the inclemency of last Saturday, the forecast for today looked much more promising even though it started out a bit on the fresh side. There were reports of 0C in some of the low-lying areas nearby and 2.5C in the car-park. There was certainly frost down on the flat that showed up on the shoes and club-face and made one wonder whether to stuff the hand-warmers into the shoes instead. The numb fingers made it hard to find small items in your pockets, but the promise of a warming trend kept the hopes and spirits alive. Even if the standard of golf didn’t. By about the fifth hole the feeling started to come back into the fingers and toes and the nineteen members and one guest (Whitey’s mate Warren Richards) lifted their spirits and their game (some more than others) to produce some respectable scores at the end of the day.
The most respectable of the lot were a pair of plus fours. No, I am not talking about funny looking trousers. Stef and Ryan tied it up in first place with a score-line of +4. Now, Ryan could possibly feel a bit peeved at not having won outright because Stef scored a bonus plus with his eagle on the 14th. A drive onto the green and a 6m putt was all it took to raid the Eagle’s Nest yet again. There are mutterings that Stef should have to score an albatross to gain access to the Nest. Despite all this, the two under for the back nine is good going in anybody’s books. Porks just kept racking up the singletons and, despite putting his second shot into the rotunda in somebody’s back-yard on the 13th, finished both nines in positive territory. He did say that it was from a difficult lie on the sloping edge of the road and barely in bounds anyway. With today’s eight points, he is now within snapping distance of the heels of Old Reliable in the Championship Table.
Jim reckons that he would have won today if he had been taking the game seriously. He still claims that he wasn’t properly handicapped from the start so, hopefully, he will be happy with the little reduction that he scored today. His two stroke allowance on the 16th meant that his par scored him a double plus, and that contributed in a small way to the total of 12 that were tallied for the day. Gordon was one that was very happy with the improved weather conditions today. He managed a ten point turn-around from last week to come in with a +1 thanks to another of the two pointers that he managed to score on the 4th hole from another 6m putt. That little effort also won him the first BallPin for the day. Targe was also credited with a monster putt at one stage. However, the stories of putts missed from 1m or less were legion with the greens being deceptively fast despite the frost, the moisture, and the sand.
Michael was rather disappointed about a couple of things. First, he was disappointed about being knocked off in the first BallPin (first by Whitey and then by Gordo). Second, he was disappointed about being knocked off in the ProPin on the 12th (by Gordo, no less). Third, he was disappointed about being relegated from third place to fourth (by Gordo no less). However, he was somewhat happy about the fact that Old Reliable was relegated out of the points (by Gordo, no less). Adam also managed to square his card to finish alongside Michael, and this despite smashing his drive on the 13th, the ball travelling about 100m before hitting a tree and bouncing back to finish about 50m from the tee.
There were a swag of people finished in fifth place with a score of -1. Trev didn’t rate a mention after the game because of an oversight on a couple of his three stroke holes which scored him double rather than the single that was reported. Pepsi and Ken tried to fill their cards with square scores but didn’t quite succeed, and Ken was helped just a little by his two-pointer on the 7th. Brent had rather more negatives on his card but his pair of doubles helped to drag him out of the depths. These were both birdies and this helped us to a fairly average total of ten for the day. The one on the 18th was virtually a ‘gimme’ from about 100mm past the hole. A shot from the tee that must have missed the HIO by the proverbial Michael hair, but which was well and truly good enough to win the second BallPin.
Brent’s other birdie was on the 10th, and in the group of players, all three were putting for double pointers. Unfortunately, Michael and Stef were unable to match Brent’s prowess with the flat stick. Whitey did not realise that there was the option for preferred lies today, and what with his numerous run-ins with the local greenery, he might have appreciated the occasional hand span of relief. Noodles reckoned that one of his putts today turned 100mm while travelling about the same distance. If he hadn’t seen it with his own eyes he would have accused somebody of interfering with it. Your mild-mannered reporter’s ears pricked up when Pepsi was talking about fifty stories. Turns out, it is some building that is to be built in Box Hill.
The Birthday Birdie has a bit of work to do this week to deliver a load of best wishes to Stan and Targe. Have a good one guys and may you live long enough to play to your age (off the stick, that is).
Results for Saturday, 22 May 2021
1st Stefan Belevski (+4) 1st Ryan Porker (+4) 2nd Jim Belevski (+2) 3rd Gordon Hill (+1) 4th Michael Gourlay (□) 4th Adam King (□) 5th Trevor Jackson (-1) 5th Andrew Petricola (-1) 5th Brent Rowley (-1) 5th Ken Watson (-1)
Seniors Results: 1st Jim Belevski (+2) 2nd Gordon Hill (+1) 3rd Michael Gourlay (□)
Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin – 12th Gordon Hill BallPin No 1 – 4th Gordon Hill BallPin No 2 – 18th Brent Rowley
Eagle’s Nest Results: Eagle – 14th Stefan Belevski
A wild and wintery Autumn day saw 16 of the clubs toughest and most dedicated (or stupid) souls venture to Royal Ivanhoe for the final round of the David Ford Autumn Cup. The weather forecast was grim and some pre round thunderstorms and rain put a damper on things early with a full pull outs to reduce the groups from 7 to 5. The first two groups tee’d off early and prior to the 3rd group hitting the tees there was a hail downpour for 5 or so minutes which added a wintery tinge to the course and added to the puddles on the greens.
This did not deter Mark who was hot on the heels of Chrispy all day, on the scorecard at least that is, as they were separated by the field on the course. Mark added to his tally of pluses from last week which resulted in a score of +4 for the day and a very impressive score of +6 overall. This was more than enough to take out the win and his first Major trophy for the club and a solid handicap reduction to boot.
Only two back on the leaderboard was Chrispy with a square card and +4 overall. He was foxing towards the later stages of the round saying he was going alright but a late falter put the win out of reach. Damien, much to the dismay of a couple of stragglers that were clinging onto the final placings after the round, scrambled with a -3 card which was good enough for 3rd place.
Noods and Belev were also not too far off the mark at the end and with scores of -1 and square, and good enough to round out the final two placings with square and -1 overall. Stefan also played out a 3rd round matchplay game with Adam. After being 3 down early, Stef fought back to hold a marginal lead on the back nine and finished the match 2 and 1. This leaves only two matches left in the 3rd round and a couple of weeks to finalise things.
Seniors results went to Chrispy, Old reliable and then Bob in 3rd place.
The nearest the pins were closely contested, Damo won a ball on the 4th hole with his tee shot finishing fairly close to the flagstick. The 12th hole was not on the list much to the dismay of Whitey, who was impressed with his group who all hit their shots within 3 or 4 metres of the pin. The pro pin ended up finding a home on the 15th and it wasn’t until the last group for a marker to be laid and no other than Mark with a distance of around 1m was enough for the cash.
The final ball hole was on the 18th and Ryan thought he had hit it very close, but after walking up to the green his pitch mark was a couple of inches from the hole but the ball had spun back down the slope. Targe’s mark was within 2m and was enough for the win. He sank the birdie putt which was one of only 6 carded for the day (half of them to porks).
Some were struggling with the greens and were well short on a lot of putts, while others seemed to prosper in the conditions. Stef and SOS both sank long range putts on the first when the weather was the worst, SOS seemed to use the puddles to the best advantage with multiple chips skipping through the water and stopping next to the hole. SOS also managed to find a magic mushroom which was also loving the wet conditions.
Under cover at the end of the round, Gordon, Rob and Zimma helped put on a good feed for all. Zimma was trying to add some additional flame grilling to the hamburgers and dropped a few into the depths of the BBQ never to be seen again.
Results for Saturday, 15 May 2021
1st Mark Minney(+2, +4, +6) 2nd Chris Priems(+4, □, +4) 3rd Damien Lee(+4, -3, +1) 4th Stephen Butterfield(+1, -1, □) 5th Stefan Belevski(-1, □, -1)
Seniors Results: 1st Chris Priems (+4, □, +4) 2nd Craig Cameron (+1, -3, -2) 3rd Bob McDonald (-4, -1, -5)
Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin – 15th Mark Minney BallPin No 1 – 4th Damien Lee BallPin No 2 – 18th Targe Misfud
There is nothing like the smell of double points to bring out the denizens from the deep. It was a lovely day, again, and there was little to complain about except, maybe, the standard of the golf played in some cases. There were one or two comments about the quality of the sand on the greens, but, from a field of 26 players, that would have to be fairly small change. The temperature was remarkably mild due to the partial cloud cover over-night and it did thicken up enough to have at least one group wondering whether there could be a shower of rain in the offing when the light got rather dim at about the fourth hole. The BOM was as good as its word, and there was no rain by the middle of the afternoon, so the fears were well and truly unfounded. The fears that last week’s high scoring effort would be repeated was also largely unfounded although there are probably one or two members who would disagree.
Damien was kicking himself for having given a hint to CJ about how to straighten up his ball flight on about the second hole. CJ was complaining about the fact that he had been playing with Damo for 25 years and this was the first time that he had ever received any such advice. Whatever the advice was, it certainly seemed to have been effective because, at one stage CJ was a heady six points in the black. Whether he went back to his old ways, or the golf gods had decided enough was enough, CJ finished on +4 to grab a share of the lead with his new-found mentor, Damien. It seems that this new-found straightness is not enough to persuade CJ to change his plans for next week, and, so, Damo will have the Club-house lead all to himself when the final round of the David Ford tees off next Saturday.
The Priems family will not be entirely out of the running for the trophy though, because Brent was able to secure second spot on the Leader-board with his score of +3. This patch of form stood him in good stead in his match with Ryan today. He rushed out to a good lead on the front nine and at one stage he was 4 up before Ryan found his straps and had dragged the match back to square on the 15th. A sudden fade by Ryan on the next two holes handed the match to Brent, 2 and 1. MattH is another member who is having to forgo his chance at glory by opting out of the event next week due to his work commitments. Skip, on the other hand is planning to get his shift changed so that he can have a crack from their third place score of +2. Mark also benefitted from some good form in his match against Whitey today. The front nine see-sawed a bit, but mostly in Mark’s favour. A couple of wins early on the back set the match up, and, despite another bout on the see-saw, the match went dormie 4 on the 14th with a win on the 15th sealing the deal 5 and 3 for Mark.
Zimmer, Noodles and Old Reliable managed their fair share of squared holes while the majority of plus scores were cancelled out by the nastiness of the minus mark. As a result, they all came in with +1 for fourth place on the Leader-board, and they are by no means out of the race for the top spot next week. Adam would not own up to any particularly brilliant or lucky shots today which could help to explain his being able to come in with a square card. Targe, on the other hand was not backward in coming forward with his claim that he had out-driven the Beast on at least two occasions to produce the same score-line as Adam.
The first BallPin today was on the 15th and the winning shot came whistling in, landed with a resounding ‘thunk’ and rolled up to about half a metre from the hole. There was speculation in the group in front as to who the perpetrator was. It was Damo who needed to aim just a fraction to the left to have pulled off the ‘big one’. His ‘easy-as’ birdie contributed just a little to the daily tally of 14. The 18th had the pin on the top deck, and that is perceived to be the harder target even though the green is the same size no matter where the pin is placed. The ball almost went begging until Skip came along in the second last group and, at least, got it on the green to collect a ball. The ProPin was a Jackpot on the 12th, and it looked, for a long time that Stan would be the man to beat. But, beaten he was, by none other than the newly ‘straightened’ Chrispy who got his to 1.2m. Kind-hearted Chris was seen doling out largesse after the game as the group had gone quarters. He also helped the birdie total along a little with this one.
SOS got a bit excited on the 8th when Ken drove his tee-shot into the ground and it struggled to get past the red markers. If it was the AFL, the ball would have been subbed-out with a very bad case of kencussion. On the same hole, SOS played his second shot, and it curved ominously towards the billabong. It hit a tree branch that looked to ensure that the ball got wet feet until it hit another branch that delicately deposited the ball back into play. Harry has a theory that the gravitational field around the hole is lower due to the missing mass from the hole. His putt on the 8th suggests that there is actually anti-gravity in play after the ball virtually disappeared into the hole before catching the edge and just lipping out. Or was the plastic insert to blame?
Ken likes playing downhill lies so much that he took four shots to get from the 10th tee onto the level ground of the fairway (and the 13th at that). Beast was so sure that Bob’s second shot from the 15th hadn’t made it past the red markers that he spent quite an amount of time searching for it just to prove the point. Rob also produced a draughtie in his round today. Brent searched unsuccessfully for his ball on the 17th only to find it, ultimately, underneath his parked buggy. A search for Harry’s errant shot on the same hole was eventually deemed to have been in the penalty area, and, so, a penalty was taken. From the 18th green, Ken wondered whether a ball in plain view might be the one. And it was, and Harry was able to claim, truthfully, that he had played the round without losing a ball (or, at least, still in possession of the one he started with).
Final round of the David Ford next week. Groups will be leader-board based and any who didn’t play today who register will be early marks. Special requests for early starts to Chrispy as well as any Matchplay. There will be the usual high quality snags etc for the barbeque afterwards which is a good chance to get some of your subs and comp fees back as well as to socialise and to spin some yarns.
Results for Saturday, 08 May 2021
Leaderboard Round 1: 1st Damien Lee (+4) 1st Chris Priems (+4) 2nd Brent Rowley (+3) 3rd Matt Hunt (+2) 3rd Mark Minney (+2) 4th Kazim Akdag (+1) 4th Stephen Butterfield (+1) 4th Craig Cameron (+1) 5th Adam King (□) 5th Targe Mifsud (□)
Seniors Leaderboard: 1st Chris Priems (+4) 2nd Craig Cameron (+1) 3rd Targe Mifsud (□)
Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin – 12th Chris Priems BallPin No 1 – 15th Damien Lee BallPin No 2 – 18th Mark Minney