Yet another lovely Melbourne winter’s day. There was just a nice little gap between the weather fronts coming through to produce a day that was not too cold, and definitely not too hot. As Goldilocks would say, it was just right. Of course, the showers that accompany the weather fronts have done their bit to keep the course well damped down, and there was a certain amount of squishiness underfoot in places. Plugged balls were evident from time to time, but they are subject to relief in any case. The preferred lie ruling was certainly welcome, but the ‘claytons’ ruling on the (non)use of carts by the ProShop caused more than a little consternation, among the twelve members who managed to make it on deck. One who had to bail was out SOS who has been struck down by the dreaded C, and is trying to console himself in isolation. Get well soon old mate, we need somebody to handle our balls. And, while on the topic of getting well, Bob was back on the course today after an extended break due to his hand problem. Although he did not exactly blitz the course, he did manage to score a two-pointer, and he finally got to play his 900th round with the Club. Congratulations, Bob.
What sort of a score would you expect to see from a player who manages to square twelve of the eighteen holes in a round. It probably depends on whether a square is a ‘good’ result, or a ‘bad’ result. In Brendon’s case, they were more like a ‘bad’ result, with plus scores out-numbering minus scores by four to two. This balance kept his tally for the round to just +2, which turned out to be just enough to win the top points by a fairly comfortable margin. Whether the team tee-shirt helped the performance in any way was not immediately obvious, but Brendon was heard to mutter something about ‘sticking it to those Collingwood supporters’.
Harry felt that his score should have been a bit better after a two point putt missed by a hairs-breadth. However, he was also rather thankful when a longish downhill putt on the 14th trickled in for a par after a couple of less than satisfying approach shots. At the end of the day, -1 was probably a fair result. Last week, when H and Michael battled it out in their match, they finished with identical results for the round. Today, they did it again, as Michael also presented with a score of -1. According to reports, Michael was on the verge of throwing it in and going home when he had completed the sixth to be five on the wrong side of zero. He must have given himself a good talking to, as he managed to play the last twelve holes with two strokes under the card, which converted his five down to one down to get the points for second place. The birdies involved (three) helped us to a fairly respectable tally of nine for the day.
It has been a little while since Craig has popped his head above the battlements, which could mean that he is preparing to go ‘over the top’ and lead the charge for the enemy trenches. Or at least for the head of the Championship Table. Rob did not feature in any reports of ‘coming up short’, which some might say is a bit unusual. Although there was a good smattering of plus signs on his card, there was a bit of an excess of minuses, leading to his final score of -2, which scored him a share of the third podium step. Brent scored the other of the two ‘doubles’ for the day on his way to being three up at the turn. At this point, the run of form seemed to abandon him, and five downers on the back brought him back to the pace for his share of third.
The hole was not specified, but Whitey managed to find a tree that, rather unexpectedly, managed to play a return shot that left his ball on the ‘wrong’ side of the red markers. Which probably explains why he was buying a round of drinks after the game. Despite this little setback, he was able to put together a nice little back nine, a couple on the plus side, to finish on his own in fourth place with -3. Although he had his handicap cut last week, Ryan probably cannot blame that alone for his rather nasty front nine that matched Michael’s over the first six holes, but lacked the MG recovery on the last three of the nine. He did manage to equal par on the back to bring some respectability and one point for fifth place. CJ would have been reasonably pleased with his game for the first nine holes where he managed to play to his handicap and square the card. Perhaps it was the anticipation of the afternoon’s events at Jake’s Baby Shower that brought on the slump in form over the first half of the back. Or did it bring on the recovery over the last four? Whichever it was, he teamed up with Porks to collect a single point for the day.
You would reckon that a team of champions, such as Prez, CJ and Brent, could be relied upon to put out the NTP markers on the designated holes. To give them their due, they did manage to get the job done on the 4th, which was the first BallPin. Craig managed to get his name on the card briefly, only to be knocked off by Harry, who finished a good metre and a half nearer. It was the ProPin on the 15th where the best laid plans came unstuck (Baby Shower again?), and the paraphernalia was nowhere to be seen by the following groups. As a result, there was No Contest today, and the funds in the pool will Jackpot to next week. The pin on the 18th was on the top deck today, which is thought to be the more ‘difficult’ location. Not so for Michael, who managed to balance it not too far past the brow to collect the ball on offer.
The Beast was a little off his game today, although he did make what appeared to be a good strike from the tee at the 12th, eliciting cries of ‘in the hole’ as the ball arced towards the pin. Unfortunately, the shot came up short on the slope and promptly headed down hill at a rate of knots, eliciting cries of ‘in the pond’ before it came to a halt in the longish grass at the bottom of the slope. Steve was a bit unhappy with most aspects of his game today. The short game came in for its fair share of questioning, particularly after he had made three approaches to the 9th green for no forward progress after the ball persistently stopped short and rolled back down the slope to his feet.
Results for Saturday, 25 June 2022
1st Brendon Mitchell (+2) 2nd Harry Boughen (-1) 2nd Michael Gourlay (-1) 3rd Craig Cameron (-2) 3rd Robert Priems (-2) 3rd Brent Rowley (-2) 4th Rodney White (-3) 5th Ryan Porker (-4) 5th Chris Priems (-4)
Seniors Results: 1st Harry Boughen (-1) 1st Michael Gourlay (-1) 2nd Craig Cameron (-2) 3rd Rodney White (-3)
Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin – 15th – No Contest BallPin No 1 – 4th Harry Boughen BallPin No 2 – 18th Michael Gourlay
The waterproof dome over the CBD and surrounds has persisted, and the rainfalls have been mercifully light around Ivanhoe way, particularly compared to other areas around. As a result, the course is still in a not too bad condition. A couple of spots were a bit squishy under-foot, and the general thinking is that the course is now at the stage where not much more than a spit will result in it becoming a bit on the boggy and quaggie side. The greens were sanded during the week, which gave a few people excuses for missed putts. And don’t forget the dew on the grass. And don’t dare mention the lack of talent. A bit of softness meant that there were quite a few craters left, and we would like to think that we were doing our bit to leave the greens in better condition than how we found them. Of the sixteen members who turned out, only one owned up to having had a draughtie although Ken and Andrew were flirting with the ladies a couple of times. It is assumed that they were referring to the red markers rather than to members of the opposite gender.
Now, what sort of handicap should a person who can complete a round just two over par be on? Certainly not six. But that is exactly what Ryan did today as he blazed his way to 40 points to take out the top placing for the day. A couple of double bogies were more than offset by four birdies, and that helped the rest of us along to tally thirteen of the little beggars for the day. All of this was while doing battle with Stef in their quarter-final match for the Matchplay Championship. There was only one stroke in the handicap difference, and so it was virtually an off-the-stick affair. Stef managed to win the first two holes, but, in the face of Porks’ blistering pace, the wins soon dried up. There was a suggestion that the turning point came when Porks was almost (but not quite) crapped on by a kookaburra on the 3rd hole. By the sixth, the match was back to square, and Porks marched out to be five up after the 12th. A squared result on the 13th made the match dormie five, meaning that Stef had to keep winning to stay in the game. He did manage to do that for the next two holes, and the match stood at dormie 3 after the 15th. Porks scored one of his birdies on the 16th to beat Stef’s par and to take out the match 4 and 2.
CJ has really struck a patch of form in recent weeks, and he has decided that the Seniors Championship is not such a tough gig after all, and he reckons he is now on the hunt for Craig’s scalp at the top of the table. This new, straight-shooting, Priems started out playing like a man possessed to finish the first half just three over that card, and with 22 points in credit. The shine went off just a bit after the turn, and a total of 38 was all that he could muster. Matt, on the other hand, was content to play to his handicap over the front, but he then put the pedal to the metal after the turn, and he was also able to return with 38 points to share the second spot with CJ.
The second quarter-final match was played today between Harry and Michael. Harry was reaching for his crucifix as Michael turned out in his ‘lucky’ matchplay beanie. With fifteen strokes to give away, Michael was keen to know on which holes he had H on equal terms. It didn’t matter on the first, where a par from each started the match off square. As the round progressed, a couple of uncharacteristic putts by Michael let Harry sneak out to be two up. The lack of a stroke on the 9th and a slightly astray second shot on the 10th brought the match back to square after the 10th. From then on, each time Harry won a hole, Michael clawed it back on the next, and after the 18th, the match was all square. They proceeded to a chip-off, and Michael produced, by far, his best chip of the day to about 400mm from the hole. Harry’s effort, while valiant, was no match for the simple tap in that Michael had to win the match. Through all of this, they both managed to score 36 points to share third spot,
Anthony was absolutely smashing his drives all day. Unfortunately, particularly on the front nine, his short game let him down more than somewhat. The tide did turn as he rounded the turn, and the last ten holes netted him twenty-two points, and he was able to finish in fourth place with his 35 points. The Beast was right up there beside Anthony, although his scoring was rather more balanced. One highlight was a four pointer when he managed to score a birdie on the 10th hole. As we watched Rob from the first tee, he was seen to do a ‘sprint’ to the far side of the 9th fairway and then back onto the first, where he appeared to drop a ball. Now that was taking ‘preferred lie’ a bit too far we thought. It was a wild goose chase, we were told. Later on there was a ‘wild duck chase’ when, on the 12th, Rob took objection to one of the ducks on the pond ‘laughing’ at him. Rob then proceeded to put his drive into the pond, nearly taking out one of the offending ducks, and scoring one of his ‘usuals’ in the process. Despite all this, he did manage to score 34 points to get the last points on offer for the day.
CJ threw the cat among the pigeons today when he opted to use a different BallPin marker for the 4th hole – just for a change! Now, it is a bit unclear exactly how close Matt’s ball really was, as the distance kept changing with every telling of the tale. The upshot was that he didn’t put his name on it because he didn’t think it was ours, and, so, Ryan was the one to collect the ball on offer. The BallPin on the 18th saw the pin on the top deck, and Geoff held the honour for a while with his spot on the lower deck. Ryan came along to collect another ball, but exactly how much closer he got was not determined. The ProPin on the 12th was a Double Jackpot, and Ryan had hopes of getting his name on all three NTP cards. Despite appearances, the tape measure did not lie, and his ball was just a couple of centimetres further out than Harry’s 4.86m.
Geoff was feeling pretty pleased with himself after he had made a birdie (one of the highlights of his back nine) on the 15th. So pumped up was he that he missed the ball entirely on the 16th tee, but then proceeded to almost (but not quite) chip in for an ‘unlikely’ par. Now, we mentioned that the Beast had scored a birdie on the 10th. It seems that his drive had finished in the vicinity of the pond on the 13th. He attempted a fading shot into the green, but barrelled it into the depths of one of the trees, and after passing through about fifty branches, it dropped onto the green about a metre from the pin. Brendon was seen on his hands and knees in the bushes on the 17th as the attempted to craft some sort of a shot from an impossible lie. B wasn’t the only one to have his work cut out for him, as SOS reckons he would never have found his if Michael had not marked it with his ‘lucky’ beanie. Blighty was disappointed that he did not make the glorious come-back from his break that he had envisaged, so he consoled himself with that well known Brunswick beverage, a soy latte.
Results for Saturday, 18 June 2022
1st Ryan Porker (40) 2nd Matt Hunt (38) 2nd Chris Priems (38) 3rd Harry Boughen (36) 3rd Michael Gourlay (36) 4th Anthony Browne (35) 4th Bill Eastoe (35) 5th Robert Priems (34)
Seniors Results: 1st Chris Priems (38) 2nd Harry Boughen (36) 2nd Michael Gourlay (36) 3rd Bill Eastoe (35)
Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin – 12th Harry Boughen BallPin No 1 – 4th Ryan Porker BallPin No 2 – 18th Ryan Porker
The icy air keeps coming up from the south, and the Antarctic icebergs drift closer and closer to shore. Fortunately, the rain has not been as persistent as the forecasts would have had it, and it turned out to be another rather nice day for golf after all. A few late starters added to the registration list, and we ended up with fourteen members lining up to do battle to see who could beat par. Once again we had preferred lies and the greens had been cleared. A certain amount of softness thereupon meant that there were a few pitch-marks in need of repair, and we would like to think that our members did their bit to leave nothing on the green except footprints. Or the occasional NTP marker! Speaking of which, the Jackpot ProPin on the 12th went begging once again, which means that the pot is building up nicely for some lucky duck to slot into the old skyrocket. Maybe this will entice a few more out of the wood-work to brave the cool that nothing more than a couple of extra layers will fix.
Michael turned up today, looking more like a green tinged Northcote refugee than usual, wearing what was voted to be his grandmother’s tea cosy rather than the secret matchplay weapon that Michael claimed it was. Whether it was a secret weapon or not, anybody who thought that Michael’s game would be ‘off’ given his rather sparse attendance so far this year would have been in for something of a shock. Other than an unexplained ‘blow-up’ on the 4th hole, the card was a fine example of the game of golf, and he finished the round effectively two over the card and a par score of +3 to take out the top spot for the day. He was so intent on playing the game that he took no less than four clubs up onto the tee at the 15th. He played a nice enough shot to set himself up for a par, and then walked off the tee carrying one club, leaving the other three behind. Now that is concentration – not!
Whitey got a bit of a spurt on early on the front nine with a series of three consecutive plus signs on the card. The early promise faded a bit, and he finished square at the turn. It looked as if the turn in fortune would continue on the back until the bite returned to his game on the 12th, and he finished with a burst to finish the round 2 up. This slotted him into second place after having held the Clubhouse lead for a short while. Geoff has taken a few games to hit his stride since joining us. Today looked like the day that he was about to show his true potential. As they walked from the 15th to the 16th tee, Michael asked him how he was going, to be told that he was four up. Some might say it was a ‘choke’, some might say it was protecting handicap, and others might say that Michael was trying to jinx him. Whatever. Gashes on the next three holes gave a final score of one up and a spot in third place. After his fine back nine last week to snare the Medal (and the Unleash voucher), CJ started out in a similar style to take the turn two ahead of the pace. The back nine was not quite as flash as last week, and he was only able to hold the line to finish +1 and to share the spot with Geoff.
SOS continues his recovery from recent surgery, and showed that it hasn’t really affected his golf. It hasn’t affected his warped sense of humour either, but it seems that Pepsi didn’t really appreciate having his ‘balls’ interfered with. All jokes aside, SOS finished square to the card, and didn’t do his handicap any harm while gathering a couple of points for his fourth place. Harry managed to square twelve of the eighteen holes, as the ‘par’ putts failed to materialise once again. It must be said that a couple of ‘long’ ones were needed for some of the squares. ChrisJ was not nearly so much of a ‘square’, but he also managed to finish with a final tally of -2 to share the final points with Harry.
Michael’s claim that he was wearing his ‘lucky’ matchplay beanie was due to the fact that he was playing his match against ChrisJ as the final match in Round 2 of the Championship. Given that Michael was in the process of shooting the lights out, you could have been forgiven for thinking that it was a mere walk in the park for him. And so it would have seemed as they reached the turn with Michael five holes to the good. However, Chris was not done with yet, and by the 14th he had brought the advantage back to only two holes. Despite Michael’s forgetfulness on the 15th, he was able to win that one, which made the match dormie 3. On the 16th, Chris was on the green for two, with a good chance of winning the hole to keep the match alive. Michael was 127m out and playing his second, and tossing up which club to use for the shot. In the end, he picked his four iron, and put the ball to 600mm for the easiest of birdies to square the hole to Chris’s par. Thus finished the match with Michael victorious 3 and 2. As an aside, that birdie was one of the 9 that we managed to make for the day.
The first BallPin was on the 4th, and Matt, rather carelessly, let his ball roll a few centimetres past and to the side of the hole. His Captain’s Call to declare the 4th the ProPin was unsuccessful, and, in revenge, the golf gods caused him to miss the putt, and deny the team making double figures for the day. The BallPin on the 18th saw a bit more of a contest, and SOS was able to oust Harry, by a good margin according to SOS.
Harry, a bit uncharacteristically for recent times, topped his drive from the 2nd, and the ball only made it into the shrubbery in front, clearly putting it into the draughtie category. Matt was attempting a chip shot to the green on the 2nd, and, according to all reports, the club missed the ball by a number of millimetres. Ben was back on deck today after a break for some delicate (and personal) surgery. According to reports, he is getting a lot more sleep as a consequence. You could be forgiven for thinking otherwise when he managed to completely ‘top’ the ball on five consecutive shots at one stage. One man who did not get much sleep last night was Pepsi, who admitted that he only ‘woke up’ after about five holes. Who knows what his score might have been if he had stayed asleep much longer.
Ryan left his drive on the 13th on the slope down from the road and was faced with the ball well above his feet (he is a lefty). His effort to reach the green did not quite come off, and breaths were held as the ball headed ever so slowly towards the rather expansive (and expensive) windows that line the fairway. Fortunately, the ball did finish well short of disaster. CJ was wondering how he was going to keep warm with C away in Sydney on a girl’s weekend. Ben offered him a hand warmer, and soon he had four, which he proceeded to stuff down the front of his jocks. Things started to get a bit steamy when the chemicals involved reached critical mass, and he was forced to remove them in something of a hurry. He was a bit concerned that one was missing – handwarmer, that is.
Results for Saturday, 11 June 2022
1st Michael Gourlay (+3) 2nd Rodney White (+2) 3rd Geoff Lyall (+1) 3rd Chris Priems (+1) 4th Stephen O’Sullivan (□) 5th Harry Boughen (-2) 5th Chris James (-2)
Seniors Results: 1st Michael Gourlay (+3) 2nd Rodney White (+2) 3rd Chris Priems (+1) 3rd Geoff Lyall (+1)
Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin – 12th Jackpot BallPin No 1 – 4th Matt Hunt BallPin No 2 – 18th Stephen O’Sullivan
Somebody during the week suggested that the medal might be awarded to the winner of the 50m freestyle. This, and other comments, suggested that there was more than a little faith being placed in the accuracy of the rainfall predictions from the BOM. Such pessimism might very well have contributed to the fact that a rather meagre collection of ten members turned out for their chance to score a medal for the poolroom. As it turned out, the temperature wasn’t all that bad, the wind didn’t spring up until later in the morning and the rain stayed away entirely. The course was in good condition and the greens had been cleared of dew and debris, and the management declared that preferred lies were the order of the day. With such a combination of conditions, it is no wonder that the scoring was hot – not!
The question was asked, in the aftermath of the round, had CJ been abducted by aliens and had been replaced by an avatar that was capable of hitting a golf ball straight. The evidence for this ‘accuracy’ was just a bit conspicuous by its absence on the front nine, with eleven of his twelve strokes behind him. However, the back nine was a bit more of a thing and just four over the card was the order of the day for a net result three outside his handicap (or 71 net for the mathematically challenged). Whitey was playing in the same group and actually marked CJ’s card. His round was rather more balanced, matching CJ’s tally on the front, but he left a few out there on the back to come in with the same net score. CJ’s stellar performance on the back nine meant that the count back was almost a no contest and the medal was knocked down to CJ. This caused the question to be asked whether this was one of the highest scores to win a medal. Well, to find a matching score, you only have to go back to the April medal of this year, when Porks collected that one. For the all-time record (as far back as detailed records are available) you have to go back to 2000 when Laurie Mannix took the prize with a net 76.
H played some good shots today, but he lost count of the putts from just outside gimme range that failed to hit the hole sufficiently to fall in. As a result, double bogies were rather prevalent and the best he could do was a net score of 75. This turned out to be sufficient to win second placing for the day. However, this little glory was not to be his alone, as he was joined on the podium by Gordo, who had started out a little shakily, but who settled down to put in a moderately respectable back nine. Adam was only one stroke behind for his spot on the podium for third place. A ball that could not be found within a few metres of the 9th green was probably the difference between this and second place.
True to form, Rob was on the buy once again after the round. It seems that he really smashed his drive on one hole, and it had travelled at least 150m past the red markers. There the ball found a tree and, with a dead centre contact, it came back a full 160m to finish on his side of the reds. The trees seem to have been particularly resilient today, because Brent also whacked one on the second, and not only did it come back beyond the reds, it came back and finished behind the whites as well. To rub salt into the wounds, the ball was lost and Brent plodded his first double figure score for the day. Yes, there were more! Despite this little tribulation, and a niner on the 15th due to a couple of shots OOB, Rob was able to claim fourth place with his 78. SOS was absolutely desperate to produce a par for the day. As hard as he tried, he did not manage it until the 16th. The result obviously went to his head as he followed up with a nine on the 17th. However, there were no more pars to be had as he scored a birdie on the 18th after knocking off Harry for the BallPin. This was just one of the four birdies that we scored for the day.
For some reason, the first BallPin on Medal day was nominated for the 7th hole. There were confident predictions in the Clubhouse that it would be a Jackpot. However, Brent put paid to that idea when he put his ball on, and he remained unchallenged. The ProPin was on the 12th, and quite a few people managed to get onto the green, but none were close enough to get their name on the card to give us a Jackpot for next week.
Steve struggled with his shots from the tee today, and a few other places as well. At one stage, he was heard to be threatening to give the game away. That is, until he scored a birdie on the 17th, when all of a sudden he started talking about next week. Despite all this, he just missed out on a point, taking 6th place with his 84 net. Even though he shared the top honours, Whitey was shanking them severely from the tee, which did not help the cause at all. And, while on the topic of shanks, SOS was chipping to the green on the 4th from a relatively short distance. He managed a shank that travelled at 45 degrees to the intended line, travelled about 3m and missed the green entirely. Maybe he can blame the fact that he was in hospital a week ago, getting a knee job. The Birthday Birdie was a bit remiss last week when he failed to visit Dave to help celebrate his happy occasion. He is sure that Dave smashed it though.
Results for Saturday, 04 June 2022
Winner Chris Priems (71 c/b t9) 1st Rodney White (71) 2nd Harry Boughen (75) 2nd Gordon Hill (75) 3rd Adam King (76) 4th Robert Priems (78) 5th Stephen O’Sullivan (79)
Seniors Results: 1st Chris Priems (71) 1st Rodney White (71) 2nd Gordon Hill (75) 2nd Harry Boughen (75) 3rd Steven Gervasoni (84)
Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin – 12th Jackpot BallPin No 1 – 7th Brent Rowley BallPin No 2 – 18th Stephen O’Sullivan