The Bureau had predicted significant rain, and, as the sparrows started ruffling their feathers and doing the other thing that sparrows are supposed to do, it looked as if that prediction might be on the mark. But those that turned up were either confident that the Bureau was wrong or they were afraid to miss their chance at scoring some points. There were a couple of false starts. Dennis, the GOATee marshall turned up and did service and then scarpered off to his warm little hidey-hole. Bob arrived and just as suddenly disappeared with nary an explanation forthcoming. As a result we had a fairly meagre field of thirteen players to struggle with the added complication of scoring the Grandpar event of the day.
The umbrellas and the wet weather gear did make an appearance for the first few holes but the precipitation was pretty minimal and, eventually, the brollies were folded and the layers were stripped off as, in typical Melbourne style, the clouds broke and the sun shone through. Even if it was only for five minutes. The rest of the round was completed in good conditions and the last group finished just as the clouds started to look threatening again.
The vagaries of the weather had little effect on Noodles who went close to causing RSI in the handicappers index finger by scoring four on a total of 12 of the eighteen holes. This gave him a 74 off the stick and a points tally of +6. One of the highlights of the round was a chip-in on the 16th for a birdie and a two-plusser. That birdie was one of only five scored for the day. The ‘low’ lights were the bogies on the 12th and 17th that made the only minuses on the card. When asked what had turned his game around, the short answer was – sinking putts. Simple, isn’t it!
Another man with a birdie and a 2-plusser was JQ on the 13th. Not a bad feat in anybody’s book. John, on the other hand complained about not being able to sink putts so, what his score would have been above the +5 that he did get is anybody’s guess. Interestingly, he seemed rather pleased to be beaten by Noodles because of the lower handicap effect and he does have a Matchplay final coming up against, you guessed it, Noodles. Some in the group did report a burning smell around John but they were unable to determine whether it came from the clutch or the brakes.
Yet another two birdies and two two-plussers appeared on the next card submitted by that retired associate of the MFB, Gordon. One report did suggest that he was on fire today but a smattering of bogies and the associated minus score lines turned the blaze into a bit of a smoulder. His birdie on the 18th was a sight to behold as he rapped it in from off the edge of the green. This sort of suggests that his claim that the putts would not sink today might have been a bit of an exaggeration.
It almost seems that a requirement for getting a place today was to have a two-plusser on your card, and Peter was no exception with another one scored at the 13th but with a par this time and the added benefit of two strokes on the hole. And just to prove that this was not the case, Harry came home 5th without having bagged one, though he did go close on the 12th where his drive was good enough to bag the BallPin on that hole.
The second BallPin on the 18th was hardly a contest after Simon put his to 12.6 metres and the rest of the field was unable to come closer. There were hopes that the ProPin on the 15th would go begging so the the Jackpot would be more worthwhile next week. But, along came Porks in the last group and rained upon the parade by leaving his ball just 3.24m short of the hole and collected the pile of shrapnel on offer.
There were no draughties reported today although Blighty did suffer a nervous moment on the 17th when the drive did not quite go to plan. The rest of the hole must have been a bit of a blur for Andrew as he walked up to take his fourth shot on the hole and enquired plaintively, ‘Has anybody seen my ball?’ The response was, ‘Andrew, you’re just about standing on it!’
Just for information, there has been a ruling by the R&A that, if it is certain that your ball has entered a no-play zone (say garden beds behind 9th green) and cannot be found, you are entitled to free relief using the point where the ball entered the no-play zone as the reference point and you must have complete relief (stance, lie and swing) from the no-play zone under Rule 16.1b
Results for Saturday, 29 June 2019
1st Stephen Butterfield(+6) 2nd John Quinlan(+5) 3rd Gordon Hill(+3) 4th Peter Damou(+1) 5th Harry Boughen(□)
Seniors Results: 1st Gordon Hill (+3) 2nd Harry Boughen (□) 3rd Andrew Blight (-1)
Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin15th Ryan Porker BallPin No 1 12th Harry Boughen BallPin No 2 18th Simon Powell