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The Cap’n left us all in his wash on 21 November 2020

Gordon heads the pack
No choking today, me hearties!
There was movement at the 'Hoe course.
For the word had got around,
That the points to set the Champ,
Were still in play.

As the number of double doughnut days continue to mount, the general populace is getting more and more excited about what exactly the next round of restriction easing might be. Top of the wish-list would appear to be a relaxation of the face-mask rule but, there are some who would prefer to be safe than sorry as well as having consideration for the health and safety of others.

The weather continues to be fine and warming up but still nice enough for a really enjoyable for a game of golf. We managed to get 21 of our members onto the tees this morning and young Kazim joined us once more to submit his third card. He managed to show that he has not lost too much form during his recent lay-off, and he carded a 71 off the beater today. This included an eagle on the 14th after driving it to pin high and following up with a very handy chip-in. Unfortunately, it does not count for the Eagle’s Nest. Maybe next week! His eventual handicap of 9 from his three cards looks too generous by far.

On the face of it, with the weather showing a benign face and, with the course well mowed and the greens in tip-top condition, there was absolutely no reason not to turn in a good score today. And, it took Gordon to show the field exactly how it was done. It was a case of playing mostly to your handicap and taking advantage of the occasional opportunity that offered itself. A couple of blemishes, with the minimum amount of pencil lead expended in the result column on the back nine, prevented the score-line being rather more than the +3 that resulted.

Stefan was probably hoping to ‘Mo’ down the field, but he might just have to wait until later in the month when the face-fuzz has made more of an impression. He also had a couple of pen saving results on the back nine and improving those could have converted the result from his +2 into a winner. Simon managed to mark his card on the wrong side but, at least, he did point it out to the handicapper. And, it pretty much guaranteed that he was not recycling his card from Thursday.

Harry was also carrying a ‘burden’ from Thursday but it didn’t seem to faze him too much. He even gave the spot where the flag on the 7th had been on Thursday a bit of a nudge but, the ground-staff had moved the hole to another part of the green. The last three holes turned a potential winner into a fourth placer with a net result at square. MattH, on the other hand, stayed pretty much square the whole round to join in on the points on offer. Damo looked like having a bit of a shocker when he was five down after six. Getting back to square was quite a fine effort from there. Chrispy, of the shining dome, turned up with a minus 1. He was joined by Michael who has come back after quite a long break. Michael did admit to having had a couple of rounds and so did not come back completely cold.

With one more round to play in this year’s competition, there are six players with a mathematical possibility of slotting into one of the top three spots in the main Championship so the competition next week will undoubtedly be fierce. In the Seniors, there are five members in a similar situation if we discount Dennis, who is probably unlikely to make it back to take part. In the Eclectic, three players can take the trophy with a birdie and there are another couple within an eagle (or a couple of birdies). And, while on the topic of birdies, Bob fell just short of acing the 18th to win the BallPin and tapped in for his birdie to add to the other 16 that were scored today. The other BallPin was on the 15th and that was taken out by Zimmer. The ProPin today was on the 12th but the recipient claims that he didn’t know what he had won. Blighty, if you have to measure the distance (2.3m by the way), it is the ProPin. As an interesting aside, the other name on all of the nearest the pin chits was Michael.

There are a couple of milestones to mark today. Keith lined up for his 400th game with the Club. Keith doesn’t think he will catch up to Chrispy though. The Birthday Birdie has a good wish for Daniel who will, undoubtedly, be cooking up something special later in the week.

The Matchplay Championship was played out today with a match between Pepsi and Dave. From a handicap point of view, there was only one stroke in it and it promised to be a corker of a match. And the match was generally a very close run thing with Pepsi struggling to hold on to his early advantage. It could very well have been the flat stick that was the telling difference between the two. The match eventually went dormie 2 at the 16th and a loss at 17 gave the match and the Championship to Pepsi 3 and 1. One of the events of the round was when Pepsi’s ball went missing on the 10th fairway near the first, where it was strongly suspected that it had been ‘picked up/played,’ a fact denied by the potential perpetrators. On the 11th, a ball appeared from the second that just happened to be the same make and number and with the same markings as Pepsi’s missing ball. What Dave said to the culprit doesn’t bear repeating but the look on his face was apparently priceless. The win propelled Pepsi right into the action at the top of the main Championship table.

Brendon was plagued by a bit of an attack of the shanks, including a beauty from the tee on the 12th straight into the penalty area (aka water hazard). A tank shank you might say. On the 13th, Peter put his drive behind a tree on the 10th fairway and then played a ‘brilliant’ shot that headed across the 13th, curved around over the left hand hazard, bounced around the bank and ran down the hill to finish just off the green. It is suspected that this was not exactly the shot that Pete had envisaged. Gordo also shanked his second on the 8th into the billabong but, like the real trouper that he is, he put the next shot just short of the green and chipped in from there for a square on the hole.

Blighty was overheard wondering what he might do with the cash that he had collected from the ProPin. Perhaps he could buy himself some balls as he was also overheard saying that he had ‘only’ lost three today, including two on the 17th. Rob’s rough trot does not seem to have been alleviated by a week off and he really struggled on the front nine, weaving something of a zig-zag course. This performance included a draughtie on the 3rd. Hopefully things have turned a corner for our esteemed President as he managed to play to his handicap on the back nine.

Arrangements for the break-up are still a bit up in the air until we know more about what will be allowed in terms of gathering sizes and locations. The committee will finalise decisions on the event early next week and will advise shortly afterwards. Also, don’t forget that next Saturday is the last round for this competition year and will be a stroke round for the December Monthly Medal. It will also be the first round of our Club Stroke Championship which will extend over the following two weeks of the Vin O’Meara. The VOM marks the beginning of the new Championship so everything to turn up for.

Results for Saturday, 21 November 2020
1st Gordon Hill(+3) 2nd Stefan Belevski(+2) 3rd Simon Powell(+1) 4th Harry Boughen(□) 4th Matt Hunt(□) 4th Damien Lee(□) 5th Michael Gourlay(-1) 5th Chris Priems(-1)

Seniors Results: 1st Gordon Hill (+3) 2nd Simon Powell (+1) 3rd Harry Boughen (□)

Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin12th Andrew Blight BallPin No 1 15th Kazim Akdag BallPin No 2 18th Bob McDonald