As the days shorten, and we move closer to the start of autumn the weather man is starting to promise us rainy fronts and today was no exception. Fortunately the posited arrival was not until the afternoon and the first hints of the change did not arrive until just after the last group finished up on the 18th. The wind picked up from the south-west and the yellowing leaves on the elms rained down and flurried like some form of yellow snow. And, we all know never to eat yellow snow!
The sunrise is now getting so late that our notional first tee time is just a tad on the dark side, but relief is just around the corner with the end of daylight saving in a few weeks time and the current agreement is that we tee of as soon as there is enough light. Despite the dimness of the morning, we did manage to get a total of eighteen players to mill around and really appreciate the beauty of an Ivanhoe sunrise. Jim was also along to keep Stef on the straight and narrow and to get in his third card. Jim now has a freshly minted Club handicap and will probably come along and start stealing points from the Championship front-runners
Earlier in the week Noodles was playing down his chances in his match against Harry on the basis that he has been playing c**p recently. Even after birdie on the first, he was still ‘waiting’ for the rot to set in. For a couple of holes there, things did look a bit shaky and there was a bit of a hint of a ‘tanty’ on the 9th. That seemed to have cleared the cobwebs, and he was going great guns on the back nine until he was distracted by some, possibly over-enthusiastic, warning shouts from the 14th tee. At that stage he had been one under the card for the back nine and then needed to birdie the 18th to scrabble back to one under giving him plus four on the back and an overall, and winning, result of +3. Noodles would also like to apologise to the flag stick on the 16th which was entirely innocent in the whole affair.
The next Hansom off the rank (note there is no ‘d’ and no ‘e’) was none other than Brendon who started his round in fine style to finish the first half two points to the good, but then wavered a bit to complete the round just the one point on the right side of the ledger. It is not clear whether the lapse in form was the result of too vigourous or too frequent warning shouts.
Mehmet was busy sledging SOS in their Matchplay and, in the process, he was managing to keep the scoring going, although he was a bit nervous about the back nine after his performance on the Punter’s weekend. Stef, under the calming influence of Jim was fairly playing the course like he meant it. So much so that he took a driver and nine iron to run the ball just past the cup on the 6th to miss an Albatross (not the actual bird) and leave himself the easiest of putts for the eagle and a very handy dividend from the Eagle’s Nest.
After much back and forth with Blighty after the round, Targe was also able to submit a card with a score of -1 on the bottom line to tie it up with Mehm and Stef for third place as well as the three points for best score in the Seniors.
It could have been a real day for the ‘Dags today except that young Zimmer got himself hitched and could easily be otherwise occupied. Or under the thumb already, as somebody rather unkindly put it. Uncle Ben (not the dog-food) was one of a crowd that tied it up for fourth place with -2. Stan, Harry, Michael and Bob were the fine group of Seniors keeping the young fellah company on the next to bottom podium step. Blighty and Porks gratefully accepted their point for a score of -3.
The Nearest the Pin competition today was not without its controversy. Maybe Gordon has been tucking into his wife’s medication because he managed to put out the first BallPin on the 7th when it was supposed to be on the 15th. Michael reckons his should have been a consolation as his ball just trickled off the green while Damo didn’t bother to mark his because he was sure somebody else would beat it. The upshot – a Jackpot. The ProPin was supposed to be on the 12th, and Harry wishes to protest as his shot narrowly missed the hole and finished less than a metre past (no photo though). That meant that Michael was able to get some consolation when he managed to elbow aside Beast and Stan with a shot to 0.27m to collect the money on the 15th. The second BallPin, on the 18th also created a bit of excitement when Noodles took the honour from Stef, only to he edged out by the narrowest of margins when CJ had his ball trickle down from the slope to finish closer, probably urged on by the cheers from the crowd – Beat Noodles!.
There were seven matches completed today which is probably something of a record. There were some close run things, and there were some that could be termed a white-wash. Bob took full advantage of his sixteen strokes from CJ to take the match 5 and 4. Targe and Blighty slugged it out almost toe-to-toe and, after the 17th, the match was all square. The result could have gone either way on the 18th, but Blighty managed to slot his putt for a par and took the match one up. Mehmet looked to have it all over SOS on the front nine but that Highway Patrol can-do came through and the match was back to all square at the 13th. Fortunes went Mehmet’s way and the match went dormie at the 16th and a win for SOS at the 17th maintained the state. The match finished with a win for Mehm on the 18th to finish 2 up.
Harry and Noodles took turns to dominate and their match was also square after the 13th. Harry’s day was marred by lack of success with the flat stick and this eventually allowed Noodles the win 2 and 1. Damo didn’t have a great day, but the Beast’s was even worse. As a result their match finished early with a win to Damo 8 and 7. Jason never really did get on top of Gordon during their match and, maybe, it was down to the fact that Jason managed to break his favourite four iron by wrapping it around a tree playing his second shot on the 2nd hole. In the end, Gordon was successful 3 and 2. Stef and Ben were well matched and the score was all square after the 15th. Consecutive wins gave the match to Stef, 2 and 1.
Brendon and Noodles were wishing that the event was GrandPar when they birdied multiple holes with strokes in hand. And, it was quite a day for birdies with a total of 20 carded from a field of 18. Michael’s birdie putt on the 15th caused him a few nerves after he three-putted on the 14th. Porks started off playing his usual ‘steady’ golf. His drive on the third was just a bit off line and finished among the trees and he was left with a devilish option – play it safe or go for it. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, Porks threaded the eye of the needle between the trees and finished with the ball on the green to rescue a par without blinking an eye. Gordon was very happy to chip in on the 16th, for a bogie mind you, to finish off Jason in their match. On the other hand, Jason’s cause had not been helped by a four putt hole on the 13th.
Next week is the first round of the Stuart Clarke Memorial, the first of our prestigious Major events for the year. This event is aggregate Stableford over two weeks and we try to wear a suitably loud Hawaiian shirt for the second week to mark Stuart’s penchant for such attire. A barbecue lunch is also on the agenda for after the completion of the second round on the 27th. If you don’t have a shirt, check out Savers or something similar.
Results for Saturday, 13 March 2021
1st Stephen Butterfield(+3) 2nd Brendon Mitchell(+1) 3rd Mehmet Akdag(-1) 3rd Stefan Belevski(-1) 3rd Targe Mifsud(-1) 4th Ben Akdag(-2) 4th Stan Blackshaw(-2) 4th Harry Boughen(-2) 4th Michael Gourlay(-2) 4th Bob McDonald(-2) 5th Andrew Blight(-3) 5th Ryan Porker(-3)
Seniors Results: 1st Targe Mifsud (-1) 2nd Bob McDonald (-2) 2nd Harry Boughen (-2) 2nd Michael Gourlay (-2) 2nd Stan Blackshaw (-2) 3rd Andrew Blight (-3)
Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin – 15th Michael Gourlay BallPin No 1 – 7th Jackpot BallPin No 2 – 18th Chris Priems
Eagle’s Nest Results: Eagle – 6th Stefan Belevski