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A close-run thing on 11 December 2021.

Chris gets a grip.
I can grip it tighter than you!

We started out with sixteen members, but, unfortunately, Trev had to call it quits at half-time through not feeling the best. We all hope that it turns out to be nothing too serious and wasn’t just the pressure of being the front-runner after round 1. Look after yourself, Trev, and we’ll see you next week at the break-up. BrentL joined us again to put in his third card, and he has a nice shiny new handicap. If the reports from his playing companions are any guide, he won’t be staying on it too long, and he did put in the second-best score for the day with a net of 67 playing from a nominal handicap. Certainly, the conditions were ripe for some good scores to be had. The course had dried out considerably, and there was plenty of run with the right shot trajectory. The greens were a bit tricky, and required playing ‘up to’ rather than ‘on to’. The problem with that was the ‘furry’ surrounds that could very easily ‘grab’ the ball and result in a frustratingly short outcome. There has been some progress on removal of the wind-fall from way back when, and the hope is that the course will be back to ‘normal’ sooner rather than later. The temperature seemed a little cool at first, but it soon warmed up, even if the standard of golf didn’t.

Regardless of the performance on the day, the real matter of interest was the performance over the two weeks of the Vin O’Meara Christmas Cup Event. With some big money riding on the result, it is perhaps not surprising that it was a very close run thing. The winning horse (Perfect Practice by Seven Iron out of Carpet Pile, jockey Chris James) was a maiden in this event, that managed to do just enough to take the winning post by about half a nose. A pair of rounds at or better than handicap level is what is needed to take the prize-money in this prestigious event. Hot on his tail was Armpits (aka Bobbie) who didn’t quite manage to keep up the stellar form from last week and finished just a single stroke behind the pace.

Latin Lover (Keith) improved on his previous week’s run to produce a sub-par result for the day which was just not quite enough, and he had to be more than happy with the final placing of third, just the one stroke further back. Unfortunately, Keith did not enter the Calcutta pool, and so, he missed out on a cash dividend, and will have to be happy with his six points. The fourth placed horse (Squeaky Joint, jockey Patrick) turned out to be a bit of a ‘bolter’ and made a last minute lunge for the line with a very impressive 37 off the stick on the back nine to snare the fourth place and the third dividend from the pool, which was just enough for him to turn a profit on the event. Bagpipe Chanter (Craig) turned out to be not quite so reliable today, despite some reported assistance from trees, and ‘limped’ in to grab the last point spot available and to get his quest for points off to a slowish start.

The run-down on the cards for the day was Pat (66), Keith and BrentL (67), ChrisJ (68), Bob (70), and Beast and Stan (71). The rest of the field did not quite, shall we say, ‘cut the mustard’. Birdies were a bit thin on the ground, but Pat did manage to score one of the seven that we tallied for the day. In the process of his round today, he managed to propel himself to the top of the Eclectic Table, but it is very early days yet.

There were, of course, the usual competitions for the Nearest the Pin, but it seems that many struggled with the short holes, particularly if there was a marker box set out. On the 4th BallPin, there was a bit of a contest when both Pepsi and Pat managed to get onto the putting surface. In an effort to be fair, Pepsi did a sort of moon-walk shuffle to measure the distances and concluded that he had beaten Pat by the proverbial half a foot (Pepsi foot, that is). On the 18th BallPin, Targe managed to get on from the first group and remained unchallenged for the rest of the day, although there was a nervous moment when a ball appeared closer, but it turned out to be some casual dude playing practice shots. The ProPin was set on the 15th, and despite some shots to pin-high, nobody got onto the putting surface close enough and there will be a Jackpot to next week when some people are hoping to collect it to help finance their visit to the boozer after the break-up.

The Club Strokeplay Championship were also decided today. In the handicap division, as reported last week, Bob would have just about had to fall over the lose. His net score of 193 was more than enough to take out the top spot. Keith was a bit further back with 208, and he will be lining up for the runner-up trophy. In the scratch event, Porks took out the top spot with a total of 237. He was followed for runner-up by Pepsi with his lot of 240.

Gordo managed to lose three balls on the 13th, all in various stretches of water. He is thinking of changing his name to Pond, James Pond – although double-o-ten does not have quite the same ring about it. Targe doesn’t want his score on the 6th to be mentioned, after setting something of a record for the number of putts taken on one green. CJ was in a similar boat on the 11th, although his probably don’t count as much because so many of them were from off the green. Harry’s putt on the 14th went close to making him cry when it effectively popped out of the hole, teetered on the edge before falling back in. Porks probably did cry on the 18th when his putt for par stopped rolling agonisingly close to the edge of the hole. The tradition of Rob having to buy a beer continued after three consecutive shots into trees prevented him from getting past the red markers. He reckons that the bar bill is now a standard part of his golf budget. Pepsi found himself playing the 17th from an unaccustomed spot after a power shank from the tee placed him almost in the trees between the 18th and the 9th.

The event next week sounds a bit complicated, but here is the go. The result of the Stuart Clarke Champion of Champions will be determined by the net scores of a Stroke competition for that group. The result of the Chump of Chumps (best of the rest) will be determined by the Stableford scores of that group. The daily placings for handicapping and ball-run will be determined by Stableford scores. Thus, it is probably best if everybody plays as if it were a Stroke competition and keeps their Stableford points score as well. The Tee marshal will endeavour to allocate groups separating the two categories.

Results for Saturday, 11 December 2021
1st Chris James(66, 68, 134) 2nd Bob McDonald(65, 70, 135) 3rd Keith Delzoppo(69, 67, 136) 4th Patrick McSweeney(71, 66, 137) 5th Craig Cameron(65, 73, 138)

Seniors Results: 1st Bob McDonald (65,70,135) 2nd Keith Delzoppo (69,67,136) 3rd Craig Cameron (65,73,138)

Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin – 15th Jackpot BallPin No 1 – 4th Andrew Petricola BallPin No 2 – 18th Targe Mifsud