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