The prospect of double points is the only possible explanation. Why else would nineteen of our best turn out in virtually identical weather and course conditions to those in play last week. In no way is this a complaint, the more, the merrier. One of the attractions, of course, is the fact that the Freddie is a Stableford competition, and, for some reason, Stableford seem to be more to member’s liking than some of the other formats played. The only real downside was the briskish breeze that made the day feel rather colder than it was, although it did make for a good excuse if a shot wandered a bit off line, or pulled up short, or went past the green. Blame it on the wind! During the week, the mud on the course was fairly fluid, and, if not quite self-cleaning, it was easily removed. Today, it stuck like baby cack to a blanket, and buggy wheels and shoes were somewhat over-loaded by the end of the round. The preferred lie rule was much appreciated by all, and some even claimed that it almost offered an unfair advantage. How much advantage you could, or should, take is a whole other question.
Don’t let it be said that CJ is not passionate about his game of golf. He is also currently very passionate about his new set of clubs, to the extent of professing undying love and looking to get a larger bed (or to move somebody out) so that he can sleep with them. His ‘ageing’ body seems to prefer the lighter shafts, and he has to make much less use of the trees to stay on the fairway. Except on the 17th, where the tee shot looked to be in the Yarra for all money before a grateful tree (it is assumed) brought it back into play and neatly perched it up on the only tuft of grass for miles around. It was also reported that he had resorted to using his putter from halfway up the fairway to pull off some of the unlikely shots that paid off to bring him home with 39 of the best Stableford points and a clear lead into the second round. Can the love affair last?
Was Craig having a bad trot, or was he just foxing to lull people into thinking that he was a spent force? He certainly disproved the thought that the latter was the case as he went close to taking the front nine apart, including a four pointer for a birdie on the third, on the way to his tally of 37 points. That birdie, by the way, was just one of the ten that the team managed to card for the day. JQ took a couple of holes to get his range, but then he scored three pointers on six of the remaining seven holes on the front nine. The walk between the 9th and the 10th reset the clock and the first two holes on the back were not so impressive until the composure was reasserted, and he was able to finish the round right on his handicap at 36 points. This result was helped along a bit by a very nice chip in for birdie on the 17th.
Geoff is still getting used to the Club handicapping system, and was surprised to find that he had gained a stroke on his playing handicap from last week. He also took a few holes to get going, but, from the 4th onwards, there was no holding him back. He parred the 7th for a four pointer. There was hardly a blemish on the card from then on, and he finished with a very handy 35 points. Brent lost out to CJ again today in their little family competition when he could only manage 33 points, leaving a reasonable amount of work to do if he wants to step up to the top spot next week. He would have to give CJ a bit of a hiding to do that, but he could get one back in the family challenge if things go well.
Brent and Adam chose to play their Matchplay quarter-final today. With only four strokes to be conceded by Brent, the off-the-stick score was going to be important. Adam obviously meant business and came out swinging to land some telling early blows to be three up after four holes. A birdie putt on the 6th that stopped agonisingly short prevented the advantage extending to four holes. A Brent burst over the next five holes turned the tables, and the balance of power had tilted ever so slightly the other way. The lead changed again, but no real advantage presented itself, and the match drew to all square after the 16th. Brent took the 17th quite comfortably to make the match dormie 1. And, despite a valiant effort by Adam on the 18th, Brent won that hole to take the match 2 up. The semi-finals are due to start on 30th July, and the time to complete them is quite short, so the contenders should start planning their calendar immediately to fit them in. They should also mark in 20th August as they will be playing the finals and play-off on that day. How will the points be distributed?
The ProPin was set for the 4th hole, which was made all the more interesting by the freshly excavated slope at the front of the tee box where the markers were located. Harry and Blighty were both pin-high but off the green, so they didn’t get a chance to put their name on the card. Porks did though with a shot to 3.96m to collect the dosh. The first BallPin on the 12th was won by CJ with one of his ‘magic’ new clubs. The 18th BallPin would have taken some beating when Skip put his shot to about half a metre. It seems that the missed putt contributed to the story of his day.
Gordon played two strokes for two lost balls on the first and second holes. He was so disconsolate after the disappearance of his first ‘good’ drive that he walked the hole and then sconed his second shot into the shrubbery in front of the second tee, to add insult to injury and to score a draughtie as well. Adam also owned up to a draughtie on the 15th. He did have a bit of luck playing into the 14th green from the 16th fairway when the branches of a tree took enough pace off the ball for him to finish just off the green instead of well across.
Matt must be thinking of transferring to the flying squad. He seemed to be very interested in the aerodynamics of a golf club at one stage today. There were other suggestions of UFCs today but details were sketchy. SOS, on the other hand, was afflicted by a case of the shanks at one stage of the round. On the 12th, after a few abortive attempts at chipping, he decided that the ball needed a bath, and endeavoured to dispose of it into the penalty area. Even that didn’t work out, as the ball hit a tree and bounced right back to him. Brendon is known for setting his buggy free rather than keeping it under control down a hill. Maybe some mud accumulated on one of the wheels, but, as it careered down the 1st hill, it veered sharply off course and capsized, spreading the contents far and wide. You would think Brendon had his small change stored therein, the amount of time that he spent gathering up every last skerrick. The rest of his group were on the green by the time he finished.
Steve lashed out today and bought himself a cleaning cloth, a couple of balls and a couple of tees. On the way around, he managed to lose the cloth and both of the balls. At least he still had the couple of tees, although they did work out rather expensive at $12.50 a pop. A check at the desk for lost property could see the return of the cloth if you are lucky. Porks didn’t sound as if he was too happy about his tally for the day, but it seems that it could have been worse if two shots headed for OOB on the 8th hadn’t received their ‘lucky’ breaks.
Results for Saturday, 16 Jul 2022
Leaderboard Round 1: 1st Chris Priems (39) 2nd Craig Cameron (37) 3rd John Quinlan (36) 4th Geoff Lyall (35) 5th Brent Rowley (33)
Seniors Leaderboard: 1st Chris Priems (39) 2nd Craig Cameron (37) 3rd Geoff Lyall (35)
Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin – 4th Ryan Porker BallPin No 1 – 12th Chris Priems BallPin No 2 – 18th Mark Minney