The question on everybody’s lips was, would the love affair last? Or, would the clubs be relegated to the cold, hard floor of the garage? Only time would tell. The weather threatened to put a bit of a dampener on the proceedings, but we did manage to get seventeen members to the starting blocks, with a few having to pass on the chance to do a Bradbury for a number of perfectly legitimate reasons. Although there was little rain during the week and overnight, there were reports of significant moisture in places, and the showers that went through were quick to create free water on a few greens. The greens were capable of a variable response to approaches, depending on the angle of attack and the amount of back-spin. Brendon and Adam both attacked the pin on the 13th, and finished about a metre and a half away with a short forward bounce. Brendon’s attack on the 18th suffered an entirely different fate when it spun viciously and rolled back off the green to finish in the grass bunker. There were the usual complaints about missed putts, but it is hard to blame the greens for that. It was possible to plug the ball in places, and Brent owned up to wandering around looking like a dork, desperately looking for his plugged ball at the front of the 10th green. He was playing the 13th, by the way.
CJ might have thought that he really only had to keep his eye on Old Reliable with JQ out of the running and a four point buffer from the rest of the field. This would have been bolstered by his 20 points on the front nine, even though that score had been matched by Geoff to keep that larger margin unchanged. Unfortunately, after the turn, the old Priemsmobile started to leak a bit of Valvoline while Geoff just seemed to go from strength to strength. With nothing less than a two pointer on the back nine, Geoff sealed the deal when he made par on the 18th for yet another four pointer to make twenty-two points and a grand total of 42 for the round and 77 for the event. This was clearly the top score, and the coveted Fred Howe Winter Cup was his. Chris had to console himself with the second placing with his, still pretty respectable, tally of 74 points. If he hadn’t three putted the 18th, and, if he hadn’t had his drive from the 11th tee finish a good 30m behind its starting point, just maybe the result could have been different. But, you know what they say about aunts and uncles. CJ’s excuse was that his playing group looked thirsty!
To rub salt into the wounds for CJ, Brent added another victory in their informal family feud when he came in to port with a tally of thirty-six points. Brent was heavily involved in his semi-final match with Whitey, so he might be forgiven for trying to crib a point on the 9th hole. As far as the match went, they went close to setting something of a record. Not in terms of the final score line, but in the fact that there was not a squared hole until the 14th. Brent had worked his way out to 5 up after seven holes before Whitey won four on the trot to bring it back to just the one hole. On the 12th, Brent finished about a metre from the hole and knocked in the birdie with ease. Despite the almost lost ball on the 13th, he managed to win that as well. However, the coup de grâce came on the 15th where the tee shot finished a mere 250mm from the pin and the birdie (one of 15 for the day) finished the match 4 and 3 to Brent.
The question was asked last week, had Craig been foxing? Well, maybe not, but he did do enough today to score himself some points, with a 4th placing keeping the scoreboard ticking over. Whitey was both pleased and devastated with his round. He had played his best golf for quite a while, but copped a beating in the match. He just had to console himself with a couple of points for 5th place.
There were a few other rounds of note for the day. Steve has been working assiduously on his game, both long and short, during the week. The benefit of that was on show today when he carded 38 points, the second-best card of the day. Pepsi finished just out of the money for the event after he played to his handicap for 36 points. Just a few scratchy holes to get rid of, and he will be right back up there. Adam also made it to match his handicap today, with enough ‘if only’ scores there to suggest that he could have been there alongside Geoff on the daily total front.
Needless to say, that Brent’s attempt at a hole-in-one on the 15th was more than enough to win him at least one ball for the day for the BallPin on that hole. The second BallPin on the 18th was quite another matter. Whitey and Pepsi probably thought that they would be in there with a chance, with their shots to within a few metres. That is, until Porks came along. The shot bisected the pin from the tee, landed about a metre short, took one bounce and rattled into the hole for his second HIO for the year, and to take out the Eagle’s Nest, and to dip into the insurance pool for another round of drinks, and to widen the margin in the Eclectic even further. Harry, who watched the whole thing from beside the green, was admonished for not being more enthusiastic and not executing something akin to the Toyota ‘Oh what a feeling’ followed by flying splits. Porks decided that he should leave the marker in the hole, just in case somebody from the following group repeated the performance. Matt gave it a very good go. His shot was also directly on line, but it landed about a metre shorter, and finished the same metre short of the hole. What would the odds have been on that, for all you punters out there. In the other Nearest-the-Pin competition, the ProPin was set on the 7th, which is a bit unusual because of the perceived difficulty for the shorter hitters in the Club. Not that it is suggested that Stan is a short hitter, but he did manage to put his drive to 4.03m to win the coin for the day. Stan will probably spend up big in Noosa as a result, but he will have to collect it when he gets back to golf in a few weeks.
Now, you could be forgiven for losing a ball plugged in the mud or out in the deep rough. However, can you be forgiven for losing a ball whilst on the green? On the 10th, SOS marked his ball and went back to his buggy to give it a clean or some such. Lo and behold, when he came to take his turn at putting, the ball was nowhere to be found despite a thorough search of his bag and buggy. Question is, is he allowed to substitute a ball or does he have to invoke the two stroke penalty rule?
Our honorary ranga, Gordon, was giving Brent heaps as he was faced with a shot over the pond and trees to the 13th green Unperturbed, Brent slotted it to half a metre past the hole and elicited some muted applause from the chastened gallery. The seventeenth saw a bit of excitement on a couple of occasions. SOS managed to put his drive onto the green, but he was faced with a longish putt for the eagle. The putt ran true, if just a little fast, and hit the pin, not quite dead centre, and finished just out. Easy-peasy for the birdie. Brendon, on the other hand, had the benefit of a ‘boulder’ to help his ball in for his birdie.
Everybody (well, almost everybody) stayed back to partake of the fine fare that Gordon put together. It was expertly cooked by a couple of honorary chefs, who managed not to drop the burgers through the gap in the grid. Not like some Club Captains we could name. The round of drinks for the hole-in-one went down a treat, but the kale salad could have done with a few more takers. Beggars can’t be choosers, given the price of lettuce these days! One lowlight, at least for Brendon, came when Pepsi disposed of a fag end, which proceeded to burn a hole in the Kiwi’s favourite sky blue golf pants. Fortunately, he was not wearing them at the time. And, no, he wasn’t standing around in his jocks either.
Results for Saturday, 23 Jul 2022
1st Geoff Lyall(35, 42, 77) 2nd Chris Priems(39, 35, 74) 3rd Brent Rowley(33, 36, 69) 4th Craig Cameron(37, 31, 68) 5th Rodney White(29, 37, 66)
Seniors Results: 1st Geoff Lyall (35,42,77) 2nd Chris Priems (39,35,74) 3rd Craig Cameron (37,31,68)
Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin – 7th Stan Blackshaw BallPin No 1 – 15th Brent Rowley BallPin No 2 – 18th Ryan Porker
Hole in One Results: Hole in One – 18th *** Ryan Porker ***