You could be foggiven if you mist seeing the flight of your ball from the first today. The main reason being that the cloud base was at about sea level this morning. Not strictly true, as once the suspended water droplets dispersed, the sun came out to show a clear blue sky, although a few cotton balls did show up a little later on. The regular showers and rain periods during the week helped to keep the slushy spots slushy, and the boggy spots boggy. The maintenance crew don’t seem to have been able to get out as a result, and the grass was getting a bit shaggy in places. The actual total of lost balls, either due to straight out plugging or to just vanishing in the grass, was not available, but, anecdotally, the number was reasonably substantial. We ended up with eleven members on the tee, and a rough guess would put the total at about a ball per member. Brendon went close to ‘losing’ one on the 4th when his drive caught the tree and dropped without being spotted. A ball in the middle of the fairway was dismissed when described as being Titleist with purple dots. When it was picked up as a ‘gimme’ and cleaned, the initials BM appeared, and the dots were identified as actually being black, much to the relief of Brendon who went on to finish the hole with a double bogie. Maybe he should have played on with his provisional.
Michael trudged in after the round, looking despondent, and bemoaning the fact that he had three putted more greens than he liked to remember on the back nine. So, was he playing the field in the hope of not getting his handicap cut, or was he genuinely happy that he would be able to give Brent another stroke when they eventually meet in the Matchplay final, as he later claimed. The latter hardly rings true when he speculated that, if he plays next week and Brent doesn’t, then he would get the lost stroke back by being let out. This assumes, of course, that he doesn’t win or break his handicap again. All calculations aside, 37 points under fairly trying conditions was a good effort, and more than enough to take out the points for the day. The qualified leaders in the Vardon Trophy are certainly hoping that Michael’s involvement with the Greens and the upcoming state election will prevent him from reaching the qualifying number of rounds for this event. Or, if he does, that he doesn’t score any more points than he already has.
Brendon produced a bit of a mixed bag today as far as shot making went. There were drives that were creamed and those that were ‘not quite’ duffed. The chipping was either deadly with the ball hitting the pin and rimming the cup or finishing variously short or long. The putting, however, was consistently deadly, and he was able to come home with 35 points to claim the second level on the podium. Harry had quite a few chances to snare a par, but he had to wait until the 15th to catch one unawares. His hope for a full nine holes of two pointers on the front was spoiled by a ‘vanishing’ ball on the 8th with the possibility that it had deflected OOB requiring that a penalty be incurred. His 34 points won him the third place in the field.
Thirty-two points was a popular total today, with three members fronting up for fourth place with that score. First cab off the rank was Craig, who struggled a bit, mainly with the guy who was marking his card. But, it was all sorted out in the end and the totals agreed, even if the individual hole scores and points did not. Just as an aside, it does pay to check the individual holes scores and points, rather than just the totals, and actually add them up rather than recording what the other guy says. Gordon was looking a bit on the grumpy side after the first two holes, when things did not go too well. The demeanour change for the better on the third when his chip to the green took one bounce and plopped into the hole for a birdie and four points. This was not the end of his travails, but a repeat performance with a chip in for a par on the 10th helped him into his share of 4th place. SOS played pretty handily for the first eight holes, before a minor lapse for a couple of holes knocked a bit of a hole in his chances. But, he did recover pretty well and joined in on 4th place. Bob’s hand is giving him a bit of grief, and the compression glove he is wearing affects his feel for the club. Despite this, he was able to sneak into fifth place with his score of 31 points. Whitey can’t blame the condition of his hands, but he was seriously questioning, early in the round, whether the course should even have been open today. Whether scoring a point has changed his view was not clear at the end of the day.
One of the hot topics today was whether the ProPin on the 12th was a double or a triple Jackpot. The ‘official’ word is that the first week is a Pot, second week is a Jackpot, third week is a Double Jackpot, which makes next week a Triple Jackpot because, once again, nobody was able to get within the required 5m. For once, there were no sob-stories from Michael about being millimetres outside the limit. The BallPin on the 7th was a Jackpot and, with the teeing area well back, the early tipping was that it would go Double. That is, until along came Geoff. He ran his ball over the edge of the hole, probably missing a hole in one etc by the narrowest of margins, and left the ball a few hundred millimetres past the hole. He whacked in the putt for a birdie and, in the process, he put Gordo’s four pointer into the back seat to his five points. This also brought our tally of birdies to seven for the day. Now, we all know that Geoff is never far removed from his mobile as he accumulates ever more data for his game analysis software. Perhaps a little ‘excited’ after his recent near thing, he gathered his data after a shot on the 8th and then played his next shot. After this, he claimed that he must have left his phone somewhere else, only to be reminded that he had it in his hand moments before. A hurried search of his person proved that it had not been left behind.
On the 18th tee, there had been a bit of a discussion about how far distant people had been to win the nearest the pin, and a figure of 11.4m was mentioned. Brendon did manage to put his ball onto the green, and, when it was measured, the distance turned out to be 11.4m, and Brendon confidently predicted that it could be a winner. Unfortunately, Michael came along and put his closer to take out the BallPin in our competition and to ease Brendon out of the money for the inside competition. Whether Michael’s is good enough to win that one remains to be seen, but the actual distance was not revealed. It certainly wasn’t close enough to score the birdie.
Targe was another one complaining about the condition of the course as he reckons he was getting bogged, the mud was so deep. You just need longer legs, Targe! Rob, however, was credited with the recoveries of the round when he scored fours from ‘impossible’ situations. Not on par four holes, it must be added, but on par threes. On the 12th, a shank put him behind and almost in the penalty area, and the hand-span relief was all that he needed to be able to muscle the shot over the clumps of vegetation and onto the green to finish it off with a couple of putts. On the 18th, he barely avoided the almost compulsory draughtie, finishing a bare 15m from the tee. After another shot and still a way to go, he lobbed it to within a metre and sank the putt. Just goes to prove that you never give up, eh, Prez.
Results for Saturday, 27 Aug 2022
1st Michael Gourlay (37) 2nd Brendon Mitchell (35) 3rd Harry Boughen (34) 4th Craig Cameron (32) 4th Gordon Hill (32) 4th Stephen O’Sullivan (32) 5th Bob McDonald (31) 5th Rodney White (31)
Seniors Results: 1st Michael Gourlay (37) 2nd Harry Boughen (34) 3rd Craig Cameron (32) 3rd Gordon Hill (32)
Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin – 12th Jackpot BallPin No 1 – 7th Geoff Lyall BallPin No 2 – 18th Michael Gourlay