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All I want for Christmas is a split nine round on 19th November 2022

Smug as!
I’m really liking this split layout!
Whether the weather be cold
Or whether the weather be hot
Whatever the weather
We'll weather the weather
Whether we like it or not!

However, the weather has been wearing a bit thin over the last few weeks, and the course is not out of the woods just yet. Birrarung is still running a banker, and the downpours that keep coming threaten to inundate the course again as the run-off makes its way downstream. At least, the eleven members who made it to the tee were able to play eighteen holes, even if it was the same split nine twice over. They were also joined by Raj, who was a casual avoider of the predicted afternoon rain. Raj was so impressed by the company that he was afforded that he is planning to join the Club forthwith. The holes played were in generally excellent condition, although some of the longer grass on the margins could be very punishing in the ball finding department. There were about five drops of rain during the round, if you were standing in the right place, and a few more afterwards, but most of the daytime rain bypassed the area entirely. Which is more than can be said for the pyrotechnics, rain and hail during the night.

After nine holes, CJ was already declaring his everlasting affection for the split layout as he successfully negotiated the various patches of longer grass and casual water to head back to the 1st tee with twenty points on the card. The big question on everybody’s lips was, would he need the Throaties? As it turned out, he did not. The scores kept rolling in, up to a final tally of 39 points, and if it hadn’t been for a couple of single pointers towards the end of the round, the margin could easily have been daylight between him and second place. His excitement grew after the round as he contemplated the effects of the eight points added to his total, and the prospect of being to overtake Porks to steal third place in the Championship filled his head with possibilities and probabilities. Which is something that CJ’s head normally would be entirely stranger to.

Steve took full advantage of his exorbitant handicap to follow up on his Mustard jacket win with a very creditable second place on 37 points. This was helped to no small degree by a couple of four pointers for eclectic improving pars on the first and the 16th. Michael also managed 37 points, also with the aid of a couple of four pointers from two of his four birdies for the round. That tally of birdies made up half of the eight that were carded for the day.

Harry didn’t quite strike the same form that he bragged about last week, but he did manage a respectable enough total of 35 points to gather a share of third place. Brent had been putting together a pretty respectable score until he suffered a bit of a brain fade for most of the last six holes to finish on a par with Harry in third place. ChrisJ used the excuse that he hadn’t played for a while to explain his early sluggish (his words) performance. He did hit a monster drive on the 7th (aka 16th), just a little right, but deemed to be clear of the penalty area. A search all about failed to produce the ball, so Chris took a drop and popped the ball onto the green just a metre or so from the pin. As he walked to the green, only a matter of metres past the search area, there he found his original ball. On the 16th (aka 16th), he played an almost identical shot, but a thorough search, well beyond reasonable expectations of distance, lead to the conclusion that the penalty area had actually claimed the ball. Despite this, Chris loudly declared that he was playing a provisional, just in case. Geoff brought up 5th place with a score of 31 points. This was thanks, in part, to his tee shot on the 13th (aka 9th) which was so far right it was easily going to reach the middle of Birrarung, and finish somewhere downstream around Dight’s Falls. That is, until it hit a tree on the course boundary and very conveniently bounced back into play.

At long last, the final of the Matchplay Championship was contested between the reigning champ, Brent and the Old Pretender, Michael. After a week of gentle sledging, the two protagonists locked horns, and, for a good part of the match, it promised to be a very close run thing. Even after twelve holes, having been evenly balanced over the first nine, Michael only had a small lead of two holes and the match was still anybody’s. Unfortunately, two quick wins for Michael turned the match to dormie 4, and Brent needed to keep winning to stay in the game. He did just that on the 15th bringing the match back to dormie 3, but he could only manage to square the 16th which handed the match and the Championship to Michael, 3 and 2. Still a very worthy match to round out the (much extended) 2022 Matchplay Championship. We now only have the run-off for 3rd place, which is currently scheduled for next Saturday.

Rob was not seen dipping into his sky-rocket, so it must be assumed that he made it past the red markers on all tees. One tee that he definitely made it past the red was on one of his shots from the actual 9th tee, where he managed to over-shoot the green. Wow, that’s Stef territory, you could be forgiven for thinking. Thing was, it was the 17th green. Despite the wayward nature of the tee shot, he managed to recover to just miss a putt for par. Matt claims he was robbed of the ProPin and a hole-in one on the 15th when his 7-iron tee shot slam-dunked the hole and bounced away to finish further out than Brent’s 1.91m, which collected the young fellah the double Jackpot kitty. On the second time around, Matt planned to emulate the shot, but was amazed to see the ball take a much lower trajectory and finish well beyond the pin and off the green. He then looked at his club to discover that he was holding a 2-iron. It just wasn’t Matt’s day. During the Committee meeting after, he settled down to enjoy a sausage roll, which he slathered with lashings of tomato sauce only to fumble it on the way to his mouth and drop it, sauce side down (of course), on the table.

With the truncated course there were only two par three holes, and so there was only one BallPin, at which everybody had two shots. There was a bit of a contest for this, but in the end Brent was able to edge out both CJ and Harry for the honour of collecting a ball. The Birthday Birdie is beginning to think that he does deserve the Less Reliable title after delivering a belated wish to the wrong Brent last week. So, a belated belated wish goes to BrentL, along with a retraction for BrentR.

There were a few things of immediate relevance to come out of the Committee meeting.

  • Membership subscriptions were set to remain at $40 for Club and $90 for GA. These are now due, and should be paid as soon as possible, and certainly by the end of December. Bank transfer is preferred, marked with your name to identify the transaction.
  • The break-up and presentations will be held on 17th December and Gordon really needs to have numbers so that he can pin down the catering. Don’t be afraid to come along even if you haven’t played much during the year as it is your subscription money that pays for this sort of thing.
  • Because of the general lack of numbers of bidders in the Calcutta Auction, it was determined that this aspect of the Club’s activities would be dropped. The optional buy-yourself pool will be continued with the purchase price for yourself set at $30. However, the pool now will be divided as set out in the Calcutta Auction Rules. The purchase money is due before tee off on 03 December. No money, no chance.

The start of the Strokeplay Championships will commence on Saturday, regardless of the configuration of the course to be played, provided that it is 18 holes. In line with the decision on the November Monthly Medal, if the course is not in standard configuration, the December MM will not be contested. Announcements will be made later in the week as the situation clarifies.

Results for Saturday, 19 Nov 2022
1st Chris Priems (39) 2nd Steven Gervasoni (37) 2nd Michael Gourlay (37) 3rd Harry Boughen (35) 3rd Brent Rowley (35) 4th Chris James (33) 5th Geoff Lyall (31)

Seniors Results: 1st Chris Priems (39) 2nd Michael Gourlay (37) 2nd Steven Gervasoni (37) 3rd Harry Boughen (35)

Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin – 15th Brent Rowley BallPin No 1 – 18th Brent Rowley BallPin No 2 – No contest