Whichever way you look at it, the headline result won’t change! The other thing that won’t change is the fact that it was a lovely day out at Ye Olde Ivanhoe. It wasn’t too, too chilly to start with, and it did warm up as the morning progressed, and the layers were peeled off, if there were layers to be peeled off. No accounting for the hardy/foolish types that choose to front up half dressed. The course continues to look well with the fairways nice and green, but not too muddy, and the greens were pretty smooth with a bit of sand in evidence and a bit of speed about them to boot. At least, that was some members’ excuse! And, speaking of members, there were a mere eleven who turned out to try to take advantage of the extra points that would be available from playing GrandPar. As it turned out, this was to little avail, as the only doublers were scored by Harry and Steve, who both managed a birdie on the seventeenth. It is possible that Steve owes his to Ryan, who made an observation (not a coaching tip!) about his swing on the 16th that was given some credit for this little feat. The benefit might have been a bit short-lived, because Steve followed it up with a five on the 18th. As an aside, exactly the same fate befell Harry, who was not a beneficiary of assisting commentary.
One thing that will be changing, however, will be Adam’s handicap. He started out with a par on the first, and barely put a foot wrong for the rest of the front nine, and reached the turn with a score of +3 on the card. And this was despite having gone close to missing the ball entirely with his driver, resulting in the ball travelling barely 40 or so metres on a line well removed from the centre-line of the fairway. It did make it past the red markers, so no embarrassment there. The back nine, did not run quite so well, although there were a couple fewer strokes available to be used. However, the 38 strokes off the stick, together with the 40 taken on the front nine, resulted in a round of 78 strokes, which is a personal best for Adam by a margin of two strokes. The points tally of +4 was enough to take the points for the day by a very handy margin.
In second place was – daylight! Actually, it was a trio of ‘youngsters’, of varying degrees of young. First cab on the rank was T – I mean, Raj, who played the first five holes without putting a foot wrong, so to speak. Which prompted CJ to ask him how he was going in the Championship, to which Raj modestly replied that he was actually leading the table. This promptly lead to the wheels falling off, and he managed to gash the next four holes. Things settled down a bit after the turn, and the result for the back nine might have been a bit better than square if it were not for a shawshank redemption on the 17th. Brendon had some important business to deal with on his phone at the 17th tee, and ended up quite oblivious to the shenanigans that his playing companions were getting up to. He was probably making an appointment with the ProShop to discuss the problems that he is having with his driver. And that is probably the reason that he could only manage minus one to take a share of second place with Raj. Which brings us to Ryan. While Brendon was fiddling with his phone, Ryan managed to hoick one well to the left and far away to finish somewhere near Kew. He teed up again, and, this time, sent it well to the right of the green, and nearly took out the group gathered on the 18th tee in the process. Needless to say, the resulting minus was all that was needed to tie him up with the other two reprobates in second place.
Harry had one of those days when, pretty much every time he managed to score a plus, he immediately counteracted it with a minus. He has also often wondered what would be the purpose of having a drain hole in the middle of the 10th green. Today, he found out when a chip that could easily have finished across the green landed right on target to take the pace off the ball to let it finish less than half a metre from the hole rather than a possible five metres. CJ reckoned he should have been on the second podium level due to a putt that just would not drop. The ball came to a stop and turned towards the hole as it encountered a pitch mark right on the edge of the hole. Instead of falling in, the ball remained in the pitch mark, and no amount of heavy footedness as he approached the hole could persuade it from its resting place. SOS was not overly pleased with his game after the front nine that found him behind the eight-ball, so to speak, with four scores on the wrong side of the ledger. The back nine produced a fairly significant turn-around, in fact, one of the largest for the day so that, he too, finished with a bottom line of minus 2 to share third place with Harry and CJ.
The Beast went very close to scoring a birdie on the 1st. However, his drive on the second was something less that spectacular to say the least, which lead him to say that maybe he should have quit after the first. He then proceeded to smash two great shots to miss getting a birdie by the narrowest of margins, leaving a simple tap-in for the par. After five holes, Bill reckoned that it was his best start to a round for a long time. By the end of the round, he reckoned that it was his worst round in a long time. Still, his minus five was enough to score him a couple of points for fourth place. Steve also made one of the turns-around of the day, going from minus six on the front to square on the back. Whereas Gordo did the exact opposite, going from square on the front to minus six on the back. He was comforted somewhat by the fact that, due to the multiple placings ahead of him, he still did get a point for sharing fifth place with Steve.
In the Nearest the Pin competition, the first BallPin was on the 4th hole, and Gordo was quite pleased to be able to get his name put on the card. Unfortunately, Brendon came along and rained on the parade with a closer shot and collected the ball on offer. The ProPin was set on the 12th, and, for a while, it looked as if there could be a Jackpot in the offing. It was not to be, as Porks was able to put his shot to 3.69m to collect the dosh on offer. He also rattled in the putt for the birdie, one of six that the assembled crew managed for the day. And, that was not all. Porks also got his name on the card for the second BallPin on the 18th.
Gordon had a bit of a difficult shot to make on the 13th, with his ball nicely sitting up in the penalty area, but with a pretty soggy stance under-foot. There was a bit of uncertainty about where the ball finished, but it was safely out in the fairway with a not impossible shot to the green available. In line with his run of horrors on the back, the next one finished in the penalty area on the left, leaving little option for scoring. It seems possible that there is some sort of ‘Great Attractor’ located over near Kew, as both Beast and Gordo fell victim to its charms from the 17th tee. CJ got a bit of a flea in his ear today that caused him to keep confusing his Rs with his Ts. As a result, Raj kept coming out as Taj. And, in a way, Raj and Targe are something of birds of a feather. Both take remarkably large back-swings when playing close in shots to the green. Targe also seemed rather excited by the fact that the unions were planning to ‘ban Dan’ if he tried to cancel the duck season. Which could explain why he was looking so fondly at the black ducks that were making themselves at home on the fairways.
Results for Saturday, 26 Aug 2023
1st Adam King (+4) 2nd Rajesh Mahto (-1) 2nd Brendon Mitchell (-1) 2nd Ryan Porker (-1) 3rd Harry Boughen (-2) 3rd Chris Priems (-2) 3rd Stephen O’Sullivan (-2) 4th Bill Eastoe (-5) 5th Steven Gervasoni (-6) 5th Gordon Hill (-6)
Seniors Results: 1st Chris Priems (-2) 1st Harry Boughen (-2) 2nd Bill Eastoe (-5) 3rd Gordon Hill (-6) 3rd Steven Gervasoni (-6)
Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin – 12th Ryan Porker BallPin No 1 – 4th Brendon Mitchell BallPin No 2 – 18th Ryan Porker