There was a fair chance that Jack Frost had been tip-toeing around parts of Melbourne this morning, but, although it was fairly brisk to start off with, there was little evidence of his work on the ground at Ivanhoe. SOS was well equipped with hand-warmers, and Matt was seriously wondering about the wisdom of wearing shorts, but they and ten other intrepid members wrapped their frozen fingers around their club grips and headed off to do their best while trying desperately to avoid their worst. As the morning progressed, the temperature rose, and very soon the field was virtually basking in a beautiful spring-like day as the layers were stripped off, and the hands thawed out. With the tees at the back and the grass off the fairways needing a cut, the going turned out to be pretty tough, although some sections of the course were handled better than others.
Raj started out setting a steady pace with a series of bogies before cracking a par, and a smile, on the 5th. A repeat performance on the 6th had him grinning from ear to ear. In the end, he finished the nine having taken 41 off the stick, well below the half-way point of his handicap. The handicapper did comment that Raj was being watched, which might have put the frights into him a bit. The back nine was no disaster, but it did suffer due to a few missed putts and some chips that did not quite live up to his usual standard. In the end, he used up a couple more than his handicap, and was not overly confident of his chances of even getting a place in the race. As it turned out, his net 70 was more than enough to take the day, and to cement his place at the top of the Championship Table. Not quite Red Rover yet, but you could well be forgiven for thinking that was the case.
Occasionally, somebody turns up to play, and can sit at the table waiting for the field to come in, thinking that a clubhouse lead has been known to hold. And that was the case right up until Raj came in and took the cake. CJ had been negotiating with the Captain for a new rule, that you shouldn’t be penalised for winning with a net score of 73, but that turned out to be entirely unnecessary. Chris didn’t necessarily do anything particularly wrong, and it was the lone fat lady on the 13th that probably robbed him of at least a tie for first, and he would have won the count-back easily.
CJ was also persistently making the point that he was playing with a couple of ‘Hunts’, and maybe that put a little flea in Matt’s ear, that caused him to report a fat lady as well. This was compensated a little by his birdie on the 15th, which was one of just three that we managed for the day. This helped him to a significant improvement on the back compared to the front, and he was able to drag himself home with a bottom line of 75 to take out 3rd place. He did complain that it was pretty tough going as he had to push his flash electric buggy for the whole round. It seems that, at a recent round, on another course, the beast reared and bolted, and finished up submerged in an adjacent pond. Despite Matt’s best efforts at CPR and EAR, it looks as if the condition might be terminal, although there have been brief hints of life in the beast on occasions, although Matt did not sound too hopeful for a full recovery.
Adam just didn’t seem to be able to make a go of it, although his nine hole tallies were pretty much equal. He was fairly sanguine about getting a couple of points for his net score of 79, which might have compensated a little for the draughtie that he took on the 12th. SOS was enthusiastically urging the ball to stop, which raised some admiration in Targe, who thought it was in an effort to prevent the ball finishing in the hazard, rather than to prevent it reaching the red markers in actuality. Gordon has been complaining, for a long time, about his handicap following his purple patch a while back. Today, he was pretty pleased with the way that he was going with a couple of birdies under his belt. Then he stepped onto the 13th tee. Between there and the 15th green, he had used almost all of his handicap again, and was only able to finish with a net score of 80, to come in at 5th place. He wasn’t alone on that step of the podium after Rob raised his bat for a neat 100 off the stick, to bring home 80 net as well.
The first BallPin was on the 7th, and it was a tough one from the black tees. SOS was pretty pleased with his tee shot, having recently gotten a big load off his mind, thanks to a quick sprint over to the oval facilities after the 5th. It is not clear whether the middle finger salute drawn on the card was to indicate what had saved the day on the 5th! There was a fair bit of squinting required to be sure that the ball was actually on the green, but there was sufficient cut grass visible for him to be awarded the ball on offer. The ProPin was on the 15th, and it seems that the pin was surrounded by a number of people who could just not quite stretch the tape far enough to get within the 5m required. So, there will be a Jackpot on offer for the ProPin on the 15th, next week. For most of the day, it looked as if there would be a Jackpot for the BallPin on the 18th. That is until Harry came along and cracked a beauty that finished on the dance-floor, and took out the pill on offer.
Bob probably reckoned he had walked on a chinaman’s grave when nothing seemed to be going right at all. A flat on the back shot on the 2nd, a ‘double draughtie’ on the 3rd, a dead-centre hit on the skinniest tree for miles around on the 5th, the list went on and on. Bob’s only consolation was that his electric buggy seemed to be working properly at long last. Targe also didn’t have a great day, and that also included a draughtie. He was also spotted taking a ‘short cut’ down from the 15th tee, and took a bit of a slip in the process. Tch, tch Targe, the path is there for a good reason. Just ask Gordo!
After a bit of a break, the Birthday Birdie has had to warm up his wings to get ready for the rounds this week to deliver best wishes to Matt, Charlie and Blighty. Let’s hope you all feel barely a day older after the event!
Results for Saturday, 02 Sep 2023
1st Rajesh Mahto (70) 2nd Chris Priems (73) 3rd Matt Hunt (75) 4th Adam King (79) 5th Gordon Hill (80) 5th Robert Priems (80)
Seniors Results: 1st Chris Priems (73) 2nd Gordon Hill (80) 3rd Harry Boughen (81)
Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin – 15th Jackpot BallPin No 1 – 7th Stephen O’Sullivan BallPin No 2 – 18th Harry Boughen