Once upon a time, IMSGC members used to be hungry for easy points and, with nineteen members away fighting it out for the coveted Mustard Jacket at Cobram, here was the ideal opportunity to take advantage of a small field to boost your stocks in the Championship stakes. But no, with a measly two registrations and a third interested only if he was going to make it six or more, when one of the two developed an oil leak, there wasn’t even a social game to be had. It would have been a nice day as far as the weather went, however the course did have two temporary greens in operation after a couple of dirt bikes diverted from the flooded river bank onto the course and decided that greens were a good place to wreak some havoc. They should be back in play in the next day or so.
The following report on the Annual Challenge has been compiled from notes provided by a Gord o-thority.
The Cobram-Barooga Golf Course (West and Old) was in fine condition with beautiful fairways and true greens, although the latter were subject to a few undulations to add some challenge to the game. The plethora of roos around the course provided an appreciative gallery as the tension mounted during the course of the game. The venue was deemed so favourable that it was voted to be the venue for next year’s contest.
The first day went some way to sorting the men from the boys, but it was not all over Red Rover, with over a third of the field within half a dozen strokes of the leader. Brent got out of the blocks early, and was able to amass a very handy 35 points. However, he was not alone with Stef breathing down his neck, just a single point behind on 34. In third spot, we saw the two Chris (J and P) a couple of points further back, closely followed by Raj with 31. Fifth spot after round one was shared by Porks and Peps (just about a meal in itself) on 29 points. Steve was dead-set on retaining the jacket, and he put in a pretty good effort on the day to be just a point further back with 28. With that sort of potential in the running, it was anybody’s game.
However, there was the evening’s events to deal with first, and that can have a powerful effect on the next day’s results. Particularly when the Club captain puts the surplus funds on the bar to shout everybody espresso martinis as a night-cap. But that was not enough for some, who headed out to try their luck with some of the locals. Kazim, it seems, was wedded to the pokies, accompanied by his ‘best man’ SOS. It is unclear whether any profits were forthcoming, but, at some stage the punters did manage to ‘fluke’ a quaddie, and walked off with a handy little dividend. Whether it was enough to get them back into the black was not revealed. For some reason, CJ swears that, next year, he will not be drinking.
There were some changes in form on day 2, which could very well relate to the quantities consumed or the lateness of the hour of getting to bed. Brent was one to take a slump, but it was not enough to knock him off the top spot, and he was presented with the Mustard Jacket, by Steve for his overall total of 65 points. Stef suffered exactly the same loss of form to finish in second place, just two points behind with 63. ChrisJ matched Stef’s score for the day, and maintained his spot on the leaderboard. Matt and Brendon, on the other hand, managed to improve both their score and the position on the podium, to leap into fourth place with a total of 59 points. Raj slipped one place to get just the one point for his total of 58. Despite having the advantage of wind and range-finding Collingwood flag, CJ slipped off the podium by dropping seven points from day 1. Porks and Peps faded even further from contention. There were no reports on Josh’s behaviour overnight, but whatever he got up to, he produced the turn-around of the weekend, charging from 15 to 31 points, possibly saving himself from holding the Narga aloft.
It’s a good thing Raj has his wits about him. Despite never having been on an Annual Challenge before, and, despite Captain Matt leaving him off the email circulation list, he managed to make it to the right place and at the right time. Geoff was so intent on lining up his putt from a distance behind (as recommended by the experts), he failed to take account of the positioning of his buggy and both he and it ended up base over apex. The course was not without its hazards, which included a number of bunkers. One of these took its toll on Porks, who missed the ball entirely in his effort to extricate himself. He did move some sand, it must be said. Gordo has a ‘shoulder’, and he had a bit of trouble with his swing plane. One shot from the tee went so low that it inflicted some damage (fairly serious by the looks of it) to the red tee marker, located some 20m to the fore. This might have qualified for the Cock’s Plate award, but there might have been other, more worthy candidates. All in all, Gordo did not have the best weekend on the course, and he managed to collect the Narga for the event. He does take some consolation in the fact that Adam had him in the Calcutta, and collected the $25 on offer.
It was good to see Mehmet and Kazim, after a fair time away from playing with the Club. While they didn’t feature, they didn’t embarrass themselves either. The Birthday Birdie wants to give a shout out to AndrewN who will be blowing out some candles this week.
Results for Saturday, 14 Oct 2023
Ivanhoe: No Competition
Challenge: 1st Brent Rowley (35, 30, 65) 2nd Stefan Belevski (34, 29, 63) 3rd Chris James (32, 29, 61) 4th Matt Hunt (27, 32, 59) 4th Brendon Mitchell (28, 31, 59) 5th Rajesh Mahto (31, 27, 58)
Ivanhoe : No Competition
Challenge: 1st Chris Priems (32, 25, 57) 2nd Steven Gervasoni (28, 25, 53) 3rd Geoff Lyall (19, 27, 46) Ken Watson (20, 20, 40)
Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin – – No Competition BallPin No 1 – – No Competition BallPin No 2 – – No Competition