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Josh in a canter

Josh Hunt ran off with a big win in the 2023 Freddy Kitson and then ran off to the Cox Plate at Moonee Valley
Josh showed the Freddy Kitson field a clean pair of heels

Josh arrived at the course exuding confidence and requested to go in the first group so he could lead from the front (and get to the Cox Plate at Moonee Valley in good time where it is rumoured his punting was as good as his golf).

Avoiding the old timers in the final “leaders” group proved to be a winning move and after spluttering down the second with a loss, Josh never looked back. 8 pluses on his card for the day, including two to finish on 17 and 18 for a score of +5 and a +8 total across the two weeks.

This was enough for a comfortable four lengths victory over a fast finishing Blighty who had obviously read and been inspired by last week’s blog that predicted he was primed for “a big run one day soon.” His +6 on the day included 3 “double pluses” so in Grandpar it would have been +9 or a 59 in stroke. After 2 down last week, Blighty’s combined +4 was a strong second place. As they say, maybe he is looking for “more ground” a la the Melbourne Cup or in our case the 3 week club stroke championship coming up in late November, early December.

Prez Priems was just a length back in third after a +5 for the day and a combined +3. After starting with pluses on his first three holes and another at the fifth, Rob was looking the most likely to run Josh down at that stage, but he couldn’t quite sustain that cracking pace over the full journey.

Last week’s co-leader Michael slipped back through to the field to fourth with -1 on the day and a +2 total. His “better than usual” putting last week turned into something else this week and after two three putt losses on 17 and 18 to finish his day he had a major tantrum/hissy fit, call it what you will and stormed off the course with smoke coming out the ears, a broken putter and threatening Brendan’s Guiness Book of Record effort from last week for the number of times saying a certain word out loud. He is reported this week to be back in golf anger therapy-rehab and offering apologies to his playing partners as part of Step 1.

In a rare week of no ties, all single placings, Chrispy rounded out the points in fifth with a square card for the day and +1 total. A model of consistency throughout the day, Chris’s chipping and pitching was a highlight. No less than 6 times he chipped or pitched to “kick in” distance. Playing partners SoS and Michael, whose chipping was less than stellar, kept shaking their heads at his magic with the wedge.

Honourable mentions go to four players with “plus” cards for the day but who didn’t make it into the overall points, including Adam +3 and Chris J, Raj and new member Charles with +2. It was Charles first card after getting his handicap and in all four rounds he has improved each time, so lookout for Charles in the run to Christmas and into 2024.

Speaking handicaps, Josh’s win cost him seven strokes, going from 31 to 24. Does anybody want to run a book on how long until his handicap is lower than his dad’s and/or he beats dad off the stick?

Brendan birdied the first hole (and the 10th) matched by the birdie machine that is Chris J who had his two on the 5th and 9th. Another 8 players had a birdie each so 12 all up for the day. Harry, if you’re reading over there in Europe, what’s the world record for birdies from the field in a week?

The competition for most spectacular birdie was a tie between another Josh pitch in birdie (17th this time after the 8th last week) and SoS’s on the 11th when he nearly drove the green and then managed to not duff either the chip or the putt.

Chris J missed a third birdie on the 18th after another good shot in to win a ball for nearest the pin. SoS was the ball winner on the 15th and after discovering that he had knocked off Charles, who is a lawyer, he wrote “Cop beats lawyer” on the yellow sticky. Apparently SoS had a similar win against a defence lawyer in court earlier in the week.

Meanwhile there is now a triple jackpot of cash on offer for the propin on the 4th. Lately there’s been more people hitting the tree there than the green so you wouldn’t bet on it going off this week either. It’s a pity “old reliable” Craig Cameron isn’t back playing because its his type of low hook under the tree that is going to be needed to win the money.

Bob produced the shot of the day with a near hole in one at the 7th that just missed the hole and trickled by. Unfortunately three putts followed but it still went in the book as a plus for the hole.

Big thanks to everybody who helped with food buying and organising the BBQ set up, cooking and clean up, you know who you are (your blog author was too cranky to notice!). Apologies also for any other good stories told that have since been forgotten and not included here.

With only four rounds left to gather points for the championship season, Raj is looking good in the lead with 98 points for the Club Championship and with Harry on holidays, Brendan would have to win every week from here to knock Raj off. Harry of course has long sewn up the Seniors Championship and James is another certainty for the coveted Harry Vardon Trophy (best score average). There is however some intrigue left in the other big trophy, the Eclectic, with three of four in with a chance of catching long term leader Rob. For details, check out the Eclectic leaderboard on the website under “Competitions.” With birdies of better on the right holes over the next four weeks, Rob could be run down and lose by a nose.

Results for Saturday, 28 Oct 2023
1st Josh Hunt (+3, + 5, + 8) 2nd Andrew Blight (-2, + 6, + 4) 3rd Robert Priems (-2, + 5, + 3) 4th Michael Gourlay (+3, -1, + 2) 5th Chris Priems (+1, □, + 1)

Seniors Results: 1st Andrew Blight (-2, +6, +4) 2nd Michael Gourlay (+3, -1, +2) 3rd Chris Priems (+1, □, +1)

Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin – 4th Jackpot BallPin No 1 – 15th Stephen O’Sullivan BallPin No 2 – 18th Chris James

Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin – 4th Jackpot BallPin No 1 – 15th Stephen O’Sullivan BallPin No 2 – 18th Chris James