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Side door entries

Rob, Raj, Targe, Bobby, Josh and Peps enjoying a drink after the round on 10 Feb 2024
Everybody in the points and a triple dead heat in the Seniors, almost as famous as the 1956 Hotham Handicap

Whether you were at Moonah Links or Royal Ivanhoe on Saturday, it was perfect golf weather and there were no excuses.

The Ivanhoe field finished up at seven after a couple of cancellations, with four “juniors” Prez Priems, Peps, Raj and Josh joining three seniors, Bobby, Targe and Michael.

As it turned out, with a triple tie for fourth (which coincided with a triple dead heat for first in the Seniors) everybody went home in the points.

Josh managed 11 stableford points on the front nine and there was speculation he might not beat the 20 stableford points (for 18 holes) that Matty was reported to have scored at Portsea on the Punters Club Friday. But two pars to start the back nine, including a 4-pointer on the 10th, and a strong finish including another 4-point par on the 16th, saw Josh sail home with 22 points on the back nine, 33 for the day and a championship point for 5th.

Along the way Josh made two of the best 5’s you’ll ever see on the 7th and 15th. On the 7th, Josh’s tee shot went off to the right at a 45 degree angle and finished on the 2nd fairway. He only just missed the putt for a 3-point 4 after a great second shot. On the 15th, his tee shot went left up the hill and while we expected to be able to find it, a lost ball was declared. Josh then dropped another ball up on the hill and hit a stellar wedge to a metre or so and nailed the putt.

Targe, Bobby and Michael each managed 34 points for 4th place points and (Harry please don’t choke on your Weeties) joint first in the Seniors. Bobby and Targe reported “nothing special” for the day, just solid consistent golf. Bobby finished strongly with a 4-point birdie on the 17th and 3 points on the 18th. Targe also finished strongly with a 4-point par on the 18th. Michael’s finish was less than stellar.

After losing his ball after his tee shot on the 17th (it had just dribbled into the long grass near the green but could not be found) leading to a wipe, Michael was cursing on the 18th tee when Raj somewhat bravely asked if he would be writing about himself in the blog today. A terse “no” was the reply, amongst other adjectives. Then Michael’s shot into the 18th finished on the green but left of the bottom tier pin, leaving no option but to putt it up to the top tier and down again. Three putts later, you could probably see the steam coming out of Michael’s ears down on the Mornington Peninsula. Bobby scored 7 stableford points on his last two holes, Targe 6 and Michael 1.

Peps had 36 points and if not for some errant putting and an out of bounds drive leading to a wipe on the 13th, he might have challenged for higher honours. Along the way he made a clean sweep of all three nearest the pins, a jackpot ProPin on the 4th, a jackpot (2 balls) on the 7th and the ball on the 18th as well. Harry, how many times has somebody won the clean sweep of NTPs? Peps is also the proud owner of some new golf shoes, having left his normal golf shoes at home and after arriving at the course in thongs, did a very quick shoe purchase in the pro-shop before hit off.

Raj had a wipe on the 3rd after some adventures in the long grass after his tee shot drifted right. His playing partners thought he might be hacking snakes in there and after an airy and a few other shots he would have been better off never finding the ball and playing his provisional. Nonetheless, Raj steadied and hit the turn with 18 points and then gathered steam on the back 9 with 21 points, including a great pitch and putt birdie on the 14th, one of 5 birdies for the day. However, Raj’s 39 points was only good enough for second place.

Early doors as he was heading down the 6th, word spread between the groups that Rob was on fire and so it proved, turning with 23 points. So much was he on fire that his card marker couldn’t count that far and only allocated him 21 points on the card. Hence, after 19 points on the back 9, Rob’s final total of 42 points was two more than reported at the after party. Rob’s comfortable 3 stroke victory might make Raj feel better about a putt of his that slid by on the 18th and a short missed birdie putt on the 17th.

Your Assistant Apprentice Handicapper certainly enjoyed lopping Rob’s handicap by 3.4 strokes for the win. When Rob was asked to name his highlights for the day, Peps suggested that Rob chipped well with that little chipper of his (surely that club should be illegal) while Rob said he putted well including three different putts that dropped via the side door. Targe then suggested one was both a side door entry and a back door entry but Rob was pretty adamant, no back door entries for him, it was all side door entries in the highlights reel today.

Please note; your blog writer did try and make contact with Punters Club members to get a report before deadline. However, all that had been received was a missive from Gordo saying the weather was nice. He added that “golf and company also superb” but offered no evidence to back up that statement.

Results for Saturday, 10 Feb 2024
1st Robert Priems (42) 2nd Rajesh Mahto (39) 3rd Andrew Petricola (36) 4th Michael Gourlay (34) 4th Bob McDonald (34) 4th Targe Mifsud (34) 5th Josh Hunt (33)

Seniors Results: 1st Bob McDonald (34) 1st Michael Gourlay (34) 1st Targe Mifsud (34)

Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin – 4th Andrew Petricola BallPin No 1 – 7th Andrew Petricola BallPin No 2 – 18th Andrew Petricola