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Any excuse for new shoes on 30 March 2024.

Porks got balls
If only I had two left feet!

Easter does funny things to people. It seems to make them want to go to places that are not Ivanhoe. But, despite the attractions of the coast, the country, the mountains and foreign climes (or even just staying in bed), we managed to get enough for a competition (much to Michael’s relief), and eight members set out with hopes for some ‘easy’ points. The sky was overcast and the air was a bit misty, or was it hazy, which could make the flight of the ball hard to follow if it had a bit of elevation. The greens were sprayed with something during the week, and they had been given a dressing of gravel and a good watering which made for some interesting putts. It didn’t stop us from scoring eight birdies, so maybe the extra run from the bone dry, and increasingly bare fairways helped in that regard. The big question of the day was, would everybody get points? As it turned out, not quite! Just one more tied placing would have fixed that, but Stan can take some consolation that he did get a point in the Seniors.

As the end of daylight saving nears, it has to be admitted that the light levels are pretty low when you head out to get to the course on time. Which means that, when you are groping around in the garage getting your golf gear loaded into the car, it is quite easy to grab a pair of shoes, only to find when you go to put them on that you suddenly wish that you really did have two left feet. Thus, there was the sight of Ryan in the ProShop letting the moths out of his wallet to buy himself a brand-new pair of golf shoes. A couple of tee shots that strayed a bit caused him to wonder whether it was the different heel height that was ‘putting him off’. However, it didn’t seem to matter too much, and despite a number of putts left just short of the hole, Ryan managed to complete the back nine one under the card, and the whole round just two over the card, to top the field with plus five points. This included one double pointer for his birdie on the 8th.

Michael finished the round in a very cranky mood, and he took it out on the nearest the pin card from the 18th. It seems his tee shot left a pitch mark well closer than Porks’, but it didn’t bite and finished further from the hole, robbing him of the chance to collect both of the BallPins for the day. To add insult to injury, he then proceeded to take three putts to put the ball into the hole. This robbed him of the chance to produce at least a par round (he had to settle for one over) and, more importantly, the chance to have Seniors first place on his own. On the other hand, Porks had expressed a desire to beat Michael off the stick, so there is probably some consolation to be had from that aspect of the result. Targe didn’t put a foot wrong all day, other than taking some sort of a relief break just as his group was lining up to tee off on the first. He cited ‘first shot of the day’ when he barely cleared Charlie’s Bush, but then went on to pull off great recoveries, such as by threading the needle through multiple trees on the 11th, by going close to scoring par after chipping down to the 12th green from behind the tree near the old 13th tee and generally getting it close from around the green. The pair of +2 points made a tie for second place, as well as first place in the Seniors.

Raj had a bit of trouble getting the plus signs onto his card. At the end of the front nine, there were seven square and two minus to show for his efforts. Then the wheels just about fell off and by the 14th, things were looking pretty dire with four points on the wrong side of the ledger. The man said, I have to par the rest of the course to get some respectability back into this card. He then proceeded to birdie the next two holes (one for a double pointer), albeit he had to sink a couple of very long putts to make them. The 17th could have undone some of that good work after some to-ing and fro-ing around the green, until another long putt produced the bogie and a square for the hole. In the end, the square card was good enough to capture a solo third place.

Harry started off steadily enough, although he did leave himself with some very long putts that were not handled at all well, and he likes to think it was due to the flukey conditions on the green. A couple of ‘safe’ shots out of trouble on the 8th just happened to find the trees that they were meant to avoid, which helped to bring the score to square at the end of the nine. Harry was only two under the card after the 14th, but, he too, expressed the view that some pars were in order to bring some respectability to the end result. No such luck with the double birdies, but there was one for two points on the 17th making the final score -1. SOS was deeply committed to keeping Targe’s score card in order, as well as wrestling with the fourteen strokes that he had to concede to Targe in the match that they were playing. He managed a good run of plus results early in the round but could only finish the first half one point to the good. A win on the 10th gave him some heart, but the scoring chances seem to have dried up. A shot for the green on the 17th did not pay off, and that contributed to a run of losses that produced a score of -1 for a share of 4th place with Harry. Charlie was a bit apprehensive heading out with his brand new handicap. It is assumed that he also avoided Charlie’s bush, but the first three holes were not kind to him. The next four holes fared somewhat better, but at the end of the nine, there was a number four on the wrong side of the zero line. The back nine was much more workman-like, and the +2 there brought him home just two down, which he thought was a pretty pleasing result considering. It was certainly good enough to get him a point for fifth place.

The ProPin was on the 4th, and it proved to be a pretty tough gig, either that, or the pot wasn’t big enough to be bothered about. Anyway, there will be a jackpot pool on the 4th next week. As hinted at earlier, Michael rolled Porks for the BallPin on the 12th, but didn’t succeed in doing so on the 18th. As an aside, there were five double pointers scored for the day.

The match between SOS and Targe was very much a close-run thing, despite SOS’s concerns about the vagaries of the Matchplay hole ratings (as well as the fact that he had to give Targe 14 strokes). He got away to a good start, and had a couple of holes up his sleeve in short order. At this stage, Targe got his house in order and won three of the next five while squaring the other two to take a one hole advantage. SOS then won a couple to get back a slight advantage, which he managed to hang onto until the 15th. A wild shot from the tee on the 16th finished lost/OOB and the match was back to square. The shot for the green on the 17th cost another hole and the match was dormie one in Targe’s favour. The two shot differential required on the 18th proved a hope too far for SOS to force a chip-off, and the match went to Targe, 2 up.

Results for Saturday, 30 Mar 2024
1st Ryan Porker (+5) 2nd Michael Gourlay (+2) 2nd Targe Mifsud (+2) 3rd Rajesh Mahto (□) 4th Harry Boughen (-1) 4th Stephen O’Sullivan (-1) 5th Charles Gibbs (-2)

Seniors Results: 1st Michael Gourlay (+2) 1st Targe Mifsud (+2) 2nd Harry Boughen (-1) 3rd Stan Blackshaw (-6)

Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin – 4th Jackpot BallPin No 1 – 12th Michael Gourlay BallPin No 2 – 18th Ryan Porker