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Eagles, birthdays and finally Raj!

Raj (centre) this week's winner with Brendan who had an eagle on the 17th and Porks who was celebrating his 40th birthday
Raj with eagle boy Brendan and birthday boy Porks

Let’s start with the birthday boy. Happy birthday Porks, the big 40!

And while Porks missed the points in today’s small field of 10, he also avoided this week’s NAGA award (just) after looking a certainty for it with a front 9 of 11 points and a wipe on the 10th after he managed to put his second shot into the pond on the left hand side of the 13th (not the 10th pond, the one on the left hand side of 13th). Fair effort that.

Porks then stepped on the 11th tee with a determined look in his eye and smashed his drive high and handsome to pin high just off the green for an easy chip and putt birdie. His next shot on the 12th was a near hole in one, landing a metre or so to the left of the pin and then curling around to finish 6 inches on the other side of the hole. So close to a birthday hole-in-one.

Meanwhile Brendan had a good front 9, including a 4-point birdie on the 8th. By the time he got to the 17th tee, his scorecard had been blotted by two gashes on the 10th and 13th and he had the same look in his eye that Porks had on the 11th.

With a driving iron in hand Brendon connected well with a nice low draw. Even though one of his playing partners yelled “four” fearing for the group on the 18th tee and another said “I think that’s in the water” Brendan was always confident it was good.

Brendan putting for eagle on the 17th on 27 April 2024. Right in the middle for 9 balls from the eagles nest
The eagle was never in doubt

Indeed an inspection of the green found the ball about a metre and a half from the pin and Brendan nervelessly slotted the putt right in the middle to collect the 9 balls on offer from the eagles nest.

Harry, if we had a leaderboard for most eagles nest wins, where would Brendan rate beside our other eagles specialists, Porks, Steff, SoS, Johnny Q and Peps?

Brendan’s total of 30 stableford points was enough to share 5th place with Charles who rattled home with 19 points in his last 8 holes, including a classic double tree Priemsy par on the 11th. Charles really is the new Priemsy specialist these days. Two shots better in fourth place was Prez Priems who finished strongly with two 3-point pars on 17 and 18. Not finishing so strongly, with an ugly double bogey gash on the 18th was Michael. However his 33 points was good enough for third and the all important first place for this week’s Seniors Championship points.

Johnny Q played well again and chalked up his fourth second place for the year (to go with one win) from only 6 starts. This saw him increase his lead in the Vardon Trophy (best points scoring average) with an average points tally of 4.67 per round. John’s highlights included a monster birdie putt on the 5th and a very enterprising 2-point 5 on the 8th after the customary drive into “Johnny’s tree” on the left, a second shot headed for the pond on the left before it hit another tree and bounced back and then a stellar chip to get up and down from the right hand side of the green near the fence. He putted well from long range all day.

Today’s winner, finally, after six suspicious handicap maintaining second placings this year was last year’s Championship winner Raj. Standing on the 9th tee, Raj only had 13 points to his name but a nice 3-point par down the 9th followed by 21 points on the back 9 saw him the clear winner with 37 points. His win moves him closer to chasing down Michael for the Championship lead. And with only a one stroke loss on his handicap, Raj is well placed to keep up the pressure and make his run for back to back Club Championship wins.

However Raj has lost his solo lead in the Eclectic, with Charles joining him in the joint lead and last year’s Eclectic winner Brendan poised to make a run for back to back wins off the back of his eagle today.

Targe’s 29 points were good enough for second place Seniors points and Harry and Craig snuck in a Seniors point each for third with their 28 points. By all reports Targe’s score would have been much better but for some very unlucky putting. A bit like Chris Priems a few weeks back, so many putts seemed ready to drop only to somehow stay out and finish an inch or two behind the hole.

Craig's ball in the back of his golf cart after a miscued chip shot on the 4th 27 April 2024
Craig’s chip on the 4th!

Craig and Harry, despite their relatively modest overall scores, managed some very photogenic golf today.

Craig’s chip from the right hand side of the 4th did not come off the club as intended – apparently from the toe of the club not a shank – and managed to end up in the back of his golf cart!

The rules for this situation have changed recently. If playing under the old pre-2019 rules it would have been a 2 stroke penalty for hitting your own equipment. But this rule has changed and now under Rule 11.1 “Ball in Motion Accidentally Hits Person, Animal or Object; Deliberate Actions to Affect Ball in Motion” Craig was entitled to a free drop. Craig’s card recorded a 6 and gash and at the time of writing this blog, it wasn’t clear whether or not he took a penalty. Either way, it’s a good rule to know if you ever accidentally hit your own buggy or cart with a shot in future.

Harry's tee shot on the 7th found the classic Ivanhoe tree root lie
Love those Ivanhoe trees!

And while not quite as spectacular, Harry’s tree root special on the 7th is also worthy of a gig in today’s photo library. A quirk of Harry’s card was that on 14 of 18 holes he scored a 5.

Because Harry and Michael always argue about what constitutes a double/triple/quadruple jackpot, please note that next week you can win three weeks worth of money on the 15th. I am guessing the winner won’t care whether that is a double or triple jackpot.

Also jackpotting (2 balls on offer next week) is the nearest the pin on the 4th. The tee was towards the back there today and with that tree not getting any shorter, it was a tough shot. Johnny Q finished his good day just sneaking inside Charles to take the ball on the 18th.

Results for Saturday, 27 Apr 2024
1st Rajesh Mahto (37) 2nd John Quinlan (35) 3rd Michael Gourlay (33) 4th Robert Priems (32) 5th Charles Gibbs (30) 5th Brendon Mitchell (30)

Seniors Results: 1st Michael Gourlay (33) 2nd Targe Mifsud (29) 3rd Craig Cameron (28) 3rd Harry Boughen (28)

Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin – 15th Jackpot BallPin No 1 – 4th Jackpot BallPin No 2 – 18th John Quinlan

Eagle’s Nest Results: Eagle – 17th Brendon Mitchell