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The Don and SoS on fire!

The David Ford Trophy
David Ford was one of the club’s founders and was still playing off single figures into his 70’s.

The ghost of a 29 year year old Mehmet was with us as we teed off today. Harry the magican statistician had confirmed earlier in the week that Mehmet’s second round 42 points in the 2012 Stuart Clarke (the equivalent of 6 up in a Par comp) was probably the the best ever come from behind win in an Ivanhoe major (subject to Allan Davies checking a few pre-Harry records).

Who might “do a Mehmet” in the 2024 David Ford, maybe Gordo from -2 (4 strokes back) or Raj from 5 strokes back or maybe Adam from 6 behind. Or would one of the front runners double up with another good round and blow the field away, maybe Chrispy, Prez Priems or Charles?

As it happens, “the Don” Brendon turned up with a determined look in his eye. While David Ford was famous for playing with clubs that were “as old as Bradmans” Brendan had the new 2024 Taylor Made Qi10 driver in his bag and was frightening his playing partners with how far he was hitting it.

As the round progressed Brendon looked most likely of the come from behind contenders. 4 up after 9 (1 over off the stick) and brimming with confidence, Brendan stepped up on the 10th tee and cracked his drive onto the green, only problem being it was the first green.

The back 9 was not quite so hot as the front and after a missing his par on the 18th (for which he had a stoke this week but won’t next week) Brendan signed for +5 on the day (and one shy of Mehmet’s 2012 + 6) and a +2 total for the two rounds. Would it be enough?

If you saw Chrispy play the first 3 holes you would have said no way. 2 up after 3 to add to his +1 opening round and Chrispy was flying. Charles had started poorly. SoS carded three wipes in a row on holes 2, 3 and 4. Prez Priems was hanging in there early and it looked like it might be game on for a fight between the brothers.

Meanwhile in the group ahead Craig was back to his Old Reliable ways. After a square round last week he hit the turn this week at +2 and looked a contender.

But beware the SoS! Perhaps fired up by Scottie Scheffler taking on a traffic cop and coming off second best, SoS rebounded with plusses on the 8th and 9th and then added two further plusses at 10 and 11 (the 11th was a birdie, one of 11 across the field today).

Add a near hole in one at 15 and a miraculous par at 17 after his first was found in the pond (no problems, just chip it backwards out of the pond, pitch it over the pond from a downhill lie onto the green and roll in the putt). SoS’s back 9 of 36 off the stick saw him sign for +3 this week and +5 overall, a comfortable 3 stroke winner.

Something of a David Ford specialist, this is the third time SoS has his name engraved on the trophy after wins in 2011 and 2018. He joins Peps as a three time winner. For those interested in checking out past winners of our majors, head to the Honour Board section of the website.

Brendon’s +2 overall earned him second place points followed by Prez Priems and Michael on -1 sharing third place, Craig in fourth on -2 and a gaggle of 5 players sneaking in fifth place points on -4, Harry, Adam, Chrispy, Charles and Raj.

Chris Priems stuck behind a tree on the 10th in the second round of the 2024 David Ford cup
No Priemsy luck here on the 10th

Chrispy and Charles suggested that the pace of play of their group was super quick (and putting pressure on the old timers in the group ahead) because they were so often “picking up.”

Chrispy managed 4 losses in a row from holes 4 to 7 and another three on the trot on holes 10 to 12. Often this involved some arguments with trees. There is reported to be a tree on the 16th that is only just still standing after Charles hit it three times in a row.

Raj’s was a commendable performance after sleeping in and nearly missing his tee time. Harry recovered well from a buggy accident soon after hitting off on the first tee, when the buggy and St. Kilda bag hit the deck and proceeded to do whirly gigs like a stricken helicopter, writhing around in circles on the ground before order was restored.

Harry made a brilliant up and down par on the first, and an even better one on the 7th from out on the 6th fairway. If not for SoS on the 17th that would have been par of the day.

Adam’s square card today suggests his form is on the way back. In between wipes on holes 1 and 2 and 16 and 17, he played holes 3 through 15 in 4 up. Watch out for Adam in coming weeks.

Bobby’s highlight of the day was on the 7th when his tee shot with a driver found the green within about 10 feet. He missed the birdie but was a clear winner of the ball on offer there. On the 18th, Bobby nearly won a second ball, but SoS knocked him off by the proverbial bee’s dick. The money hole on the 4th was a no contest. Jack Pot by a mile. With the tee well back on the 4th and that tree still not yet poisoned, Jack Pot was always a likely outcome.

Of the other players today, Steve worked his way into form with a +3 back nine after going -6 on the front. Porks managed a +1 back 9 (par off the stick) including 2 “wasted” strokes birdying holes he had a stroke on (10th and 16th).

The 2024 David Ford Cup winner, SoS (right) with BBQ chefs Ken and Porks
SoS was very happy with the win but too full of burger to give us a smile here

Gordo’s golf game was perhaps suffering from Treasurer’s curse (SoS reckons being freed up from Treasury responsibilities has helped his game).

However Gordo deserved plenty of credit for the quality of snags and burgers on the BBQ (top buying effort Gordo) but his score was 14 worse than Mehmet’s in 2012.

Ken had another golfing day he’d rather forget but his effort as chief BBQ cook was most appreciated by all.

Porks also chipped in on the BBQ. Big thanks to Gordo, Ken and Porks for the feed!

Our next major is the Fred Howe Winter Cup in July, where Brendon will be defending champion. In the meantime there are eight weekly events, including two monthly medals.

Results for Saturday, 18 May 2024
1st Stephen O’Sullivan (+2, + 3, + 5) 2nd Brendon Mitchell (-3, + 5, + 2) 3rd Michael Gourlay (-1, □, -1) 3rd Robert Priems (+2, -3, -1) 4th Craig Cameron (□, -2, -2) 5th Harry Boughen (-2, -2, -4) 5th Charles Gibbs (+1, -5, -4) 5th Adam King (-4, □, -4) 5th Rajesh Mahto (-3, -1, -4) 5th Chris Priems (+1, -5, -4)

Seniors Results: 1st Michael Gourlay (-1, □, -1) 2nd Craig Cameron (□, -2, -2) 3rd Chris Priems (+1, -5, -4) 3rd Harry Boughen (-2, -2, -4)

Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin – 4th Jackpot BallPin No 1 – 7th Bob McDonald BallPin No 2 – 18th Stephen O’Sullivan

Artistic Genius

Whitey with the playing group from the first round of the 2024 David Ford Autumn Cup on 11 May
A touch of Artisitic Genius with Gordo’s cap as well

Whitey has always been known to look on the Brightside of life (especially so these past few years) and lately he has been adding a bit of Artistic Genius to his game.

His miracle par on the 16th, playing a perfect third from under the big tree on the right and then rolling in the putt with his trusty new putter was, a bit like Rory at the Wells Fargo this week, pure genius.

Despite missing opportunities to plus the final two holes, Whitey’s +5 was good enough to street the filed by 3 strokes or in racing parlance, by 3 lengths easing up on the line. It could have been Cranbourne under lights on a Friday night.

Speaking of which, Whitey’s Artistic Genius will take him to Flemington next Saturday, so his stellar round won’t be a factor as the rest of the field lines up for Week 2 of the David Ford Autumn Cup. As it happens, he was ineligible for the major trophy anyway, having not played with us during the previous month.

Next time Whitey plays with us and not his other mates at Heidelberg, your assistant apprentice handicapper (who marked his card and nearly choked on his Weeties when he saw Whitey off 19) is pleased to say his Ivanhoe handicap will be a bit closer to his GA handicap of 16 and more in keeping with his golfing talents.

The leading contenders heading into Round 2 of this year’s second major (third if you count the 2023 Vin O’Meara as part of this season) are Prez Priems and SoS on +2. Charles and Chrispy on +1 are close on their heels, along with Craig (square) and Michael and Dan on -1.

It’s a bunched field and you wouldn’t rule out Harry and Gordo (who won best cap/hat of the week) on -2 or Raj, Targe or the “the Don” Brendon on -3. Indeed Adam on -4 and Ken on -5 might even be a chance from only 7 shots behind, although you would probably rule out this week’s NAGAs – and next week’s BBQ cookers – Porks and Bobby on -7. Harry what is the biggest ever come from behind victory in a major?

Dan’s friend Nicholas joined us as a guest and while he was reluctant to show his card for the blog, claiming he had just had one of his worst rounds ever, his GA handicap of 23 suggests he will have better days at Royal Ivanhoe in future.

Unfortunately we will be missing Dan soon for six months as he is heading off to Shepparton for work. In late July, Charles too will be heading off, in his case for a stint in London.

Charles near hole in one on the 12th in the first round of the 2024 David Ford Autumn Cup
So close! 26cm!

Meanwhile they both nearly celebrated holes in one this week. Charles shot to the Propin money hole on the 12th finished 26cm from the pin and so nearly went in. Dan’s to the top tier pin on the 18th finished 34cm away.

Ken was a bit stiff to get done for the ball on the 18th having also hit a great shot to the top tier. Earlier Harry and Craig had their name on the sticky note, albeit on the bottom tier.

On the 15th, not for the first time, Gordo was claiming being robbed for a shot much closer the hole than the ball winner, but an inch off the green. Porks was an inch on the green right at the front. With the pin at the back, Pork’s ball win there might break records for the longest ever. There is no truth in the rumour he was considering donating his ball to Gordo as a gesture of goodwill.

Harry sunk the putt of the day from the front of the 7th. With the pin at the far back left and on a downhill slope it was said Harry’s putt never looked like missing and dropped neatly into the hole. Harry talks in metres but I think of putts in feet and if we are talking yards, it was definitely longer than a cricket pitch, so let’s say 70 feet.

SoS hit his drive on the 13th onto the 10th fairway. After surveying a few options for his second, he took on the hero shot to thread the needle through the trees with some left to right needed to get near the green. When he hit it he wasn’t sure exactly where it went and yelled “fore” and his playing partners all ducked and nobody was quite sure where it went. SoS thought it was going to be short right of the green but after lots of searching no ball was the found there. Nobody had thought to check the green, but a quick ball count revealed that’s where SoS’s ball was and two shots later it went in the books as a very handy four a plus.

No sign of Jack Pot this week but Jack Russell was busy on the third enthusiastically running to Chrispy’s drive, picking it up neatly off the deck and without breaking stride heading off proudly towards the green and its owner. The embarrassed owner explained the situation to the group ahead on the green and big brother Priems stepped in to get the situation sorted. The ball was deposited back down the fairway (some say in a slightly better position than where it originally was) and Chrispy had no trouble from there making his four a plus.

Whether it was under rule 9.6 (which applies if the ball had come to rest when the dog picked it up) or 11.1b (if the ball was still moving when the dog picked it up) the procedure is similar, basically put it back as close as you can to where it was when the dog grabbed it (under 11.b you can take a club length as well if you want) and if you’re not sure of the exact spot, an estimate is fine.

Next week’s Round Two should be huge and with a bit of luck, we will see some more Artistic Genius on the course, on the BBQ afterwards, and at Flemington.

Results for Saturday, 11 May 2024
Leaderboard Round 1: 1st Rodney White (+5) 2nd Robert Priems (+2) 2nd Stephen O’Sullivan (+2) 3rd Charles Gibbs (+1) 3rd Chris Priems (+1) 4th Craig Cameron (□) 5th Michael Gourlay (-1) 5th Dan Marie (-1)

Seniors Leaderboard: 1st Rodney White (+5) 2nd Chris Priems (+1) 3rd Craig Cameron (□)

Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin – 12th Charles Gibbs BallPin No 1 – 15th Ryan Porker BallPin No 2 – 18th Dan Marie

Did lightning strike twice on 04 May 2024.

Smiling assassin
No sleight of hand involved, I swear!

We went close to having a misty start this morning. The cloud appeared to hover just above the tree-tops, and, although the jackets and neck-warmers were out, there were hopes that the sun would eventually break through. It didn’t, and the jackets and neck-warmers were still in evidence at the end of the round. There were fourteen members present, and Charlie (who was accused of not having any friends) brought along his Dad, Steve, and Raj brought his good buddy, Richard, as guests. The ground staff had been busy during the week and had sanded the greens with a particularly sticky batch of sand, that, with a bit of moisture, stuck like you know what to a blanket. Which might go a little way to explaining why we could only rattle in 3 birdies for the day.

After last week’s effort of taking out both the outside and inside comps, Raj had a bit to say about the fact that he had lost a stroke for inside as well as for outside. Perhaps he was inspired to show off in front of Richard, but he did manage three double bogies in the course of the front nine. He then put his head down and bolted for home, recording par on seven of the remaining nine holes. A minor explosion on the 13th for a triple meant that he finished the half, four over the card, to produce a final tally of 67 net. This was enough to break the heart of Prez, who had been clubhouse leader for some time, and Raj was the clear winner of the May Monthly Medal. And he will be able to have something to say again next week about losing a stroke (with us, at least) off his handicap.

Now, Rob was all keen to get a win up his sleeve, only to be foiled at the last minute. Not only because he was beaten by Raj, but also because he was tied by JQ. Their scores of 69 would have necessitated a countback to determine the winner of the Medal. It didn’t come to that, but, between you, me and the gatepost, Rob would have prevailed. They both had birdies to their name, so it was mostly a little blow up by JQ on the 13th that made the difference. Bob started his round with a par on the 1st, and immediately declared it a bad omen. The next couple of holes turned out OK, and then he lined up on the 4th, muttering that this hole always brought him undone. The tee shot finished on the down slope at the front of the tee box, inducing more muttering about the injustice of it all. Despite this, he kept producing his fair share of bogies and doubles, and capped it off with a couple of pars in the home stretch. His final score of net 70 brought him home in third place, and top spot in the Seniors. SOS managed to put together a pretty fair front nine, that was helped to some degree by a chip-in for par on the 2nd, which is no mean feat, although the whites were not back on the bank. The back nine was not quite so spectacular, but he also finished net 70, to tie for third with Bob.

Craig has been using a cart as he recovers from his recent indisposition, and, today, he was sharing with Targe. At the end of the round, they were still speaking and there were no (visible) scars, so all seems to have gone well, although the did complain about being cold and wishing the sun had come out. Probably, the lack of exercise. Craig managed to come home with a net score of 72 to grab a couple of points for 4th place. He did admit to having a bit of assistance on the 18th, when his drive finished on the top deck to the hole on the bottom deck. Very conveniently, an earlier player had putted from the same spot and the track down the slope was still visible. Using this as a guide, Craig’s ball rolled straight towards the hole, but stopped, an agonising 50mm short. Craig wasn’t sure whether to bless or curse the sand build up, for if it hadn’t happened, the ball could easily have finished off the green. Adam has been AWOL for a few weeks, and he was claiming a bit of rust as he lined up on the first. It must be said that the first shot of the day did not inspire confidence. However, he did manage to scramble for a bogey, and put together a bit of a mixed bag for the rest of the round, and he also finished with 72 for a couple of points as well.

Blighty put in a bid to become an honorary Priems after making use of trees to keep his ball in play on at least four occasions. Whether this happened on the couple of holes where he had quads was not revealed, but, despite this, he still managed to bring home a net score of 73 to slot into 5th place. He did have at least one worthwhile shot on the 4th, where he put it on the green close enough to win the Jackpot BallPin. Brendon left himself some long putts today, often the result of less than well executed chips. It was speculated that he was doing it on purpose after he had rattled in several long’uns early in the round. He was particularly pleased with his putt to get birdie on the 5th. Eclectic, says Brendon. And it does bring him within easy striking distance of the lead. There was a Double Jackpot ProPin on the 15th, which went close to becoming a Triple, if it hadn’t been for Raj in the last group, who snuck one in to 4.0m to collect the pool on offer. On the 18th, the only contender for the BallPin was Adam.

There was a result in the Matchplay determined today, although it could hardly be called a match. Harry had to take on Bob, with thirteen shots to be handed to Bob. As it turned out, Bob only needed ten of them. Bob got an early start with his par on the 1st, and Harry managed to hold on to some hope by squeaking in squares on the next five holes. Equal scores on the 7th gave Bob two holes and an OOB for Harry on the 8th kiboshed his chances there, and they reached the turn with Bob three holes to the good. A double run in with the penalty area on the 13th and a double figure score for the hole made the match dormie 5. Faced with pushing you know what uphill, Harry was not able to win even the 14th, and the match went to Bob, 6 and 4.

CJ reckons he was playing under duress today with a condition that he doesn’t want publicised. However, it did not stop him cutting some disco moves on the 15th green as he tried to exert some ‘body English’ on the results of his putt. The boogie bug seems to have been contagious, as brother, Prez, was also moved to try the technique. People were keeping a wary eye on Harry today as he turned out with a brand new WMD (weapon of mass destruction) in the form of a motorised buggy. Despite a couple of hairy moments, there was no damage or injuries inflicted on man nor beast. He was a little disappointed, though, after a number of people had commented during the week about how much using one had helped their game. The Birthday Birdie has a little flutter today to wish a happy one to Geoff.

Second Major of the year coming up next week – David Ford Autumn Cup. It is a Par competition, but don’t let that put you off. It isn’t any more difficult than any other format. Another good reason to take part is that there will be a Club barbecue for lunch after the second round on the 18th. And remember, if you aren’t in it, you can’t win it!

Results for Saturday, 04 May 2024
1st Rajesh Mahto (67) 2nd Robert Priems (69) 2nd John Quinlan (69) 3rd Bob McDonald (70) 3rd Stephen O’Sullivan (70) 4th Craig Cameron (72) 4th Adam King (72) 5th Andrew Blight (73) 5th Brendon Mitchell (73)

Seniors Results: 1st Bob McDonald (70) 2nd Craig Cameron (72) 3rd Andrew Blight (73)

Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin – 15th Rajesh Mahto BallPin No 1 – 4th Andrew Blight BallPin No 2 – 18th Adam King

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