- Mike Newman
Basil hangs on for this second Winter Cup
Mandurah - Winter Cup - Stableford
A great field of 26 starters turned up for the 2022 Winter Cup at Mandurah Country Club. Some were still feeling the effects of a local overnight stay, but the brisk morning air ensured most people stayed awake. After being checked out by Security (aka the dog that greets us every year) the groups set out from the 10th tee hoping to bring home a winning score.
Dave Ogg was kept under close supervision by one of the locals coming down the 18th, with a roo fixated on him as he lined up a shot out the trees on the left. He obviously didn’t let it get the better of him as he went on to par the hole anyway. The mozzies seemed keen to check out the playing group as well, intent on sampling some fresh blood from the north.
Things were getting pretty tight with a few holes to go, and the early finishers waited anxiously as those following had their crack at the title. Once the dust had settled just three points covered the top 11 players in one the most closely fought Majors in recent memory. The crowd in the clubhouse watched the last group take the final result right down to the wire, with a countback required to decide the winner on the day.
Claiming his second Winter Cup and coming out on the right side of the countback was none other than Basil Musca. After leading by four points near the end of the round two wipes on the last two holes nearly brought him undone. Many got close enough to make him sweat but ultimately his score was good enough as the challengers faltered behind him.
Second place was the unlucky Dave Thomas, as his 20-point second nine fell agonisingly short of victory. His cause wasn’t helped by an 11-point first nine including three wipes. The crowd held its breath watching the pirate putt on the last but unfortunately, he couldn’t get the job done. A two-point result handing Basil the win in the countback which followed. John Morris was a popular third place finisher today, getting the better of a four-way countback for third ahead of Marc Geddes, Paul Heine and Gary Hammond.
The scribe had his NAGA speech ready to go before he teed off, but after the first four holes he chucked it in the bin. Three pars in the first four holes had him off to a great start, and 17 points at the turn had him in a good position. He still scrambled a point on the 15th after parking his wayward drive next to a brush fence. Alas, it all fell apart on the second nine as two wipes in a row threatened to ruin the day. He was still in with a chance to steal the Cup with two holes to go, but a rush of blood and two subsequent wipes saw him finish well down the list. A couple of putts stopping just short of the cup (including a big banana for birdie on 13) proved costly as well.
Speaking of NAGA Mitch Fitzpatrick had a day he’d like to forget. A five-point first nine with five wipes had him contemplating an early finish, and a twelve-point second nine wasn’t enough to drag him out of last place. The scribe feels your pain Mitch – Pinjarra a few weeks ago springs to mind.
After the round was finished and the burgers demolished it was back outside to contest the putt-off. Having not been claimed for a while a decent purse awaited the one who could sink the putt from a fiendishly tricky position on the practice green. There certainly wasn’t a shortage of players lining up to have a go. Heiney set the standard with the first putt, and the scribe’s effort initially brought jeers from the peanut gallery until it trickled down the slope to within two feet of the cup. Only Lawrie Gibson got inside it, but even that effort wasn’t good enough to take home the cash which jackpots again into next week.
1 - More putting practice
2 - Security (aka the dog) supervising putting practice
3 - Sunrise at Mandurah
4 - Dave Ogg being watched, this time during the putt-off
5 - Trevor tees it up
6 - Dave Ogg being watched by the kangaroo
7 - MikeN drive on the 15th hard against the brush fence separating the 13th & 14th holes via a large tree deflection
1st: Basil Musca (31)
2nd: Dave Thomas (31)
3rd: John Morris (30)
NAGA: Mitch Fitzpatrick (17)
Nearest to Pins:
1st: Paul Heine
3rd: Pete Tallon
6th: Nigel Smith
14th: Ryan Nottle
17th: Lawrie Tufnell
Nearest in 2: Ryan Nottle
Nearest in 3: Ben Taylor
A Grade: Jonny Scafidi
B Grade: Peter Musca