Collier - Anzac Cup - Stableford
Anzac cup is typically not the last major of the year, but as it could not be scheduled near Anzac day this year, it was moved to the weekend nearest to Remembrance day. Thanks to Norm and Pete for their sponsorship of the event today.
Being the last major of the year, this was also the blue jacket decider. The usual suspects had worked out all the various permutations of "if he scores this, I need to score that".
Rob Mizen and Craig Markham were paired in the same group for the third conservative major, both hoping to improve their master jacket scores and secure the blue jacket for the end of year.
Lui also in contention for the jacket, requested to be placed in a separate group to concentrate on his own game, this might have been a wise move considering both Craig and Rob had some trouble scoring.
In fact, Craig was unable to improve his score at all with only 24 points, NAGA for the day. Much to the delight of Norm Mews who was adamant it was his having only 26 points.
Rob had a solid lead going in, but did he do enough to secure the jacket? The outcome will be revealed next month at the year end function.
Match Play Final – Ovel vs Harris
Being involved in a Match play final was a first for both David and Leigh today and the nerves may have got the better of them both, especially on the 1st. The match started on the Lakes nine, David stepped up first and proceeded to snap hook his tee shot into the trees on the left. Leigh then steps up; feeling slightly confident after David’s shot, and draws his ball into the fairway bunker, not the best of starts for either player. David continued to play the entire hole along the 9th fairway before chipping over and finishing the hole with a double bogey. Leigh plays a reasonable second shot and puts his third onto the green in regulation. Leigh had 3 putts to win the 1st hole of the match but to the group’s amazement he somehow 4 putts and the hole is squared.
The rest of the first nine was very similar with David opening the door for Leigh to capitalise, which he eventually did after an incredible par on 4th and birdie on 6th. David then quickly got back in the match with a Par on 7th and birdie on 8th. Leigh however parred the last and turned 1 up after nine.
The back nine, started with both players finding water on the Island 1st and then both bogeyed the 2nd. Leigh then found water again on 3rd and David took his chance to go 1 up for the first time in the match. David then advanced his lead with pars on 4th, 5th and 6th to put him into a secure position, 3 up with 3 to play. Leigh needed to win the next 3 holes to force the match into rematch but David’s second shot into the 7th green with the ball below his feet applied pressure and Leigh was unable to respond. David won 4 and 2 and was over the moon.
After losing the match play final, Leigh decided to select the driver for the first time in the day and unleashed a monster of a drive (290m) leaving him only 138 metres to the pin. Unfortunately, he was unable to capitalise on his drive with only a 3-putt par.
Whilst this match play was going on, Pete and Norm were thoroughly enjoying their round, well one player was. Banishing the ghosts of NAGA's past, Pete pulled it all together today. With all the attention on the match play, Pete’s round kind of went unnoticed as he played some great shots and turned after nine with 21 points, despite being more than a half a bottle of bourbon deep.
Pete started with a wipe on the 10th and most would think this could have been the turning point in which his game will be affected by the amount of alcohol consumed. However, Pete being Pete, bounces back with a bogey on the 2nd and a par on 3rd, back on track. He then flew under the radar for the remaining holes to put together a great round, despite being heckled by his playing partner for the majority of the round. This was most noticeable on island 8th (par 5) where he was a couple of metres short of the green side bunker for two. Norm provided advice to ignore the bunker in front of him, to which Pete completely ignored and flopped his ball into the bunker. He managed to get it up and down for a bogey and finished the back nine with 22 points – 43 in total.
43 points in nearly every round would be considered unbeatable but today there was two players on 43 points and two players on 41 points. Along with 6 other players who played better than their handicaps.
Mitch Fitzpatrick played off 15 today and scored a 79 of the stick, his first time breaking 80, and would have definitely thought he had won the Major when walking off the 18th green. Highlight of Mitch's round may have been on the Lakes 5th when he bladed his tee shot resulting in a just over the water under the radar screaming missile. But, the ball stayed dry, hit the bank short of the green and bounced up onto the green for a two putt par. Whew!
Sadly for Mitch, his 21 points on the back nine just wasn't enough to knock Pete off his perch.
As a reward for their play, Pete and Mitch join the 2020 exceptional score handicap reduction club (Current membership=6) . Pete losing 2.5 and Mitch dropping 2.2.
Ian Havenstein completed the podium spots with 41 points on a countback from Michael Patton. Ian played his usual game and was consistent off the tee. In his paraphrased words, "I didn't do anything spectacular, I just didn't get into trouble" Just proves again that at our social golf level, the key to good scoring is not shooting the lights out, but minimising the damage of your misses.
Michael must be slightly disappointed to have not made the podium today. Playing off an 8 handicap, he scored a 74 off the stick, 3 over par. He will be hoping to play similar to this level next week in the club championships.
The following supplementary report from Michael Patton
My good round also means that I'm at a lifetime low handicap of 7.2. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining as the whole point is to improve, but I'm going to miss not getting a stroke anymore on holes like Lake 2.
I also had the pleasure of playing today with potential new member Brenton Newnham. Rust after a couple year layoff was evident but his good ball striking still shone through, no more clearly than on Lakes 8 where he nearly aced it. Brenton hopes to play more golf, but his plans could be dependent on time constraints of a forthcoming second child.
And in other news, our group fell about half a hole behind at the turn, heading for Island 1 a "joe public" group had already teed off and the second was getting ready to head off. Their story was that they had a 10am tee time on the Island. I chatted amicably with them explaining that the course was full of 18 hole players on Lake-Island who would have the right of way. They were fine with that and went back to check with the pro shop. We never saw group 2 again. But group 1 was painfully slow for the first 2 holes, but then picked up the pace and didn't significantly hold us up the rest of the round (carts helping their speed). I assume it was a pro shop stuff up, as hopefully the pro should would have come and removed them from the nine. That didn't happen, so looks like their story was legit. Hopefully, no repeats of that next week for club champs.
The following courtesy of Pete Tallon
I watched Dave and Leigh go at it for match play. It was an awesome game to watch. One would be up 1 then he'd open the door and the other would come in. Until the last few holes. On the 17th Leigh was pissed with himself. Grabbed his driver (which he didn't use all day up till then) smashed the poor little ball up to 138m from the pin over a 300m drive and yes it was on the correct fairway.
1st: Pete Tallon (43)
2nd: Mitch Fitzpatrick (43)
3rd: Ian Havenstein (41) (c/b from Mike Patton)
NAGA: Craig Markham (24)
Nearest to Pins:
Lakes 3rd: Nigel Smith
Lakes 5th: Peter Tallon
Lakes 8th: Brenton Newnham
Island 2nd: John Morris
Pines 7th: Johny Scaffidi
Nearest in 2: Mike Patton
Nearest in 3: Nigel Smith
A Grade: Marc Ellis
B Grade: Tony Calder
Match Play Final
Dave Ovel defeated Leigh Harris, 4 and 2