Division one was led home by Fred Land who has been steadily improving throughout this visit, which started way back in December since when his handicap has been a bit of a rollercoaster ride but with a definite downward trend and it is now almost two shots lower. The day’s two under handicap round was not the best, but it was still sufficiently tidy to beat off the challenges of a very good quality field in the division, albeit by a single point.
Warren Gallop, who has promised to play a lot more golf and teach rather less to enable him to get down to the handicap level that befits his talents, came close to making it a second place for Fred but just failed in the attempt. After a very quiet two over going out, he put the pedal down to cover the back nine in three under handicap which even included a blob.
Alan Pilkington was also ruing a terrible start that saw just a lowly total of thirteen going out but recovered sufficiently enough to grab third place ahead of Takeshi Hakozaki, who could not seem to make the home course advantage tell to his benefit but outscored Alan Griffiths in a count back by 14 to 12 n the last six after they had tied the nine at eighteen a piece.
The second division was a runaway victory for Leif Lossius whose six under handicap round was his best ever in Thailand by five shots after several nearly round at handicap level and earned him a three shot reduction on his return from Norway next time.
Ole Stamnes played well to take second with a round that would normally have been in the running for the top prize except for Leif’s outstanding effort, with Maurizio Guidi another shot back in third.
Ro Kerslake took his first placing out of The Haven after he won a count back over David Bowles with a better 20 to 12 after David, having scorched out with 22 points, then subsided on the inward half.
There were no 2’s in either division.
Before presenting the prizes The Doc welcomed back Ron Kerslake and Warren Gallop and there was also a farewell for Torild and Leif Lossius.
Wednesday, March 14, Mountain Shadow - Rainbow Scramble
1st Yasuo Suzuki & Jun Ishihara (9) 50pts
2nd Shane Heavey & Ron Kerslake (18) 49pts
3rd Bruce Kusyk & Wilf Wellman (16) 48pts
4th Alwyne Burley & Don Everett (15) 47pts
5th Yukio Kikuchi & Kaneo Watanabe (16) 47pts
6th Warren Gallop & Allan Hanlon (9) 47pts
The now regular monthly Rainbow Scramble was held again over the always popular Mount Shadow course, although the criticisms leveled at its sister course Crystal Bay have a resonance here as well with the locker rooms in even worse shape every time we visit, but the saving grace is the course, which as ever provides an excellent golf challenge. This is especially true for the rainbow format that requires teams of two to play six tee shots from each of the Red, White and Blue tees, with each team member having to have at least seven of those tee shots after the handicaps have been calculated by adding the two players playing handicaps together and applying an allowance of 40% of that total.
Yasuo Suzuki at last reached the top step in a competition on this trip after he teamed up with fellow countryman, Jun Ishihara, to sweep to the front with an imperious fourteen under card that closed out with 26 points on the back nine as they finished four under gross.
Second place went to Shane Heavey and Ron Kerslake who used their handicap, which was the highest of the day, well and combined a measure of luck with some clever thinking to just end up a point short, although they would have still missed out in a count back.
Another inspired pairing with Bruce Kusyk saw his partner Wilf Wellman reach the dizzy heights for the first time after never actually seeing his handicap reduced in over six years of playing in Thailand, but it is fair to say that he is not here all the time, as they took third place with a very good card that matched the previous month’s winning total.
Fourth Place went to a count back, with Alwyne Burley and Don Everett just getting the edge over Yukio Kikuchi and Kaneo Watanabe after scoring a better 25 to 23 on the last nine, and thus consigning the latter pairing to fifth place.
Perhaps the saddest pair was that of Warren Gallop and Allan Hanlon, who having completely missed the fact that Alan needed to play the last tee from the blues to complete his seven tee shots and the last blue tee, played from the whites and had the score for that hole, three points, deducted from their total score, leaving them back in sixth instead of second after count back.
Due to the format there were no 2’s competitions.
Before the presentations there was a welcome for Phil Savarese and welcome backs for Kaneo Watanabe, Yukio Kikuchi, Pat Quinlivan, Tony Pieroni and Norman Cheetham.
Friday, March 16, St. Andrews (White tees) – Stableford
Division 1 (0–12)
1st Allan Hanlon (12) 40pts
2nd Jason Cole (7) 38pts
3rd Bob Heath (12) 35pts
4th Alan Griffiths (11) 35pts
5th Phil Groves (8) 34pts
Division 2 (13+)
1st Yukio Kikuchi (20) 40pts
2nd Fred Land (13) 37pts
3rd John Teague (20) 34pts
4th Paul Hartley (19) 34pts
5th Ron Kerslake (28) 34pts
After the two previous outings in the week it was a pleasure to have some very comfortable, clean and spruce changing facilities to go along with a first class layout at the St. Andrews 2000 course, where the day’s competition had been moved to after the annual PSC Charity Classic had needed the Green Valley part of the facility, which had originally been booked. But the management had offered the course at the same rates as the original which was a very fair exchange.
Yasuo Suzuki & Jun Ishihara.
Another big attendance just stayed at two divisions with the previously unlucky Allan Hanlon making up for missing out in the last competition, taking top place in the first division with a very good four under handicap round. Jason Cole, now a regular winner out of Soi 13, took second place while Bob Heath won a count back over Alan Griffiths by 20 to 15 for third as they traded back nine for front nine, and Phil Groves closed out the list in fifth another shot back.
The second division was headed by Yukio Kikuchi, also with a very nice four under return that pushed Fred Land down to second as he found himself unusually in the second tier with so many low handicappers turning out to take advantage of the good deal on offer.
John Teague made it a good day as he took third place after winning a count back over Paul Hartley with a better 22 to 19 and Paul in turn taking fourth after beating Ron Kerslake by 19 to 14.
After a few dry days both of the 2’s pools were cleaned out with Alan Hanlon, Michael Cutmore and Jason Cole sharing the first division and John Teague clearing the second division on his own.
Back at The Haven there were welcome backs for David Ross, Phil Cass and Paul Hartley.
Note: If you would like to play with The Haven group, you can contact mobile 082 219 0965 or call in to The Haven Hotel, at 185 Soi 13, between Beach Road and 2nd Road. All transportation to the course is arranged and you do not need to sign up prior to the day, but you should be there by 8.30 on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday on the days you wish to play. A schedule of courses to be played can be found on our web site at www.thehaven-hotel.com.