Benny Hansen made the best of the flat and fast greens to put together his best ever round that topped his previous best by 5 shots, earning him a long awaited reduction in handicap for the forthcoming weeks. But even his best round still contained a blank hole but with only one other hole that garnered just one point it was an outstanding round in the context of his existing handicap with a stunning twelve point haul over the last four holes on the Ocean course, including three pars.
Jens Gunnarsson also found the course to his liking and was unfortunate to have met Benny in such good form as he compiled his best score since June 2010 that featured two wipes and could therefore have been even better than four under handicap. It just proved good enough to take second place after a count back over the inform Shuichi Kodaka, which he won with a better 22 to 20 as Shuichi followed up a strong outward nine with a repeat over the inward half, but even that big improvement over his recent results was not quite sufficient to match Jen’s strong finish.
Rut Storey took fourth place with a very good three under handicap to underline her recent form and indicated that it will not be too long before her handicap approaches single figures.
Yasuo Suzuki rounded out the good scores with an even par round that could have been so much better with a stronger ending as he celebrated a two on the sixteenth by following up with a bogey and a blob on the last to finish.
Once again there were no 2’s in the second division but Yasuo Suzuki was greatly pleased to find that he had the only one in the first division.
Before presenting the prizes Stephen Beard welcomed new member Rut Storey and also welcomed back Noi Emerson, Don Everett and Philip Cass.
Wednesday, June 13, Khao Kheow - Stableford
1st Masanori Takano (6) 37pts
2nd Jens Gunnarsson (15) 34pts
3rd Don Everett (21) 34pts
4th Shuichi Kodaka (18) 34pts
5th Tomas Nilsson (10) 31pts
Khao Kheow is almost back to its top condition as the management seems to have taken good note of the past suggestions from various groups to improve the standards and return the course to its former high quality. It also looks in good shape and is visually much better than years earlier as the improvements to the landscaping take effect.
Even though the A and B courses were in very good shape the scores did not quite reflect that with the standard scratch for the day increasing to 73 as too many players failed to make the necessary target of being within two shots of their handicap.
Masanori Takano was in fact the only one to better his handicap as he put in a strong opening nine to turn at two under and came back in one over, which was sufficient to take the top honours by three ahead of Jens Gunnarsson who once again put in a nice return with a good finish.
This enabled him to win the three-way count back over Don Everett in third and Shuichi Kodaka in fourth with a better 19 to Don’s 18 and Shuichi, once again collapsing over the closing holes scoring just three points on the last three holes, managing just 13 after a very strong outward three under handicap start to the round.
Tomas Nilsson at last looked like he would wish, although he started too slowly to be able to mount any real challenge to the leaders and ended up in fifth place.
The first division 2’s pool was shared by Masanori Takano, Jens Gunnarsson and Yasuo Suzuki while the second division multi roll over pot was taken by Don Everett.
Before the presentations there were welcome backs for Masanori Takano and Seil Revels.
Friday, June 15, Mountain Shadow - Stableford
1st Shuichi Kodaka (18) 36pts
2nd Norman Cheetham (15) 35pts
3rd Don Everett (21) 34pts
4th Jens Gunnarsson (15) 34pts
5th Rod Crosswell (14) 34pts
6th Seil Revels (5) 33pts
It had been some time since the course had been played in a single competition with it used mainly as the Pairs Scramble venue over the last few months in the belief that it would be a little too difficult for the average golfer out of Soi 13 to enjoy the day, with the course having been originally designed for the use of 15 handicappers and below. But with the experience that the players have gained over the years, it no longer strikes fear into so many as in the past and scores can be put together with a little sensible play from the tees, which sometimes means leaving a few woods in the bag on occasion.
Shuichi Kodaka at last kept up the pressure through to the last hole with a balanced round of eighteen points on both nines which was just enough to consign Norman Cheetham into second place as he was the one to weaken on the homeward half after a very good twenty points going out, and then having to settle for second place with a disappointing last five that gleaned just seven points.
Don Everett took his second third place of the week as he won the three-way count back with a better 18 points as Jens Gunnarsson took his third podium, of the week with 15, and Rod Crosswell could not repeat his good form in Cambodia with 14 on the back nine and fifth place.
Seil Revels slipped into sixth place with a three over return having suffered around the tricky greens.
Back at The Haven there was a welcome back for Rod Crosswell who had returned from Cambodia where he had a couple of really good scores that will be certain to take his handicap down a couple of shots for the coming week. There was also farewell for Peter Newham who after a short first time visit is already planning his return trip now he realizes he can golf in paradise and still watch as much AFL as he likes in the afternoons and evenings without a constant drone in the background. He is also very pleased to be able to take back a few pictures of the urn to distribute amongst his better friends.
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.