Following an extremely long time in the wilderness, Stephen Beard at last found a partner strong enough and with sufficient stamina to carry him to victory in a pairs competition, as Mike Dabanovich found a way to keep the round moving with some prodigious drives, which on some holes required just a chip on to the green. Unfortunately neither player’s putting form was in very good shape, but even finishing with a bogey on the last they still managed to return a level par round that was just enough to secure the victory by the slimmest of margins from Rodney Hayes and Don Everett, with Rodney also relying on Don’s long game to put them in contention until the last hole which they also bogeyed to take second place.
That old sometime Shadow, Brian Lewis, teamed up with in-form Sekio Ojima, who he last saw in the audience when playing with the Shadows in Japan on their far east tour in ’94 and met up with again at an après golf soiree in the Haven, combined well to take third place just a hair’s breadth ahead of the father and son duo of Paul and Martin Hartley, who relied on dad’s big hitting and son’s deft touches around the greens.
New member John Oswald was thrown in the deep end as he teamed up with Alwyne Burley but fortunately, with both speaking roughly the same language and agreeing that England can’t play cricket, it worked out well enough to take fifth ahead of the inspired team selection of Jon Batty and Mike Korney, who with a lot more luck would have finished a little higher in the pecking order.
At the end of a very enjoyable day when there was almost no pressure to perform, the consensus was that more of this type of golf should be organised in the future, which will surely be the case.
The 2’s were suspended for the day due to the format.
Prior to the prize giving there were welcomes for Juhani Falt, Jari Kaartinen and John Oswald.
Friday, Feb. 3, Pattaya C.C. - Stableford
1st Sekio Ojima (25) 41pts
2nd Alwyne Burley (17) 37pts
3rd Rodney Hayes (12) 36pts
4th Paul Hartley (19) 35pts
5th Yasuo Suzuki (11) 35pts
After the very relaxing day out on Monday and the strains and stresses of the IPGC Monthly Medals on Wednesday, it was back to the usual Stableford competition to be played at the nearest course, the very local Pattaya Country Club.
Sekio Ojima had a day to remember, no doubt having learnt a lot during his round on Monday, firing his best ever round at 5 under handicap which proved to be sufficient to split the rest of the field apart and take the top spot on the podium by four clear points. His round could have been so much better as the inward half was completed in a gross 44 that included two quadruple bogeys.
Following the presentation of the prizes and his blowing of the horn, Sekio had a very nice speech prepared and fortunately when recounting his day’s round, he started at the eighteenth so it was almost over when the drinks were finished.
Alwyne Burley, playing the day with his fourteenth different set of golf clubs since arriving in Thailand and grateful that he did not leap at the chance to buy any of the previous sets, seems to have found at least one or two of them in this set to suit his game, at least for the time being, as he staked his claim to second place ahead of Manley club mate Rodney Hayes, who is also showing signs of a return to his old form with a level handicap round.
Paul Hartley won a count back over Yasuo Suzuki with a better 23 to 19, which also could have been an exceptional nine as he collected a zero pointer on the last, to take fourth spot.
Once again there were no 2’s in the first division but Hal Hart scored one in the second division to collect a much smaller pot after David Bowles had cleaned out a multi roll over on the previous Friday.
Back at The Haven there was a welcome back for Yasuo Suzuki together with a special welcome back for Shuichi Kodaka, now well on the mend following his tangle with a 1200cc motor bike. Shuichi is expecting to be back on the courses in the near future now that he has shed the crutches.
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 Mondays, Wednesday, Fridays and 9.00am on Sundays 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.