Once again a large turnout, that thankfully was accommodated by the management of Pattana, even though they were already under pressure from the usual big numbers arriving for a sports day on a Monday.
Despite there being a large field consisting of three divisions, the CSS for the day went out to 74 off the yellow tees, as most of the tees were set back nearer the blues, making it a long trek for most and the fact that there were a large number of single figure handicappers in the list of hopefuls just underlined the difficulty of the day.
The first division was taken by Petri Nurmi, who said he could not remember winning a prize at six over let alone win the competition. Petri edged a count back over Martin Harrington with a better 16 to 15 while Phil Groves got to touch the folding with a less than stellar round in third.
The second division showed a bit more form, being won by Hal Hart at three over handicap, which was enough by one to put Benny Hansen into second with Vincent Gras third another two shots back.
The Red Division saw Jan Deenoi win her maiden tournament by the slimmest of margins and if at first sight the score looked well under the normal winning total, second place was taken by an 11 handicap with all the other contenders also holding higher handicaps.
Kitti Ulvio-Peltonen had the only ‘2’ in the first division while there were none in the second division, in fact there were only five threes in the second division, all of them on the short 2nd on C course.
Before the presentations were made there were welcomes for new members Mark Lang, Dave Steward, Bjorn Wirkola, Martin Harrington and Knut Soderholm together with welcome backs for David (the good) Knight and Graham Johnson.
Wednesday, Jan. 16, Khao Kheow B & C - Stableford
Division 1 (0–15)
1st Dave Howden (14) 36pts
2nd Jens Gunnarsson (15) 34pts
3rd Petri Nurmi (8) 31pts
Division 2 (16+)
1st Knut Soderholm (33) 33pts
2nd George Pittam (18) 31pts
3rd Steve Bickle (16) 31pts
1st Marita Eeva (16) 32pts
2nd Paul Juutilainen (20) 27pts
Once again three divisions were well catered for by Khao Kheow, even though they all had to start from the same tee, making for a long wait for the final groups. But once started, the rounds progressed at a good rate and all finished in less than four and a half hours, although once again the scores were difficult to make even with the course in excellent condition.
Division one was led in by Dave Howden, playing his last round of this trip before returning to deep winter in the UK, with a level handicap return that was good by two ahead of Jens Gunnarsson in second place, who had other things to celebrate over the last fifteen holes. Petri Nurmi took his second podium placing of the week after winning a count back of 18 over Alan Hanlon and Lyle Blaw who scored 15 and 14 respectively.
The second division saw another maiden win, this time for Knut Soderholm, and even though the total was over handicap he was still extremely delighted when he discovered he had won. George Pittam took second spot after a better count back of 16 to 15 ahead of Steve Bickle.
The Red Division was won by new comer Marita Eeva with Paula Juutilainen taking second place a few strokes back and the rest of the division a long way further behind them.
There were no 2’s in the first division but Vincent Gras and George Pittam had one each in the second division but they received nothing for their efforts as Jens Gunnarsson swept the two pots by slotting in an ace on the par 3 third hole on the B course, which was playing a measured 168 yards on the day. He had obviously picked up a tip or two from the previous day when he had been playing behind Cliff North, also a member, who had a hole in one playing out of the Links.
Strangely Jens was reluctant to have his picture taken with the special hole-in-one bag that is presented to all members getting an ace when playing in competition with the IPGC, possibly because he was supposed to have spent the day shopping with his wife but had used the excuse he was slipping down to Soi 6 for the day. He did however blow the horn several times to celebrate the event quietly.
Back at The Haven there were welcomes for Marita Eeva and Harri Ingman together with welcome backs for Steve Bickle, Phil Stevenson, John Wood, Dan MacCarthy, Wilf Wellman and George Pittam, Serge Straeten and Johnny Clements.
Friday, Jan. 18, Mountain Shadow (blue tees) – Stableford
CSS 75 NC
Division 1 (0–16)
1st Steve Bickle (16) 35pts
2nd Phil Groves (7) 29pts
3rd Lyle Blaw (10) 28pts
Division 2 (17+)
1st Mike Korney (20) 33pts
2nd Phil Stevenson (23) 30pts
3rd Hal Hart (24) 29pts
Although there were again large numbers we were one short of the three division mark so this day no Red Division.
Also for the third time in the week the playing conditions were so hard that the CSS went up, this time by three strokes and the day became a non-counting event.
Steve Bickle, having adjusted to the time difference and having been able to arise early enough to make the leaving time for the second day in succession, went two better on the podium and won by a short street from Phil Groves, who again touched the some loot with a score that he would wish to forget. Lyle Blaw also joined them on the podium with a slightly bemused expression as to how it all works in Pattaya.
The second division had Mike Korney almost dancing, commenting that “it feels almost as good as watching Ice Hockey at the moment”, as he took his first win for a little while by three from Phil Stevenson, with Hal Hart again showing up, this time in third and another point behind.
Phil Stevenson had a double success on the day, slipping in a 2 in the second division to claim the pool to himself as Rick Schramm and Alan Pilkington shared the first division.
Alan’s 2 was in fact as good as an ace, which he had achieved a couple of weeks earlier to win his hole in one bag, as he knocked it in from 140 yards having on the stroke index 1 seventh hole to claim five points which very neatly doubled his score for the front nine, to make it a real curate’s egg of a round.
Prior to the presentations there was a welcome for Neil Hawes and also welcome backs for Brian Lewis, Graham Howard, Steven Howard and Mick Bogunovich.
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 8.15 on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday on the days that you wish to play. A schedule of courses to be played can be found on our web site at www.thehaven-hotel.com.