The top two on the day, who were both playing the course for the first time, took a little while to come to terms with the greens but did so over the inward half where they both scored 18 points, with Mike Armstrong holding on to win with a strong finish, proving the better over the back six by a margin of 12 to 11, to leave John Oswald in second place.
Max Allen made it yet another Aussie 1, 2, 3 with a steady round one shot back as he also got better as the round progressed, finishing strongly with seventeen points on the back nine.
It was left to Graham Davis again to deny a clean sweep of the podium from the boys from down under even though it took until the last five holes for him to get the feel of the day.
It was unsurprising that the CSS for the day went out three and the competition became non-counting for upward review of handicaps.
There were no 2’s in the second division but Graham Davis almost made it a worthwhile day out as he had the only one in the first division.
There were farewells today for some of the Gosnell’s boys who had been plundering the spoils over the last couple of weeks as Gavin Leong, Max Allen and Mike Armstrong returned home for possibly some sterner tests over their home course.
Wednesday, July 18, Mountain Shadow - Stableford
CSS 75 NC
1st Graham Davis (8) 33pts
2nd Alwyne Burley (18) 29pts
3rd Rodney Nabbe (10) 26pts
4th Rick Holmes (11) 26pts
It was a smaller than usual group that set off from Soi 13 as many players decided to give the day a miss after viewing the storm clouds gathering early in the morning.
With many of the usual suspects either returned home or still abed, it was left to Graham Davis to take his first win of his tour of the Pattaya area courses this year, which he is undertaking without the benefit or the help and advice from his friend and mentor Gordon Millar, who is concentrating on the finer things this year during a sabbatical from golf in Asia.
Graham’s card still bore the scars of a few misread putts but generally had the mark of better things to come in the near future as he led in the field by a clear four shots.
Alwyne Burley, who now divides his time between golf and building a brand new career in beverage marketing to the masses, slipped or possibly even skidded into second place with a return that showed a few cross outs but otherwise was beautifully marked and a picture to behold for the scorer.
Rodney Nabbe took third place after getting the better of a count back over Rick Holmes over the last six by a margin of 8 to 7 after they had tied the nine at 14 each.
Unsurprisingly there were no 2’s in either division as the CSS again went out three shots and the competition became non-counting.
Prior to the presentations there were welcome backs for Rodney Nabbe and Rick Holmes. Rick, who has not played for over eighteen months due to a serious arm injury, will have a review of his handicap under a post-medical re-assessment to enable him to get back into a competitive position for the future, although on this day’s performance he is almost there.
Friday, July 20, Crystal Bay - Stableford
1st Karl Flood (17) 39pts
2nd Frank McGowan (16) 36pts
3rd Shuichi Kodaka (17) 34pts
4th Terry Hodgkiss (22) 33pts
5th Takeshi Hakozaki (11) 32pts
6th Rodney Nabbe (10) 32pts
Finally the players were able to return some decent cards as the day stayed almost dry after a delayed start when the course management, almost unbelievably, refused to take money for green and caddy fees until they decided that the course was in a fit state to take play, as the rain had been belting down from the moment the buses left for the course.
But even with a very wet course the greens dried quickly and soon showed up to be the best that had been encountered for the week, which resulted in the much improved returns.
Karl Flood played some fairly ordinary golf until he arrived at the greens and thereafter stunned his playing partners with some outstanding putting that left him three clear of the chasing pack and ensured that in his first time out with the group he took the top step of the podium with a well deserved win.
Frank McGowan, who had been witness to this putting exhibition as one of the other players in the group, took second place as a little of the magic rubbed off on him, and he ended with a level handicap round.
Shuichi Kodaka, who has been strangely off the podium for a couple of weeks, nearly came back to form two shots further back in third place and one ahead of Terry Hodgkiss whose better than usual day ended without a three putt on the card following a quick freebie before breakfast from The Doc.
Takeshi Hakozaki could not quite take advantage of his member’s local knowledge but did enough in a count back with Rodney Nabbe, winning 19 to 17 to lay claim to fifth.
Once again, although the course was playing a lot easier on the par threes than the rest of the week, there were no 2’s in either division.
Back at The Haven there was a welcome for Karl Flood, playing out of the Haven for the first time, and welcome backs for Takeshi Hakozaki, together with farewells for John Oswald and Peter Buckley who further depleted the Australian contingent that have been hogging most of the podium of late, possibly leaving the way clear for some others from other parts of the world to get a look-in sometime in the near future.
Before the presentations were made there was a welcome back for Frank McGowan.
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.