The conditions made sure than the CSS for the day remained at 72 as many of the players played within the necessary two shots of their handicaps.
Nobuyuki Nakagomi won the day with the best count back after three had tied on one over handicap, but it was Nobuyuki’s first win in Thailand after many visits when he had returned home to Japan a happy but not totally fulfilled man. On this occasion he outplayed the competition over the inward half, recording a better 19 points as Norman Cheetham took second place with 18 and Yukio Kikuchi third with 17.
It was also the first time that Nobuyuki had returned a better score than Yukio in all the many times of trying and was therefore an even more pleasing result overall.
Tour leader, Yasuo Suzuki, slipped into fourth place just one shot back.
The big blow out of the day was by Jens Gunnarsson, who after scoring 18 points from the first six holes with five pars and a birdie, then slumped with just 12 points on the next twelve holes even though they included another couple of three point pars and a couple of two pointers. A real curates egg indeed.
There were no 2’s in the second division but Norman Cheetham and Jens Gunnarsson shared the first division pool.
Wednesday, June 27, Phoenix - Monthly Medals
Division 1 (Blue tees)
1st Norman Cheetham (15) net 74
2nd Al Keith (5) net 74
3rd Dick Heaney (15) net 79
4th Tomas Nilsson (10) net 79
Division 2 (White tees)
1st Terry Hodgkiss (25) net 64
2nd Kaneo Watanabe (20) net 70
3rd Brian Vale (21) net 72
4th Benny Hansen (25) net 73
Once again the monthly medals were contested from two different tees, with the first division playing from the blue tees and the second division from the whites and even though the two have the same par of 72, the blue tees attract a higher standard scratch of 74. This was once again confirmed as the Standard Scratch Score for the day after all the cards were returned with the best of these equaling the SS being turned in by Norman Cheetham who took the medal for the first division with a better count back of 36.5, as Al Keith, having ended the front nine slightly ahead, lost out after taking 37.5 coming home and so had to settle for second place.
Dick Heaney was placed third after also winning a count back with a 36.5 as Tomas Nilsson also faded slightly on the inward nine with a 37.5 to finish in fourth place.
The second division saw a fantastic round from Terry Hodgkiss, who had been missing out a few times recently as he had let the rounds slide over the closing holes, but not this time as he followed a very nice three under handicap outward nine with a stunning five under for the back nine, which left him out in front by six clear shots and the winner of the second division medal.
Kaneo Watanabe may have been having thoughts of collecting his first ever medal but a very good two under handicap proved to be well short on this particular day, but he ended well pleased with his best round of his trip this time in Pattaya which secured him second place.
Brian Vale also played very steadily to finish with a level par round that was sufficient to take third leaving Benny Hansen well back in fourth.
The big crash of the day belonged to Grant Cadell who having gone out in one under handicap, and looked very good for a high placing at the end, started back well but then dropped an astonishing eleven shots to the course over the last four holes to finish well down the field in the second division.
With the results finally established, it left another two first time winners in this year’s qualifying competitions to go forward for the Gold and Silver Medals to be held in December.
There were no 2’s in either division.
Before making the presentations Stephen Beard welcomed back Brian Vale and Wayne Harman and had farewells for Philip Cass, Norman Cheetham, Dick Heaney, Tomas Nilsson and the two new arrivals Brian and Wayne after a very short stay.
Friday, June 29, Khao Kheow - Stableford
1st Yasuo Suzuki (12) net 36pts
2nd Yukio Kikuchi (19) net 35pts
3rd Peter Buckley (19) net 34pts
4th Kaneo Watanabe (20) 34pts
5th Shuichi Kodaka (16) 31pts
With so many players having left to return home it was a much smaller group than usual for the trip to the always testing Khao Kheow course where the competition was played over the A and C courses, but due to a slight administrative mix up the day’s play was from the white tees instead of the longer yellows.
This did not help the scoring too much although it no doubt played a big part in the winner’s mental approach, as Yasuo Suzuki at last climbed to the top of the podium with a solid level handicap round which left him the narrowest of margins to claim his first win for some time after many fruitless attempts.
Yukio Kikuchi put in his second one over round for the week which was enough for him to take second spot ahead of a two way tie one shot behind.
Peter Buckley won the ensuing count back for third place with a better 13 to 11 on the back nine after tying with fourth placed Kaneo Watanabe for the nine at 18, which left Shuichi Kodaka in fifth place another three points further back.
Terry Hodgkiss had a bad reaction following his outstanding round a couple of days earlier as he started the round with just six points from six holes but managed to turn things around over the back nine with a level par back nine which bodes well for the future.
After a few dry runs both 2’s pots were cleaned out with Seppo Sadeharju and Shuichi Kodaka sharing the second division and Yasuo Suzuki taking the first division.
Prior to the presentations there was a welcome back for Peter Buckley and farewells to the “Yakayuno Tour” in the form of Kaneo Watanabe, Yukio Kikuchi and Nobuyuki Nakagomi while their guide stays on a little longer for a few days R and R in solitude, well almost.
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.