Al Keith sparkles at Emerald

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IPGC golf from The Haven

Monday, May 28, Pattana B & C – Stableford

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1st Shuichi Kodaka (19) 30pts

2nd Phil Groves (7) 29pts

3rd Paul Hartley (16) 29pts

4th Leslie Cobban (8) 28pts

Having not played at Pattana for some time while the costs were a little high, perhaps in hindsight it would have been sensible to play from the yellow tees as other groups did on the day, rather than from the whites as the total distance played all of the 6,700 plus yards and reaching many of the par fours was a green too far for even the long hitters.

But when you have slightly more than a stroke a hole in handicap allowance you can play them as par fives and every now and then single putt, which is what Shuichi Kodaka did to take another solidly worked win after starting out on the C course with twenty points going out, he sadly let it slip gleaning just ten on the homeward nine but it was still just enough to take the win by a shot from the chasing pair.

Shuich Kodaka.Shuich Kodaka.

These were Phil Groves, who won the count back by a margin of 14 to 13 from Paul Hartley who although outdriving him for most of the day could not get the ball in the hole enough times to trouble either Shuichi or Phil and had to settle for third place.

Leslie Cobban also found it a bit on the long side and struggled to score but finished in front of a few others in fourth.

On returning to The Haven it was no surprise to anyone that there were no 2’s in either division.

Before presenting the prizes Stephen Beard welcomed new members Lex McDonald, Victor Moshonkin and Brian Dunn and also welcomed back Jens Gunnarsson and Leslie Cobban.

There was also a special toast to Vic Cross, an old member but sadly no longer playing, as it was his 86th Birthday and who had come in for a drink to celebrate with old friends.

Wednesday, May 30, Khao Kheow – Stableford

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1st Shuichi Kodaka (18) 39pts

2nd Joe Niisato (12) 35pts

3rd Lex McDonald (11) 34pts

4th Phil Groves (7) 34pts

What is usually a tough course from the yellow tees turned out to be a lot easier than the previous outing as it appeared that many had learned the lessons of how to play the course from that experience.  The A and B courses were in fairly good condition, as the scores attested, although they were not up to the high standards that we have come to expect from the green keeping staff, but possibly the amount of heavy rain that has been around recently could be a reasonable excuse for the length of grass and speed on the greens.

Al Keith.Al Keith.

Shuichi Kodaka did not need to learn any lessons as he just carried on as usual but on the day got a few more putts to drop as well as taking advantage of the shorter length overall.  He even allowed himself the luxury of taking just one point from the last two holes after going out in a very good four under handicap 22 points.  At the count up he ran out the winner easily by four clear points ahead of playing partner Joe Niisato whose steady round of one over handicap was enough to ensure second place by a point.

New member Lex McDonald, from Melbourne, who had decided that even yards seem almost as long as meters after Monday’s round, performed much better with his first podium placing after winning a count back with Phil Groves with a better 16 to 14 as he finished strongly with three pars and eight points on the last three holes.  Phil, having bogeyed the short first, then birdied the long par five but could not put together a sustained effort to be in a position to push the leaders.

Once again, even with an easier course to play, there were no 2’s in either division.

Friday, June 1, The Emerald – Stableford

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1st Al Keith (6) 41pts

2nd Phil Groves (7) 38pts

3rd Russell Goldsworthy (3) 38pts

4th Paul Hartley (16) 38pts

5th Jens Gunnarsson (15) 35pts

6th Jon Batty (8) 35pts

With many players wanting to get a bit of practice in prior to the IPGC Monthly Medal to be held over the same course on the following Wednesday, there was a reasonably large and strong field out to play what is always a popular course, even though sometimes the lies to be found in the fairways leave something to be desired.  But the greens, although some of the smallest in the area, are usually in good condition, and so they were on the day, but as with the other courses played in the week, suffering from being left too long due no doubt to the weather.

Phil Groves.Phil Groves.

The scores still showed that it was very playable with the best returns of the week led by Al Keith, who is going through a purple patch at the moment.  Having won earlier in the week in the PAGGS competition at Laem Chabang with a gross 71, he repeated the score with a sparkling round which netted him 41 points and first place, three ahead of a three-way tie which was settled by a count back.

Phil Groves was hoping to take a win in his last game out of Soi 13 before he returns home for a while but Al’s great round stopped that dream materializing, although he did win the count back with a better 20 to 17 over Russell Goldsworthy who had shown great form on the outward half with a gross 34 and 21 points but just failed to keep it up on the back nine.  However he still fired a gross 71 that matched Al, and had to be satisfied with third ahead of Paul Hartley whose prodigious drives put him in contention once again only to fall foul of one or two bunkers that refused to let him out until the chance of a point on the hole was gone and thereby losing the count back to Russell by 17 to 16.

Jens Gunnarsson came back to some form, winning the count back for fifth place over Jon Batty by 20 to 16 after starting out a little too slowly to be in contention on a tough day to win.

There were no 2’s in the second division but the large roll over pool in the first division was shared between Ted Lodge, Russell Goldsworthy, Jens Gunnarsson, Jon Batty and Brian Libbey.

Prior to the presentations there were welcome backs for Sean Connolly, Russell Goldsworthy, Seppo Sadeharju and Joe Peters together with a farewell for Phil Groves who is returning to Oz on a short trip for a top up.

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.