Andy Baber shines on Hua Hin road trip

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Jomtien Golf with the IPGC

Monday, May 14, Black Mountain – Stableford

Our 16th annual trip to Hua Hin and the majority arrived on Saturday afternoon and a few more over the weekend for the 2012 Golden Elephant tour.

Black Mountain is probably the most favourable course in the region and we were here twice this week with an unbelievable green fee of 1,100 baht.  There were 26 on the tee for our first game in this four day competition and as there were no coloured tee markers we selected the 65 tee position throughout the round which equates to 6,500 yards; this was agreed by all rather than the 61 or 70 preferences.

The top five in Hua Hin, left to right, Alan Pilkington, Pete Sumner, Grant Cadell, the Champ Andy Baber, and Neville Scurell The top five in Hua Hin, left to right, Alan Pilkington, Pete Sumner, Grant Cadell, the Champ Andy Baber, and Neville Scurell

The cut was 7-17 in division 1 and playing off 14 Neville Scurrell returned a score of 40 to win the division.  Pete Sumner was second with 35 and Alan Pilkington third one point behind.

In division 2, back from China for the trip, Bob Poole won with 37 points, Andy Baber was 7 points behind in second place and the organiser took third on 29.

The course was in fabulous condition and everyone thoroughly enjoyed the day.

Near pins went to Jon Lay, Marty Rock, Mark Stanley, Pete Sumner, Andy Baber, Rod Howett and Bob Poole (2).

In the ‘2’s Jon Lay, Mark Stanley and Marty Rock split the pot in division 1 while Rod Howett was the only winner in division 2.

Tuesday, May 15, Sea Pines – Stableford

A 20 minute journey south of Hua Hin and we arrived at the Sea Pines course; nobody in our group had ever played this course and upon arrival we found the club house situated almost on the beach and the location was fantastic and the facilities just as good.  As you tee off on the first you are overlooking the bay here and you can see the last four holes almost running parallel to the beach, quite stunning!

There were a few ex-Black Mountain caddies employed here now owing to the flat surface rather than the undulating and hilly conditions there which they found tough work.

Another 40 pointer came in with Jon Lay winning division 1.  Playing off 13 today after being cut by 1 shot, Neville was second with 39 points and Grant Cadell beat Alan Pilkington20/17 on the back nine after they both finished with 38 points.

Countback Burnie won division 2 with 34 points and the organizer, with his best round for the past three months, was second beating Bob Poole on a 13/11 back six count back after they both scored 33 points.

Near pins were claimed by Grant Cadell, Jon Lay, Neville Scurrell, Mark Stanley, Marty Aronson, Glyn Evans, Andy Oz and Bryan Rought.

Neville Scurrell birdied the 8th in division 1 to take the ‘2’s pot while in division 2 a rollover ensued to Black Mountain on Thursday.

After two rounds now Neville Scurrell was in the lead, with Alan Pilkington second and Bob Poole third, so all still to play for.

Thursday, May 17, Black Mountain – Stableford

There were a few clouds in the background as we teed off but these passed by and we enjoyed another rain free round, surprisingly for this time of the year here.

Improving his score each round an 18 handicap was in division 1 today and Andy Baber won this with 37 points, beating Mark Stanley on a 20/17 back nine count back.  Paul Renall was third with 35.

Lee Casey won division 2 with 33 points, Rod Howett was second one point behind and Andy Oz took third with 31.

Near pins went to Grant Cadell, Jon Lay, Alan Pilkington, Marty Rock, Rod Howett, Terry Redding, Burnie Sinclair and David Taylor.

In the ‘2’s Grant Cadell and Neville Scurrell shared the prize in the premier flight while in division 2 a rollover plus today’s purse was shared by Burnie Sinclair and David Taylor.

We were really lucky this week, this was the third day the skies opened just as we arrived back in Hua Hin and we were stuck in a bar while drinking a few coffees for an hour or so.

Scores on the doors after three round now were Neville Scurrell 105, Alan Pilkington103, Pete Sumner 102, Andy Baber 101 and Grant Cadell 98.

Friday, May 18, Majestic Creek Country Club – Stableford

A late cancellation and we moved to Majestic rather than the Banyan tree owing to a couple of our guys playing there on Wednesday and reporting back that all of the 18 greens had been 50% holitized, half of the flags on the cored greens and the other nine on the normal surface.  After all the years playing here we never played the C course but with the renovations going on throughout the course and clubhouse, the A is going to be shut for the next 6 months.

So it was C and B and quite a nice surprise playing this nine with a fantastic natural waterfall flowing down on the fourth tee.  The B course as always a good test of golf especially on the first over the water and the eighteenth, a thinking person’s hole.

The best score of the week came in today, 24 on the front nine and Andy Baber won division 2 with 41 points.  Steve Ironside was second with 38 and Mark Armstrong took third with 36.

The two New Zealand boys in their last game with us before their departure to Bangkok were first and second in division 1 with 37 and 36 points; Larry won and Paul Renall beat Neville Scurrell on a 19/18 back nine count back.

There was a short shower for the first group on the tenth and a heavy downpour for the third group on the 18th which lasted for 15 minutes.

Near pins went to Grant Cadell (2), Larry, Alan Pilkington, Lee Casey (2) and Colin James (2).

In the ‘2’s Grant Cadell, Jon Lay and Mark Stanley shared the pot in division 1 and Lee Casey and Rod Howett in division 2.  Amazingley over the four rounds there were no rollovers in the ‘2’s in either division and all the nearest the pin prizes were won.

So the overall scores over the four rounds saw in fifth place Grant Cadell on 132, fourth was Alan Pilkington with 133, Pete Sumner took third on 135, Neville Scurrell second with 141 and the winner of the 2012 Golden Elephant tour was Andy Baber with 142 points, congratulations Andy from all of us!

A great week was had by all, our next outing is in Chang Mai the third week of November.

Arriving back at Siam cats on Saturday it was Bon Voyage to Bob Poole back to China, Paul and Larry, Steve Ironside to the UK, Terry Redding to Albert’s Bar in Chang Mai, Mark Armstrong back to Oz for 1 month, Howard Stanley the UK for 6 and also Marty Aronson the US for 6 as well.