Aussies rule at golf

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IPGC golf from The Haven

Monday, July 9, Bangpra – Stableford

CSS 72

1st Gavin Leong (13) 35pts

2nd Max Allan (13) 35pts

3rd Peter Buckley (17) 31pts

4th Rodney Hayes (14) 30pts

5th Tom McCarthy (20) 28pts

6th Jon Batty (8) 28pts

A very wet week, when the players were very fortunate to be able to finish every time, began at the always challenging Bangpra where for once the speed of the greens did not play a part in the lower than usual scores.  But the course conditions provided very little run however which made what is now a fairly long course following the recent lengthening, an arduous event.

Gavin Leong won on his first outing in Pattaya for more than three years with the best of the count back over Max Allan by a margin of 19 to 17 to become the first winning visitor from Australian in the week and soon to be followed by two more later in the week.  At least for them it was a week of huge relief to be able to forget about cricket and concentrate on a serious game for a change.

Gavin Leong.Gavin Leong.

Peter Buckley wandered in four shots back for third place after a slow day with Rodney Hayes, who also found it very difficult to score when almost every second shot to the green is a wood and with not many shots to play with, in fourth a shot back to make it 1.2.3.4 for the boys from down under.

Tom McCarthy and Jon Batty saved a few blushes for the rest of the world as they took fifth and sixth respectively after Tom had won the count back 16 to 13.

There were no 2’s in the first division but Seppo Sadeharju slipped one in amidst a huge cheer from his playing partners, to claim the second division pot.

Before presenting the prizes Stephen Beard welcomed new member Bill Bainton and also welcomed back Gavin Leong and Russell Gilroy, Gavin from the most western side and Russell from the furthest eastern side of Australia.

Wednesday, July 11, Khao Kheow B & C – Stableford

CSS 71

1st Mike Armstrong (15) 34pts

2nd Alwyne Burley (18) 34pts

3rd Gavin Leong (13) 34pts

4th Graham Davis (8) 29pts

5th Peter Buckley (17) 28pts

Another tough course, designed by the fabled Pete Dye, where the B and now lengthened C courses provided another hard day of pleasure and where scoring was at a premium.  Once again the Aussie boys took four of the top five places with only Graham Davis getting in near the middle to prevent a total sweep of the day’s podium.

Mike Armstrong.Mike Armstrong.

Today it was the turn of Mike Armstrong to rise to the top with an excellent inward nine of 20 points, finishing with a birdie which was worth four of them, after a fairly quiet start, which was easily enough to win the three-way count back over Alwyne Burley who had 18 for second place and Monday’s winner Gavin Leong who faded on the back nine after a good start with just 16 for third spot.

Graham Davis never quite got the measure of the course or the greens which again were on the slow side due to the weather again.  Peter Buckley in fifth place had another less than spectacular round but did enough to beat many others on a difficult day.

There were no 2’s in the second division but Graham Davis had one ray of sunshine in his day when he knocked one in on the island green to take the first division rollover pool.

Before the presentations there was a welcome back for Johnny Clements, the singing sensation of the west end of Essex, who was unfortunately unable to give his famous rendition of “My Way” or any other of his extensive repertoire on this occasion.

Friday, July 13, Pattana A & C – Stableford

CSS 72

1st Alwyne Burley (18) 36pts

2nd Graham Davis (8) 35pts

3rd Shuichi Kodaka (16) 35pts

4th Max Allan (13) 32pts

5th John Oswald (11) 31pts

Once again the weather took a hand in the day’s event as the plan, made the previous day, was that the competition would be played over the B and C courses with the A course being taken out of commission for renovation work.  This was started with a heavy covering of sand on the greens only for the rain to descend during the night and completely inundate the B course, making it totally unplayable.  The result was that the A course had to be brought back into play after starting on the C course, even though the greens appeared more like a sodden desert.

Alwyne Burley.Alwyne Burley.

In view of the extremely wet fairways following very heavy overnight rain, it was decide to play from the more forward yellow tees to give the players some chance of a reasonable day’s golf.  In the event the scores turned out to be the best of the week with the CSS even going down a shot to 72.

Once again three Aussies were to be found amongst the top five places with Alwyne Burley, being one of them, taking the top step of the podium with a level handicap round that owed much to the solid start which allowed him to take the win, even dropping two shots to handicap on the last two holes, by the narrowest of margins.

Playing alongside the winner, Graham Davis took second place whilst ruing a less than sparkling start to the back nine that saw him drop three shots on the opening three holes and thereafter he was always struggling to get back on terms with his playing partner and eventually had to give best by a shot after winning a count back over Shuichi Kodaka with a better 19 to 16.  That left Shuichi in third after a very nice opening half that could have been even better if he hadn’t followed a great birdie two on the 8th with a blob on the next.

The podium was rounded out with another couple from down under with Max Allan, who had an excellent start to the day that saw him take 20 points from the opening nine holes, closing out fourth place by a single point from John Oswald as the latter struggled to get back into the game after not such a good start.

There were no 2’s in the first division but Shuichi Kodaka had the sole one in the second division to sweep the pool.

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.