Batty gets the better of Bangprakong


IPGC golf from The Links

Sunday, Feb. 19, Pattaya C.C. – Stableford

Twenty-four players made the short trip this week, which meant the usual two divisions with the cut coming at 0-15 and 16+.  With the tee boxes placed well back for an earlier competition, the course was playing long off the whites, and with the greens beginning to show signs of wear and tear, most players struggled to match par. 

In the A flight, Richard Hurley, aided by some booming drives that made short work of the longer course, was the only player to match par, scoring 36 points off his 7 handicap.  Joe Peters and your correspondent were split for second and third only by virtue of a count back after both carded 32 points.

Yasou Suzuki – winner at Green Valley. Yasou Suzuki – winner at Green Valley.

Scoring was a little easier in the B flight, with Andy Galvin once again topping the division with 39 points, closely followed by Michael Byrne and Sean Hallahan.

A diluted ‘2’s pot was shared by Richard Hurley, Frank McGowan, Keith Woolley, Sean Hallahan and Michael Byrne.

A Flight

1st Richard Hurley (7) 36pts

2nd Joe Peters (15) 32pts

3rd Jon Batty (9) 32pts

B Flight

1st Andy Galvin (19) 39pts

2nd Michael Byrne (20) 37pts

3rd Sean Hallahan (18) 35pts

Tuesday, Feb. 21, Green Valley – Stableford

With a number of holiday makers taking one last opportunity to play another course, a slightly disappointing field of 18 players travelled to Green Valley, meaning only one flight.  The course, as always, was in excellent condition from tee to green, and with rumours of imminent changes at Pattaya Country Club, the decision was taken to move our regular Sunday venue back to Green Valley from 4th March.

The conditioning of the course, combined with benign conditions meant scoring, on the whole, was good, with well over half the field scoring 30+ points.

With 4 places up for grabs, and 3 players tied for third place on 35 points, someone had to miss out on the count back, and that “honour” went to Jon Batty who could only manage 17 on the back 9.  Mark Stanley fared one better with 18, but the 3-way mini comp was won by Phil Groves, whose 19 point haul secured third place overall.  Russell Exley showed some return to form, carding 36 points off his 8 handicap, but victory went to returning Japanese Yasou Suzuki, who with 37 points, was the only player to break par.

The scribe had some consolation for missing out in the count back, as he registered the only ‘2’ of the day.

1st Yasou Suzuki (11) 37pts

2nd Russell Exley(8) 36pts

3rd Phil Groves (9) 35pts

4th Mark Stanley (12) 35pts

Thursday, Feb. 23, Bangpakong – Stableford

Again, due to many regulars playing in a senior competition today and a couple of late cancellations, a much reduced field of 10 players took the tollway up to Bangpakong.  This was your correspondent’s first visit here, and I must say I was very impressed with the course in general, despite teeing off nearly 30 minutes late due to a large slow group in front of us.

The course is in excellent condition, with a gentle opening few holes before water comes into play.  The greens are extremely true and of a fair pace.  The only real criticism would be the lazy indexing of the course, with the par 5’s being 1 to 4 and the par 3’s indexed at 15 to 18, despite 3 of them measuring around the 200 yard mark!

Playing off the whites at nearly 6,700 yards, and with the temperature hot and humid to begin with and a strong breeze picking up later on, it was always going to be a tough challenge, and so it proved with only one person playing to his handicap.  This happened to be your correspondent, playing his best round yet in Thailand, who carded a gross 75 for 42 points, bogeying three of the last four holes in the process.

Three players were tied a full 8 points back; Yasou Suzuki taking second place by virtue of a 19 point back 9, ahead of Mike Korney (18) and Richie Hurley (16).

The scribe again scored the only ‘2’ of the day.

1st Jon Batty (9) 42pts

2nd Yasou Suzuki (11) 34pts

3rd Mike Korney (19) 34pts

4th Richie Hurley (7) 34pts

Note:  The Links depart from the hotel on Soi Buakhao at 9.30am on Tuesdays and Thursdays and 10.00am for Rayong Green Valley every Sunday.  Sign up at the hotel or contact Jon on 080 021 1034.  A full schedule of courses can be found on the IPGC website