Billy the kid wins Valley shootout


Travellers Rest Golf Group

Monday, May 8, Greenwood – Stableford

1st Frank Seaton (12) 30pts

2nd Peter Seil (8) 29pts

3rd David Deira (17) 27pts

The start of the week saw the arrival of the golfers from Sun City Golf Club in Perth Western Australia and Monday’s visit to Greenwood gave them a real solid introduction to golf on the Eastern Seaboard of Thailand.

Billy Allen.
Billy Allen.

On a day of low scores, 27 points from David Deira was good enough for third position and Peter Seil would have been delighted to have claimed the second place with a score of 29 points.

However, the top prize went to one of those fresh off the plane.  With a 1970’s retro style earring sparkling in the mid-day sun, no one was more surprised than Frank Seaton himself to find that his 30 points were good enough for the day’s top prize.

Tuesday, May 9, Burapha – Stableford

Division 1 (1-16)

1st Neil Wilkinson (12) 43pts

2nd Alan Rothwell (6) 41pts

3rd Ted Senior (15) 39pts

Division 2 (17+)

1st Ged Higgins (21) 41pts

2nd Toshihiro Aoki (22) 39pts

3rd Richard Talbot (17) 38pts

As is often the case in Thailand, drought can often turn to flood and this was certainly the case with Tuesday’s visit to Burapah.  With unusually high numbers for this time of the year there were high scores in abundance, and nothing short of achieving ones handicap was going to be good enough to be challenging for the podium.

In Division 2, 38 points from the scribe was only good enough for third place and Toshihiro Aoki’s fine round of 39 points saw him claim the second prize.  However, the pole position was won by the recently returned Ged Higgins with 41 points.

Division 1 was as keenly contested with Ted Seniors 39 points only being good enough for third place.  Alan Rothwell’s one over par gross and 41 points was the best raw score of the day, but he could not overcome course specialist Neil Wilkinson.  Last week Neil won the day with 42 points but today he went one better and scored 43 to leave us all wondering what awaits us next Tuesday.

Wednesday, May 10, Pattana – Stableford

1st Richard Talbot (17) 40pts

2nd Andrew Lakishev (16) 38pts

3rd Saito Toshikatsu (25) 37pts

Wednesday saw the group visit Pattana golf course.  Here they found the course in fantastic condition with the greens playing as fast and true as Burapha had done the previous day.

Frank Seaton.
Frank Seaton.

This was to prove to be a day of great controversy.  The last four-ball of walkers included Peter Hjorth, who was freshly arrived from the cool climate of Denmark.  The stifling temperatures started to affect this group and after 7 holes the first aid buggy was called to escort Peter’s exhausted caddie off the course.  The foursome however were not finished with the buggy and by the 16th hole Peter was following his caddie by the same mode of transport for an early shower. I am happy to report that both made successful recoveries.

Michael McCluskey happily revealed that he had shot 41 points.  Sadly this joy turned to despair as the effervescent Canadian oil tanker driver revealed that he was the only player playing ‘lift clean and place’.  A tragic turn of events, so no podium for Michael!

Saito Toshikatsu, the Swiss based Japanese importer and exporter, had a good day and scored a fine 37 points to secure third spot.  Second place was taken by a man making his TRGG debut and Andrew Liakishev can count himself unlucky that his 38 points were not good enough for the top prize.  The day was won by the scribe whose 40 points continued his recent upsurge in form.

Thursday, May 11, Green Valley – Stableford

1st Freddy Starbeck (15) 38pts

2nd Col Filmer (07) 33pts

3rd Peter Seil (08) 32pts

Thursday saw the TRGG revisiting Green Valley after a break in which much work had been done to the golf course.

Peter Seil claimed third spot with 32 points and the last few weeks has seen a resurgence in his form.  He will need to continue to do this if he doesn’t wish to slip into becoming a double figure handicapper.

The top raw score of the day came from Col Filmer with 10 over par but this was only good enough for second position.  The winning score came from the man who is impossible to keep out of the news, Freddy Starbeck.  Freddy’s form has taken him to the top of the standings for the TRGG player of the year award and he is now the self-proclaimed clear favorite.  His day’s winning score of 38 points was another indication that he will be difficult to beat as the race for this end of year accolade heats up.

Friday, May 12, The Emerald – Stableford

1st Michael McCluskey (16) 43pts

2nd Jim Cooper (16) 35pts

3rd Alan Rothwell (5) 32pts

Friday’s visit to Emerald highlighted how fortunes in golf can change dramatically in such a short space of time.  Alan Rothwell’s fine round of 9 over par and 32 points, was good enough for third position.  Jim Cooper being allowed to play ‘lift clean and place’ legally, reveled in the conditions and his fine score of 35 points resulted in second position.

Michael McCluskey.
Michael McCluskey.

The golfer who benefited the most from the heavy overnight rain was of course Michael McCluskey, the same man who two days before had fallen foul to his interpretation of the ruling.

Casting aside the disappointment of his DQ earlier in the week, Michael carded a remarkable 43 points which saw him record his first victory at the TRGG golf society, and it just showed how fortunes in sport can be turned round so quickly.

Saturday, May 13, Pleasant Valley – Stableford

1st Billy Allan (18) 46pts

2nd Paul Durkan (9) 40pts

3rd Jim Sykes (11) 39pts

Saturday saw the golf society visit Pleasant Valley for a remarkable day’s golf.  All appeared as per normal for the first 6 holes but then amassed one of the largest thunderstorms many of the golfers present had witnessed in Thailand.  Ear splitting cracks of thunder were accompanied by blinding streaks of lightning as the heavens opened and halfway leader John O’Donoghue was aghast as he had accumulated 25 points on the front 9.

Not to be deterred by the weather, boss Billy Allan cajoled his fellow golfers back onto the golf course inspired by his own front 9 effort of 21 points, plus the youthful beauty of his 16 year old caddie who was experiencing her first day of employment.

What an experience this turned out to be as Billy’s golf went from strength to strength, carding 25 on the back 9 to give him a career best round of 46 points.  In the most testing of conditions Jim Sykes also shot 25 points on the back 9 to give him a total of 39 points and third place, but he was beaten into second position by the 40 points scored by Paul Durkan.

Remarkable scores indeed and the only sad part of the day was that John O’Donoghue’s front 9 efforts were not even good enough to get him a place on the podium.  However, I am sure that later that evening whilst sipping on his bedtime cup of hot cocoa he would look back and see the funny side of this remarkable day.  May be not!