Bob St. Aubin wins inaugural ‘Race2Bkk’

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PSC golf from The Outback Golf Bar

Monday, Nov. 18, Burapha – Stableford

The number of Outbackers here at Burapha remains disappointing as a result of the recent hike in the green fee rate but we were joined by a dozen from Ireland (many of whom played with us last year) to make the field up to 32.

We played the C and D nines in perfect weather; the course was in great condition and the brutal rough had been mown at last and for once, the scores in all three divisions were fairly even.

Irish visitor Joe Guerin, recorded one of the day’s top scores of 37pts to win Div C, followed home by Bob Lindborg (34) and Ivan Plunkett third (again) with 33.

Race2Bkk winner Bob St. Aubin (2nd left) receives his prize from joint sponsors Greg Hirst of DeVere (far right) & The Outback with runner-up Joe (left) & third placed Paul Bourke.Race2Bkk winner Bob St. Aubin (2nd left) receives his prize from joint sponsors Greg Hirst of DeVere (far right) & The Outback with runner-up Joe (left) & third placed Paul Bourke.

Paul Pedelty won Div B with 35pts from Carl Luke on 34 and another of the Irish lads, John Colbert, was third, also with 34 but losing to Carl on c/b.

The top division winner was Jim Black from Scotland, here for his regular two week golfing trip and welcome back to you, with the other joint top score of 37pts from Steve Plant (36) and John Cunningham (34).

There were three ‘2’s from Mike Nagle & Chris Thompson (C5) and Stuart Sinfield (D8).

Div A (0-13)

1st Jim Black (12) 37pts

2nd Steve Plant (13) 36pts

3rd John Cunningham (6) 34pts

Div B (14-19)

1st Paul Pedelty (15) 35pts

2nd Carl Luke (17) 34pts

3rd John Colbert (19) 34pts

Div C (20+)

1st Joe Guerin (20) 37pts

2nd Bob Lindborg (20) 34pts

3rd Ivan Plunkett (24) 33pts

Wednesday, Nov. 20, Lotus Valley – Stableford

Welcome to the delayed final of the “Race2Bkk” held at Lotus Valley in Nakon ‘Nowhere’.  You couldn’t fault this course in any way, the greens were brilliant and the fairways like plush Axminster carpet.  What a fantastic venue for the 32 players to enjoy.

Greg Hirst with John Lawton and Andy Makara plus caddies at Lotus Valley.Greg Hirst with John Lawton and Andy Makara plus caddies at Lotus Valley.

The only problem is that the course is in the back of beyond, with no nearby hotels and appalling roads.  The only question one has to ask – is it worth the 2 hour journey?  In my opinion it is, if this course were in the Pattaya area you would be looking at an all up fee of nearer 4000 Baht rather than the 1800 Baht we paid today.  If you were a “Race2Bkk” qualifier; thanks to the generous sponsorship of the Lotus Valley course, you only paid 1000 Baht – it doesn’t get much better!

In addition to the “Race2Bkk” 18 holes strokeplay final, we held the regular stableford competition which had three divisions.  The day’s top score came from the runaway winner of Div A, Ed Wycoff with a fantastic 44pts, five clear of Kevin McIntee (39) with Jim Black beating Paul Bourke on c/b both on 36.

Bob St. Aubin put some of his past rounds behind him to record the best score in Div B with 41pts, to win by seven from Greg Hill on 34pts and Barry Copestake on the same score.

John White showed his love of this course with a winning 36pts in Div C from General Jack (35) and a very surprised John Lawton (32) in third; if you had seen his tee shot on the first!  A top-edged toe-hit that went very high and very right, finding the water no more than 30 yards from the tee box!  But after the second hole, that wasn’t a great deal better, he recovered well.

The par 5 18th at beautiful Lotus Valley as seen from the clubhouse.The par 5 18th at beautiful Lotus Valley as seen from the clubhouse.

There were four ‘2’s from Peter LeNoury & Steve Poznanski (3rd) and Paul Greenaway & Sel Wegner (8th).

Once again our thanks to Lotus Valley for their generosity and for giving us a partial two-tee start which meant that we all finished in plenty of time for the journey back in daylight – apart from the couple of cars which decided to have a look round Bangkok – God knows what time they got home!

One bus of seven chose to go on to the little advertised option of Royal Hills, which is only about one hour on from here.  1800 Baht for the night, including breakfast and green fee can’t be bad and certainly nowhere near as bad as our snooker but a couple of bottles of excellent red wine probably didn’t make the snooker any easier.

The course was also immaculate just ahead of a junior TGA tournament.  It’s a different style (much more rural) with a different grass on the greens (very grainy).  It was also blowing nearly a gale on the front nine which made the scoring very ordinary, with Suzi taking all the money with just 31pts.

Note: We are planning to make another trip here in the last week of January 2014.  It is unusual for the Outback to organise an away trip in the high season – but it will most likely be a 2 night trip – one round at Lotus Valley and then on to Royal Hills, another round there, overnight again then the final round at Lotus Valley again on the way home.  Details will be published shortly.

Div A (0-12)

1st Ed Wyckoff (12) 44pts

2nd Kevin McEntee (5) 39pts

3rd Jim Black (12) 36pts

Div B (13-19)

1st Bob St. Aubin (14) 41pts

2nd Greg Hill (17) 34pts

3rd Barry Copestake (13) 34pts

Div C (20+)

1st John White (28) 36pts

2nd Jack Moseley (20) 35pts

3rd John Lawton (20) 32pts

This was the end of the road for the first Race2Bkk which started back in January of this year, the only amateur tournament of its kind in Thailand.  Collect points throughout the year every-time you finish on the podium playing with the Outback, add them all up and if you are in the top 20 or 24 depending on the cut off, you are invited to play on the 30,000 Baht final with 20,000 of that going to the winner!

Wednesday’s final at Lotus Valley was delayed due to previous heavy rains about a month ago which had rendered the course almost unplayable, a far cry from the delightful conditions we enjoyed.

With the field of qualifiers reduced to 20 as some of the invitees were unable to play, anybody could win, as all the points earned throughout the year were reset to zero.  One good round of stroke-play would do the job and with the lowest handicapper in the field being an 8 marker, who was going to be up to the test.

One thing is for sure, based on his recent form in Chiang Mai, where he finished last, nobody would have put their money on the winner.  He is a Green Valley specialist but has always failed to produce what he is well capable of elsewhere.  Well today he landed the big one, with a net 67 off a handicap of 14.  Bob St. Aubin, love him or hate him, won the 20,000 Baht first prize in the Race2Bkk.  Second was Joe Mooneyham (14) with a net 70, who pocketed 6,000 Baht and third was Paul Bourke (8) on net 72, who walked away with 4,000 Baht.

Congrats to you Bob and thanks for your generous bell rings.

The main sponsors of this year’s Race2Bkk were the Outback Golf Bar, Greg Hirst of DeVere Financial Group and Lotus Valley Golf Course.

Other prizes sponsored by the following golf course were as follows: Four Green Fees for Thai Country Club to Greg Hill (4th), four Special Green Fees for Siam Plantation to Barry Copestake (5th), four Special Green Fees for Siam Plantation to Steve Mann (6th), four Special Green Fees for Green Valley to Steve Poznanski (7th), four more for Burapha to Peter LeNoury (8th) but passed on to Muzza who was 10th and finally, four more special Green Fees to Paul Greenaway (9th).

Next year’s Race, starts on 2nd December 2013 and will finish towards the end of August (2014) just before the 2nd Hua Hin trip

Friday, Nov. 22, Green Valley – Scramble

40 players at Green Valley on Friday in a 2-person “ASHES” scramble/ambrose for a change, to mark the start of the first Ashes test between Australia and England at the Gabba in Brisbane.  So as well as the scramble, there was a match between teams from Australia & England, which I am pleased to report was narrowly won by England (looks like that will be the only thing that England will win), so there will be no further mention of cricket in this article nor will any cricket be shown at the bar, unless it rains!

Well done to today’s winners, Steve Mann & Steve Poznanski with a net score of 65.5; with two teams sharing second place both on 66.25; Martin Kingswood & John O’Keefe and David Davies & Mark Kembrey.

Back at the bar, the Outback served complimentary Aussie pies and beans to all the players and in conjunction with the Race2Bkk presentation which was also held today, many enjoyed the generosity of Bob St Aubin, the Race2Bkk winner, who rang the bell a couple of times.

Finally, a big thank-you to our near pin sponsors today, from England, John Lawton and from Australia, Tim Knight.

Note:  The Outback Golf Bar is situated about 6km from Sukhumvit Road along Soi Siam Country.  Call Jack on 081 578 1956.