Bolger blows away storm and the field

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IPGC Pattaya Golf Society at the Elephant Bar

September closed for the Pattaya Golf Society with a visit to Mountain Shadow to play a stableford competition on the well prepared course.

The day showed a miserable face to welcome the group as clouds gathered over the backdrop of hills and, as frequently happens at the course, rolls of thunder closed in around the noon mark and lightning made its presence known as one caddy took a slight hit via a putter and the top was exploded off an Emperor palm which graced the entrance to the clubhouse.  All frightening stuff but eventually the storm abated and play was able to continue.

Tony Campbell & Jon Batty.Tony Campbell & Jon Batty.

With soft fairways and slower, rain affected greens, scores were kept low and Tony Campbell survived to post a score of 32 points for third whilst Charlie Landrebe went one better with 33 points for second.  Winning for the third week in a row was Gary Bolger and his 39 points was completely unexpected at the top of the leaderboard.  Generously he volunteered an immediate cut in his handicap.

There were ‘2’s on all the par threes with Dave Robinson, Alan Flynn, Tony Campbell and Wichai Tananusorn sharing the spoils.

The bar’s consolation beer went to Bunny Forde and Keith Melbourne did what he does best – celebrated his return with the Booby Bevy for a lacklustre start to his annual golf trip.

Mountain Shadow still retains a comfortable place in the minds of PGS golfers, storm or no storm!

Tony Campbell finds form

1st Tony Campbell (8) 39pts

2nd Murray Edwards (22) 37pts

3rd Robbie Taylor (11) 34pts

T4th Chris Smith (2) 33pts

T4th Wichai Tananusorn (8) 33pts

The Pattaya Golf Society started the month with an Order of Merit stableford round at Khao Kheow on Wednesday 1 October.  Early planning went out the window following two golfers not bothering to turn up.  If there is one thing golf organisers detest it is the no-show, particularly when they request transport.

The course, still wet from recent rain, was nonetheless well presented.  Allocated the A and C nines, preferred lies were in place giving a guarantee of good lies provided one ’s ball found the fairway.  Putting surfaces had been recently sanded, but still gave a reasonably true and consistent roll.

From our five groups, there were four ‘2’s; Tony Campbell, Wichai Tananusorn and Ron Mathews all scoring theirs on A5, whilst Alan Flynn picked one up at C8.  Near Pins were won by Alan Flynn (A3), Wichai Tananusorn (A5, C3) and Robbie Taylor (C8).

Scoring was good at the top, with two players breaking par.  The first of these, Murray Edwards, threatened all sorts of records after amassing 25 points on the front nine.  Clearly the turn is a good place to start thinking about one’s swing, as Murray appears to have done.  His back nine saw him come home with a mere 12 points!  Winner Tony Campbell showed more consistency with a very well-put together round, accumulating 39 points.

Back at the Elephant Bar a welcome back was extended to Erik Anttonen from Finland while John Tallet’s name was drawn as the winner of the beer draw.  The Booby Bevy went to today’s winner, Tony Campbell, found guilty of failing to show due and proper care of club property, namely eight scorecards returned from the day’s round.  The cards, containing the scores of four of the five podium-placers, were eventually found by Khao Kheow restaurant staff in a rubbish-bin.  Their attempts to dry the sodden cards, by hanging them over the grill of a fan, were appreciated, if futile.  TiT!

Pattavia’s pin placements – a huge test

1st Jon Batty (9) 37pts

T2nd David Thomas (8) 31pts

T2nd Steve Donahue (10) 31pts

After an unusual delay, which resulted in a booby bevy, the Pattaya Golf Society finally made Sukhumvit before heading up the 331 for our stableford competition, at Pattavia Century CC.

Even allowing for much recent rain, the course was well presented with fairways and bunkers in good to very good order.  The greens, although consistent and true, are particularly difficult to master as most greens are domed.  Putting on these sloping surfaces is a real test, unless your ball is immediately below the hole.  If the approach shot is slightly off, getting up and down would test even the best, such is the severity of many slopes around the holes.

Our small number of four groups did not manage a ‘2’ between them, and the scoring, apart from the winner, was modest indeed.  In joint second was the recently returned Steve Donahue who managed a creditable 31 points, creditable because he wouldn’t have played this course for some time.

No such excuse can be offered on behalf of the other player who tied for second.  Having hacked his way around the course, and suffering two attacks of the dreaded s….s on the way, he would not have expected his lowly 31 points would make any podium, let alone this one…..but such was the difficulty of those pin placements, it did.

The winning score of 37 was a class act given the way the course was set up.  This was the one golfer who managed better than all others, the best way to approach those greens.  Yes, he still missed his fair share of makeable putts, but he got a few as well.  His ball striking was also good enough to avoid many of the pitfalls that most found.

Back at the Elephant Bar, Toshiro Aoki won the lucky beer draw.  The booby bevy was awarded to Gary Bolger; the only person in the whole of Thailand whose timepiece read 0800 when in fact it should have stated 0900.  Rushing to catch up to the waiting mini-van on the back of a speeding motor-bike taxi is no way to prepare for the test that is Pattavia.