Chapman takes the gold

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PSC Golf from The Billabong Golf Bar

Monday, Feb. 22, Phoenix – Stableford

Makha Bucha Day is a big Buddha holiday in Thailand and we expected a full house at Phoenix but there were no more than usual wanting to play.  We experienced no delays and a 4-hour round is quite acceptable on a Bank Holiday.

16 Billabong regulars today enjoyed near perfect weather conditions but the scores were not very good and confirmed our suspicions that the green keepers retain a sense of humour by putting many of the pins, in outrageous positions, i.e. on the edge of steep slopes making it impossible to leave your approach shot close to the pin.

Brian Chapman (centre) receives the monthly medal from Kevin Wild (left) and Anucha Pulbrook.

The 3rd on the Lakes, in particular, defied all efforts by one individual to reach the pin, for within just 2 feet of the hole the ball rolled all the way down to where it started, three times.  The fourth attempt emphasized the player’ s frustration by going 10 feet past the pin.  A little unfair perhaps!

Kevin Wild flew in late Sunday from somewhere on the other side of the world, felt good and took off like the jumbo jet he had recently exited, hitting the ball in the middle of the club and putting like Jordan Speith and leaving his 3 playing partners in his wake for the first 9 holes.  Jet lag gradually gained control however and it eventually brought Kevin down with a bump over the last 9 holes.

John Locke (right) with William Macey.

The difficult pin positions permitted only one player to play to his handicap and that accolade went to John Locke with 36 points.  A surprised Freddy Starbeck took second place with only 33 points and a count back was necessary to separate the remaining podium places on 32 points, with Mark Allen taking it ahead of William Macey in fourth.

Not for the first time at Phoenix, there were no ‘2’s on the day.

The presentation was held at the Baan Tong Tong resort with Steve Balfour putting on a pig on a spit and Mickey Williams the owner of the resort making some absolutely delicious salads and pasta.  Our thanks go to both of you and your staff for the excellent service.

Wednesday, Feb. 24, Green Valley – Monthly Medal

This is the time of the month at the Billabong when you either appreciate the fact that the medal competition you are about to play is the true test of a golfer’s ability, or you approach it with fear and trepidation of what disasters await.

Brian Chapman of Globaleye Financial Consultants is the regular and long time sponsor of this competition and this is was one of the few occasions that he has had the time to play.

LPGA professional Minjee Lee (centre), from Australia, poses with the lady golfers at the Billabong Bar.

46 players today but 17 ladies were the centre of attention on the 1st tee, resplendent in yellow and green outfits – hold on, wasn’t Australia Day last month?

This was the last opportunity, in this series, to join the other medal winners for the annual Globaleye Championship in March.

During the round we had all the different weather conditions you can expect in Thailand, heavy humidity, hot sun, a strong wind later, thunder and rain just to make life a little more difficult.  But that did not deter our winner for the day and a delighted expression on the face of Brian Chapman said it all as a fine net 67 earned him the gold medal.

Bob Finley played well but had to settle for second with a net 69 and Kevin Wild was back to form with his new clubs, recording  a net 70 and nudging the ever-present Miss Nu down into fourth place after she had a 49 on the front nine but improved  by 11 shots on the back nine for a net 71.

A count back was required for the remaining places, all with net 72, but Nigel lee just pipped Miss Sa and Miss Pin for fifth place.  Strangely, there were no ‘2’s today.

Friday, Feb. 26, Plutaluang – Scramble

On a perfect day for golf we set off from the bar for our monthly scramble at Plutaluang golf course, and with 19 groups playing it turned into t great day out.  Some groups went off the South layout first while the rest of us started on East.

The course was in great condition apart from a few very bare lies (that’s why it is so good to play in a scramble format).

The defending team from January of Bill Marsden, Paul Greenaway, Chris Dodd and Bob Philp was only able to take a share of third and fourth with a score of 59.2.  They were tied on the same score with the quartet of Gentry Harrington, Auke Engekles, Ron Gale and Gary Ritchie.

Second place went to the team of Steve Balfour. Mal Farquharson, Jack Butler and Brett with a score of 58.6, but the winning outfit of Wayne Cotterell, Eng Cotterell, Sel Wegner and Nichawan Khiaophuang were untouchable today on net 57.4.

News is that we can’t play our monthly scramble for quite a while at the Navy as it is all booked up for some large tournaments, so we will be switching it to Burapha in March with a two tee start at 9.25 am.