Consistent Mann takes Outback Chiang Mai Challenge 2011

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PSC golf from the Outback Golf Bar

Monday, Oct. 17, Inthanon G.C. – Stableford

The 24 Chiang Rai touring party were joined today by another 15 golfers and friends who flew in with Bangkok Airways the previous day.  A special welcome to all the new boys on the tour, Steve Bowyer, Jim Smith, John Oswald, Kim Stokes and Dave Fryer all up from Aus and of course to some of the Pattaya regulars who joined us here for the first time, Paul Smith and Adam Oyston to name but a couple.

Our regular transport lady looked after us again as our designated 25-seater bus and two minibuses were away on time at 8.15am to take us on the hour long trip to the relatively new, Inthanon Golf Course, which is over-looked by Thailand’s highest mountain, Mount Inthanon at some 8481 feet (2585 metres).

Overall winner Steve Mann (center) holds the trophy flanked by runners-up Keith Buchanan (left) and Chris Sloan (right). Overall winner Steve Mann (center) holds the trophy flanked by runners-up Keith Buchanan (left) and Chris Sloan (right).

We had been here in March this year only to have our tournament disrupted by the weather and we were all hoping for better luck today but upon arrival it didn’t look too good and the top of Mount Inthanon still remained in the clouds.

Anyway, we were unbelievably lucky as heavy rain fell all around but we got away with it as most of the rain passed by, although the course was incredibly wet and soggy underfoot.  It was disappointing to see the untrained caddies trying to drive the carts onto the soggy fairways, doing far more damage than was necessary, taking it to the point where some of us got off the cart and walked.  However, the greens were in good nick and a delight to putt on and generally the course was well received, although it was pretty ordinary around the edges and there were a couple of “Micky Mouse” holes in what was otherwise, an acceptable layout.

The best score of the day came from three players, Steve Mann, who won Div A with 36 points from Chris Sloan on the same score, and General Jack won Div B, also with the same 36.  Rod Crosswell and John Greenhalgh shared the same score of 34 points to take second and third in Div B, whilst the Div C players didn’t fare so well with the winning score being only 31 points, as Adam Oyston beat Suzi, on count back.

There were four ‘2’s to be carried forward to the pot; from Lumpy Russell, Jim Brackett, Peter LeNoury and Capt’ Bob.

Div A (0-12)

1st Steve Mann (12) 36pts

2nd Chris Sloan (8) 36pts

3rd Paul Smith (1) 34pts

4th James Brackett (7) 34pts

Div B (13-16)

1st Jack Moseley (16) 36pts

2nd Rod Crosswell (13) 34pts

3rd John Greenhalgh (13) 34pts

4th Norm Cheetham (14) 31pts

Div C (17+)

1st Adam Oyston (17) 31pts

2nd Suzi Lawton (20) 31pts

3rd Peter Kehrlli (18) 30pts

4th Barry Chadbourn (19) 29pts

Tuesday, Oct. 18, Royal Chiang Mai – Stableford

We were back on one of the older, more established course in Chiang Mai after giving it a miss in March due to the greens being in poor condition.  Nothing like that today, just the weather, which never looked good from the onset.

The 40 minute journey was in a constant drizzle with patches of heavier rain coupled with some very low cloud, dense enough for the tops of the low hills surrounding the parkland like course to disappear.  The narrow road into the course showed many signs of the recent heavy downpours with it being almost impassable in many places, where it had collapsed into the adjacent farmland as our bus edged its way through.

As we drove up, the caddies were clearly delighted to see us but the organisers remained a little doubtful whether play would get underway as the rain got heavier again.

We waited almost until 10am, our designated tee time, to see if it would ease and it did seem to a little; so after checking part of the course and after some discussion we decided to go ahead with preferred lies thru the green and to take all the bunkers out of play, designating them GUR.  For these reasons, the scores today will not be admissible for handicap purposes.

Apart from playing in Batam, Indonesia last year, when we also allowed the use of tee pegs thru the green, this has to be the wettest and soggiest course that one could ever have played on, with preferred lies being increasingly difficult to find.  As we moved through to our back nines the rain got heavier and even with the benefit of a two-tee start, we all got very wet but at least the greens were looking much better!

Jim Smith just shoved the conditions aside and shot an amazing 40 points to win Div A by three from the ever consistent, Steve Mann, whose 37 points coupled with his 36 at Inthanon on Monday, gave him the two day lead on 73.  Visitor, Kim Stokes edged out on count back another consistent player, Kissy Buchanan; to win Div B, both on 35 points and newbie to the Outback, Dave Fryer grabbed third with his 34.

Alan Ansell, who nearly didn’t get here because of the floods north of Bangkok, was clearly prepared for the wet conditions as he played his way to the Div C win with 36 points, one ahead of Adam Oyston (35), with Suzi, three further back on 32.

There were another six ‘2’s from Peter LeNoury, Chris Sloan, Rod Crosswell, Fidge Button, Bob Green and Adam Oyston.

So at the end of round two of the 7th Chiang Mai Challenge the leaders were Steve Mann (73), Chris Sloan (69), Jack Moseley (68), with Paul Smith and Peter LeNoury both on 67.

Div A (0-12)

1st Jim Smith (12) 40pts

2nd Steve Mann (12) 37pts

3rd Peter Lenoury (9) 36pts

4th Bob Philp (8) 35pts

Div B (13-16)

1st Kim Stokes (14) 35pts

2nd Keith Buchanan (14) 35pts

3rd Dave Fryer (16) 34pts

4th Bruce Milner (13) 33pts

Div C (17+)

1st Alan Ansell (23) 36pts

2nd Adam Oyston (17) 35pts

3rd Suzi Lawton (20) 32pts

4th Greg Hill (22) 32pts

Thursday, Oct. 20, Chiang Mai Highlands – Stableford

Unfortunately, the General had to declare himself a non-starter for the final day’s showdown at the wonderful Chiang Mai Highlands course as did Peter Stonebridge who was also taken ill, leaving us with a line-up of 37 players, all going out in reverse order, the leaders going out last.

At least the weather got it right with some bright sunny periods and apparently the greens were absolutely second to none, with a couple of well travelled players saying they were up there with the best they’ve played.

Apparently the white tees were quite well forward and many thought the course was there for the taking and that’s exactly what Kissy Buchanan did, with an outstanding 44 points for the day’s top score and the win in Div B, leaving Chris Regittnig wondering what he had to do, when his 40 points only gave him second!  Had Kissy done enough to take the overall and take the Chiang Mai Challenge?

Chris Sloan once again belied his 8 H/cap with a fine 40 points to win Div A, ahead of the form horse, Steve Mann on 38, whilst the other two last group players both disappointed, as Peter LeNoury fell away managing a poor 27 points and Paul Smith didn’t play as well as we know he can, with only 31.

Barry Chadbourn was pleased with his result in Div C, as he won that with 36 points, just edging out Don Lehmer, and Geoff Moodie was surprised to take third with 34.  The third Pattaya Country Club member in this division, Dave Earthrowl, just missed out on a clean sweep podium finish for the PCC members, beaten only on count back by Adam Oyston’s brilliant eagle (worth 5pts) on the par 5 18th.

There were another seven ‘2’s from Chris Sloan, Steve Mann, Peter LeNoury (he got one everyday), Capt’ Bob, Kissy, Fidge and Dave Earthrowl.

Div A (0-12)

1st Chris Sloan (8) 40pts

2nd Steve Mann (12) 38pts

3rd James Brackett (7) 37pts

4th Bob Philp (8) 36pts

Div B (13-16)

1st Keith Buchanan (14) 44pts

2nd Chris Regittnig (13) 40pts

3rd Rod Crosswell (13) 36pts

4th Maurice Copan (15) 34pts

Div C (17+)

1st Barry Chadbourn (19) 36pts

2nd Donald Lehmer (19) 36pts

3rd Geoff Moodie (25) 34pts

4th Adam Oyston (17) 33pts

It was another very successful Chiang Mai Challenge as the Chiang Rai section beforehand gained more interest and next year will have its own three day tournament playing just the one course, Santiburi; in a format yet to be finalised.

The weather in Chiang Rai was excellent throughout and with the exception of Royal Chiang Mai, the weather in Chiang Mai satisfactory although there were still signs of extensive flooding.  Our next visit here will be October 2012, the dates will be set shortly and unless Bangkok Airways decide to change their booking system, we will either leave you to book your tickets online yourselves (we will recommend the flight), which we can no longer do or we will be flying Thai, which is a little more expensive.

Instead of coming here in March 2012, most of you already know, it will be Hua Hin, departing on the 18th and playing Banyan on the first and last days, with hopefully Black Mountain on the second and Sea Pines on the day off day.  We have already blocked off 30 rooms at the Thipurai and need your 3000 baht deposits ASAP, if you want to come, the field is limited to 48 players.

Anyhow, back to overall result here; the win went to Steve Mann, a very popular win and well deserved with some very solid golf, not only in Chiang Mai but also in Chiang Rai.  Steve’s been knocking it around over recent months with three-wood off the tee and more recently splashed out on a new Ping driver.  He hadn’t been sure he had done the right thing but this week it (the driver) came good and with it, so did Steve.  He’s a great supporter of the Outback bar and puts a lot of work in, helping us out running tournaments etc, well done mate, you deserve the win.

Kissy came up a couple short after his final round of 44 points but nevertheless shared second place with Chris Sloan, both with a three day total of 109.

Finally, it should be noted that the Capt’ finished in the top 10 for the first time on tour.

We did have a game on the day off day, Wednesday, which was at Summit Green Valley but it was hardly surprising with everybody having wet gear from the day before, only six turned out to play.  The course was said to be in good condition and maybe under consideration for next year depending on how Maejo green replacement programme is getting on.

There were a total of seventeen ‘2’s over the three days.

Overall Result

1st Steve Mann (12) 111pts

2nd Keith Buchanan (14) 109pts

3rd Chris Sloan (8) 109pts

4th James Brackett (7) 103pts

5th Rod Crosswell (13) 101pts