Goldsworthy & Carlin crowned 2015 IPGC champions

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The 14th IPGC Championships were held this year at the Pete Dye designed Khao Kheow layout where the A & B nines were in use from a mixture of red, yellow, blue tees and the par was set at 71, with the par five A8 being reduced in length to a par four. 

Once again the management from Khao Kheow could not have been more helpful, with everyone from the senior manager, Atsushi Kaneko, downwards all working as a team to produce the best IPGC Championship ever.

Russell Goldsworthy - IPGC Gross Champion.Russell Goldsworthy – IPGC Gross Champion.

With the course set up to be playable by all levels of ability and in superb condition, it provided two days of excellent golf, even though it (the course) seemed to be mostly in total control as the scores evidenced throughout.

Wednesday, Feb. 4, Khao Kheow A & B – Day 1

For the opening day the field was split into a ladies division, playing Stableford, and three gentlemen’s divisions with the first cut at 11, the second between 12 and 18 and the third at 19 and above and playing stroke play.  At the end of this day the field was cut, with around 50% continuing in the Championship as stroke play and those missing the cut playing under the Stableford scoring system in the Plate competition.

The day started with clear skies but a strong wind against for the first four holes.  Everyone got away on time, with the front of the field turning after just two hours and five minutes of medal play, with the first four-ball back in the clubhouse in four hours ten minutes.

At the end of play the ladies division was being led by Kathleen Featherstone by a narrow margin of two points, ahead of Pauline Byrne.

The men’s first division was headed by Russell Goldsworthy who returned a best of the day net 69, and gave him a lead of four.  The second division was led in by Declan Kelly with a net 70 (leading by one), and the third division was topped by John Carlin with a net 71, also with a narrow one shot advantage.

Generally the scoring on day one was very difficult and the CSS for the day went out three strokes to 74 as just 8% of the counting players made the standard of playing within two over handicap.

The cut for the first and second divisions came at 79 and below, with the third division set at 83 net.

Friday, Feb. 6, Khao Kheow A & B – Day 2

Once again the early starters had to contend with a very strong wind which put many to the test early on in their rounds.

The contenders in the ladies flight were starting from the B1 tee and at the end of the day’s play on that side of the draw Kathleen Featherstone just held on to her lead, but was almost overtaken by Diana Elliot who carded an excellent 36 points.

Net Champion John Carlin (left) receives his trophy from IPGC Chairman, Dave Thomas.Net Champion John Carlin (left) receives his trophy from IPGC Chairman, Dave Thomas.

In the Plate competitions the first division was led in by Len Jones, after he had completely reversed his form of Day 1 when he was to be found at almost the bottom of the list.  Len returned a level par card today to win by one from Phil McClure in second and two ahead of a count back between Joe Cuddy and Markku Tynell, which the former won to take third.

The second division was taken by Alan Hanlon at one under handicap, also by the narrow margin of one from Alan Costello in second, with Dennis Scougal winning the count back over Frank McGowan for third with a better 10 to 6 over the back 6 holes.

Division 1 winner Brian Beaupre (left) with Dave Thomas.

The first division was won by Wichai Tanasusorn after he had also had a nightmare score on the first day but returned with a two under card to win by two from Barry Wellings in second.  Barry was involved in a marathon count back which went all the way to the back three on the front nine and which he won with a better 7 to 5, leaving Chris Voller in third place.

In the Club Championship positions, as usual there was the best gross score and best net score to be played for which would determine the two Club Champions for the year and those two players would then come out of the prize placements for their respective divisions.

IPGC Chairman Dave Thomas (right) presents a trophy to Division 2 winner Mike Early.IPGC Chairman Dave Thomas (right) presents a trophy to Division 2 winner Mike Early.

With Russell Goldsworthy, the defending champion leading the net and the gross in the first division there were still a number of contenders who were in close enough position to put pressure on the leader.  In the event this proved to be the case as Russell ended the day with an eleven over but had done just enough to deny the hard charging Brian Beaupre, by a single stroke, and previous winner Shane Ruddle, who will look back sadly on a serious meltdown over the last five holes during which he dropped seven shots.

Nial Caven was the winner of Division 3.Nial Caven was the winner of Division 3.

Russell showed some serious nerves at the end to once again claim the top honour for the year, together with the trophy and commemorative golf bag.

The winner of the net Club Championship trophy, together with the commemorative golf bag, was John Carlin after he had added a very good 72 to his first day’s 71 for a total of 143 and finish with a net one over par, but four under the two day CSS of 147.  This gave him a win by three over Brian Beaupre, Mike Early and George Cullen all on 146.

Brian Beaupre was therefore left in first place in the first division as once again Russell Exley was the bridesmaid two shots off the pace.  Russell’s great overall effort over the back nine however earned him second spot in front of Rick Schramm by one as the latter also lost three to the course on the last hole.

The second division was taken by Mike Early after he had returned a best of the day three-under 69 to win by a count back as George Cullen slipped to a two over 73.  Third place also went to a count back with Dave Moriarty getting the nod with his final 71 while Masanori Takano missed out on 72.

The third division was won by Niall Caven, just one in front of second placed Murray Edwards, with Brendan Roddy taking third place after a count back.

Once again the course played very difficult as the wind and set-up provided a stern test which saw the CSS again rise, this time by two, to 73 for the day.

The prizes were presented at The Haven where once again a sumptuous 4 hour buffet was awaiting the returning golfers and where the IPGC Chairman, Dave Thomas, handed out the prizes, with Russell Exley acting as the Emcee.

Ladies champion Kathleen Featherstone receives her trophy.Ladies champion Kathleen Featherstone receives her trophy.

Before making the presentations David thanked all those that had made the two days such a success, including Khao Kheow for the top class course presentation, the Championship Committee, headed by Russell Exley, all the venue organisers who had promoted the two days and The Haven and their staff for the hot food and cold beverages, and especially the record turnout of club members.