Groves the master of St. Andrews


IPGC golf from The Links

Sunday, Feb. 16, Pattaya C.C. – Stableford

Thirty players made the short trip for the final time this high season, as the course is apparently about to close 9 holes for much needed renovation.  There were the usual two divisions with the cut coming at 0-15 and 16+.

The A flight proved to be a scorers nightmare, with a 5 way count back for third place on 33 points.  Terry Kelly and Martin Higgins were the first to fall, only managing 15 on the tougher back 9, with Keith Woolley & Joe McArdle next on16.  Des Griffiths, fresh over from Ireland, took the podium place with 17.

St Andrews winners: Glenn Eldershaw, Frank Dunstan & Phil Groves. St Andrews winners: Glenn Eldershaw, Frank Dunstan & Phil Groves.

There was also a count back for first place, with Peter Skinner fading after a 20 point front 9 but only 15 on the back.  His playing partner Jon Batty continued his run of good form, playing off his new 7 handicap and finishing strongly, to score 18 points on the back 9 after finishing par-birdie-par on the tough final stretch.

In the B flight, Andy Galvin triumphed for the second Sunday running, being the only player in either flight to shoot par, finishing one ahead of Rod Howett, with Jean Morel a further point back in third.

The ‘2’s pot went to Des Griffiths, Charlie Lapsey, Terry Kelly and Rod Howett.

A Flight

1st Jon Batty (7) 35pts

2nd Peter Skinner (10) 35pts

3rd Des Griffiths (4) 33pts

B Flight

1st Andy Galvin (18) 36pts

2nd Rod Howett (24) 35pts

3rd Jean Morel (18) 34pts

Tuesday, Feb. 28,St. Andrews – Stableford

With a number of regulars again choosing to play an alternative venue, a reduced field of 16 players signed up for St. Andrews, meaning only one flight.  This was the scribe’s first visit here for a while, and although not my favourite course, it was as usual in good condition, although the greens had recently been top dressed and proved to be painfully slow.

Mike Korney’s putting lessons nearly paid off as he scored a creditable 34 points, only a wayward drive at the 18th cost him a place and he had to settle for fourth spot.  Visiting Aussies Frank Dunstan and Glenn Eldershaw placed third and second respectively, but the round of the week went to Phil Groves, who came home in 3 over gross to score 42 points off his 9 handicap.  Although I don’t normally do requests, Rick Morgan gets a special mention for his eagle 4 at the par 6 fourth.  Unfortunately we haven’t yet introduced an “eagle pot”, much to Rick’s consternation!

Jon Batty registered his third ‘2’ in four rounds to take the pot alone.

1st Phil Groves (9) 42pts

2nd Glenn Eldershaw (23) 37pts

3rd Frank Dunstan (23) 35pts

Thursday, March 1, Khao Kheow – Stableford

A strong field of 22 players, including 9 single figure handicappers, meant we were back to two flights, with an unusually low cut coming at 0-10 and 11+.

It’s been a long time since our last visit, and we chose to tackle the B&C courses of the yellow tees.  The course was generally in good condition, but was playing tough, and none of the strong field managed to play to par.

Peter Skinner managed his second podium finish of the week, beating Charley Lapsey 14-13 on count back to take third place with 31 points.  The mysterious Mr Martin took second place with 32, but honours again went to Fairways regular Richard Hurley, who only seems to play with us when he’s short of a few bob!

The B flight was a close affair, with Joe McArdle, unusually relegated to the second division, taking the honours and pushing for promotion, ahead of Frank Dunstan and regular winner Andy Galvin.

The ‘2’s pot was shared by Joe McArdle & Des Griffiths.

A Flight

1st Richard Hurley (7) 35pts

2nd Mr Martin (9) 32pts

3rd Peter Skinner (10) 31pts

B Flight

1st Joe McArdle (12) 35pts

2nd Frank Dunstan (23) 34pts

3rd Andy Galvin (18) 33pts

Note:  The Links depart from the hotel on Soi Buakhao at 9.30am on Tuesdays and Thursdays and 10.00am for Rayong Green Valley every Sunday.  Sign up at the hotel or contact Jon on 080 021 1034.  A full schedule of courses can be found on the IPGC website