McHugh stars at Soi Dao

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John McHugh at Soi Dao.
John McHugh at Soi Dao.

PSC Golf from The Golf Club

Monday, May 7, Green Valley (white tees) – Stableford

1st Mimi Fujimoto 44pts

T-2nd Gary Emmett 38pts

T-2nd Peter Thomas 38pts

We had a good turnout with 5 groups including those regular, early bird members who generally start half an hour ahead of the rest of us. Two of them did well today and recorded 38’s on the cards and that would be Peter Thomas and Gary Emmett, so well played gents. Gary also popped the shot closest to the pin.

When you have a guy go out and shoot his best ever round in Thailand, a 38 just ain’t good enough. Today it was the turn of Mimi Fuijmoto to be the record setter with a blistering 44 on the card. Mimi has become a semi-regular visitor jetting back to Tokyo every few weeks and then back to Pattaya. Mimi plays off 7 and is a strong striker of the ball.

Thursday, May 10, Soi Dao Highlands (white tees) – Stableford

1st Martin Zimmerman 38pts

2nd Tony Oakes 37pts

3rd John McHugh 36pts

4th Roachie Roadley 35pts

Soi Dao is a special, almost magical place set in the hills of Chanthaburi and close to the Cambodian border. Longtime resident golfers of Pattaya all agree this has always been one of Thailand’s top destinations.  This revamp of a Dennis Griffiths design has been beautifully done, for the most part. The format has been changed, switching the former front nine to now be the back nine.  The new 17th par-5 is a concern as the turtleback green here is far too small and punishes those long hitters trying to get on in two.

The “T.P.L. Memorial Trophy” competition was a 2-day individual stableford with the big winner being the best score over both days. We correctly played from the white tees at 6,363 yards on the card but less about 100 yards by tee box adjustment, and that yardage was plenty for everyone. The PSC office as well as the desk here at the resort both stated they do not have a slope rating so we played to our straight handicaps.

We had a big turnout of 24 golfers as well as another 14 cheerleaders with the wives, girlfriends and kids on board and great to have our mates Micky Beresford and Roachie and their crew join in.

Day 1 saw Martin Zimmerman the leader of the pack with a solid 38.  Tony Oakes, McHugh and Roachie went down the ladder a shot each placing.  We had a rain delay for a good 50 minutes before we even teed off, so lucky us to be sheltered in the clubhouse restaurant for the wait.  Our 1:00 tee time was just 5 minutes past, but the course was astonishingly dry after such a downpour and there was no rain for the rest of the day.

Friday, May 11, Soi Dao Highlands (white tees) – Stableford

T-1st Jeff Calrow 38pts

T-1st John McHugh 38pts

3rd Roachie Roadley 37pts

4th Zed Beloglavec 36pts

Day 2 was a bit of a blur for most of us, but we carried on nevertheless. Dramatically dark clouds of a Biblical nature were just over the mountain ridge approaching the tee box and a few bolts of lightning seemed foreboding, but not a drop of rain came all day. We got lucky again.

If you had a 35 like Mark Wood, Eddie Bielby, Martin Zimmerman or Frank Tordeur… too bad. Nice round, but the cut was at 36 today and Zed Beloglavec was in there, with Roachie at 37 and Calrow and McHugh tied at 38. Notables were Boncafe specialist Ernie McInerney who had 4 birdies but ended up with a mere 33 on the card and Connecticut Yankee Paul Kidder who won his very first prize of the near pin on 14.  Roachie, Martin and Peter LeNoury tagged the rest of the near pins for a BBQ Pork Chop dinner back at the club.

In the end, Roachie (probably the best golfer I have ever played with) nabbed third spot with 72 points overall, Martin was just one back at 73 and TGC partner John McHugh took the title for this inaugural event with The Players’ Lounge.