One over – the best of a tough week

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IPGC golf from The Haven

Monday, Jan. 13, The Emerald – Stableford

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1st Dick Heaney (15) 35pts

2nd John Carlin (15) 34pts

3rd Brian Randall (36) 33pts

4th Terry Hodgkiss (23) 32pts

5th Patrick Scullion (21) 32pts

A very good, enjoyable, but difficult week of golf started out at the Emerald where the course was found to be in very good shape, although the greens proved to be the hardest part of the game as the pin placements had been positioned in all the most hard to get at spots.

Allen Raaen.Allen Raaen.

Dick Heaney, who had been out the previous afternoon, evening, and most of the night celebrating Russell Gilroy’s departure to Australia, almost unbelievably rose in the morning very late but just in time to catch the bus and to win the day with a round that was a study in application under extreme stress.

John Carlin, one of the smarter survivors of the previous day’s activities, also stayed the course well to finish in second place just one behind.

Brian Randall took third place with a solid round to end his golfing sojourn in Pattaya ahead of a count back for fourth, which Terry Hodgkiss won over Patrick Scullion with a better 12 to 10 over the last six after they had tied the nine at 19 apiece.

There were no 2’s in the second division but John Carlin celebrated again with the only one in the first.

Prior to the presentations there were welcomes for Michael Devetta and Mathew Badman together with a welcome back for Jens Gunnarsson.  There was also a farewell for Brian Randall returning to Blighty to put his feet up for a while.

Wednesday, Jan. 15, Treasure Hill – Stableford

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1st Allen Raaen (8) 32pts

2nd Jens Gunnarsson (14) 30pts

3rd Philip Cass (20) 30pts

4th Patrick Scullion (21) 28pts

5th Shuichi Kodaka (18) 28pts

6th Danny Greer (24) 28pts

Dick Heaney.Dick Heaney.

If the hopefuls had thought that things might be a bit easier at Treasure Hill playing from the yellow tees, they were quickly brought back to reality as the day proved to be even tougher than the Monday test.  Only the good play by some of the Jomtiem group, who had teed off earlier in the day, saved the round from being non-counting as the best that The Haven’s group could muster was a four over handicap return by the winner Allen Raaen.   Allen was also the only player on the day to get round without a blob on his card but too many singletons meant a less than sparkling final total, although it was good enough by two for the win.

Jens Gunnarsson meanwhile won a count back over Philip Cass with a better 17 to 15 to take second.  Patrick Scullion also won a count back for fourth place, a three-way affair with Shuichi Kodaka and Danny Greer, scoring 15 against 14 and 13 to leave Shuichi in fifth and Danny in sixth.

With the course playing so hard it was unsurprising that there were no 2’s in the first division but it was also almost unbelievable that  that there were two in the second division, with Mike Hill and Danny Greer getting one each, although Mike at least had the grace to chip his in from 30 yards.

Back at The Haven there was a farewell for Adrian Cook after his month in the sun with dry feet, who was returning to England for something completely different.

Friday, Jan. 17, Mountain Shadow (blue tees) – Stableford

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1st Paul Young (14) 34pts

2nd Shuichi Kodaka (18) 34pts

3rd Allen Raaen (8) 31pts

4th Mark Armstrong (25) 27pts

5th Mike Hill (21) 25pts

With two hard days behind them most of the players were hoping for some respite, but were sadly disillusioned at the end of their day as they almost all trooped into the clubhouse bedraggled and, it must be said, a little dispirited with all but the two leaders far from par.

Paul Young.Paul Young.

There was absolutely nothing wrong with the course which was in tip top condition, with the rough well maintained and the fairways a pleasure to play off.  The difficulty of the day was caused by the greens that were playing as the pros would love to have them, very fast with not a hint of a bounce and absolutely true.  But the positioning of the holes on undulating surfaces proved to be just too stern a test for the majority of the players as the course lived up to its reputation as having been designed for low handicappers, even though the length is one of the shortest on the circuit.

Paul Young had to win a count back over Shuichi Kodaka to take his first win out of Soi 13, which he did with a better 20 to 14 after Shuichi had started as if he would be setting the course alight, but sadly faded badly, garnering just four points from the last four holes.  Paul steamed in taking nine from the same four including a magnificent birdie on the last.

Next best, if it could be termed that, was Allen Raaen’s five over handicap card to take third spot but at least that was four better than the next on the podium, Mark Armstrong, with Mike Hill in fifth another two back.  But they were all far and away ahead of the rest of the field as the greens took a terrible toll.

On this occasion there were no heroics on the par threes and a dearth of threes, so the scoreboard remained much as England’s, empty, but we had more fours recorded.

Before the presentations were made there were welcome backs for Graham and Steven Graham, the advance guard for the ex-Shadows member Brian Lewis, who is still in England preparing for his one night stand tour at The Haven featuring his nylon strung fold up Yamaha guitar.  There was also a welcome back for Paul Young.

Later after the day’s cricket match (which England forced the Australians to win) had ended, the Doc was heard whimpering behind a closed door in the gents but it was unclear whether the reason was the cricket, or his woeful second attempt at returning to play golf.

Note:  If you would like to play with The Haven group, you can contact mobile 094 567 5726 or call in to The Haven Hotel, at 185 Soi 13, between Beach Road and 2nd Road.  All transportation to the course is arranged and you do not need to sign up prior to the day, but you should be there by 8.15 on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday on the days that you wish to play. A schedule of courses to be played can be found on our web site at www.thehaven-hotel.com.