Outbackers hit the hills for Songkran


Outback Golf Bar Royal Hills Road Trip – 16th – 19th April

Saturday, April 16, Royal Hills – Practice Round

As Pattaya Songkran was reaching its peak 23 Outbackers, many with their partners, took to the hills – Royal Hills at Nakhon Nayok just three hours away, to spend four days at this truly magnificent resort.

As we arrived we were warmly greeted by the staff with welcoming drinks and time for a rest before we played the practice round leading up to the three day competition.  Checking in to the hotel was quick and efficient and the accommodation was first class.

The winners at Royal Hills (from left to right) Ed Delaney, John Stafford, Mon Bennett, Sel Wegner, Bernie Stafford and Paul Greenaway.The winners at Royal Hills (from left to right) Ed Delaney, John Stafford, Mon Bennett, Sel Wegner, Bernie Stafford and Paul Greenaway.

Nineteen took part in the afternoon round and found the course in excellent order living up to its reputation that came from a number who had played the course recently.  It was very hot but still a number decided to walk!

As we came in we met up with many friends from Lewiinski’s under the command of Captain Pierre Bietry, who were also there for a few days before heading off to Kabinburi.

With 19 players it was 1–5 places plus ‘2’s.

Top scorer on Day 1 - John Stafford.Top scorer on Day 1 – John Stafford.

In top spot on a short break from work in Vietnam, was ‘the Project Manager’, Neil Lavery (11) with 37 points, with the runner-up just two shots behind, having his only wipe on the 18th and walking, was Paul Bourke (10) with 35.  Third went to one of Ireland’s favourite sons, big John Stafford (21) with 34.

Fourth and fifth were decided on count-back with ‘Our Lady’, Suzi Lawton (17) and Owen Wakley (11) both with 32 points with Suzi getting the nod.

There was just one 2 from Paul Bourke.

1st Neil Lavery (11) 37pts

2nd Paul Bourke (11) 35pts

3rd John Stafford (21) 34pts

4th Suzi Lawton (17) 32pts

5th Owen Walkley (11) 32pts

Sunday, April 17, Royal Hills – Round 1

With a 9 a.m. tee time there was plenty of time to enjoy the excellent buffet breakfast before heading out to the first tee, conveniently situated nearby.  The full complement of 23 played in the opening round of the ‘2nd Royal Hills Classic.’

It was another extremely hot day but just a little cooler for the first hour or so but the course was almost empty so it was a quick round and back in the clubhouse for lunch and think how to spend the afternoon.

Leading from the front in Division A and coming in first place was Capt’ Bob (10) with 36 points while in second was the previous day’s practice round winner, Paul Bourke (11) with 35.

Bernie Stafford after his 42 points on Day 2.Bernie Stafford after his 42 points on Day 2.

Never far away was the consistent Paul Greenaway (9) taking third on 32, with four on 30 points, Jez Lees with the best back nine (21) getting 4th.

The best score of the day, 39 points, was achieved by John Stafford (20), which gave first place in the second division, followed in by another Irish friend, and good to see him on the podium, Ed Delaney (29) with 36.  Mick Leighton (15) on a rare break, scored 35 points which was good enough for third with Sel Wegner (14) and Tony McDonough (14) thrashing out the final place, both on 34.

Note:  After the results for the day were announced, we discovered that both John Stafford and Bernie Stafford had played off handicaps one less than they should have been.  Whilst the day’s results and scores remained unchanged, each player had one point added back to their overall score.

Div A (0–13)

1st Bob Philp (10) 36pts

2nd Paul Bourke (11) 35pts

3rd Paul Greenaway (9) 32pts

4th Jez Lees (13) 30pts

Div B (14+)

1st John Stafford (20) 39pts

2nd Ed Delaney (29) 36pts

3rd Mick Leighton (15) 35pts

4th Sel Wegner (14) 34pts

Monday, April 18, Royal Hills – Round 2

It was hard to tell today which was hotter, the weather or the scores, with five players in each of the divisions playing to their handicap or better.  It was a remarkable achievement which opened up the two-day leader-board with ten players within six shots of the lead.

Bernie Stafford (13) found himself at the top, after his blistering 42 points; not only top of his division (Div A) today but also after two days of the three day tournament.  Jack Spencer (11) was runner-up with 39, which moved him to fifth overall, just four back.  The lovely Mon Bennett (13) and the not so lovely Neil Lavery (11) both racked up 38 points, to take third and fourth respectively.

Sel Wegner (14) took Div B with 38 points and moved to second overall, as second and third places went to Jon Kittilsen and Suzi Lawton, one point adrift.  Nigel Cannon (23), who must be thanked for his words, was fourth on count-back from Joe Mooneyham..

Div A (0–13)

1st Bernie Stafford (13) 42pts

2nd Jack Spencer (11) 39pts

3rd Kamol Thongkiew (13) 38pts

4th Neil Lavery (11) 38pts

Div B (14+)

1st Sel Wegner (14) 38pts

2nd John Kittilsen (20) 37pts

3rd Suzi Lawton (17) 37pts

4th Nigel Cannon (23) 36pts

Tuesday, April 19, Royal Hills – Round 3

And so it was, as is usual on the final day of the competition ‘the first shall be last and the last shall be first’.  Anybody in the top ten could have won it as just six points covered the top ten players, which was bound to pave the way to an exciting last day.

Although it was a little overcast to start, Royal Hills came up with another fine and hot day.  But first the day’s division results, which again had some excellent scoring particularly in Div A as three players all had 37 points. In the shake up, Paul Bourke took first over Mon and Owen.

Div B didn’t fare quite so well but Ed Delaney turned in another good score of 35 to win the division and to take the overall by just one point.  Tony McDonough squeezed into second ahead of Ed’s good friend, Lawrie, both on 34, and Dennis, the Outback’s Turnip, got fourth with 33.

Div A (0–13)

1st Paul Bourke (11) 37pts

2nd Kamol Thongkiew (13) 37pts

3rd Owen Walkley (11) 37pts

4th Paul Greenaway (9) 36pts

Div B [14+]

1st Ed Delaney (29) 35pts

2nd Tony McDonough (14) 34pts

3rd Lawrie McBride (14) 34pts

4th Dennis Persson (17) 33pts

So the final result of the 2nd Royal Hills Classic is a win for Ed Delaney with a grand total of 105 beating the two Staffords (no relation), with 104.

On the ‘2’s there was a three day total of seven; Mon Bennett (Day 1), Lawrie McBride & Jack Spencer (Day 2) and Suzi Lawton, Dennis Persson and Tony McDonough (2), all on Day 3.

Overall 3-Day Standings

1st Ed Delaney (29) 105pts

2nd John Stafford (21) 104pts

3rd Bernie Stafford (13) 104pts

4th Sel Wegner (14) 103pts

5th Kamol Thongkiew (13) 102pts

6th Tony McDonough (14) 102pts

7th Paul Greenaway (9) 101pts

Another fine Outback away tournament, where new friendships were made and others renewed. Thanks go to both General Jack – who did much of the organising but decided to stay behind and enjoy Songkran with his son, Harry and Capt’ Bob who as usual is always there.