Phil and Vincent claim the medals

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IPGC golf from The Haven

Monday, Oct. 28, Khao Kheow B & C – Stableford

CSS 72

1st Phil Groves (7) 39pts

2nd Al Rolnik (19) 38pts

3rd Todd Pahl (14) 31pts

4th Kevin Blake (6) 31pts

5th Philip Cass (20) 30pts

It would seem that the courses are now almost back to normal following the wet weather of the past few months that made them in some cases almost unplayable.  In fact to underline the difficulty of the course during this period, over the last four months since July, 25% of the IPGC competitions saw the CSS rise,  3 strokes in a few cases, with over 30 of them becoming non-counting for upward review of handicaps.

Vincent Gras.Vincent Gras.

Khao Kheow was one of the courses that suffered most from the weather, added to the difficulties experienced with the A course being renovated at the same time, but on this day the competition was played over the B and C layouts that once again provided a good and fair test for the players.

Phil Groves was once again to be found at the top of the leader board as he went three under handicap to deny Al Rolnik a long awaited win out of Soi 13 by a single stroke.  These two were the best by far as the rest of the field straggled in at least seven strokes adrift, with Todd Pahl, playing his last game before returning to Japan, chalking up a third place after a count back over Kevin Blake which he won with a better 18 to 15.  Philip Cass followed closely behind in fifth place, with a gaggle of players another shot behind him.

The first division 2’s pool was shared between Kevin Blake, Todd Pahl and Phil Groves, who had two, while Philip Cass cleaned out the swollen multi-rollover pot in the second division.

Before the presentations there were welcome backs for John Wood, who had been missed out the previous week, Philip Cass, and the mysterious Foster who could not be drawn on exactly where he and the wife had spent their two weeks holiday except to reveal that they both had new phone numbers after the old ones had been hacked in some spurious industrial espionage exercise.  There was also the return of the “Tommy Cooper Fez” which has to be worn by anyone wishing to “tell a story”.

Wednesday, Oct. 30, The Emerald – Monthly Medals

CSS 71

Division 1 (0–15)

1st Phil Groves (7) net 75

2nd Kevin Blake (6) net 78

Division 2 (16+)

1st Vincent Gras (17) net 69

2nd Shuichi Kodaka (18) net 73

3rd Russell Gilroy (16) net 74

Kevin Blake.Kevin Blake.

For the first time for many years the Monthly Medals were contested over the short but tricky Emerald course which can lay claim to the most attractive set of four par 3s in the area.   Unfortunately, even with the benefit of ‘lift and place’ in the fairways, the first division struggled to make an impact and it was left to the second division contenders to show all the form and drive the CSS for the day down a stroke to 71.

With only one more monthly competition after this one left to qualify for the end of year Gold and Silver Medals to be held in December, also at The Emerald, competition was intense, especially amongst the second division hopefuls with nine different winners already qualified in the that division.

In the event, Vincent Gras took his second medal of the year in the second division with an excellent three under handicap.  This matched his previous lowest score in Thailand as he stretched out a one stroke advantage on the front nine over second placed Shuichi Kodaka to four strokes over the inward half.

Russell Gilroy slipped into third spot with a strong finish through the closing nine after suffering from a slow start that included an ugly quadruple.  This was blamed on that ‘one for the road’ he partook of before leaving the bar the previous evening.

Phil Groves led in a very bedraggled first division that suffered from too many non-returns as the heat built up during the round.  This left just two finishers with completed cards, with Phil’s three over being good enough by three to see off the challenge (sic) of Kevin Blake as he too started out losing two shots to handicap over the opening six holes, Kevin having been in the same round as Russell the previous evening.

In line with the difficulty that the course was playing, there were no 2’s in either division.

Prior to the presentations there was a welcome back for Vincent Gras.

Friday, Nov. 1, Greenwood B & C – Stableford

CSS 71

1st Derek Johnstone (20) 39pts

2nd John Wood (23) 36pts

3rd Vincent Gras (17) 36pts

4th Shuichi Kodaka (18) 34pts

5th Phil Groves (7) 34pts

Once again the day’s course was found to be in tip top condition, with the CSS moving in a downwards direction as the field took advantage of the clear skies and rolling fairways to generally return their best cards from the last few weeks.

John Carlin.John Carlin.

Phil Groves was strangely out of sorts though and possibly overawed by one of his playing partners abilities, who went on to win the day with a three under return that could have been so much better.  It was still enough to win, as Derek Johnstone led the field in by three shots after closing out the back nine at four under handicap; the win coming despite having suffered a couple of rules decisions that went against him on the front nine that cost him strokes.

John Wood played easily his best round of this trip to take second place after he had won a count back over Vincent Gras, scoring 22 to 17 on the inward half.

Shuichi Kodaka showed that he will soon be back at the top of the podium as he returned a two over card that was good for fourth after he also won a count back over Phil Groves, taking 17 to Phil’s 16 coming home.

Kevin Blake slotted in the sole 2 in the first division whilst Hal Hart used his legal one sided chipper to float in the only one in the second division.

Back at The Haven there was a welcome for Derek Johnstone, enjoying a two day escape from Bangkok, and John Carlin who had been off for a week on a trial honeymoon which the writer understands went “quite well”, but was spared the full details.  Derek was unable to attend the prize giving as he had to return to Bangkok for the evening but bought an extra round of drinks for the day’s players in his stead.

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.