Smithson sublime at Green Valley

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PSC golf Bunker Boys @ The Ranch

Monday, March 24, Bangpra – Stableford

Twenty-two contestants made up 2 flights for a trip to this ever-popular albeit stern test of one’s golfing abilities. Songkran must be fast approaching as the car park gave the first clue that the crowds we’d encountered on recent visits are thankfully, a dim and distant memory.

Another pleasant surprise was in store for us when checking in, when we were informed that the green fee price had been reduced by a few beers, dependant on your particular watering hole.  The upbeat tone of the day continued when faced with an empty first tee and the always accommodating starter waved us on, half an hour before our appointed time.

Peter Habgood (right) with good mate and popular golfer Reg Smart, who The Bunker Boys regret to inform sadly passed away on Monday following a recent bout of illness.Peter Habgood (right) with good mate and popular golfer Reg Smart, who The Bunker Boys regret to inform sadly passed away on Monday following a recent bout of illness.

The course had been on the receiving end of some very heavy rain the previous night and the grass was responding by showing it’s true colour.  Unfortunately the bunkers didn’t respond so well and several needed pumping or bailing out and the damage will need some tlc.  On the bright side, the soaking has definitely improved the condition of the fairways and greens.  The latter were slower than on previous visits but very true even though the subtle slopes continue to bamboozle the majority of our brethren.

Only 3 golfers shot par or better with the rest of the field licking their wounds.  Always consistent Gerry Cooney topped A flight on 37 points, with Mark Stanley a point in arrears.  Peter Hapgood carded 36 to take B flight, which was not surprising as those of us that know him are wondering how he has managed to reach the dizzy heights of a 22 handicap.

A Flight

1st Gerry Cooney (13) 37pts

2nd Mark Stanley (8) 36pts

3rd Mashi Kaneta (12) 32pts

B Flight

1st Peter Hapgood (22) 36pts

2nd John Hughes (18) 32pts

3rd Dave Ashman (15) 29pts

Near Pins:  Mashi Kaneta, Tore Eliasen, Jon Batty and Gerry Cooney

Wednesday, March 26, Green Valley – Medal

Our scheduled tee time was 50 minutes later than normal today, but in the event the first group got away as soon as they arrived on the tee, and the other 4 groups teed off interspersed with a couple of other outside groups, so that everyone was underway ahead of our scheduled time.

This was probably our final game on the current Green Valley layout since the score cards have already been printed for the new layout which will take effect on 1st April, reverting to having the hardest hole on the course as the starting hole – not a great idea for a medal competition!

The course was in its normal good condition and the weather was hot and humid, but the round progressed smoothly without any significant delays.  Today was our second medal competition of the month, once again sponsored by KPK Foods, and was sure to be keenly contested with the race for the Golfer of the Month title also coming to a head.

It was a major surprise then that the normally consistent Colin Greig recorded a very rare NR after a disastrous first nine holes, leaving the field open for the other competitors.  Keith Smithson and his good mate Mike Lloyd were playing their final game with us before returning to work in the U.K. (enjoy yourselves guys!) and it was Keith who stepped up to the plate with a level par round, which off his handicap of 2, gave him a net score of 70 – easily good enough to win the day three shots clear of the rest of the field.

Peter Habgood continued his recently re-discovered run of good form to take second place ahead of Raleigh Gosney, with the ever-reliable Mashi Kaneta taking the final podium position.

1st Keith Smithson (2) net 70

2nd Peter Hapgood (22) net 73

3rd Raleigh Gosney (18) net 76

4th Mashi Kaneta (12) net 76

Near Pins: Keith Smithson, Geoff Parker, Mashi Kaneta and Kenny Chung

Friday, March 28, Greenwood C & A – Stableford

Following the trip up the 331 and the extra 5km drive along the course driveway, we arrived at the clubhouse to find the car park almost empty.  We were able to tee off at our leisure and quickly discovered that the condition of the course had improved dramatically since our previous visit six weeks ago.  The fairways were lush and the greens receptive (more so on the C nine) which had certainly not been the case in February when the fairways were like concrete.

The weather was mostly overcast which kept the temperature down a few degrees, so conditions were perfect for someone to shine.

The scores were generally good with four players playing better than their handicap, but it was Geoff Parker took the opportunity to rediscover some form after a string of indifferent performances.  Geoff came back to the clubhouse with 40 points, one shot clear of Raleigh Gosney who took the honours in the B Flight.

Mashi Kaneta took fourth place overall, and the seven points gained were sufficient to give him an unassailable lead in the race for the March Golfer of the Month title.  Your scribe’s memory may be failing him, but I think this is Mashi’s first GoM title since September 2008, which seems hard to believe, but I’m sure Mashi will put me straight !

A Flight

1st Geoff Parker (15) 40pts

2nd Mashi Kaneta (12) 37pts

3rd Paul Smith (2) 33pts

B Flight

1st Raleigh Gosney (18) 39pts

2nd Peter Hapgood (22) 38pts

3rd PJ Redmond (29) 33pts

Near Pins:  Gordon Melia, Geoff Cox, Paul Smith, and Raleigh Gosney

Note:  The Bunker Boys is a PSC affiliated golf society that plays out of The Ranch bar on Pattaya 3rd Road (in front of the fire station, and almost opposite the Buffalo Bar).  We play on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, meeting at The Ranch at 9 a.m. for breakfast and transportation, and new players are always welcome.  Contact “Buff” on 086 046 5091 or 080 605 5663 for all enquiries or go to website: www. bunkersociety.com.