South Herts take the Challenge Jug

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IPGC golf from The Haven

Sunday, Feb. 27, Green Valley – Stableford

CSS 72

Division 1 (0-15)

1st Frank McGowan (15) 38pts

2nd Joe McArdle (11) 36pts

3rd Jim Slattery (11) 35pts

Division 1 (16+)

1st Stephen Lewis (18) 38pts

2nd Wayne Harmon (17) 38pts

3rd Tony Pieroni (16) 35pts

Once again the Sunday group got back on to the usual course with seven groups forming into two divisions and with no delays in starting times it meant the usual suspects were to be found at the top of the leader boards.

The South Herts golf team.The South Herts golf team.

Frank McGowan took charge of the first division with a two-under return that was enough by two to take the top spot, with sparring partner Joe McArdle in second just one ahead of Jim Slattery.

The second division needed a count-back between Stephen Lewis and Wayne Harmon, which the former won by a margin of 22 to 20 with Toni Pieroni relegated to third three back from them.

The 2’s were shared by Joe McArdle, Jim Slattery, Wayne Harmon and Otto Haeling.

Monday, Feb. 28, Mountain Shadow – 2 Person Scramble

Division 1 (0–12)

1st Peter Skinner & Bob Heath (9) 47pts

2nd Marc Jenson & John Chelo (11) 45pts

3rd Jim Slattery & Gerald Decio (10) 45pts

4th Michael Cutmore & Stephen Beard (9) 45pts

Division 2 (13+)

1st Max Gard & Leif Lossius (18) 47pts

2nd Shuichi Kodaka & Danny Greer (17) 46pts

3rd Edward Butcher & Garry Carstairs (14) 45pts

4th Rod Howett & Roar Berger (20) 43pts

As usual the monthly scramble was well attended with over twenty teams contesting this very popular format at one of the most popular venues for a scramble, played from the blue tees.

Two divisions were required with the split being made at 13 and above with teams handicaps being calculated on their two handicaps added together and then being allowed 40% of the combined total and rounded to the nearest whole number.  This allowed for all levels of handicap to compete although each player had to play at least seven tee shots during the round.

Victor Horn secured victory for South Herts.Victor Horn secured victory for South Herts.

The first division was led in by Peter Skinner and Bob Heath, with Peter leading the way in the chipping and putting department and Bob looking exceptionally good in the tee to green areas.  The four hours a day spent practicing, without a single lesson or pro in sight, on every non-golf day proved to be the difference as they swept to the top at eleven under, ahead of a very competitive chasing group who all had to be separated by count-back.

Marc Jenson and John Chelo made good use of their slightly higher handicaps to take second spot with a better 8 to 7 over the last 3 three holes to deny Jim Slattery and Gerald Decio, who had tied them for the back nine at 23 and the back six at 14.  Michael Cutmore and Stephen Beard took fourth with the same points but a worse 22 on the inward nine.

The second division was also a very close fought affair with Max Gard and Leif Lossius, a last send team match up, taking the top spot also at eleven under and Shuichi Kodaka and Danny Greer combined some excellent team work, after having spent many hours in bonding sessions in most of the establishments of Walking Street, to place second a shot back.

Edward Butcher and Garry Carstairs made light of their first outing out of Soi 13 with a third place one more behind, leaving Rod Howett and Roar Berger in fourth two more behind them.

The 2’s were suspended for the day due to the format.

Before presenting the prizes The Doc welcomed new members Garry Carstairs, Edward Butcher and John Chelo and also welcomed back Phil Mitchell, Stuart Hibberd, Stephen Lewis, Robin Peach and Brian Randall.

Friday, March 4, The Emerald – Stableford

CSS 72

1st Brian Libbey (9) 37pts

2nd Russell Exley (8) 37pts

3rd Jim Slattery (11) 34pts

4th Max Gard (15) 34pts

5th Gerald Decio (14) 34pts

6th Roar Berger (27) 32pts

As the rain lashed down in Soi 13, watched by the players who had braved the conditions having left their homes in a thunderstorm, it was clear that the numbers for the day’s activities would be severely restricted and the next decision was whether to even start out for the course.  But following a phone call to ascertain that the course was indeed still open and that carts would be allowed in the rough only, a much smaller number than usual set off in the rain.

As the journey to the course progressed the rain got steadily lighter until finally everyone arrived at the Emerald to overcast but dry conditions that continued throughout the day’s rounds.

Following the overnight and morning downpours it was decided that the day’s competition should be played under a ‘lift and place’ on the fairways ruling.

With much fewer contestants just one division was required and this was led by Brian Libbey whose one under was enough on the day to secure another win to add to his recent list of successes, but he needed to win the count-back over Russell Exley, who is also going through a small purple patch, which he did with a better 20 to 16 as Russell took a nap over the last six holes having won his match that he was playing simultaneously by then as Brian still battled to win his match right up to the 17th hole.

Jim Slattery, also involved in the two formats, took third place after a count-back which he won with 13 on the back six after he had tied the back nine with Max Gard and Gerald Decio on 17 points.  Max then took fourth place with a better 12 on the back six as Gerald could muster just 11 points.

Roar Berger slipped into sixth place two more behind those three.

Challenge Jug Match – South Herts 4.5 v The Haven 3.5

(Haven players first):

Russell Exley (8) won 7 & 6 Michael Cutmore (0)

Brian Libbey (9) won 3 & 1 Peter Skinner (10)

Yasuo Suzuki (10) lost 3 & 1 Jim Slattery (11)

Rick Roberts (13) lost 5 & 4 Bob Heath (13)

Max Gard (15) drew A/S Gerald Decio (14)

Steve Lewis (18) lost 5 & 4 George Oakley (15)

Stephen Beard (22) lost 1 down Bruce Horn (15)

Roar Berger (27 won 2 up Jimmy Norris (26)

While the normal Stableford competition was being played, the South Herts Golf Club Tour Team were making their fourth attempt to grab the “Thailand Challenge Jug” from the wizened claw like grip of The Doc and at last succeeded in their quest for what had seemed to be an impossible task.  But with a weakened Haven team having many of the stalwarts still cowering under the sheets with the thunder crashing, it looked like it was going to be their best chance for years to claim the prize.

The first two matches did not bear out that promise as Russell Exley swept to an imperious 7 and 6 win over the over Singha’ed Michael Cutmore, although Michael played some fantastic tees shots that were both very long and very straight, the wobbly bits around the green made the difference.

In the same four-ball Brian Libbey finally settled the match on the 17th winning 3 and 1 against the inform Peter Skinner with some very steady play from Brian which Peter could not quite match on the day.  So 2- 0 to The Haven.

Next up was the promising Yasuo Suzuki but his usual spark was not quite firing up as he went down on the 17th 3 and 1 to Jim Slattery whose application made all the difference in the end analysis.  In the same group Bob Heath again took full advantage of several hundred practice strikes out of the middle of the practice bay allied to an unerring radar sense on the greens to see off the challenge of Rick Roberts after fourteen holes.

That left the score finely poised at 2 – 2

Next up was Max Gard, having been shoehorned into the team at the last minute, who managed to hold Gerald Decio to all square after the match had swung from one side to the other throughout the round, while in the same group George Oakley, the old plumber, wrenched out a 5 and 4 win after fourteen hard fought holes leaving Stephen Lewis slightly shaken to put South Herts up three and a half to two and a half.

The final two groups were advised of the match situation as they approached the eighteenth green and Roar Berger, having just won the seventeenth to go one up, continued the pressure to claim the last to leave Jimmy Norris two down.  So it was all down to the Doc, who having come back from seven down, yes seven down to all square on the seventeenth to either win, draw or lose the match on the last.  He unfortunately took the last and least attractive option by taking four from the edge as Victor Horn, his old drinking buddy and erstwhile provider of London lodgings, took the win with a stupendous bogey to claim their match and the Challenge Jug for South Herts by a margin of 4.5 to 3.5.

In a strange but possibly not unconnected coincidence, The Doc won the correct score draw pool and then attempted to make apologies and amends by trying to buy drinks for the rest of the evening.

Note:  If you would like to play with The Haven group you can contact mobile 084782 4582 or call in to the 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 8.30 on Mondays, Wednesday, Fridays and Sundays on the days you wish to play.  A schedule of courses to be played can be found on our web site at www.thehaven-hotel.com.

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