Voller rallies late for Hua Hin success

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Jomtien golf with the IPGC

This was our annual visit to Hua Hin for an individual competition over the four days, plus also a combined four round eclectic for the chance to be crowned the Golden Elephant Tour 2014 champion.  23 players made the trip, most of them traveling down on the Sunday.

Monday, May 19, The Majestic – Stableford

Everyone made it to Hua Hin on time so 23 players out today with an equal cut in the two divisions of 6-15 and 17+.

The course was in very good condition and everyone enjoyed playing here, none more so than Lindsay Phillips, playing off 14, who scored 24 points on the front nine and 21 on the back for a remarkable 45 to win division 1.  Chuck Anderson came in second on 38 and Chris Voller took third with 37.

(L to R):  Wichai Tananusorn, Jimmy Johnson, Martin Grimoldby and Chris Voller.(L to R):  Wichai Tananusorn, Jimmy Johnson, Martin Grimoldby and Chris Voller.

Jimmy Johnson returned 37 points to win division 2, two ahead of Marty Aronson in second while Roger DeJongh placed third on 33.

Lindsay Phillips birdied the 6th and 12th and Pete Sumner the 6th to share the division 1 ‘2’s pot while Burnie Sinclair had it all to himself in the second tier.

Near pins went to Martin Grimoldby, Lindsay Phillips (3), Alan Bissell, Rod Howett, Andy Oz and Burnie Sinclair.

Tuesday, May 20, Sea Pines – Stableford

Sea Pines was only a 15-minute drive down the road from our Thipurai Hotel in Hua Hin and we arrived to an almost deserted course.  It was a very windy day here on the coast and yet again the course was found to be in fine condition; this was voted in by the players rather than Palm Hills or Springfield due to the conditions of those other 2 courses.

Alan Bissell recorded the best score of the day, winning division 2 with 38 points while Adrian Shelley, alias Andy Oz, was second on 35 and Jimmy Johnson beat Burnie Sinclair 16/15 on a back nine count back for third after both came in with 31 points each.

Kevin Blake topped the podium in division 1, beating Martin Grimoldby 18/13 on the back nine after both finished on 36 points, and Russell Gilroy placed third one point behind.

There were no ‘2’s today in either division so rollovers to Black Mountain on Thursday.

Near pins were claimed by Grenville Hill, Pete Sumner, Wichai Tananusorn, Chris Voller, Alan Bissell, Andy Oz, Paul Renall and Burnie Sinclair.

Thursday, May 22, Black Mountain – Stableford

Probably everyone’s favourite course here in Hua Hin and the condition was the best we have ever seen; everything was immaculate and picturesque, good prices, good caddies and the clubhouse and the staff in the restaurant unbeatable.

39 points was the best score of the day, recorded by Joe McArdle to win division 1 ahead of Chris Voller in second on 37 and Martin Grimoldby beat Wichai 18/17 on count back for third after they both came in with 36 points each.

Guy Russell was the winner in division 2 with 37 points, with Jimmy Johnson one point behind in second and Frank McGowan claimed third with 35.

Grant Cadell birdied the 14th and Burnie Sinclair the 3rd to share the rollover ‘2’s pot.

Near pins went to Kevin Blake, Grant Cadell, Pete Sumner, Wichai, Paul Renall, Guy Russell and Burnie Sinclair (2).

So after three rounds, Martin Grimoldby and Chris Voller shared the overall lead on 108 points, with Lindsay Phillips and Jimmy Johnson hot on their heels with 106 and 104 points respectively.

Friday, May 23, The Banyan Tree – Stableford

Another course in superb condition with most commenting afterwards that Banyan is more of a thinking player’s layout than Black Mountain.  The only slight downside was the cost of the buggy, the caddy and the prices in the restaurant afterwards, but it was still enjoyable.

Our first three rounds had been rain free but today at the Banyan the clouds thickened and after playing 14 holes the rain, lightning and thunder started.  Fortunately it only lasted 20 minutes and the drainage here is very good so after a short stop at the tea station the group resumed with no further problems.

After 22 points at Black Mountain on Thursday, Alan Bissell was back in the limelight today, winning division 2 with a fine 41 points.  Jimmy Johnson came in second with 37 and Roger DeJongh completed the podium in third with 36.

Saving his best game for the last round, Chris Voller topped division 1 standings with 39 points, four ahead of Declan Kelly in second while Wichai Tananusorn placed third after beating Martin Grimoldby and Grenville Hill 17/15/14 on the back nine, all on 33 points.

Chuck Anderson birdied the 15th and Alan Bissell the 17th to claim the ‘2’s prizes.

Near pin awards went to Chuck Anderson, Russell Gilroy, Chris Voller (2), Alan Bissell and Alec Hoare (2).

So, after his fine last round, the overall winner of the Golden Elephant Tour after four days was Chris Voller on 147 points, six ahead of second placed Jimmy Johnson while Martin Grimoldby and Wichai Tananusorn placed third and fourth on 141 and 138 respectively.