Bogey Sweep / Committee Cup Rd1
What a difference a week makes. So it was back to thermals and woolly hats in the cold wind that seemed to get worse through the day. No doubt that with double the entry for this year’s 36-hole competition, most were hoping to retain their shorts of last week.
Despite the conditions overhead, the course was in good condition and scoring was generally better than for many a week. Leading the 1st round is Fiona Coombe with 36 points, which included a 5-pointer for a birdie 2 on the 10th, Veronica Mitchell is lying 2nd with 34 and there are another 3 ladies just 1 point further back.
CSS remained at 36
It seemed like the Beast from the East had made an unwelcome return to the Park. Cool temperatures and a gusting wind that became stronger as the day went on made life pretty miserable. Most of the field failed to take advantage of a course which is improving at an interesting pace.
The lone exceptions being Tore Burman – although these conditions must feel like a Scandinavian spring to him – and Chris Lordan. Tore played a solid front 9 (2Up) but faded away on the back 9 to finish at 1Up and take 2nd place. Chris Lordan reeled off 3 birdies in a row (5,6,7) to finish 4Up on the front 9. He played a steady back 9 until the 17th and 18th hole (which he both lost). A score of 4Up makes him the clear winner. Chris’ new playing handicap now stands at 6. Luis Oroval was level on front and back 9 to finish 3rd. Leaders in the clubhouse Jon Cooper and Scott Sparks (who went out in a score of 3Up!) were the only other players to not lose to the course. Nathan Street (1 Down) completes the Top6. Peter Osgood to use his own words died on the back 9 (don’t worry: he’s come back from the dead). Paul Brown’s putter apparently was still as hot as during yesterday’s victory in the Clapham Common. Too bad about the rest of his game.
CSS: All Square. Just two handicap changes.
Typical April conditions prevailed with a persistent wind. This was the last competition with preferred lies for the season.
Mark Rosamund stamped his authority on the field early in the day with 42 points to win the midweek sweep comp, 3 clear from Messrs. Colley and Curry. Gina Jillet was best placed lady 35 points.
CSS: 67 Men, 69 Ladies. Mark earns a two playing shot handicap reduction.
Unlike the men, many of whom made it look easy, this was not the general consensus of opinion from the ladies, nor did the scores reflect that. With a small field of 7 and no one reaching the SSS, CSS remained at 69.
Susan Smith emerged as the winner on net 70, with Cheryl Woodhouse two further back on 72. These results were reached in quite different ways. After the first hole, Susan had a storming few holes before a complete blip on the 9th. Cheryl, on the other hand, was riding her birthday luck, with balls bouncing out of the trees back onto the fairway until she’d used up the luck on the 18th.
Conditions were very receptive today. Extra carry and roll on the fairways and some additional grip on the greens thanks to last night’s rain. If you were able to adapt to the speed of the greens you were in for a good score. Even though the level of play proved to be excellent a lot of the players will feel like they’ve let one slip away. Quite a few scorecards show players blowing up on one or more holes (that includes yours truly).
Ray Esin continues his incredible run of form. Holes 9 & 10 proved to be the only blemishes on his card. Net 59 (78 gross) made him leader in the clubhouse. Such was the level of play that Ray only managed to hold on to victory thanks to the countback rule. James Shine played a very consistent round of golf to match Ray’s score. His birdie on 18 earns him a well deserved runner-up position. Vice-Captain Nigel Gaymond seems to have rediscovered some form (just ahead of the Hawtree). An impressive 62 lands him into the Top3. Seong Lim posted the lowest gross score of 71 (62 net). Mike Shabani (net 63) and Sazer Cuneyt (net 64) complete the Top 6. A net score of 68 today would only get you into position 16-19.
CSS: 66 (net). Ray leads an impressive list of players with new handicaps. He also earns an ESR of one stroke. His new handicap now stands at 16.
The round was the second of 8 for the Grand Medal Trophy.
Midweek Priory Cup
A big field were greeted by some beautiful spring/summer weather. The course on the other hand is still recovering. A few days of sunshine have dramatically changed the look of the Duke’s course. No traces of mud or standing water. Greens hardening at a surprising pace: carrying the ball to the pin was not the correct strategy. And putting still remained tricky.
The Top3 today were among the early starters: arguably the conditions were a better at that time of the day. Jonathan Rivers was on fire on the front 9 (5Up). The back 9 proved a bit trickier. But a final score 4Up is more than enough to hold off a reborn Elaine Elborn. Elaine’s back 9 (3Up) was excellent. David Vines (3Up) was equally impressive on the back 9. In the end 2nd place goes to the Irish fury thanks to the countback rule. Dylan Merchant (1Up) was the only one of the afternoon starters to put up a decent score (1Up). Ann Gardner and Jeremy Ryan complete the Top6.
CSS: 1Up (Men & Ladies). Jonathan and Elaine earn nice handicap improvements.
A big field had to deal with some issues on the Duke’s Course today. The dry weather over the last 2-3 days took care of most of the mud. That being said: the course was not the most welcoming. The fairways are still too wet therefore preventing the greenkeeping team from cutting them. The rough is growing quite rapidly. Finally the greens were more unpredictable due to the sand.
Three of the players in the 1st game put up decent scores. Jay Barker recorded a net score of 69. This score was matched by Keith Cassidy. Pete Harrison put up a net 70 to finish 5th. The quality of the golf seriously dropped off in the 2nd game (Peter Osgood, Roger Rojas, Caleb Mills – who can invoke jetlag as an excuse – and Shaun Dupreez). The players in the 3rd game made up for that. Ray Esin leapfrogged everybody. A net score of 67 earns him victory today. A stroke of good fortune on the 18th hole (where his ball was on its way to the 1st ditch only to be stopped by one of the metal loops) didn’t hurt. Kim Chaffart’s iron play remains scrappy but he scrambled his way to a net 68 and 2nd place. Alan King completes the Top6 with a net 71. Four players in the Top6 earn handicap reductions.
CSS: 71 (Men)/ 73 (Ladies)
The event was the first round of Anniversary Trophy – the best 3 of the 4 Anniversary events – where the results mirror the Platinum Jubilee results at this point.
A few other bits:
- Nigel Gaymond still hasn’t recovered from last week’s alcohol and food poisoning (expertly administered by Damian Hackett, Nick Rogers and Roger Rojas). Hence why he forgot to leave his scorecard at the club (he supposedly shot a net 71).
- Nick Rogers matched Jay and Pete Harrison on the front 9 (37 gross) before collapsing on the way in.
- 1st lady today is Ronnie Mitchell.
- Shot of the day goes to Jay Barker for his reverse flop shot off the bank on the 14th (?) (video available on request).
- Peter Osgood committed his full weight (16 stone and counting) to a lay-up strategy on the 18th hole. His tee-shot barely made past the ladies tee.
- A lot of competitors (especially the ladies) had some accounting issues with their scorecards. Total number of gross strokes were all over the place (to put it mildly).
- Finally the most infuriating item: it can happen that your score is so bad that you can’t even be bothered. What do you do? You go home and you ask your playing partner to record your score on the computer for you. Can you please ensure that that person records the correct score? The scorecard in question was a total mess.
I’m not begging but I’m urging you all to help all the handicap secretaries in their work. Today the handicap secretary had to personally check 63 scorecards (we do check all the scorecards indeed!) and he has to run/publish a few other reports too. All handicap secretaries are trying their best to publish the results in a speedy and professional manner. A helping hand from the Members wouldn’t hurt.
Rain over last few weeks affected the course badly with 8 temporary greens. So not a handicapping qualifier. The conditions of mud and un-mown temporary greens affected people differently (perhaps an assist to those with the ‘yips’ having to ram home putts?) but analysis reveals that on the whole, the back 9 were easier.
Cream rose to the top with Stephen Haworth in his first competitive round with RPGC being the early clubhouse leader with 65 having birdied the last nudging late starter Jay Barker into 3rd on countback. The deserved winner was another late starter – Tamas on 64. Jay had the best gross with a two over par 70. Leading lady was Angela Flynn 74.
The round counted as the 2nd Midweek Grand Medal round and early leader is Chris Philips-Jones on 135 – 2 clear from Toby.
Ladies Spring Weekend Away
Veronica Mitchell wins the Lockie Trophy for the best Lady over the weekend rounds. Peter Harrington was the best Man.
Spring Stableford Rd2
A smaller field today due to the Ladies’ away weekend and the club playing in the Surrey 5’s. The field faced a course which at first sight could have been more forgiving. Recent works on the greens, still quite a lot of mud and standing water (preventing the greenkeepers from cutting the fairways). Nobody could’ve really expected today’s barrage.
Damian Hackett put up an excellent front 9 (21pts) and then recovered excellently from a no score on the 13th hole. 19pts on the back (total score 40pts) made him leader in the clubhouse. Unfortunately for him the back-up handicap secretary matched his score on the front 9. Birdie on 14 and a chip-in birdie on 16 pushed Kim on to 21pts on the way in. 42pts proved to be enough for victory today. Chris Lordan continues his excellent form. Three birdies on the front 9 (23pts) set him up nicely for a more subdued back 9 (17pts). 40pts move Chris into 3rd and gets his playing handicap down to 7. Brian McMahon finishes 4th just 1pt behind Chris. Jay (39pts) and Tenesi (38pts) complete the Top6.
Factoid of the day: Greg Saunders 2-putted every green today.
Jay wins the Spring Stableford with a total score of 76pts just ahead of Brian McMahon (75pts) and Kerry Sargeant (74pts).
CSS: 38pts (Men & Ladies)
Midweek Master Bowl
At times conditions proved very blustery but by and large it was dry. Many puddles were manifest – some not seen since the flooding of 2000.
Oliver Maskell produced a characteristically winning 68 four ahead of Cosmo Liefting-Moore and Jeremy Ryan. Oliver wins (of course) the Masters Bowl. Habe Crocker was leading lady 83.
The ‘No Returns’ produced some interest for those of a certain bent: Kim being DQ card not signed whilst Messrs. Grand, Lindesay-Bethune and Rivers had net differentials within buffer zone, thereby avoiding 0.1 increase 9i.e. were within buffer on a stableford basis) despite ‘blobbing’ at least one hole.
The effects of the rain over the last couple of days were hard to ignore. A lot of standing water and mud on the fairways. The right side of the 16th green was not the place to be. A bit of extra carry on tee-shots was useful.
All this seemed to play into Chris Lordan’s strengths. After a steady front 9 he came alive on the back 9 with three birdies on 10, 16 and 17. He managed to total 21pts on the way in. A total score of 39pts is an excellent result in the conditions. His competition handicap doesn’t change but he edges closer to a new handicap.
Leader in the clubhouse Caleb Mills recorded a very solid 37pts to finish second. An excellent back 9 (21pts) allows Steve Cross to take 3rd place. Damian Hackett got a little flustered by nearly being hit by yours truly’s tee-shot on the 17th (and NO it wasn’t a hook or a slice. Just a pure strike down the right side of the fairway). Two sixes prevent him from finishing higher than 4th. Phil Flanagan and Lee Marshall complete the Top6. Shout-out to John Curry for his eagle on the 17th. 1st lady today was Lia Donath.
CSS: 36 (Men & Ladies)