Here is the view from the rather chilly patio….
Cold Comfort for Dave
Saturday afternoon was a pleasant stroll around the course for the re-scheduled Beaujolais Nouveau AM-AM however, Sunday morning saw a completely different picture.
A heavy frost overnight meant it was touch and go as to whether the first winter qualifier would be able to start. The new handicapping system meant there was a good turnout even though many players did expect a wasted journey to the Club.
Thankfully, the course was just about playable, although yellow balls were perhaps the more sensible piece of equipment, along with gloves, layers and a woolly hat. Conditions were difficult - witness the scoring showing only two players par or better. John Quayle’s early morning question on Facebook about course playability received some encouraging answers so John was out early and after negotiating the icy conditions managed to finish with a birdie on the 16th and a par on the last for 31 points and into a tie for ninth with Martyn Callister who also made the running towards the end with an, always, impressive four, three, four finish.
Dave Simpson was in a group of four players on 32. The wintery conditions favoured him and by the turn he had a pleasing seven pars, the second half included some punishing double bogies though and despite the last-ditch birdie on the final hole he was at the back of the 32 point pack. Ahead of him on countback was Ben Locking after birdies on the sixth and 11th. Dean Morris wore his seasonal camouflage, white pants. Thankfully he wore a dark top otherwise he would have been invisible in the snow. A birdie on the 11th put him in good stead for the closing holes however a succession of bogeys meant he failed to capitalise and was beaten for fifth place on a countback by Graham Garrett on 32 points.
Tim Eyre had a fairly steady lap with a birdie on the third and 17th to post 34 points and capture fourth spot. The Winter League partnership of Ray McElhinney and David Kinrade were still glowing from last week’s two-man Texas win and Ray’s form continued despite the snow with vital pars on the third, sixth and 17th to get to 35 points and into third spot. Sean Cunningham, on day one of a staycation, was sensible to wait until the temperature had risen a few degrees but it was not an easy start with dropped shots on the first couple of holes. He steadied the ship and grabbed one back with a birdie on the fifth. The round continued on a rocky road and despite a four on the last ended up with a pleasing 35 points and second place. The other star of the Winter League duo, David Kinrade, had played some steady golf the previous day and was sensible enough to continue in that vein in the snowy conditions with a superb round containing a birdie on the eighth to go with 15 pars to secure a second win in successive weekends, roll on winter!
Winter League washout
Anyone thinking of playing at 8am on Saturday morning seriously had to consider if they were thinking straight. Driving rain, standing water and the prospect of Storm Aidan hitting the Island that morning demanded the courage of true golfing heroes so as I looked out from the patio there they were on the first tee.
Clear winners on the day were Craig Dalton, Tom Wollin, Jason Orr and Josh Brain. Craig thanked the Captain for putting on the event and Club President, Martin Webb, provided an in-depth background speech on the quietly multi-talented Captain who in turn responded with a toast to mediocrity which after all, as club golfers, is what we probably achieve most of the time but occasionally that rare moment when the golfing god shines on us, like Captains Day!
The Winter League starts soon and registration of teams is available in the Clubhouse. Of course next weekend there is the important matter of the Masters and Rabbits.