All golfers know a good short game can be the difference between a below-average round and beating your handicap.
And so it was for teenager Flynn Davison who came in with 43 points in Saturday’s stableford competition at the Mount Gambier Golf Club to notch up his first win.
Playing with an old set of second-hand clubs his dad and keen golfer Wayne Davison bought at a garage sale, Flynn notched 22 points on the front nine and followed up with 21 on the back to top the leaderboard, two points clear of Ryan Hosking.
“I do not normally chip that well, but I did on Saturday and it made a lot of difference,” the 16-year-old.
Playing off a 42 handicap in just his 10th competitive round, Flynn picked up four points thanks to a chip-and-putt par on the 1st hole and already had 17 in the bag after the first six holes thanks to four three-pointers.
Tree trouble off the tee on the par-five 7th proved costly, leading to his only wipe of the day.
But he quickly bounced back with another four-pointer on the 8th hole after finding the green with his tee shot and getting down in three for his second par of the day.
Making the turn with 22 points, the youngster, who can hit his drives a long way, although not always straight, produced a mirror image of his start on the front nine with a four-pointer on the difficult par-three 10th.
Again he had 17 points up after the first six holes on the back nine and despite managing just four more in the final three holes, had a big enough buffer to lead the 101-strong field home.
That led him to claim the top prize in C Grade, five clear of Kev Lennon.
A Grade went to Ryan Hosking, the six handicapper finishing with 41 points after shooting an impressive one-over par 73 off the stick despite a double-bogey six on the par-four 3rd hole.
Runner up in the top division with 38 points was Michael Cutting who shot a three-over 75.
In B Grade the winner was Jack Jennings who completed his isolation period from a recent encounter with Covid in time to come in with 40 points, one clear of Jon Clayton.
Playing off a 16 handicap, Jennings showed the break had sharpened his game by firing a three-over par 39 for 24 points on the front nine. The highlight was a four-point birdie on the par-four 4th, his score helped in no small part by three-point pars on the 2nd, 5th, 6th, 8th and 9th.
He managed to add just 16 more points on the back nine, his cause perhaps not helped by some friendly gamesmanship from regular playing partner Brad Von Duve.
The shot of the day on Saturday came from recently-crowned club champion Darren Bilney who slam-dunked his second shot into the 17th green straight into the hole for an eagle two.
While a teenager took the top prize on Saturday, on Thursday it was a couple of old-stagers who found themselves on top of the leaderboard.
Barry Brook claimed the major prize with 40 stableford points, one ahead of Peter Buckingham.
Brook had an 83 off the stick (42/41), the highlight being a four-point birdie on the par-five 7th hole.
Buckingham built on his recent run of good form with 39 points to take 2nd place, one ahead of Gary Wilson who shot the best round of the day, a one-over par 73 from his three handicap.
Do not forget to get your entries in by Monday’s deadline for the inaugural Mount Gambier Golf Club Open, sponsored by Barry Maney Volkswagen, to be held on Sunday, April 24.
More than $2000 in prizes is up for grabs, with the main competition being the men’s 27-hole stroke competition.
Other events to be contested will be the men’s 27-hole nett and 18-hole stableford and 18-hole stroke, nett and stableford competitions for women.
Entries, which cost $35 for the 27-hole events and $25 for the 18-hole ones (and include lunch and afternoon tea), can be made online or through the pro shop.