Handicaps smashed at Blue Lake

Just a week after every player bar one struggled to play to their handicap it was a totally different story on Saturday’s Par round at the Blue Lake Golf Club.

Over a third of the field managed to play to their par or better with the standout being the overall winner Ben Papps with a superb +7.

Papps is continually making advances in his golf and with his prodigious length it was only a matter of time before he put it all together and he did that on Saturday.

Remarkably his score could have been even better, leaving a couple of plusses out on the course with double bogeys on the fourth and 18th.

Papps got his round off to the best possible start with successive plusses on the second and third holes before giving one back on the fourth.

Finishing with another two plusses on the eighth and ninth he had a +3 in the bag at the turn.

It was exhibition golf from the 12 handicappers over the first seven holes of the back nine reeling off pars on all of them for an additional four plusses only to go better with an eagle on the 17th.

Unfortunately, in Par golf it was just another plus for the effort.

A little gloss was taken off his round with a closing double bogey to record his only minus over nine holes of outstanding golf.

One of the only ones to get within range of Papps was A Grade winner Stephen Easterbrook (8) with +5.

Easterbrook could not quite build on his +3 on the front nine and despite a brilliant 36 off the stick coming in he had bogeys on the 14th and 15th which resulted in his only minuses for the day.

Pars on both of those would have seen him catch Papps but he will still be happy with his 73 off the stick.

Second place getter Kieran Ashby recovered from a horror start to fight his way back to square after nine and then added three more plusses over the back nine with a birdie on the 17th being his highlight.

It was a solid hit out for Ashby and any time a finish in the positives in Par golf is always something to be thankful of.

Shannon Fullerton (9) was left ruing a double bogey on the par three fifth hole for denting his hopes for a higher finish.

He was another who could not build on his +1 over the front nine, adding just another plus on the inward nine to finish third after a count back with Trevor Little (3) who scrubbed the 15th on his way to splits of +2 and 0.

It was a case of all or nothing for B grade winner David Quinn (18).

With three pars out of the first five holes equating to +3 he gave two of them back with double bogeys on the 7th and 8th to turn with just the solitary plus.

From then it was par, bogey, birdie, par to open his inward nine, recording jus the three squared holes to come in with a very respectable +4 over that nine.

Once again, bogey or better on the two doubles would have seen him catch the outright winner.

Damian Dixon (16) in second took a while to get going, turning square with his handicap after nine he then powered home with five pars and a birdie (17) over the last seven holes for his total of+4.

Third place Fred Knight was another who struggled for some consistency.

There was brilliance (birdie 17th) matched with some ordinary golf registering five holes that he scrubbed.

While he had five plusses over the back nine, he undid all that good work with three minuses to go with it.

Once he eliminates the one bad shot per hole A Grade is his for the beckoning.

In a competition where the higher handicappers are expected to shine, the majority of C grade struggled to match the hot pace of the better golfers.

The best in the grade was Richard Dean (23) with +1, only just hanging on for the win after a multi-player count back.

In a double count back Dean’s +1 over the last six holes just saw off Peter Mikelsen (22) square after the last six, with Trevor Gartside also being counted out with a score of square over the back nine.

The unlucky player was Jarrod Sanders (31) who went out in a brilliant +4 but gave three of them back over the inward nine.

Wayne Dunford leads the list of ball winners followed by Gould, Ben Pudney, Little, Michael Olle, Colin Ferguson, David Adkins, Matt Dwyer, Adrian O’Donnell and Bruce Morale.

Papps also cleaned out the eagle’s nest of balls with an eagle on the 17th while Quinn won the novelty prize with his best back nine score.

Tuesday’s midweek stroke competition winners resembled a Chinese takeaway menu with a Rice and a Jelly coming first and second.

Special fried rice of the James variety made the most of his handicap of 31, playing under his handicap over the first six holes and then blitzing it altogether with a par on the seventh to set himself up for the win after nine holes.

Turning five under it was his for the taking and despite a couple of double bogeys to start the back nine it did not hurt his score.

Adding another par on the easy 15th saw him three under his handicap with three to play and even though he gave one of those back on the 16th he cruised to victory with a round of 94-31-63.

At the other end of the handicap scale Steve Jelly owns a swing that Rice could do well to emulate.

Playing off seven there was little room for error and after turning with a 34 on the front thanks to birdies on the second and seventh Jelly just needed to stay firm to threaten the win.

All was set to plan up until the 14th where things got a bit wobbly with a double bogey hurting his chances.

An easy birdie on the 17th saw him recoup one of those shots but he had to settle for second with a superb nett 65.

It was daylight back to third place which was fought out between David Lamont and Michael Egan both finishing five strokes further back.

While both birdied the 17th Lamont had also birdied the 11th and came home with a sizzling 38 off the stick. Egan struggled to match that, especially after a triple on the 13th with a lost ball that cost him dearly in a count back.

Wily Collingwood supporter Colin Stratford took out the Pro Shot with his ball finishing 1.6 metres away from the cup on the fifth while Jelly also picked up the novelty prize of least putts.

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