Medal round tests players

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Mother Nature threw everything she could at the field in Saturday’s Monthly Medal competition at the Mount Gambier Golf Club.

And at the end of the day just one player was able to better his handicap-multiple club champion Anthony Williams.

Playing off a one handicap, the big hitter shot an even-par 72 to record a net 71, just one stroke clear of four players headed by Bailey Letizia.

Williams teed off with the morning groups and after parring the first four holes had a stroke of luck on the par-four 5th.

He had no option but to play his second shot back onto the fairway after hooking his drive next to a tree, but was lucky enough to chip in for a birdie from about 10m short of the green.

No luck was needed for his second birdie of the day, however, rolling in a 15-foot putt on the par-three 8th to get to two-under par.

Despite the rain setting in and the wind strength increasing, Williams was on track for a super round after making another birdie on the par-four 12th to move to three-under.

Unfortunately his luck ran out after that, missing short par putts on the 13th and 14th, before making a third bogey in five holes thanks to a poor chip from just off the 17th green.

Finishing with a par on the 18th was still good enough to claim the Monthly Medal – and victory in A Grade – with a net 71.

Williams said he now had his sights on playing in Country Week at the end of September, a tournament he last won in 2001.

 “I have not played in that for seven years because of injuries,” but I’d like to have another shot at it this year,” he said.

The B Grade winner on Saturday was Scott Whicker who came in with a net 72 to beat Leigh McCracken by one shot.

It would be fair to say the weather made it very tough for the higher handicappers and a net 74 was good enough for Lyndsay Copeman to take the honours in C Grade on a countback from Winston Prowse.

Meanwhile one player who has struck a rich vein of form scored a much-deserved  win in last Thursday’s stableford competition where the weather was much kinder once the fog cleared.

Men’s captain Peter Waters has been runner-up twice in recent weeks, but his 39 points was good enough to claim victory by a single point from a group of five  players.

Not one of the longest hitters at the club, Waters relies on a good short game  to post competitive scores off his 11 handicap.

Unfortunately he was off target on the first hole on Thursday, pulling his third  short into the greenside bunker and finishing with a wipe.

He quickly recovered with a three- pointer on the par-four second hole and  a three-point birdie on the par-three 6th helped him accumulate 19 points on the front nine.

His back nine was equally solid, helped by three-point pars on the 10th, 12th and 13th, not to mention another birdie for three points on the par-three 16th.

“At this time of the year you do not get the 44 and 45 points like you do in summer,” Waters said.

“I do not hit it long so I just try to put it up the middle and see what I can do.” Not only was his 39 points good enough to win on Thursday, he also finished in a tie for second in Saturday’s Monthly Medal … and he was not finished there.

On Monday he played in the veterans competition at Kingston and claimed another win with 38 stableford points despite the very windy conditions.

On Thursday his 39 points saw him finish one clear of Roger Gulin, while one-handicapper Joel Mann also had 38 points after shooting an even-par 72 off the stick.

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