John Miles would be the first to admit that consistency has not been the hallmark of his golf game over the years.
But that changed at the Mount Gambier Golf Club on Saturday when he produced a score of net 68 to take out his first overall Monthly Medal.
Playing off a 20 handicap, Miles shot 44 off the stick on each nine, overcoming a mid-round hiccup to lead the field of 125 players.
“With my golf, it’s either good or bad … there’s not much in between, “ he said.
“But on Saturday just a bit of consistency was the difference.”
That was certainly the key in his first eight holes where he hit every fairway, and with pars on the 1st, 4th and 6th, reached the 9th tee at just five over par.
But his first missed fairway, and a three-putt, led to the first of three consecutive double bogeys that threatened to derail his solid start.
He missed the green on the par-three 10th, duffed his first chip, hit his second one long and was lucky to make five in the end.
And then on the par-five 11th he smoked his drive down the middle of the fairway, but a sequence of poor shots “turned a five into a seven”.
Fortunately he stemmed the bleeding just in time, rolling in a long putt for par on the 12th green.
“I knew I had to come home with a wet sail, which I did,” he said.
Starting with the par on the 12th hole, Miles played his final seven holes in just four over par, making more pars on the 16th and 18th, and nothing worse than bogey on the others.
His net 68 was one better than the rest of the field, earning him a place in next year’s Medal of Medals event.
It also saw him take out C Grade by three shots from Neil McKay.
A countback was needed to find the winner in A Grade, with Bailey Letizia edging out David Boyce after the pair finished with net 71s.
After starting with an eagle on the par-five 1st hole, Letizia almost threw away his win with double bogeys on the 5th, 9th and 13th, spoiling what could have been a superb round for the 10-handicapper.
A countback was also needed in B Grade, Paul Kenny eventually getting the nod from Daniel Whitehead after they both signed for net 69s.
Meanwhile veteran Lyndsay Copeman showed age had not wearied him, the 81-year-old coming in with 41 points to take out Thursday’s stableford competition by one point from Jeff Hodge.
Copeman, who plays every Thursday and Saturday with fellow octogenarians Bob Dalgarno and David Turnbull, as well as “youngster” Graham Greenwood, said winning was not the aim of the game for him.
“For me golf is just a day to get out and have a laugh with the fellas … if you play well that’s all the better,” he said.
Copeman started with 20 points on the front nine, highlighted by three-pointers on the 2nd and 6th, and a four-point par on the 3rd thanks to his 28 handicap.
As good as that was, he kicked into top gear on the back nine, putting in from just off the green on the par-three 10th for a four-point par.
And he followed that with three-point bogeys on the 11th and 12th, almost throwing it away with just five points in the next four holes, but recovering with more three-pointers on the 17th and 18th to notch his best score of the year.
“It was just one of those days really,” he said.
“All my drives went down the middle and I made quite a few putts as well.”
Playing off a five handicap, Hodge carded a superb one-over par 73 off the stick to finish in second place on 40 points, only a bogey five on the final hole stopping him from shooting even par and posting the winning score.
Jack Peacock and Grant Harvey were another point back in third place, Peacock finishing ahead of Harvey on a countback.
The club will host the annual seniors championship on Sunday, with great prizes on offer thanks to the generous sponsorship of Hallmont and Woodlands Estates.