Returning players find Mount Gambier course too strong

Just five players were able to beat their handicaps in Saturday’s Monthly Medal at the Mount Gambier Golf Club.

But unlike the previous two Medal competitions which also proved exceptionally difficult for the field, this time it was not terrible weather that was to blame.

Most likely it was the fact a lot of players in the 104-strong field were getting back into the swing of things after two weeks of no golf thanks to Covid restrictions.

As it turned out, it was Tony Revill who wasted no time finding his best form, the 12-handicapper shooting a net 68 to finish two shots clear on top of the leaderboard.

Somewhat surprisingly it was the first time Revill had finished inside the top 10 in any competition at the Attamurra course this year.

His round certainly got off to a great start with a birdie on the par-five first hole.

Four bogeys in the following five holes brought him back to the field, but a strong finish to the front nine with pars on the 7th, 8th and 9th saw him make the turn three under his handicap.

Revill’s back nine did not start the way he wanted with bogeys on the 10th, 11th and 12th.

But pars on three of the next four holes got his round back on track, although it was nearly undone by a double-bogey six on the tough par-four 17th.

Thankfully for him he rebounded with a birdie on the final hole to come in with a net 68.

His nearest rival was fellow A Grader Adrian Ballantyne whose shot at victory was derailed by a triple-bogey seven on the par-four 14th.

Playing off an eight handicap, Ballantyne also finished with a birdie on the 18th to sign for a net 70 and second place.

With nine of the top finishers coming from A Grade, it was left to Peter Berkefeld to fly the flag for the lower graders.

His net 72 was good enough for the 19-handicapper to take top spot in C Grade from Ross Anderson.

In B Grade a countback was needed to separate the top two finishers, Graham Greenwood edging out Peter Miller after the pair finished with net 74s.

That was a remarkable form reversal for Greenwood who managed just 22 stableford points two days earlier in Thursday’s stableford competition.

With Thursday’s event being the first after the lifting of Covid restrictions, it was probably no surprise that just two of the 88 players in the field beat their handicaps.

In the end it was Max Clifford who took out the top prize on a countback from Sam Mainwaring after they both managed 38 stableford points.

It was probably a measure of justice for Clifford after he had been beaten on a countback in the Thursday comp just four weeks earlier.

Playing off a 26 handicap, he had 18 points on the front nine, but a four-point par on the par-three 10th hole helped him add 20 on the back.

Mainwaring on the other hand could only add 18 on the back nine to his 20 on the front, his shot at victory not helped by a wipe on the par-five 7th hole.

Meanwhile the third short-course event of the year was held at the club on Sunday, Setio Prajogo-Shanahan winning with 39 points on a countback from Haydn Dow.

Playing off a one handicap, Prajogo-Shanahan shot 60 off the stick, but needed a birdie two on the 18th hole to secure victory over his playing partner.

That came with more than a slice of luck, however, his bladed tee shot from about 95m shooting along the ground and finishing less than 30cm from the hole for a tap-in two.

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