Many chased hard to try and catch wily veteran Kevin Mansell (pictured below) in Saturday’s Stableford round at the Blue Lake Golf Club but could not quite get the extra point to match his winning score of 40 points.
With the A Grade sprinters firing in birdies at will, Mansell stuck to his long game, steadily picking up bonus 3 point holes thanks to his 32 handicap.
Drawing on his ultra-marathon experience Mansell made sure he had set up his win with 19 points on the outward nine and then powered home with another 21 points thanks to a four-point par on the 17th.
Among the A Grade players chasing were Michael Dedonatis who had Mansell covered over the front nine, but a disappointing bogey on the 12th only earned him a solitary point, closing out with splits of 20 and 19.
Dedonatis’ highlight was successive birdies on the second and third holes that netted him seven points alone and the five handicapper will be happy with his 36 off the stick on each nine.
Fellow A Grader Tyson Ploenges had a perfect outward nine, parring every hole except for the third where he also had a birdie.
Turning with 21 points Ploenges had Mansell well and truly in his sights, covering his bogey also on the 12th with a follow up birdie on the 15th.
All was going well until wayward tee shot on the 16th found tree trouble, walking off with his only wipe for the day and settling for 39 points.
Rounding out the A Grade placings was Neale Doody (9) who finished just one point behind the above pair.
Doody also had set himself up for a win with an above average start, finishing his front nine with a birdie on the ninth for 20 points.
Impressive follow up birdies on 11 and 12 had Doody thinking it could be his day, but wipes saw him stumble to the finish line with just five points over the last five holes for a total of 38.
Splitting the A Graders on the score sheet was Jamie Walters (14) who tried valiantly all day.
Four pars on the front nine earned him 20 points and he maintained that regulation scoring for most of the inward nine except for a one point score on the long par three 14th hole.
He recovered well with pars on three of the next four holes but had to settle for the B Grade win after falling just short of Mansell.
C Grade winner Ken Milsop was another who finished on 39, but he will be left wondering ‘what if’ after missing out on some scoring holes.
No less than five three point holes on the outward nine were soured slightly by a wipe on the sixth but still managed a very creditable 21 points.
A regulation 18 points followed on the back nine for a one-point victory.
Matt Davidson, also off the same handicap as Milsop of 23, started his round with regulation two point scoring up to the sixth hole.
From then it was a roller coaster ride with three three-point holes getting him to 19 points after a wipe on the seventh.
His back nine was made up of either one point holes or a four point birdie on the 11th, scrambling his way to close out with equal splits of 19 points.
That hot finish enabled Davidson to hold onto second after a count back from Trevor Gartside (22).
Rounding out the placings in B grade was the unassuming Fred Knight, who let his clubs do the talking with a great run of scoring across holes 11 to 15.
Stephen Kamphuis (13) held on for third place from David Adkins (15) and Josh Searle (15) after a three way count back for third place after they all finished on 35 points.
Searle took some consolation by cleaning out the eagles nest with his two on the 13th hole.
Rosemary Martland is inching ever so closer to a single figure handicap and may have got there except for a disappointing double bogey on the last.
She scored a single point on the final hole to finish with 36 overall.
Martland was not up to her absolute best, throwing in two one point holes on the outward nine but countering them with three point pars on holes three and six to turn with a regulation 18 points.
It was a similar story on the back nine, two of her five pars earning three points each but a bogey on the 14th and the double on the last giving her one point each.
The double bogey on the last almost gave the win away as that put her into a count back with the ever improving Jorja Morale and the evergreen Geraldine Scott.
Morale’s superb tee shot on the fifth had her holding both NTP for the Ladies as well as the overall Pro Shot for quite some time.
Finishing three and a half metres from the hole, Morale unfortunately could not quite convert the birdie but still scored three points for a total of 18 points over the front nine.
The three point holes continued on the inward, four in total and she almost clinched the win but for also only scoring just the one point on the last to just lose out to Martland in a count back.
Scott had a win in her grasp, starting with a great 19 points and taking that same form into the back nine.
A nice three-point par on the 15th set her up for the win but she blew her chances with a wipe on the 17th being very costly, relegating her to third place.
Some golfers model their game on their local PGA professional, some study YouTube channels, some rely on their club’s professional to develop the ultimate swing.
However, when your blessed with the natural swing and ability of Chris Hoggan there’s not much you need to tweak.
The elegant and tall Hoggan has not quite lived up to his potential in Tuesday’s mid week Par competition.
Playing off a generous 16 handicap Hoggan proved how easy the game can be with his opening +5 over the front nine which included birdies eight and nine.
Hoggan had a masterful 36 off the stick and was looking forward to a personal best score on the inward nine.
However the game deserted him, unable to find the greens in regulation to make par.
After just the one wipe on the front nine he added two more on the 15th and 17th, the latter being the most disappointing with the flag down the front and reachable in two.
While he finished square on the back nine Hoggan will be left with the feeling of what if.
Nathan Muhovics (20) struggled to find the spark needed to get his game going, turning square with his handicap after the first nine holes.
He eventually found the switch to see off Derek Sargeant (12) in a count back after both finished on +2.
A host of players finished on +1 including Club Captain David Adkins who had a horror start with four consecutive pick ups.
Mini Golf Grant
The hard working board and members of the Blue Lake Golf Club discovered they were successful in gaining a grant from the Federal Government of $271,000 for the construction of a mini golf course.
With the vision of attracting new tourists and visitors and also giving those who already come here another reason to stay longer, the modern state-of-the-art mini golf course will be both challenging and exciting.
To be established on the eastern side of the clubhouse the mini golf course will join up with a proposed walking track to the caravan park as part of the Crater Lakes development.
Club president Peter Sealey was ecstatic to hear the news from local member Tony Pasin who continues to be supportive of the club and its future direction noting that it benefits the entire Mount Gambier community and will be a facility that all will be proud of.