As the adage goes, when the going gets tough the tough get going and that was certainly the case in Saturday’s Monthly Medal Stroke event at the BLGC.
In cold but fine conditions, at least in the morning, it was the A grade players who brought their best game to the course that was set up to, and playing to, its most difficult.
Leading the way, and winning the Monthly Medal proudly sponsored by the Commercial Hotel, was former scratch golfer Anthony Williams playing off a 1 handicap and shooting a nett 69.
Williams was faultless through the first nine and adding a birdie on the dog-leg 9th to turn 1 under the card on 34.
His first blemish came on the 10th with a bogey but he countered that on 15th.
Faced with the reachable par 5 17th Williams will be disappointed to have walked off with just a par and perhaps that weighed on his mind, finishing with a bogey for an even 70 off the stick.
It goes to show that sometimes the more talented golfers like a challenge and prefer a bit of length in the course.
There was a train of A grade golfers right behind Williams vying for the win with Colin Ferguson having to settle for the grade win after his round of 76-6-70.
Ferguson couldn’t quite capitalise on some great set up golf, unable to turn any of his 12 pars into a valuable birdie.
It was still a solid round of golf with equal splits of 38.
Derek Sargeant (82-11-71) couldn’t quite get his military two step into the correct sequence, mixing double bogeys with birdies to finish with second place.
A surprising double on the 3rd was matched with another on the 13th but his birdie on the 6th showed the talent he does possess.
Unfortunately he threw in too many bogeys to threaten for the win.
Multi talented all round Mount Gambier sportsman, Bruce Morale, took the last podium prize with 80-8072.
It was a good recovery from Morale, a double bogey on the 7th threatening his round after turning with 42.
A much tighter second nine saw a much better score of 38 with just the three solitary bogeys.
Three more A graders finished tied on nett 73, including Michael Dedonatis (4), Josh Gale (6) and Ben Gordon (10) who all had to settle for a minor prize.
Last weeks second place getter in B grade, John Robertson, went one better this week, taking the win with 94-20-74.
Speaking with one of Robertson’s playing partners after the game they said they didn’t know whether to feel infuriated or impressed with his two chip-in from 20-30 metres off the green.
Despite shooting over his handicap Robertson will still be happy to have taken the win and has his sights on getting his handicap back under 18.
Having to give Robertson 7 stroke handicap advantage eventually cost Richard Evans a tilt at first place after finishing tied on 74.
Despite having a better back nine off the stick over the inward nine Evans had to settle for second after a calculated score meant he had one stroke more than Robertson.
Former feared fast bowler Martin Markiewicz has mellowed over time and now focuses his ability to playing golf and dedication resulted in a third place finish with 92-17-75.
With the wind behind his run up Markiewicz was closing quickly on the two in front of him with three pars on the 14th, 16th and 17th but a closing triple bogey saw him finish with a no ball and slip back into third place.
There was a clear winner in C grade, Jacob Reed’s nett 75 being three shots clear of the pack.
Reed, 98-23-75, had two holes on the front nine that he would like to play again but despite a horror last hole he will still be happy to take the win.
He cemented that with three gods holes through 15 to 17 that saw him walk off with par, bogey, par to show that the ability is there.
Nicholas Driver (21) and Trevor Gartside (23) tied for second with the former getting the silverware thanks to his much better back nine.
Ball winners included the unlucky Dedonatis, Gale, Gordon, Michael Watts, Stephen Easterbrook, Tim Bates, John Millhouse, Bob White, Trevor Little and Jarrod Ryan, all A graders, together with B grade’s Brett Lewis and Colin Stratford.
Monthly Medal wins went to Williams (A), Evans (B) and Reed (C).
Ladies: With the course set up to play it’s longest and hardest for the Men’s Monthly Medal it was always going to be reflected in the scoring for the ladies so a winning score of 75 nett is something Rosemary Martland should be proud of.
Playing off a 12 handicap Martland had 4 pars in her round, including the difficult 4th hole, but virtually book-ended her round with opening and closing double bogeys.
It was still a superb effort, backing up last week’s win as well.
A count back was required to separate Bev Pascoe and Beryl Mahoney for second and third after both finished on a respectable nett 77.
Pascoe (31) got the nod over Mahoney (32) thanks to her par on the 16th giving her a better back nine score.
Tuesday Someone forgot to tell Tyson Ploenges that it was the middle of winter, it was heaven underfoot and overall conditions were not conducive to scoring in Tuesday’s Stableford competition at the BLGC.
Ploenges was absolutely blistering over the front nine, his scorecard showing Birdie, Birdie, Birdie, Bogey, Birdie, Par, Par, Biride Par for a brilliant 31 off the stick and 23 points.
Starting his back nine with a couple of pars Ploenges would have been excused for thinking of what type of score he could have but the golf Gods certainly have a way of bringing you back to earth and that’s unfortunately what happened with double bogeys on the 15th and 16th.
A recovering birdie on the 17th earned him 3 points but he could only manage to add 13 points to his overall score.
It was still nine holes of faultless golf that will see the talented Ploenges soon off a scratch handicap.
Saturday’s A grade winner John Millhouse had to settle for second after surviving a count back from Graham Burke and Colin Ferguson who all tied on 35 points.
Millhouse (11) got the decision thanks to his 20 points on the inward nine from Burke (19) with 19 points and Ferguson (6) on 17 points.
Ferguson had to settle for a ball prize together with Vic Smith, Graham Johnson, Ian Bown, Garry Fox, David Quinn, David Lamont and Ray Patching while Bown cleaned out the Eagles Nest with his superb eagle on the 17th.
Millhouse added to his haul with a prize for best back nine.