A weekend of weather perfect for golf ensured that the final two rounds of the Club Championships would bring some exciting play. And so it proved for although the scores were not startling, every grade was contested very keenly. In the end John Betland kept his form to take the top honours.
The 3rd round of the Mens Championships, sponsored by Lachlan Commodities, was played on Saturday. Again a strong field of 71 were keen to make this ‘moving day’ and get right in contention. The scores were characterised by nothing startling, with even par being considered a winner.
In the A-Grade, John Betland continued his dominance with a 68 Scratch score. The second round leader, Steve Betland, did not fare well, letting John establish an eight shot lead. Dan Bayley was the best of the remaining A-graders, scoring a 70 scratch and building a nine shot lead for the Handicap honours.
The A-Reserve Grade saw Terry Griffiths surge to the lead with a well composed 87, nett 75, to hold a two shot lead over Barry Shine. Four players shared the second best scores of the day, being 89 scratch.
The B-Grade could be described as having a runaway leader. Robb Webb fired an 84 to lead the grade by five shots from Peter Grayson (89) and Ian Bown (93). But only two to four shots further back is a bevy of seven players who all could shoot a blinder if the leaders falter.
The C-Grade had a similar situation, with Rod Besgrove (96) leading the way by four shots from Ash Tucker (97), with a further four shots back to Craig Barrett (93). But big swings can be the order of the day for this grade to anything can happen.
The Daily comp, sponsored by Pool Magic, recognised the best achievers of the day.
The A-division was won by Dan Bayley (66 nett) from John Betland (69 nett). Dan was 2-under for the day, owning the front-9. John shot 5-under, in a round that tore the back-9 apart, starting with three birdies.
The B-division was won by Dave Rhodes (70 nett) from a determined Michael Browne (71 nett). Both players could have done better if only a few more putts had dropped.
The ball sweep went to 74 on count back, going to: 66 – D Bayley; 69 – J Betland; 70 – R Rhodes, M Collits, J Haley; 71 – C McMillan, M Browne, R Webb; 72 – S McAlister; 73 - S Grallelis, Martin Woods, B Chandler, C Barrett, P Cowhan; 74 – R Morris, R Nixon, M Wood and G Drane.
The NTP’s went to: ninth – D Clarke; 18th – M Haley. With longer tee placings and tricky pin placements there were only seven 2’s scored. Peter Dawson scored the best two of the day, this on the first and starting his round well.
Martin Woods was the only visitor, and found the course to his liking.
It is very pleasing, but often rare in golf, when your intended shot actually happens. So it was for Terry Griffiths on the second.
His third shot to the green was a sweetly struck six iron which landed on the front of the green, travelled towards the pin and disappeared. All in the group thought it had gone over the back, and a quick search found nothing. Then Terry looked in the hole and there was his ball. Yippee!
And now for a few stories about the not so good shots. Stuart French seemed like he was in the trees all day. Certainly every tee shot struck a tree.
But the ‘tree strike’ record goes to Steve Bate. Almost every shot hit a tree somewhere. On the sixth tee, he hit a different tree to that which one of his group had hit. But the best was on the 16th. Here he lined up the big gum in the middle of the fairway, called it from the tee, and hit it dead centre. How’s that! he exclaimed.
Peter Cowhan and Andrew Grierson had five tee shots between them on the seventh. A few OB’s and a ‘hit wire’ meant they spent longer on the tee than expected. And Marty Cahill went backwards on the 17th. His tee shot finished in the practice fairway.
He lashed out to carry the trees, struck one dead centre, causing the ball to re-bound backwards finishing well behind the Ladies tee. That made for a long hole.
There is some good fortune. Brian Everest “scunged” his tee shot off the 9th. The ball skipped on the water a couple of times, hit the rocks on the far side and carried up high, finishing left of the green. However, he only managed a ‘5’.
The 4th round was played on Sunday, and was blessed with a solid field of 51 players. This is the day it all comes down to, with pressure being felt by some players.
In the A-grade, John Betland started badly, being three over after four holes but parred his way home. Meanwhile Steve Betland was doing well, being two under after seven, but then things started to drift away.
But the best scores for the day were 75’s returned by Peter Dawson and Dan Bayley.
The A Reserve saw a streak of lightning as Doug Churchill went round in 83, five shots better than Terry Griffiths with a tidy 88.
In the B grade for many it was a case of what might have been. Many of the contenders had one of those rounds that is the stuff of nightmares. Robb Webb stumbled with a 92 but managed to hang onto the lead in front of a fast finishing Scott Kirkman (88).
The C-grade remained tight to the end. Rod Besgrove (100) ‘raised his bat’ but led by one shot from Craig Barrett (93) who had the equal best score for this group. Unfortunately, Ash Tucker drifted off into the distance.
In the Daily Comp, the A-division was won by D Churchill (71 nett) on count back from P Dawson. In the B-division, the winner was a steady playing C Alley (nett 71) ahead of A Alley (71). The NTP’s went to: ninth – N McMillan; 18th – M Browne. Michael’s shot was almost the last of the day.
Neil McMillan had the shot of the day. On the ninth it finished only five centmeters from the cup, and that much short of a hole in one. Another contender for this title was Robb Webb’s tee shot on the 13th.
It sailed into the trees on the left, but no one saw it drop. A concerted search ended when someone noticed it still perched in the tree, which Robb deemed unplayable. He was not going to do a ‘Sergio’.
Unfortunately, many on the Sunday had more than a few terrible shots in their game. Both John and Steve Betland were not immune either. Clayton Alley always seems to find the trees on the 15th, and Al Rees had trouble getting off the tee, sometimes heading sideways.
The Winners list comprises:
- A grade Stroke – Winner: J Betland (285); Runner-up: D Bayley (296).
- A grade Handicap – Wnr: D Bayley (276); Rup: J Betland (293).
- A Reserve – Winner: T Griffiths (347); Runner-up: D Churchill (349) on count back.
- B grade Stroke – Wnr: R Webb (352); Rup: S Kirkman (355).
- B grade H’cap – Wnr: D Rhodes (290); Rup: J Haley (298).
- C grade Stroke – Wnr: R Besgrove (382); Rup: C Barrett (383).
- C grade H’cap – Wnr: G Drane (292); Rup: A Alley (296).
- Veterans Stroke – Wnr: M Collits (318); Rup: T Griffiths (347).
- Veterans H’cap – Wnr: G Drane (292); Rup: R Besgrove (298).
- Junior Stroke – Cam McMillan (320).
- Junior H’cap – Cam McMillan (296).
-by Short Putt