Beautiful sunny warm conditions and some really close matches were the making of a great afternoon / evening for the quarters, semi’s and grand final rounds, of the 2018 Putting Competition.
Of the 64 players that were all inspired to take out the winner’s trophy, Friday afternoon saw the final eight players fight it out.
Qrtr Finals & Semi Finals:
1st match up saw Mother and Son, Bec and Lachlan Thomas head to the putting green.
Lachlan was under the gun from the start, and even though mum was full of support for Lachlan, one could see that Bec was in pennant form and went on to beat Lachlan 6/5.
Match 2, was the battle between Norm Hughes and Hugh Goodman, during which we saw a number of one putts dropping on both sides, and the contest go through the full circuit to the 18th, with Hugh winning on the last. This match was certainly one of the closest of the night and could have gone either way.
Match 3 brought out the reigning title holder in Craig Hams against Pennant Div 4 Captain, Chris Indian. Chris was as usual in his happy state, but Craig had his competition hat on. The lead changed several times, but in the end, Craig won 3/2.
Match 4 was a forfeit to Rod Hopcraft by Andrew Henley who was otherwise engaged in playing his Hyland Cup match against Phillipe du Plessis. I think Andrew new which event he had at least an even chance in and he eventually earned a hard fought victory on the 18th hole. Meanwhile Rod was seeking a few tips from wife Neryl on how best to distract Beck during their impending match.
First semi final saw Rod play Bec, and even though Rod was living the dream of having 5 straight one putts to beat his opponent and make the finals, he couldn’t replicate that form early in this contest. The contest had lead changes all though the front nine until Bec took charge during the back nine and put her foot on the accelerator, securing a place for herself in the Grand Final with a 3/2 win over Rod.
Next semi final had Hugh and Craig locking horns, and the lead seesawed right up until the last four holes, where Craig dug deep and finally got over the top of Hugh with a 2up win on the 18th.
Well the spectators couldn’t have asked for a better grand final between Bec and Craig. You could have billed this match up as Little Bo Beep verses (not so) Nasty Canasta.
The Club house was pumping and the BBQ and salads were going down quicker than Winx, which the BBQ jockey Greg Ellt, Roz and the volunteers had well prepared for the evening. The women golfers out to support Beck well out numbered the men supporters for Craig and the chirping was deafening.
Pro Pin Chip Off
During the break before the Grand final of the Putting Comp, Tyler took a number of the Pro Pin winners over to the 18th for the Pro pin Chip Off. The Chip Off final was played from a spot 54 metres to the centre of the 18th green behind the bunkers. A testing distance to say the least, as not a full stroke for any of the players, depending on their choice of irons.
Craig, ready and primed for the Putting final, was first to chip and caressed his three attempts over the bunker, landing one shot within easy putting distance from the pin, for him. He had set the bar which the others had to beat.
Garry Friend, our newest member of the Men’s Committee, was distracted during his chipping by a heckler, and fell short on a usual strength.
Ron Paice chipped well but couldn’t stop one any closer to the pin, neither could the “cream” of the Men’s field Thommo or Chris Leaver, improve on Craigs deft shot.
Pro Pin Chip Off Champ Craig Hams (in hat) and the vanquished.
One title down for Craig, now for the Putting Comp. Craig was on a high, while Bec had her usual pre-game, relaxing cup of coffee.
Putting Comp Grand Final
LGC’s own “Leo Scullion” of the putting green, George Misson had kept excellent control of the matches and handled the pin markers and pace of play with aplomb. His one finger, two finger or fist pumped clear messaged to the watching throng as to what the score was, at any given time. The finals had gone like clock work and now for the big one, and so the battle began.
Like most of the other matches, the lead changed hands early and for a number of holes including the 9th, the match was square with some good second putts keeping it so. The 10th, 11th,12th,13th,14th,15th and 16th were played and the match still square.
Then on the 17th the break was made. Beck slipped a 6 metre putt across the green and into the hole with the balls’ last roll, much to the delight of the crowd in the Club House. Craig was cordial in his praise to Beck for the good putt then settled to send his own ball on a very similar line, only to see it slide past over the edge of the hole. His reaction told the story. They were going into the final hole, Beck 1 up.
They played out the 18th which was a 7 metre putt which both wanted to ace. When Bec’s putt slipped bye, Craig knew his would be sink or swim. He dare not leave it short. The putt was well weighted but Craig followed it down the rink like a Thursday night bowler, knowing the title of Putting Champ for 2018 was firmly in the grasp of Bec Thomas. Well done to Bec and all the finalists
Putting Champ Bec Thomas, Craig Hams & Referee George Misson.
To wrap up the evening 10 players and spectators (including Darren from Welshpool) took grip of their favourite driver and let let fire three balls from the black tombstones down the 1st fairway. In the fading light, Tyler played catcher and with his laser, measured any balls which landed near him on the fairway. Best driver off the Black went eventually to Michael Thomas with a best distance of approximately 282 metres, followed by Chris Indian some 20 metres astern.
Longest driver, Michael Thomas with his weapon.
Overall a great night was had by all. Only thing that would have made it a better night was you. See you all in 2019.