Final of BJS Insurance Top Gun Shootout Sunday 6/11/2016
Sunday 6th of November was the final of the BJS Insurance Top Gun Shootout at LGC. Nineteen players had recorded qualifying stableford rounds, of between 37 points and 40 points during the 12 week qualifying period. Today’s Shootout will determine the Top Gun.
The Top Gun field and marshall Trevor Steer.
The field encountered a wet and windy start and Bruce Cathie goes to take his second shot on the first.
At the end of the first hole, two players had wipes (0 points). Ian Murchie and Frank Gill played the first chip off from a point off the green, with the winner being the player landing the chip closest to the pin. Unfortunately for Frank, his chipping was still astray, and Ian progressed to the second.
Pop Gun 2015 (Keith Godridge on right) commiserates with first player eliminated in 2016 (affectionately known as Pop Gun), Frank Gill
The contests continued for four hours until players broke for lunch after completing the first nine holes. There had been some sensational golf played already, sadly mixed with some real shockers. There had been chip off’s on all nine holes thus far, with multiple players in most chip offs.
|Start Rank||Eliminated||Hole out|
At the turn, there were some big names following the quest after being knocked out, none bigger than 2014 Top Gun, Kev Castwood.
The contests continued on the back nine and heads were rolling;
|Start Rank||Eliminated||Hole out|
Marea Maher continued to hold the Ladys’ torch high and was playing some magnificent golf. The bookies had shortened the odds on a Maher-v-Maher final shootout, as husband Geoff was also playing solid golf.
But alas, Marea met her demons in the swale beside the 15th green and burned a precious shot when it failed to reach up onto the green and rolled back to her feet.
Marea Maher about to try putting up the hill on the 15th.
This left Geoff Maher, Jon Smith, Ian Murchie and Bruce Hutton to fight out the last three holes, beginning on the 16th. Geoff, Ian and Bruce had safe tee shots landing each of them on or near to the green.
Jon Smith however, cringed when he watched his drive travel high right of the green into the bush. A provisional also took a similar path and all looked lost for Jon.
A big crowd gathered to see if this was the end for Jon Smith on the 16th.
But crafty Jon found his original ball and called it unplayable, went back to the tee and played it landing more respectfully, just short of the green, chipped close, and sunk the putt to make it 5-1 point. Ian birdied the hole and Geoff parred the hole.
Bruce, just short of the green, chipped short then watched as his putt slide past the edge of the hole for a tap in 4-1 point. The chip off said it all- Jon dodged a bullet by winning the chip off.
The 17th again looked lost for Jon when he clipped the trees on the right with his drive, leaving himself under the trees some 60 metres behind Geoff and Ian, who were well placed in the centre of the fairway.
Jon then produced a beautiful long shot which ended in front of the green some 25 metres out. Geoff ‘s 2nd landed above and behind the green to have a down hill shot to the pin.
Ian found the bunker, then produced a very good bunker shot to leave a shortish putt, which he made, to be in for par.
Geoff then played on, and watched in horror as his ball rolled past the pin and onwards towards the bunker, but fortunate enough to see it dribble left of the bunker and come to rest in the 2nd cut on the fringe. Geoff two putted from there to be in for 5-2.
John chipped up close, landing slightly below the hole and it looked “good night for Geoff”, as Jon putted for par. His metre putt shaved the hole for a tap in 5-2. That miss proved fatal for Jon as Geoff then won the subsequent chip off and the final shootout was set between Ian Murchie and Geoff Maher.
The beauty of the Top Gun events is that you never know who is going to win until the very last shot. After seven and a half hours they were finally on the 18th tee. Ian had been involved in the chip off on the very first hole and could have been the Pop Gun if he had been eliminated. Actually Ianplayed been in a total of 6 chip off’s during this round.
Geoff had played more solid golf, but still had played in two chip off’s so was counting his lucky stars as well.
Geoff teed off first and played a long straight drive landing 20 metres short of the “drain. Ian then teed off and saw his drive hook into the trees on the left, short of the “track” through to the 15th. He was in trouble.
Ian’s drive landed 1 metre in from the edge of the fairway and and about 5 -10 cm’s off the ground in the branches of a native bush. ( I thought he might ask for relief from the ant nest)
But undaunted, Ian made his stance and managed to chip out onto the edge of the fairway watched by his opponent and an enthralled mob.
The final was hotting up, Geoff belted a long second shot which landed sweetly just behind the bunker with a great view of the pin.
Ian played a long third shot which again found the jungle on the inside right corner of the fairway just 25 metres from the green. He found his ball on the very outside of of the corner under a tree covered in long grass, a very tricky shot indeed, was needed.
Things didn’t look good for Ian but he played his miraculous 4th shot which thrashed out from under the tree with grass flying everywhere as the ball appeared from nowhere, and rolled across the front and onto the green finishing 10 metres behind the pin.
Meanwhile, Geoff took out his trusty lob wedge which had worked for him all day. After careful preparation, he played the lob which arched high into the sky towards the pin in a direct line, but sadly it landed about 50 cms short of the green, in the bunker. Another wayward bunker shot left Geoff hitting his 5th shot, which cleared the bunker striking the top of the pin, and landing about 3 metres short of the pin.
Both players holed out in two more shots giving the win to Ian Murchie by one shot on the 18th after 8 hours of golf. A good win to Ian who is a deserved Top Gun for 2016. A mighty fight from Geoff Maher was appreciated the crowd too.
Jon Smith, Trevor Steer, Top Gun Ian Murchie & runner up, Geoff Maher
I’m sure Geoff and the rest of the field will be back for another shot next year.
We hope to see you there too.
Well done to our Chief Marshall Trevor Steer, his assistants including Wendy Brown and Jill, the bar crew for Lunch, and all the spectators.
Special thanks go to our Sponsor Tom Williamson and BJS Insurance for their continued support.