A small but enthusiastic group watched some spectacular putting during the final series of this years putting competition held under lights at the Leongatha Golf Club Friday evening 23/9/2016.
It was still daylight as the finalists arrived and started practicing on the recently rolled and cut putting green. It was faster than usual. However the air soon grew chilly and frostly and the greens slowed throughout the night.
Barry Stevens played Chris Leaver and although Barry was one up early in the front nine, Chris fought back to be one up at the turn, and went on to win 3 up with 2 to go. I suppose Barry was still thinking about his great win in the Hyland Cup final the day before.
Dan Poynton then played Peter Waters in a block buster with Peter up early and winning the 9th and 10th to be 2 up. Dan stormed back to be 1 up going to the 18th. Peter again aced his putt off the tee to square the game and force it into a sudden death playoff. It was close for a number of holes and when Peter aced the 25th, Dan couldn’t match it with his putt lipping out giving Peter the win..
Shirley Welsford played Jon Smith and quickly had him 2 down after 3 holes. Jon looked rattled and Shirley remained one up at the turn before Jon settled and found his distance, to be one up by the 15th. It remained thus, until Jon aced his tee shot at the 18th and Shirley conceeded the match.
Rod Brown played Norm Hughes in the final Quarter Final match. Rod started well and was one up after two holes, Norm won at the 3rd to square the match and it remained squared until Norm aced his tee shot to win the 19th hole, and the match.
Chris Leaver played Peter Waters in another classic putting contest. Peter was one up after winning the 3rd hole and sank his tee shot on the 9th hole to turn two up. The 9th/18th hole is a 5 metre putt and was fast becoming Peter’s signature hole, as he had aced it twice by now. Peter aces the 10th also, to be three up.
Peter then three putts the 11th and 14th holes to drop to one up before Chris gets serious and aces the 15th and 16th holes to be one up. They halve the 17th and then Peter again aces the 18th to force the match into a sudden death playoff, which he wins on the 22nd hole.
Norm Hughes played Jon Smith in the second semi final and the match was a struggle as both players missed the cup by the narrowest of margins through the first nine holes. The match remained square until Jon finally nailed his putt on the 15th to go one up. There was no further change and Jon won the match, one up.
Jon Smith played Peter Waters in the final.
Peter put the pressure on Jon from the first hole by acing it and going one up. The next few holes were halved and after Peter again missed the short 4th hole to the left, spectator Trish Owen, who was very much caught up in the final, yelled at the window “Peter…I told you what to do.” I’m not sure Peter heard that advice.
At the 7th hole both players put the ball well past the hole. Peter three putted and opened the door for Jon, but alas, Jon uncharacteristically missed his second also, to square the hole and Peter remained one up going through the turn. The match remained tense as both players had putts pulling up millimetres from the cup on various holes.
But on the 15th hole, Peter aced his put and went to two up. It looked over for Jon, but not to be denied, he aced the 16th to go to one down. The 17th was squared and so they went to the 18th hole. Jon putted first and dropped his tee shot into the cup to temporarily square the match and it looked as though the match was going to a play off.
But Peter still had his putt on the 18th and as his lined up, we reflected on his record on that hole tonight sofar; 5 attempts for three aces, excellent putting no matter how you look at it. The room was still buzzing after Jon sinking his putt ,when Peter caresses his putter and the ball glides as true as an arrow across the green and into the cup. Game over. Hole halved and Peter wins the match one up.
Well done to all the finalists and especially to Jon and Peter for making the final. Congrats to Peter for the excellent display, especially on the 9th/18th hole.
What a wonderful display of matchplay putting. Those of us there to see it all had a great night’s entertainment. We hope you will share it with us next year.
A very cold but happy Peter Waters (left) and his final opponent, Jon Smith.