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Junior Pennant Round 5: SGD-V-Settlers Run 22Nov2015

Results of Round 5 played at Lang Lang GC.

Wow..what an exciting finish to this 5 week pennant competition for the South Gippsland District combined under 18 Team. Many thanks goes to the families and players from Wonthaggi, Meeniyan, Philip Island, Lang Lang and Leongatha Golf Clubs who participated in the Team.

With both the Settlers Run Team and the SGD Team sitting on the top of the ladder on equal points in Section 7, a win for either side today meant a place in the finals, made of the top Club from each of the 7 Divisions.
Remembering 4 of our regular team players were away playing in the Country Club Championship at Kyneton, we called on emergencies, Joel Brann from Wonthaggi GC and Nic Buckland from Meeniyan GC to bolster our numbers to make a full team.  Many thanks to those boys for stepping in at short notice.
First Match was between Alex Geyer (Wonthaggi GC) (19) and Michelle Cuddihy (SR)(5).  Michelle has not been beaten in the past 4 matches and quickly had the match in control blasting ahead with a lead of 4 up at the turn.  Alex looked gone but knuckled down, steadied and begun playing attacking golf hitting the mark and reducing the lead to one down at the end of the 17th.  Alex continued to play steadier golf and Michele hit her approach into the 18th a little long leaving enough room for Alex to finish the hole with a great putt to win and draw the match. A great comback snatching a drawn from the jaws of defeat.
Playing with this group was Joel Brann (Wonthaggi GC)(23) playing Connor Donnelly (SR) (5).  This was closely fought all day with Joel swapping the lead with Connor every few holes and going into the final hole 1 up. In a tense finish Connor recovered from a wayward drive from the 17th faiway and Joel left his chip to the green in the bunker and Connor putted out to win the 18th and force a drawn game.  This was as close to a win as it gets and a well fought out game by Joel against an extremely good opponent never the less.
The next group saw Jacob Taberner (Lang Lang GC)(29) playing Jack Harrison (SR)(12). Jack got the jump on Jacob and led the early stages 2up, but Jacob got over his early nerves and began striking his drives and approach shots and fought back to be 1 down going into the 18th.  Both players left their approach shots off the 18th green, Jacob above the hole over the back, and Jack pin high off the right fringe. Jack putted on, leaving an uphill putt of 1.5m and then Jacob send down a beautiful 15 metre putt for the win but just lipped out of the hole.  Both boys putted out for a draw on this hole but Jack held onto his lead finishing 1up. So close.
Nic Buckland (Meeniyan GC) (32) playing Spyke Mepstead (SR)(35) also played in this group. Nic was another who stepped into the team today his opponent proved to be more consistent than Nic in the early stages building an strong lead.  Spyke had the answers whenever Nic looked like challenging and eventually closed out the match 6/5.
So at this stage we have two drawn games and two losses.  But we still have two players to go.
Unfortunately for Jessica Harry (LGC) her SR opponent did not show up and she took a win from the match .  I know Jess would rather have gone around and won on her merits but we thank her for the way in which she accepted the win, and the dissappointment. One for us.
Last match was Will Christensen (Lang Lang GC)(34) playing Matt Phillips (SR)(36). They played as a pair.  Will started off by sacking his caddie (mum Kelly) because “she makes me too nervous”. So I walked around with Will.  He won the first hole with a great approach chip and one putt and then quickly gave up the second after a missed drive.  The match continued like this through the front 9 with Will recounting on most fairways the shots he played in recent matches whilst todays efforts didn’t often resemble those results.  He trailed by one going into the nineth but finshed square, saved by better putting on the greens.
On the back 9, Will consolidated early by winning the 10th and 11th before losing the 12th. Will finally got the snap hook out of his tee shots and his solid driving saw him win 13, and then 14. Matt was not going down willingly and took the par 3 -15th when Will duffed his tee shot after recounting to me his previous successful assualt on that hole.
On the 16th Matt looked likely to win after his approach landed on the fringe and Will was in the bunker. Will chipped out of the bunker then left his putt 10cm from the cup. This left Matt with two putts to win the hole but alas his yips continued and three putts saw the hole squared.
2 up two to go.  The 17th is played and after 3 shots, each were wide of the green with Will on the left and Matt on the right side.  Matt chips 15 metres and lands 1.2 metres from the hole.  Will chips onto the fringe from 5 metres and the ball stops 3 metres from the pin.  He takes out his trusty putter and sweetly sinks the putt. Matt lips out, the story of his day, and the match is over, Will wins 3/1. Will puts away his putter in the bag and turns to me and says “you know, I’ve haven’t lost this pennant season”. ….aahh, Just another day at the office.
The Team earned a hard fought draw with Settlers Run.  Who goes into the finals is anyones guess.  It may all depend on the third placed team of Kew2 who could leapfrog both of us with a win today, or there could be a three way tie if Kew2 draw their match.
A big thanks to Lang Lang GC and Ruth May for the great Course and refreshments and for keeping the Clubhouse open for us to finish presentations today.

Andy Bassett
Assisting Junior Golf
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