It seemed incredibly unfair that we could be enjoying a day of golf on a beautiful day when not far from us, so many people continue to suffer from the devastating effects of the cyclone. Our thoughts are certainly with those who have been impacted.
The goal for the day was to register a first team win and our lead-out pairing of Conrad Shanly and John Ryan got the ball rolling for us. Behind early, both were able to work their way back to hold leads in all three matches. With the added pressure of John needing to get away to a wedding, he was hoping to finish things as quickly as possible but their opponents were in no mood to make things easy. They kept things tight and all three matches were alive heading to the 17th tee. Conrad would finish his singles match and the four ball on the 17th green with 2/1 and 3/1 victories respectively but John needed to head to the 18th. With little golf under his belt recently, John did well to finish off a tight match with a one up win. He will, however, have some explaining to do when we next gather as a group. How and why does one end up standing in the carpark with a towel around them, waiting for their partner to deliver them underwear?
The sun glistened off the heads of our next pairing as they headed down the first hole, reminding us of the beautiful conditions, although still a little wet under foot. David Cook went about building a solid lead, getting as far ahead as five up at one point. Gavin Harris was not able to do the same and was just behind in his match for the majority of the day. Gavin would contribute to a well-earned half in the four ball but struggled to cut into his opponents lead in his singles match, losing 3/2. A number of the Judgeford players started a little slowly but adjusted to the conditions well as their rounds progressed. This was certainly the case for Cooky’s opponent who went about clawing his way back from five down to finish the match all square. Cooky described his match as “a game of two halves”. Not very original but certainly very accurate! Four points from the first six on offer was a solid start for the team.
We were all thrilled to welcome Toby Tuoro to the lineup and looked forward to what he and playing partner, George Deans, could produce for the team. As Toby pumped a drive down the first he was promptly congratulated but also made aware of the fact that he had just been fined for wearing a “Paraparaumu” bucket hat! Toby was a little wayward off the tee throughout the rest of his round but frustrated his opponent by hitting some superb approach shots from fairways other than his own. He became a little distracted after losing his vape on the 12th but was able to maintain enough focus to secure a 3/2 win. George fell behind early, possibly distracted by his overreaction to being “hit up on” on the second hole, but he soon got back to playing some solid golf to build a lead. With he and Toby also combining well in the four ball match, the pair was able to bank all three points. Toby won 3/2, George 2/1 and a 3/2 win in the four-ball format capped off a good day for this pairing.
A first-hole bogey from Nathan Frew was not the start he was looking for, falling behind at the outset. Maybe this was due to the dizziness he was feeling from being yoyoed up and down the order for the last three matches! He played his best golf of the day through holes two to six, getting to a one up lead at this point. Unfortunately the only momentum built from there was in the wrong direction. He would lose seven of the next eight holes to crumble to a disappointing 6/4 loss. Simon Buckley played his usual solid golf to frustrate his opponent. He was always in control of his match and finally closed the deal on the 15th green with an impressive 4/3 win. Being three down in the four ball format on the 15th tee, Nathan and Simon went about attempting a late come back. With the singles matches all completed, they combined well down the stretch to put the pressure on but ultimately came up just short. With Nathan’s attempt at birdie on the last only touching the edge of the hole rather than dropping, their opponent had the luxury of only needing a two-putt from 10 feet to halve the hole and win the match one up. A disappointing one point from the three on offer in this group.
So it was up to our final group to finish things off. Brent Mackenzie is always going to be tough for any opponent to beat at home and this proved to be the case again today. He had to work hard for it but was able to earn a good 2/1 win. Unfortunately, playing partner Peter Jackson suffered a defeat by the same margin. Acknowledging that he didn’t have his best stuff and wondering whether his day would have been better spent mowing his lawns, Jacko was disappointed but planned to head out for another round the following day to “sort things out”. Brent and Jacko were in a tight tussle in the four ball. One up heading to the 18th tee, those of us out supporting were confident the pair could finish the deal but when one of their opponents stuck their second to 10 feet, some doubt crept in. Thankfully, Brent was able to produce a clutch lag putt to have his birdie conceded, leaving the final result hinging on the result of their opponents eagle attempt. After watching a number of similar scenarios go in favour of our opponents last week, we finally got the rub of the green as we watched the eagle attempt slide by the edge of the hole.
With a final result of 10 – 5, the team goal of getting our first win was achieved and some refreshments were enjoyed alongside the Division 7 team who had an impressive 12.5 – 2.5 win. A good result for the club all around!
The Division 2 team heads to BFHGC in two weeks time to try and keep the winning momentum going.