Harden's title defence of the summer Inter District Competition got off to a positive start in round 1 of the Scott Fuller Shield at Temora last Sunday.
Despite a few members being away due to illness, holidays or other commitments, fielding 10 pairs reinforced the dynamic showing on course to set Harden up in the lead position.
A great pairing in the four-ball format, Harden's winners were Matt Minehan and Ashley Hall with the best score in for the field at 52 points and loving the flat, wide fairways at Temora. Runners-up for Harden went to the mercurial pairing of Ron Page and Kevin Hoppe, who had 49 points.
Harden's balls went back to 46 points and were awarded to Kyle Murray and Nathan Hawkins on 47 points, Nathan Schofield and Andrew Jones on 46 points, and Mark Parker and Jamie Parker, also 46 points. Even the last pairing presented with 42 points, which gave Harden's pointscore a massive chance, with the all important 8th combo on 43 points in the score averaging team format.
The day ended with the points as follows:
Harden 10 pairs (8 min + 2 x 0.5 travel bonus) + 1.0 pts
Average top 8 scores + 46.625; total + 47.625
Temora 19 pairs (home team= no travel bonus) + 0.0 pts
Average top 8 scores + 45.25; total + 45.25
Cootamundra 6 pairs (8 min - 6 x 2.0 travel bonus) - 12.0 pts
Average top 6 scores + 41.667; total + 29.667
The next round of the shield is at Harden on January 19 when, as home team, no travel points will be on offer.
Kevin Hoppe has been in fine form this autumn. In taking out Saturday's Harden Country Club trophy, he put together a round of 72 (one-over par) to record 42 stableford points off his handicap of 7. A great round and no doubt the chances to go deep under par were there, but slipped through his fingers.
In a strung-out field of scores, runner-up and first ball went to Eric Kuhn on 40 points, while Darrell Cassidy claimed the other ball with 36 points on a countback from Ronnie Page.
Taking out the midweek 12-hole comp was Grahame Taylor, who knocked out 27-point and 26-point rounds in his two showings.
Marj Manwaring and Bob Martin tied for third after Taylor took the first two places on the podium. The mystery ball went to Bill Kildea.
This week, all members are being invited to play in a country club individual stableford.