The 2021 Championships reached their halfway point in optimal conditions last weekend, with some new faces, some regular faces and some great play occurring across the field.
A solid field of contenders faced the starter in two grades, with the A Graders falling into the 0 - 14, playing handicap band, and the B Graders falling in the 15 - 36 category.
Come Sunday evening, we had a 3 point gap between Ben Glover leading the way for the Club Champion honour, whilst only 1 point separates Tam Kennedy from leader Harry Sachs in B Grade. In the Overall Nett honours (The McLean Gold Cup), Harry Sachs is well out in front by 6 shots at present.
With a full weekend still to come, who knows where this journey will take our golfers because even this last weekend was a tale of ebbs and flows to come even close to describing how the above players got to these positions.
Each day brings new challenges and next weekend could well be a gripping yarn or two, just not yet written.
On Saturday, we played the first round in the Championships scored as a stroke event.
As well for those not setting out on the 4 day Championship journey, a daily Stableford event was held in conjunction. The daily event saw some fantastic scoring, which resulted in newcomer Ben Lenehan and Ladies Club Champion, Jeanette Elliott inseparable on 41 stableford points or both playing 5 shots better than their handicap.
Well done to Ben and Jeanette, who picked up club vouchers for their event win. Balls went back to 36 points, proving you had to play to your handicap to be in the prizes. Ball recipients included Kevin Hoppe (40 points), Matt Piesley and Harry Sachs (38 points), and Tam Kennedy, David Solah & Ron Page (36 points).
What these results do not necessarily flesh out is the quality rounds of Kevin Hoppe - 71 (1 over par) and the ever-proud little cock rooster Harry Sachs (2 better than his handicap). But day 2 holds more.
Championship Leaderboard after Day 1
A Grade B Grade
Kevin Hoppe - 72, Tam Kennedy - 86
Matt Peisley - 77, Harry Sachs - 89
Ben Glover - 79, Ron Page - 90
Mark Parker - 79, David Solah - 93
The individual daily event was a stroke in conjunction with the daily round. The spruiker himself - Sachs the Junior, came out with an even better round and claimed the daily prize, as well as the lead in B Grade, well beyond his handicap, with his best ever round of 82 off the stick for 63 nett.
I am sure the handicapper has taken a big scythe to that handicap this week, beating it by 8 shots on the day. Balls were awarded to David Solah (68 nett), David James (69 nett), Tam Kennedy (71 nett), and Ben Glover (71 nett).
The other notable of the round, other than the fact that 5 players played to their handicap or better under Championship conditions, was that of defending Club Champion Ben Glover turned his sour Saturday around with the best round of the Championships to date on Sunday. Ben has played the course in par and was also later overheard in the club house, the round could have even been better if a troublesome glitch in the matrix had not crept in on one of the closing holes coming home. Great golf Ben!
Championship Leaderboard after Day 2
A Grade B Grade
Ben Glover - 79 | 71 = 150 Harry Sachs - 89 | 82 = 171
Kevin Hoppe - 72 | 81 = 153 Tam Kennedy - 86 | 86 = 172
Matt Peisley - 77 | 79 = 156 David Solah - 93 | 90 = 183
Mark Parker - 79 | 78 = 157 Ron Page - 90 | 95 = 185
McLean Gold Cup Standings
Harry Sachs - 70 | 63 = 133
David Solah - 71 | 68 = 139
Matt Peisley - 69 | 71 = 140
Tam Kennedy - 71 | 71 = 142
David James - 73 | 69 = 142
Dempster Cup - Club Matchplay decided
Over the course of the last month, we have seen the semi-finals and also the final played in our prestigious Club Matchplay event.
In Semi Final 1, Harry Sachs (who talks a good game in the club house), took on the ever reliable Kevin Hoppe. That should have read "took out" Kevin Hoppe, as Harry has blazed away and beaten Kevin by a considerable margin, Kevin last seen dribbling something about handicaps ...
In Semi Final 2, whilst a result was not forthcoming on the draw sheet, we had Matt Peisley victorious over Craig Henman. This paved the way for two of the biggest characters in the cub in the grand final showdown.
Without much fanfare, the boys arranged their match and took to the course. Harry has continued his heartbreaking Happy Gilmore Tour by taking poor Matt to the cleaners and claiming the event with a 6 and 5 result.
Congratulations must go to Harry Sachs, who has proven invincible in Match Play and continued his form deep into the Championships thus far as well. What I cannot get over is that Harry wants the McLean Gold Cup (a 3 foot high & heavy as hell trophy) let loose from the cabinet as his personal drinking pewter. You may take a sip from the hallowed cup on presentation weekend as long as no Panthers antics destroy the cup, which means a lot in this golf club.
This Weekend - Round 3 seeded draw
Saturday will see the seeded draw for the top placegetters in each division.
At 12.10pm, we will see the A Grade Group of Ben Glover, Kevin Hoppe and Matt Peisley take the course.
At 12.20pm, we will have the B Grade Leaders of Harry Sachs, Tam Kennedy and David Solah tee off.
All other players are encouraged to get their time slots around the premium groups named above. Day 4 (Sunday) will have tee times for the revised last day seeded draw, announced at Saturday's presentation. As always please book in via Golf Genius ahead of Saturday.
Good golfing guys.