Merrigum’s men’s club championships got under way on Saturday, another perfect day for golf.
It will be another week or two before we can sort out the contenders from the pretenders because, as has been the case for many years now, only the best three rounds of four count towards the final score.
The original idea behind this was to give those who were unable to play four consecutive rounds a chance to still be part of the championships.
A by-product of this is that those who blow up in one round can drop that score if they play all four rounds.
Russell Speed has been in hibernation for quite a while but must have been honing his skills somewhere in his absence because he blitzed the field and won C-grade with a score of 97-33-64, four shots ahead of the next best for the day.
Russ has been a much better golfer than his handicap suggests but has only come back to the game sporadically in the past 12 months or so after many years away from it, so we can expect his handicap to come down as he plays more often.
In fact, he lost more than four shots from his handicap on Saturday.
Bruce Brown set the pace in A-grade and the club champion title race with a score of 80-12-68.
He had the best scratch score of the day, four ahead of two players, and looks to be the one to beat for the club champion title given his ability to consistently shoot about the 80 mark.
John Fuller was the B-grade winner with a round of 84-15-69 and, as one of two players in second place with that scratch score (the other being A-grade’s Wayne Thorson), John and players in any grade are eligible to win the club championship.
Ball competition winners were Greg Hall and Tony Borrelli, both with 71.
Nearest-the-pins went to Greg Hall on the sixth, Phil Savage on the ninth and Bruce Brown on the 14th. Surprisingly on such a benign day, the jackpot 12th didn’t go off, so there will be some extra cash up for grabs next week.
This Saturday is the second round of the club championships and the Privilege Cup is also up for grabs.
Players will also compete for Bruce Brown’s voucher and least putts sponsored by Simon and Tash Doherty.
— Bill Bray