Whilst I don’t know for sure, I think I can safely say that in terms of financial lay down I am Pedro Powers biggest customer on tour. As such the PEDRO MASTERS with it’s unique betting format and rich purse is one of my favourite events on the tour calendar.
In the Captains own tongue, the event can be described as ‘one of character incorporating an 18 hole individual Stapleforth and unique format devised by the Professor’. This years event was certainly no let down and on behalf of the GS I would like to take this opportunity to thank him for his efforts.
The day started well, the TD was driving and collected me on time. The TD collecting me had a double bonus, firstly it meant I could relax in the comfort of the Saab 93 and secondly it meant that the TD’s booze consumption would be limited. Next stop was Chez Austhuizen – after a brief inspection of Bombers handy work in the new kitchen and a little chat with the Huizen’s Mrs and little Amy Austin the clubs were loaded and we would depart for Cambridge. At this point I feel compelled to report that Bomber’s work in Austs kitchen looked excellent, Noz informs me that his day rate is £85, so If you need some work doing at home and like me you can’t be arsed with DIY, Bomber is your man. Also it was a pleasure to meet Amy Austin for the first time, she really is a gorgeous little girl (she must get if from her mother!), as she matures in years surely she will become so proud to hear that she has a superb golf tournament named after her.
Only one stop for Costa broke up a seamless transportation from Austhuizen’s to Cambridge. We bumped into the Web Donk at the services, although he did not indulge in Costa, opting for a couple of bottles of coke instead. Arrival at the Menzies Cambridge Hotel and Golf Club would follow shortly after Costa.
By the time we arrived everyone was already there and the pre match bacon sangers soon arrived – as reported by the Donk, the bacon to bread ratio was pleasing, unlike paying £3.30 pint of Carling. Everyone weighed the TD in with the good value for money GS entry fee before picking lots from the Cap’n for their turn to place a bet with Pedro Power on the PEDRO MASTERS, this process really highlights how totally unconnected The WHVGS and Pedro Power are.
Pedro Power is a huge supporter of the PEDRO MASTERS even though it is a totally separate entity and not at all connected. It funds a lucrative final fourball nearest the pin competition for the 3 members who wager the most – those lucky 3 players also have the opportunity to play with The Cap’n which is always a good opportunity to learn something. Noz just missed out of the final 4 ball when his £17 wager was usurped by Brucey (£20), The Pres (£21) and The PR (£25). I can confirm that I did learn something that day – ‘100% of short putts do not go in’ The Cap’n informed me of this on about 12 of the 18 greens as my ball finished shy of the hole.
As we arrived on the first tee we realized how windy it was, Cambridge Golf Club was going to be playing tough today. I nipped off for a piss in the bushes by the first tee, when I looked down I discovered I was pissing on a dead rabbit – strange, It reminded me of the ‘Dead Rabbits’ from Gangs of New York, a great film, if you have not seen it go and rent it.
The final fourball got off to a pretty good start and the scoring through the first 9 was pretty good from 3 of us – The Cap’n was nursing a bad back, an injury picked up when moving flats a week or two before and it seemed to be affecting those all important power shots in his game.
My game was pretty solid, only one bogey and a par nett bogey (don’t you just love those) on the front 9 saw me turn with 19 points, the highlight being an eagle 3 on the par 5 7th, Brucey was only 3 points behind on 16. We had heard mutterings on the course that Bacon was once again on fire and looking at his card post the match it proved the mutterings were indeed true as he turned in 20 points.
The PEDRO MASTERS was an opportunity to try and get within striking distance of OOM leader Bacon, ahead of the final showdown only weeks away in Dartmouth. This for me was the main objective, fuelled by a £25 wager at 4-1 with Pedro Power at the beginning of the season for Ron to win The OOM – Later I would learn the meaning of bitter/sweet success.
Some interesting holes on the back 9 awaited, particularly the 16th where our tournament sponsor had devised another of his fining mechanisms payable by every player who missed the fairway – With a real show of GS driving accuracy all 11 players missed the fairway so the fines accumulated to the pleasure of the eventual recipient; the player finishing in 2nd place.
I made a solid start to the back 9 as did Brucey, but The Pres was on fire and showing glimpses of the form that netted him the green jacket a couple of years earlier with 7 points from two holes (10th & 11th). It was time to knuckle down and grind out a few pars to try and win my group and find out my fate.
The final hole was a straight par 5 with drink all the way down the right hand side and a couple of brooks crossing the fairway. It was not the best hole The Pres had ever played, his ball seeing the water on 3 occasions which added to the fining tally for 2nd place and also saw him take the title of player with most fines on the day – this of course was joy to the Web Donk’s ears who had placed a specialist bet (£5 at 8-1) for The Pres to take this title – a hammering for Pedro Power.
Two putts from the side of the green would be enough for my closing birdie, 39 points, the Major Title, £40 1st Prize and an almighty handicap chop. This is the bitter/sweet part – the success of winning and closing the gap on Bacon Bonce in the OOM standings bitterly damped by the handicap hatchet slicing through the very heart of my OOM winning opportunities at the Jug weekend with a cut from -1 to -4. To put this new handicap into perspective I did a little research to find out the club playing handicaps of the current England Amateur Golf First Team – Out of 6 there is only one player on -4….However I am delighted to win and will be heading to the Amy Austin and Claret Jug energized and focused, although if I were you I wouldn’t put a wager on me!
I would like to now give thanks to the caterers at Cambridge Golf Club for putting on some lovely food, the Cap’n for organizing a great event, my playing partners for their excellent company during the day and of course the governing body of our sport – the WHVGS Board for guiding the Society to the heights that it enjoys today.
One apology is from me to Noz, for my failure in bringing the WHV Shark to Cambridge. I of course will accept the punishment which is no doubt coming my way at the Jug Event – I have already purchased a £34 bottle of 20 year aged Tawny for general consumption at the AGM due to previous misdemeanors.
Please find the list of winners and money earners detailed below, Cheers Ron:
1st Place – Ron (£40)
2nd Place – Campo (£33.50)
Big Dog – Ads (£15)
Shark – Noz (£15)
There were of course several other payouts by Pedro Power, I suspect this was a bad day at the office for our official GS bookmaker.