As usual on the eve of a WHV event, the donk was up late, this time updating his new DonkaMetrics for career stats. Still, I didn’t have to get up till half six, which is an hour after a certain Mrs Brown posted a comment on the new stats. Ron’s Mrs had been using his laptop for Facebook again, but he was still online at half five in the morning – he was obviously pumped for one of the majors missing from his collection.
Also as usual on presidents day, the members arrived in dribs and drabs, looking bleary eyed, and looking for their coffee and bacon butty. Rob is looking thinner and thinner.
There were some strange rules in place for the singles, due to having 13 men in the afternoon, 4 of whom were needed at onions wedding in the evening, but the usual draw and pairings were made. It sounded like the other teams enjoyed the kind of tight fights I was used to in previous events, but Noz and I had drawn the unstoppable force of Adam and Ron. Giving a scratch golfer a stroke a hole is tough, and he was genuinely annoyed when we halved the second – he wanted to record a 10&8 victory. He holed his pitch from the middle of the first fairway and then proceeded to take the short, but on the fairway drives from mr Hogarth, blasting in long irons and rescues to match or better the best efforts on our side. Ron has a new toy, not for him the iPhone app that has done nothing but distract Bruce for two events now. No, Ron needs to “paint his target” with his laser rangefinder so he knows where to drop his 3 iron. And indeed he did, all morning. Noz and I only screwed up on the tenth, three putting when they were bunkered. On the 15th, we played a perfect hole, not needing to hole out the gimme from the pitch. Ron missed their twenty footer, but ads tramlined it to halve the hole in gross birdie. We’d lost 6&4 by then, we also lost the front and back nines comprehensively without playing poor golf.
It was amusing to see Ron and Ads manage to drive their buggy into a gps protected area at lunchtime and get stranded. The starter also told us about the ongoing scourge of buggy theft and pranking they’re suffering, which is why some members had to walk the afternoon round. Pedro was oblivious to all this, as he appeared to spend the whole of the lunch break on the phone, and we dont think it was a work related call.
After our standard lunch, the afternoon matches eventually got underway as other groups were sent out ahead of us, much to the chagrin of the captain. 5 hours in the morning, 5 and a half in the afternoon. No comment from me as I quite like the course, but at my age and standard of fitness, you do get tired, even in a buggy, after 4 o’clock.
Playing with Rob and Bruce, we quickly collectively had too many blobs to think we were in with a sniff. I managed to put at least one ball in each water hazard on the first five holes. But then I retained the shark by hitting the pin at the fourth. Missed the birdie putt though. This was also just three holes after the Idiot placed a long odds wager with Betron on an ace.
We were close enough on some tees and holes to keep up with the groups behind and ahead of us, and turning with 15 suggested that Bruce was doing OK, as were Ron and Noz and Millers and Ads. Sat waiting in the buggy on the tenth (happily the skipper had told the club not to send off another three sets of duffers in front of us), Bruce and I discussed how the new handicapping system was helping us have competitive golf again. We also considered that, but for the old three stab and duffer chip, we were both there or thereabouts and with some decent course management and concentration we could do a Bacon and clean up.
For once, even though Rob convinced us to start gambling 50p each on holes and shots, I did my best to concentrate, and by the time we got to the top of the hill at the 16th we knew that at least five of us were in with a sniff. I parted my way in, 2 points a hole, perhaps a bit lucky to find my ball in the blinding sunshine down the 16th, but thought I’d crucially missed my par putt on the 18th. Or not, as racking up 19 points coming home saw me see off the Skipper on count back and take the spoils. I’d driven well all day, and actually dropped some putts in, and it felt good to win after trying to win.
So, in a quiet presentation ceremony of four sunburnt men all running a bit late for their evenings (millers in particular appeared to be headed for the worst doghouse in history), the Web Donk won his second major and took over the belt for 12 months. I also won the shark, Ron took 2nd and the Big Dog. The skippers team took the team event and £5 each.
An unusually short break will see the WHVGS back together at Astbury Hall for the Captain’s Matchplay, which will be a stroke play event, just 2 short weeks after the Classic.
Oh, and now that Adam is definitely getting married, Bruce got engaged.
Not long till the priest.