Well the Wanderer certainly lived up to expectations, amazing new golf courses on the Mornington, great company and some classic ‘best shot ever’ moments that will be written into the halls of fame. A few new great pubs, Portsea pub considered best in Oz (by us) and plenty of competitive Settlers and Monopoly deal games for evening entertainment. We have all been invited back next year, assuming our rankings do not drop out of the top 100. So make sure you get in for the bargain early bird offer come March next year.
It would at least 2 hours to read the long version which you guys would not appreciate being dedicated to your work on Friday. So here is the short one…..
DAY 1 MOONAH LINKS GC (Legends course)
Wind speed 50-60 km/h with a few horizontal rain squalls near the end of round.
Players: Leeroy, Jig (my brother), Bas
Sensational layout with some awesome blind tee shot par 4’s over sand dunes. Fairways a bit thin and bare.
15th Short par 4 Dogleg to the left bunkers galore- Best par 4 of the tournie.
16th Med. Par 3 Biggest green ever seen, thought have the green was the fairway while on the tee. 50m green.
It was a bit windy, very testing conditions. Leeroy got the medal for longest putt, left to right downhill swinger from about 30 feet on one of the par 3’s.
Jig got longest drive sewed up with a few 300m monsters with the wind but a few lost balls to Jig on the back nine handed the brotherly matchoff to Bas by 2 shots of the stick.
Scores: Leeroy +18, Jig +17, Bas +11 (after our handicap taken off)
DAY 2 FLINDERS GC
Wind speed 30-40km/h
Players: Leeroy, Jig, Bas
Another great layout right on the ocean above some small cliffs. Not as dramatic or undulating fast greens like Moonah but good fun and not many people.
Highlight the short par 4 Coffin hole, 2 massive cut away ditches in the middle of the fairway.
Leeroy wins shot of the day with a 8 iron to a foot from the pin from 130m into the wind.
Jig sinks 2 birdies with some great iron play and putting.
Bas sinks his only birdey of the tournie-solid drive then short pitch and putt on a short blind tee shot par 4 that missed a fairway bunker by a metre that we did not know was there.
Bas beats his bro by 3 shots off the stick.
Scores: Leeroy +11, Jig +13, Bas +6
DAY 3 THE DUNES golf links
Wind speed 15-25 km/h
Players: Leeroy, Jig, Keith, Bas
It was moving day and Jig had his red nike shirt on to prove his prowess as the new tiger and he did not disappoint. We played from the back tees and it was tough except for Greg (jig) who smashed the course to pieces with some long drives and precise putting. Some brotherly niggling provided some light entertainment for Leeroy and Keith.
The Greens were lightning fast (like Barnie in summer) and around the greens was cut super short so if you did not hit the green or end up in a deep scary bunker you often finished 20-30m away. Fairways were a bit thin and brown.
Highlights two long 500m par 5’s with massive bunkers along fairways and multiple doglegs. The fast greens.
Keith sinks a birdie on the 3rd hole Par 3 and nails some long putts from downtown. Bas hits a 80m wedge to a foot and sinks par on a longish par 4. Keith and Greg both par the last hole.
Lowlight of his career; after having a birdie putt Bas 5 putts for a 6 on the par3 3rd from 8m. F######?
Bas proceeds to hit his next tee shot on a par 4 into the long grass 10m off the tee hitting Jigs buggy in the process.
Had to take a chill pill or two and some time out…
Jig (the tiger) smashed bas by 13 shots off the stick. Jig drove back to Shepp. with a smile on his dial.
Scores: Leeroy +15, Jig +4, Keith +19, Bas +13
PS We also fitted in another 9 holes on the cups course which we decided Keith could include in his scores and throw out one of his bad nines.
DAY 4 ST. ANDREWS BEACH (Gunnamatta)
Wind; Light breeze and sunshine
Expectations were extremely high for this course ranked at #11 in Australia, and it certainly did not disappoint. A Tom Doak classic. Lots of bumps, rolls and turns on green firm fairways in amongst the rolling dunes with a bit of tee-tree thrown in and 10 bunkers a hole. One player ranked it higher than Barnie and after Leeroys scintillating round maybe two players do. I still Barnie and Lost have it by a nose only because they have a couple of really signature stand out holes, while St. Andrews is just a perfect jigsaw of amazing holes that fit together like cheese and crackers. OK enough ranting and raving lets get on with it.
Highlights were Leeroy, Leeroy and Leeroy- Best score ever on a tough course +4, best shot ever in his gofing carreer- an inch off a hole in one (birdie), tee shot fairway king.
Keith also had a blinder with +5 and also got Par on the hole that Leeroy birdied. Keith had a very good driving day as well. Bas on the other hand struggled with lots of fat shots all day and was feeling quite low after a 7 on a par 3 until he got it together on the back 9 with 6 over off the stick and 5 pars in a row to finish. Bas also claimed longest putt of the tournie with a left to right uphill swinger from 15m to save par after hitting his first two shots into the rough.
Scores: Leeroy +4, Keith +5, Bas +9
DAY 5 EAGLE RIDGE
Wind speed a bit gusty 25-35km/h
Great bunkering and interesting layout with plenty of water hazards, green speed a fair bit slower. Best Par 3 of the tournie. Leeroy started very well on the first couple of holes with par, bogey. We all fell to pieces on the 3rd hole a 400m par 4 with massive fairway bunker left that Bas took 4 shots to get out of. Leeroy sunk an awesome putt on the 8th to save par and give him some hope for the back nine. Keith stuggled a bit with his driving and found a few tufts of long grass off the tee. Keith hit some superb bunker shots with backspin thanks to his Pro V on a couple of Par 4’s. Bas hit his drive into a Swamp that had signs around it saying snake habitat so he decided to leave it. Leeroy’s ball got gobbled up by a bunker that had a blind cutaway section near the green that we could not see after he played a great drive and approach to a par 4 on the back. It was not much of scoring day for any of us; maybe a bit of too much golf after 5 days solid.
score: Leeroy +17, Keith +18, Bas +11
Final Score 3/5 leaderboard: Bas +26
My interpretation of this event will not be sanctioned by the other professionals that participated in the Wanderer so you will have to talk to them about the long version. Needless to say it was absolutely magnificient.
Most courses played had an ACR of 2 shots over par and St. Andrews nearly 3 shots over. Tough but worth every penny.