Basil (+Amy), Lwah, Felix, Ian, Alex & I made the trek to the soggy yet picturesque Tasman GC for the 2013 Bash & Dash (sponsored by Mother’s Day Mugs and Green & Blacks chocolate).
Basil came prepared and ready to defend his title, having analysed past Majors and knowing exactly what he needed to get the job done: 33 stableford points (3 over).
Pre-game warm ups saw Felix belt a Pro V thru the driving net, over the cliff & into the cold dark depths of the ocean. Much to Ian’s delight!
6 balls were tossed in the air to decide the groups. Basil, Felix and Lwah off first, followed by Alex, Ian and me.
Bas & Lwah in the fairway, Felix in the teatree right. And they were away, but would be waiting for us at the 8th tee – the famous chasm!
Ian smoked his drive straight up the left half of the fairway (no push/slice!) whilst Alex & I went a lot further left into the trees. Hello recovery golf… Ian racked up the points on the opening two holes by hitting dead straight drives & ok approaches, while Alex & I scrambled. Ian had a misadventure on the 3rd while Alex & I got bogeys.
We were just remarking how nice the weather was (given earlier forecasts)…. And then it started to piss down!
About the time the rain came down, we made a pact that one of us would win the 2013 Bash & Dash. And given our reverence for the defending champion and his outstanding shot-making we named ourselves “Team Beat Basil”. (Apologies to Lwah & Felix)
Ian & I got to the Chasm hole near enough to par, to find that Bas, Lwah & Felix were all around the same mark. But Bas was leading them.
At the chasm, Lwah put his on the green & claimed the cash on offer. Felix was about to hit, when Ian told him to be careful not to let go of his club and lose it over the cliff. The grip suddenly felt very slippery in Felix’s hands, so he stepped away and changed to a dry golf glove! Everyone got over ok, but Alex was lost somewhere way left.
We played the ninth all together, which took ages. At the turn I was on 18 points, Ian on 17, with Basil, Felix & Lwah close.
Basil smashed the 10th, setting up a birdie chance. I did the same. We both got pars. And the two groups parted again til the Chasm.
Ian dialled in some good golf & got 2 points in front of me, but then had a couple of bad holes while I was steady. I had a 1 point lead on him when we all re-grouped at the chasm.
At the Chasm (17th) tee we checked the leaderboard. It showed the defending champ, Bas in front with 31 points. Me on 29, Ian on 28, Lwah & Felix just behind.
The pressure was on, teeing off over the Chasm to the far green on the other side. Basil went left. I went straight at it. Ian faded one straight at it. Lwah & Felix to the right. We got up there to find Ian on the green and my ball nowhere to be seen. Basil found it plugged about 10m short. Ian won nearest the pin & made par, I got bogey & Basil had a wipe. A three-way tie heading to the last tee!
What a great Major! All down to the last hole. Ian with an extra shot to play with on handicap.
Ian tugged his drive left, hit a tree & the ball disappeared. I smooshed mine out to the right. Lwah went straight. Needing eagle to stay in it. Felix hooked. Alex went left too, and Basil flirted with the trees on the left but found the edge of the fairway.
Ian’s ball was lost, so he took a drop and the three of us were even off the stick. A great shot from Ian put him 100 out in the fairway. I hit 5 iron over the teatree to about 70m, but had a gum tree in my way, blocking a high approach. Basil found some problems with a tree at the top of his backswing, but adjusted his grip and put it in the fairway about 50m out. Still all even.
Ian missed his approach. I hit mine low but too hard and went thru the green to the edge of the garden box by the clubhouse. Basil put his on the green. Advantage to the Champ.
Ian popped his next shot on the green, about 4m under the hole.
All day I’d been putting from ridiculous distances off the green and getting it very close, or lipping out. Because I knew my chipping was terrible! About 20m away, I thought this one was too far, and was planning to chip. Alex told me to putt it. I thought, well I have been doing it all day. I putted it onto the green, maybe 10m above the hole.
All on the green, Basil with a 1 shot advantage.
Me first. I thought, just hit a good putt and give it a chance. I hit way right to allow for the break, hit it a bit too hard, but as it went down the hill and started turning it looked like it might go close. It hit the middle of the cup and went in! Bullshit! Rejoicing from me, and high fives from Team Beat Basil! Basil still had a putt to win the tournament of course. Which went close, but didn’t drop. A tap-in ensured at least a two man playoff. Ian had a chance to make it three. He hit a great putt, gave it a good chance, but just slid by.
So off to the first hole again for sudden death.
I went first, hit a good drive but it just faded to the right edge of the fairway and landed behind a teatree. Basil stepped up and hit a perfect draw that started centre and moved a little left. Clinical.
With Ian and Felix as my caddies we all strode off towards the two drives.
I made use of the handspan for preferred lie to get my ball a little further away from the teatree. But there was another one in my line about 15m short of the green. I hit a low curling 4 iron up the hill, which went straight at the base of the next teatree but just rolled left a little at the end, leaving me with a shot.
Basil put his chip on the green, or just off. Great shot. Advantage to the Champ.
I used the handspan again for a bit more room. Felix brought me a wedge, and I said “Good Man bring me my 7 iron”. Which I bumped up the hill and onto the green.
Basil chipped on, but it pulled up short in the wet. Both on the green for 3.
I took my time and drained the curling 4-5m putt. Suddenly Bas had a 2m putt to save the tournament.
It just stayed out. And finally, After many total failures, I had my second Major.
1st: Leigh. 33 stableford points. Won on first playoff hole.
Runner Up: Basil. 33 stableford points.
3rd: Ian. 32 stableford points.
6th: Alex. A small number of stableford points