Felix & Bas teed it up in Comp at Lonnie on Good Friday to kick off the 2014 Wanderererer in Northern Tasmania.
We heard that the Defending Champ Bas killed it off the tee but that his short game was strangely awry (42 putts!). And that Event Favourite Felix continued his great form but had 2 or 3 blowouts to keep him over his handicap. The course was immaculately presented but the greens a bit slow and the front nine perhaps a little ho-hum. Scores on the board with Felix +6 and Bas +9
Day two saw the two Leighs drive up from Hobart to join Bas and Felix at Greens Beach. Leigh C had an interesting night beforehand, taking Genevieve to hospital at midnight and getting back to bed at 4:30am before getting back up at 6:30 for the trip up to Greens Beach.
There was a 4BBB comp on at Greens and a large field of 95 choking the fairways, so a slow round loomed.
Leeroy kept the Leigh team in the 4BBB comp with some great play, whilst Leigh C could not hit a drive to save himself, but was ok on the par 3’s. Felix and Bas played some awesome golf, but Bas had a mini meltdown on the first par 5 on the back (put it out of bounds and had an 8). An 8 on a par 5 would be no issue for anyone else in the Social Gentleman’s Golf Club, but that’s almost half Basil’s handicap gone. Nonetheless Basil still got the job done and posted an excellent score of +2 for the day. Unfortunately as he had family day on Sunday Basil had no more opportunity to contend for the title and left Greens Beach knowing that someone else had snatched it off him and World Number One was out of reach for now. Basil was the only player that didn’t have the luxury of at least one throwaway round (Wanderer decided on best 2 rounds), and the chat in the Stevens Limo on Sunday was that if Bas had another round he would have successfully defended his title. Would he magically turn up at Devo later in the day to do just that? That was Felix’s theory.
But back to Greens for a moment. Leeroy just happily popping it around the course, scoring points for the Leigh team and accumulating a good score in his first round, quietly quietly, stealthily and like a golf ninja. Felix was the standout of the day, well under handicap until some gamesmanship from Leeroy and Basil on the 17th stuffed him up. Felix stood on the 17th tee, I think 2 under his handicap with 2 to play. Leeroy remarked that someone would have to absolutely spray it off the tee to put it in the dam on the right. Basil said whatever you do, don’t go right. So you know what Felix did – lost ball waaaay right. The next drive was a high ball way left, and the third drive was crunched left. We spent ten minutes looking for the 2nd and 3rd balls and let a group through while we looked. Felix eventually found his 2nd in a woody gully, and eventually got it in the hole for an 8.
Leigh C +11 (no second round)
We all retired to the clubhouse for a well earned beer or cider (or two) with Felix the Clubhouse leader by one shot from Basil, but Leeroy very well placed to claim the trophy with a low score in his first round.
After a night where Leeroy was harassed by wombats chewing grass noisily beside his tent and kept awake by the pumphouse light shining in his eyes, the 6:30am leave time must have seemed a bit rude. Would’ve been even worse if the septic outlet he camped next to had proved to be wafty.
After a quick sightseeing tour past the Soviet Russian Monument in Ulverstan and a cup of coffee, Day Three of the Wanderer started at the “Alison” layout in the hills. Only Felix, Leeroy and Leigh teeing off (Basil on Easter egg duty with the family)
We picked what we thought were the mens social marks, but ended up on the winter tees (which are a lot shorter than the summer ones). Bit of a mistake, but it did make the course more enjoyable for the two Leighs, who don’t pump it off the tee.
Felix and Leeroy both had birdie putts on the first hole (a short par 5). Leigh C hit another shit drive and had triple bogey, and the piss poor play, swearing and complaining continued for a +14 on the front nine (handicap all used up). Felix was the star again, absolutely killing it until about the 5th hole par 5 when he lost his fairway wood way right and had to go back and hit another shot, popped it left in the tree line, hit an immaculate wedge or 9 iron in straight at the flag, but it landed about a metre short of the putting surface on a treacherous downslope and rolled away. His first chip didn’t get up, and rolled back to his feet. Second chip went over the back. Third chip rolled all the way across the green and back down the hill to where he started. Fourth chip went over the green. Fifth chip just stayed on, and with 3 putts he got a 13. Despite being 8 over for that hole, he still comfortably beat Leigh off the stick on the front with a 48 to Leigh’s 50!!! Leeroy continued stealth golf with his third 46 in a row.
Back nine continued in the same manner – Felix killing it, Leeroy ninja-ing and me unable to hit the freakin ball (apart from the par 3s – got a birdie and a par, and did also start holing some putts). The 17th was again the pivotal hole of the day, but this time it was Leeroy missing his chance to bury the competition. He kinda got a bit unlucky in the trees and then got messy and ended with a nine. Finished with a bogey on 18 for a score of +7. Despite the 13, Felix carded a +3 for the round.
Leigh: +20 (+9, +11)
On to Devo, where we were devoed to find no lunch other than a thin ham and cheese sandwich.
Matt and his Dad Peter rocked up and it pissed with rain for about ten minutes, so Peter went home. Which was awesome as we got to play with Matt as a four. Unfortunately there was no mystery appearance from Basil – we would have loved to have the champ and best player there to contend with. We did get to play Comp again at least – Stableford.
Matt brought all his local knowledge for us. Standing on the first tee he said whatever you do don’t hit it left. ALL of us did. Local knowledge is only helpful if you can hit the ball where you’re trying to hit it apparently.
Felix finally got a little messy at Devo, and I finally started hitting some drives. Leeroy was still playing stealth golf, but struggling ever so slightly, knowing that he needed a +5 to win it.
I got up and down for bogey on the first, got up and down for par on the 2nd and sunk my birdie on the 3rd to be even with the card after 3 holes. Then I made a lot of bogeys and a couple of doubles, before hitting a great shot in to the par 3 9th and two putting for par and a 41. Matt had the two highlights on the 9th though. He told us his local knowledge, which was that it was very embarrassing to hit it way right over the road and have to chip it back from the practice putting green. And yep, that’s where he hit it! He didn’t want to go over there, so hit a 2nd tee shot. There was a purple ute leaving the clubhouse, and the driver saw us on the tee. He inched his way down the hill as Matt hit. and then needed to put his foot on the gas coz Matt’s tee shot was coming straight at him! We didn’t hear anything, but it looked like it was going to hit, so must have been very close to a hole in one (in the ute tray).
The 10th was another par 3. I found a new way to chip over a greenside bunker – skinny smash it into the face and have it pop up and out onto the grass. Felix fatted a chip back from the tee box, took another angry swing and the divot went further than his ball. Leeroy giggled!
Leeroy made a rude remark to Matt a few holes later, asking him if he’d ever been on the fairway on this golf course. Matt was in the trees again, to be fair. Matt ended up with a birdie on the hole, so take that Leeroy!
So Felix’s score wasn’t going to count. Leeroy needed +5 and I needed -3 to win. We got to the 16th tee and worked out that both Leeroy and I needed pars and bogeys to win the Wanderer. Despite killing it off the tee I could only manage bogey bogey, and Leeroy the same.
Standing on the 18th tee we did the maths – neither of us could realistically win it on this hole, but we could take it to a playoff. Leeroy needed par and I needed birdie (I already had 4 birdies for the weekend) to tie Felix.
Leeroy and I both got good drives away. Leeroy about 175m out and me 155m. Tough shot across a valley to a two tiered green. Leeroy smoked 5 wood, rolled across the green and finished just off the edge, about 8-10m from the hole. I stuffed my 6 iron a bit, and it finished short left behind a bunker. Tried to hole the chip, never on line but pretty good try.
Felix had been finishing in stlye, par par and was on here for regulation.
With Leeroy beside the green for two and not far from the hole, Felix asked him which hole they should play for the playoff. He was ready to keep going and it wasn’t dark yet!
Leeroy took a lot of time over the chip. It was all class, no arse – a pure 9 iron landed on the spot he chose, and it started tracking towards the hole. Speed perfect, turning well – about halfway along it looked good. And in it went! Leeroy with birdie on the last hole (his 54th, Felix’s 72nd) to snatch theWanderererererer by one shot from a desperately unlucky Senor Kennedy.
A nice relaxed “number one” finger sign from Leeroy as it went in the hole. Pure sportsmanship from Felix. Amazing finish
Felix and I went back and holed our par putts to really teach the 18th at Devo a lesson.
And with that victory Leeroy now has 4 trophies in the pool room, and is up for a fortune at the engravers.