2018 MM Final – No Aurora Curse!

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The two Leighs, ready to fire!

Basil’s 25m bomb birdie putt on the last hole last year seems to have broken the Curse! This year’s Final has no Aurora employees in it, despite Felix and Ian giving the round robins and playoffs a good shake.

By a whisker, it would be the first non-Felix Final for 5 years.

Consequently, a double Leigh battle was set for Royal Hobart at the end of September, with the winner to claim their first MM title and their personal Grand Slam, following on from The Great Basil being the first to achieve the remarkable feat last year.

Leroy playing off 12, giving Cravo a shot on the 5th,  13th & 15th holes.This would be both Leigh’s second MM Final,  both having played total rubbish golf in their first. And the winning Leigh today would join the Great Basil in completing a career Grand Slam.

Whatever happens today, a Leigh will win(!), so happy days 😉

Tim J,  massively hungover is along for the ride and another handicap round.

1st Hole – Par 4 402m
Leroy (off an extremely limited preparation) goes hard left into the trees and Cravo follows, but a bit further down.  Cravo down by the green for 2, and both on for 3 with Leroy away.  Leroy stands over his downhill cross hill putt with absolutey no idea how hard to hit it.  Not a good feeling. A Leroy three putt gives Cravo a sniff,  and he holes his 4ft bogey. Cravo 1up

2nd Hole – Par 4 331m

Cravo splits the middle with his driver,  Leroy skies his left. Leroy knocks to the corner and squeaks his 3rd on.  Cravo’s PW is dead at it but the wrong club,  and sits on top of the front bunker. Nice Cravo wedge to 4ft above the hole but can’t hole his slippery par putt. Leroy is left with a tough 6fter for a half and he is clutch. Halved Hole. Cravo 1up
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Not enough rotation on this shot – still warming up

3rd hole – Par 4 409m
Cravo great high drive down the right side bounces unkindly behind a tree near the 150. Leroy huge draw scoots through next to the 4th green. His hybrid is no good,  and Cravo’s low slice 4 iron gets down near the green.  Leroy nice wedge on but not close, Cravo wedge is closer but still 8m.  Two putt bogeys ahoy,  with Leroy again clutch from about 5ft. Halved hole. Cravo 1up.

4th hole – Par 3 154m
Cravo lovely 6 iron pin high about 8m,  Leroy solid fade bounces short and runs all the way up the back.  Leroy is finding the pace of the greens now and gets this one close. Cravo also close within 2ft,  then has a brain fade and 3 putts from there for double bogey!  He laughs.  Leroy misses his Par but bogey is fine. Leroy wins. AS

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5th hole – Par 4 315m (extra shot to Cravo)
Leroy pumped up now,  sensing weakness,  smokes his drive and then his approach to birdie territory.  Cravo power draws one into the trees,  hits out,  and his wedge runs thru off the back fringe – with a front pin. Great putt and tap in bogey from there, meaning Leroy needs the bird for the win.  A slight twitch on putting is enough to keep it out. Halved hole. AS

The Leighs chat about the good tight start to the match,  and encourage one another to keep up the solid golf and the good fun contest.

6th hole – Par 5 436m
Leroy hits a great drive here into the wind. Cravo connects well but tugs it left into the pines.  Nice recovery 9 iron up and over to 160m. Leroy duff is OK and a bit closer. All three golfers hit great approaches from similar distance,  but Leroy is best and on the green.  Cravo goes for the off-green Cravo wedge,  but his ball is actually half plugged in the ground and it takes a huge leap in the air and is well short.  Leroy gets the job done with a quality Par to Cravo’s bogey. And takes the lead for the first time in the match, 1up.

7th hole – Par 4 309m
Leroy great drive downwind and down the left. Cravo smashes one past that. High fives all round. Leroy finds the bunker and Cravo’s half wedge lands 5m past the pin but runs right up the back. Cravo 3 putt lets Leroy in and he is good again for a clutch bogey.  Halved hole. Leroy 1up
It was about this point that Cravo realised he would need to start holing some putts to try and win the match.
8th hole – Par 3 173m
Long Par 3 into the wind sees 3 great shots all a bit short (Tim best).  Cravo wedge to 3ft above the hole and he is clutch for Par.  A Leroy bogey. Cravo wins.  AS.
9th hole – Par 5 491m 

Cravo absolutely monsters a draw drive about 270-280 down the left side of the fairway. Leroy goes trees left.  He is blocked by a pine,  but has a high risk option of a draw under one tree and over the next.  He nails that. Nice play! More high fives. Cravo is thinking 3 wood going for the green.he has to wait a while for the green to clear. Shit shot – he tops it straight into the ground!  Cravo squirts a 3 iron short right,  and Leroy is on nicely GIR. Leroys Par too good for Cravo’s bogey.  Leroy 1up

10th hole – Par 4 384m
Leroy short of the bunkers and straight,  Cravo aces one through the gap.  Can’t remember the rest as this hole is pretty similar to some others,  but a great bunker shot from Leroy precedes a Cravo clutch putt for Par. Cravo wins. AS

11th hole – Par 3 127m 
Cravo nicely on,  Leroy also on with a helpful bounce off the back corner of the bunker.  Leroy and Cravo both leave their birdie tries a little short. Leroy’s Par putt slides across the face thanks to a naughty bit of grain or something and Cravo makes his Par to go 1up.

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12th hole – Par 5 445m
Leroy a very nicely played hole – GIR into the wind on the Par 5. Cravo a bit scratchy and just off the back for 4. Leroy’s birdie putt has a little bit of work left to do for Par.  Cravo makes him think about it by draining a 4m putt for bogey.  Leroy too good.  Par to bring the match back to AS

13th hole – Par 5 512m (a shot to Cravo)
Leroy a nice drive fairway left,  Cravo good connection but too much draw flirts with the dam.  Some treenanigans for Cravo from there and a clutch Par putt for Leroy means that he wins this hole easily despite giving a shot away.  Leroy 1up. Not many holes left and the stakes are rising.

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Nice form Leroy

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Whoops! Headed for the dam.

14th hole- Par 4 393m 
Leroy says,  “there is no dam” and he wafts one right and short of the bunker,  and in fact only a few metres from going in the other dam that no one noticed off the tee! Cravo hits an amazing high slight draw drive up over the 30m tall gum tree beside the left dam all the way down about 240m.  Leroy is a bit concerned about getting his hybrid up in the air quickly enough to clear the bunker lip,  and in fact he can’t do it,  the ball smacking into the bunker and trickling to the 160m mark.  Cravo’s 6 iron from 150m is a bit weak,  and so is his Cravo wedge on. Leroy’s third is a well struck shot with some draw that gets down pin high and left of the green.  A perfectly judged chip,  landing on the down slope just misses the hole but stops close. Bogeys for both.  Leroy 1up.

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Leroy over by the sneaky dam

15th hole – Par 3 200m (a shot to Cravo)
The long Par 3 is playing downwind. Leroy takes the wind out of play by topping one into the ground. Cravo’s easy fadey 3 iron is nicely on the green.  Leroy has a crap lie and things don’t work out.  Cravo Par wins the hole.  AS

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Cravo’s 3 iron

16th hole – Par 4 362m
Cravo hits a fantabulous high draw drive here on the A line but is smacked down into sand at the 180m to go mark by a super skinny gum tree branch reaching out across the fairway edge.  Leroy nicely down the middle and further.  Tim even better.  Cravo bad 2nd and on fine for three,  from where he will make bogey.  Leroy just short right for two, but a perfect chip that lands a metre over the bunker and runs toward the pin sets up a clutch 3m Par putt to win the hole. Great play.  Leroy 1up

17th hole _ Par 4 329m
Leroy tops one into the bushes right,  perhaps struggling with golf fitness. Where’s Cravo? Another 250m+ drive – long and left edge again. Leroy has 4 shots and he still hasnt made it to Cravo’s drive.  Leroy on but miles away for 5, and Cravo fats his wedge then skinnies his 56 but gets super lucky staying on the green but up the back with Leroy. A bad 3 putt means Leroy has a chance to halve the hole from downtown, but he is not able to. Cravo wins and the match is AS.

18th hole – Par 4 359m
Cravo smashes a great drive up the middle and long.  Leroy and Tim also middle.  Leroy aims at the front right bunker looking for some fade,  but it goes straight and bounces into the bunker (or so we think). Tim shows everyone how it’s done with a pure iron into the heart of the green for GIR.  Cravo says “that’s the shot I want”. And then Cravo fats his wedge. The pin is back left,  and Cravo is away.  A neither good nor bad Cravo wedge has him 5m short of the hole.  Leroy wants to be up,  and puts a touch too much on his nice chip,  which rolls past the pin and then catches the little down slope but stays on the edge of the green.  He has a very tricky slider from about 7m. It is well hit and is on line,  but turns at the end and rolls a good 6ft by.  Cravo likes the look of his 5m right edge Par try,  and he hits it where he wants it and it does the right thing and goes in the hole.  Good ball!

At the end of a great day out, with the Match played in high spirits Cravo squeaks a 1up win to take the MM Title from a valiant and unlucky Leroy. Time for a congratulatory hug, and a bit of reflection and contemplation over beer and snacks on the clubhouse balcony. Another classic instalment!

 

 

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