2019 Wanderererer – King Island

 

 

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King Island magic

The King Island trip had been on the agenda for years, but tight budgets and new babies brought a series of postponements. Finally, at the end of April 2019, we got there for a cracking Wandererererer! (the first Wanderer since December 2016).

We were all ready to be blown away – by the golf courses, the stellar play and possibly, the roaring 40’s.

Big news in terms of player movements since the last Major is Tim J – having dropped 10 shots off his handicap. WOW. And he’s coming in as favourite. 

An added achievement on the trip will be Basil ticking off the last 3 courses in his epic 20 year quest to play every course in Tasmania. He will nab the complete set of 80! Yeew Bas.

Allegedly the Gents will be having some rest days for sightseeing and surfing, but we really expect they’ll ditch that for golf every day instead and go for the full golf poisoning.

The Format:

Best 3 rounds (stroke) from however many you manage to play on the trip. Has to include one round from either Cape Wickham or Ocean Dunes.

And for the first time ever we are using GA Slope ratings to work out daily handicaps.

The Gentleperson golfers:

Bas (6), Leroy (13), Cravo (15), Felix (15), Ian (17), Tim J (22)

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Defending Champ Cravo throws the balls in the air to determine the groups on Day One.

 

Day One

Wynyard GC

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Leroy, killing it.

Not too windy today! Get amongst it boys, before the tempest howls.

Group One: Tim and dos Leighos

Leroy OOB, missed a 1ft putt thanks to TJ evil golf wizard thinking “miss, miss, miss!” and failed to make the ladies tee on one hole – but shot two under his handicap with an 82. There was a low key heckle war between the boys from there. He did hit best shot of the tourney so far – hitting it to half a foot from 100 out on the Par four 16th for a tap in birdie. And had a sensational 39 on the back. Hot golf!

Tim J very very parry. Seven of them! Smoked it. Best score ever, with an 88 for six under to take the lead. Take that fellas!  Leroy tried to penalise him for farting during his practice swing, but no dice. And FYI, when he leaves the flagstick in, he aims for the gap, not the stick. Basil says you idiot, and Tim says “you beat me for a round and then you can tell me how to putt”. Oooh….

Cravo the usual story. Mostly awesome tee to green. Shithouse short game. Bunker to bunker a couple times with Leroy concealing a giggle. A fun day, but ten over his handicap (including a one shot penalty called by Tim when he hit a monster drive which was just forward of the pegs). His highlights were hitting it to half a foot dead on line for GIR on the ninth and tap in birdie, and another birdie on the same hole second time around. A bit sweary! But had fun.

 

Group Two: Ian, Bas, Felix

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Bas pretty good but couldn’t hole a putt and he even hit one or two on the beach. Had a plus four. Basil had a horrible lie in a huge footprint in a bunker for a penalty. And there were rocks in there too! He chipped in from 40m but Felix says otherwise he only hit one good shot today, maybe two. An average Basil day, shall we say. Still better than everyone else off the stick! And very good with the wedge.

Ian topped it three times in a row to start the day but Basil said “keep your head down, just stare at the ground”. He had a horror nine with an unlucky double out of bounds on the third. He smoked it coming home with Par Par Par finish to play to his handicap. Even. Great stuff.

Felix carried his recent form into the Wanderererer with a hot hot hot 39 shots on the front. Couldn’t hold it together for the last three holes so was disappointed to finish with an 86, one over his handicap. He says the best thing he did today was throwing his putter towards his bag, and it went bounce bounce bounce, nestle up perfectly leaning against his bag like he placed it there.

DAY ONE Leaderboard:

Tim -6(!)        Leroy -2         Ian Even par      Felix +1      Bas +4      Cravo +10

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Day Two – Ocean Dunes

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The Gentlepersons – ready for a great test on a great course!

We flew into Currie with the wind picking up a bit, and set to get nasty quickly. Two to three clubs wind at the start, grading up to three to four clubs by the back nine.

Leroy started with a bumble bunny three holes : 10, 5 (great escape), 15. But he followed that up with a cracker iron to birdie range on the iconic Par 3 and loaded up with confidence a cracking drive and easy par on the next. He out-Basiled Basil for the last six holes of the front nine. His fave shot of the day was his high fade 8 iron into the teeth of the wind downhill to the correct hump of the short par three 14th, setting up another great birdie look and easy par. Controversy of the day was Bas picking up Leroy’s ball on the second hole – where Bas hadn’t seen Leroys sideways shank so he thought it couldn’t possibly be his. Leroy had six pars but managed to shoot 110 (nett 94, +22)

Basil was magnificent in the tough but not quite brutal conditions. He found a new way to make par on the Par 3 8th hole. He was on the green but snookered behind a bunker, so he nipped a 56 over and holed the long putt back. However he was spewing about the pin placement on top of the mound on the Par four 13th hole. GIR, followed by a 5 putt. Spewin’! Cravo had a 5 putt as well, but Leroy jagged a 2 putt (the cheeky bastard). And Bas finally got a bad lie on the 18th and battled his way up the hill for a closing double bogey. But shot 87 for a +8 best round of the day.

Cravo’s terrible short game bit him big time, and it felt like another round wasted. Best hole was the Par 4 16th where he drove it in the fairway, then smoked a three iron in over the creek from 150m into the wind to set up a 6m birdie try and rolled in only his second par of the day. Shot +14 over his handicap.

Ian and Felix shot +11. Tim blew out in the wind with +24. The whiskey shots were fantastic however. Felix hit driver, 7 iron, onto the back of the Par 5 12th hole. Left his putt way short then drained a 10m birdie, for the only birdie of the day. Tim chucked his club 20m and will never play this course again.

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Felix photo bomb, while Ian allows one and a half cups of break for the wind.

Tim read out the wrong distance on a hole, to mess with the fellas. But they got him back with a massive sneaky surprise slap on the arse from the cart which made him jump!

Ian went in a green side bunker pin high for two on a par four. Didn’t quite get out, and it rolled all the way back past him to under the lip, which meant go out sideways, which went in the scrub, which ended up as a nine. Far out.

Tim suffered some mental degradation today, in the testing conditions.

So, that’s a taste of what’s to come for the next four days. Brutal wind battle and problems multiplying – it beginneth!

Another highlight was Ian doing a 360 in the cart, and Tim falling out heh heh heh. And Felix did a LOT of wees, even managing to get sprayback while weeing downwind. Huh.

So after day 2, the leaderboard is:
Ian +11 (par, +11*)
Felix +12 (+1,+11*) and Basil (+4,+8*)
Tim +18 (-6,+24*)
Leroy +20 (-2, +22*)
Cravo +24 (+10,+14*)

*indicates counting round from either Wickham or Dunes

Day Three – rest day(?) (nah)

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Looking lovely out the window from our accom in Currie

The weather forecast of 50-60kmh westerlies  with hail squalls and lightning was not particularly appealing, but there were still some golf desperadoes willing to consider it. Tim leading the charge, and Cravo quite up for another hack.

Morning weather check confirmed that it is officially shithouse weather until Monday with 50-60kmhs dropping to 40-50 and brief periods of 30-40. With that outlook, it was ALL IN for arvo golf today at the local.

A quick burn to the petrified forest and city of Melbourne bay, where Basil channelled the divine.

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And WOW the golf was hard and also picturesque.

Felix TJ and Cravo

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TJ takes on the elements

Team par on the first and then OMG Cravo an 11 into the wind on the second hole. Felix lit it up (mostly) on the front with great play in the wind, but Cravo and Timbits were blowouts using all their handicaps plus a few.

Highlights were Felix driving the Par four fifth hole on the coast in 70kmh  crosswinds and lipping out for eagle. Solid bogey golf from there to be the only Gent in the group under 50. Personal highlight was losing more head covers than balls.

How many times did our buggies blow over? Six to ten times each.

Tim loved the first/tenth hole. Easy pars both times. Personal highlight was Felix buying him a rum and coke after nine, as you can tell from the loving photo. And almost beating Felix off the stick on the back.

The boys had rum and coke / red wine at the break, and it certainly helped.

Cravo rubbish on the front. Three pars but he shot a terrible 58. Yikes! He started the back with par, double, triple – but then rattled home with birdie, birdie, par, bogey, par, par. Yeahhhh. Take that windy King Island! Watching the par 3 18th hole from the warmth of the clubhouse, Leroy called it – Cravo would either shank it in the bushes or hit it to a few feet. Pretty much spot on with a great shot to about 3m (followed by a lip out for bird).

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Ian Leroy and Basil
Leroy beat Bas OFF THE STICK on the front with hot golf. He had a little run of bad holes which messed him up on the back nine, but still shot basically the same score as everyone else in the end. He smashed it with three pars in a row – 8,9&10. He loved the location, the wind and the swell.

The boys had TEAM DOUBLE PAR – pars all round twice in a row on the 8th and 9th. And pretty much nailed the three-way high five, but forgot to jump!

Bas was a bit off on the front in the ridiculous effing winds, but back to admirable Basil golf on the back with a 41. Lovely birdie on the last was crowd pleasing, and drew comments from the members in the bar after. Bas loved the par three down towards the ocean, which he went driver on and lost it. But second time around he went 3 iron down by the green, chip on and par. Take that!

Ian was the sneaky man, stealthily accumulating reasonable scores without wowing people but shit it was effective. And he ended the day with the best score, equal with Cravo. Nothing to write home about, but really pretty admirable in the conditions (check photos). Personal highlight today was draining a heap of putts on the furry greens.

So after day 3, the leaderboard is:
Ian +21 (par, +11*, +10)
Felix +23 (+1,+11*,+11) and Basil (+4,+8*,+11)
Leroy +33 (-2, +22*,+13)
Cravo +34 (+10,+14*,+10)
Tim +36 (-6,+24*,+18)

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Cravo’s golf highlight of the whole trip was playing the last six holes today in one under par off the stick. Still shot +10 for the day but

 

Day Four – Rest Day(?) (for some)

It was definitely a little bit less windy this morning. There was still plenty, but a bit less plenty.

TJ and Cravo went back to King Island GC,  hunting for keeper scores. And with the help of some firewater medicine, they fought through the golf fatigue to do pretty OK – both shooting +6 Nett. Cravo was hot on the front nine and OK on the back but wrecked his scorecard with two lost balls off the tee on the Par 3 18th hole and a sixtuple bogey nine (which means Leroy was right! Cravo would either hit it to a few feet or shank it in the bushes! Combine yesterday and today and Leroy was SPOT ON)

Cravo four pars (including parring the eleventh into the wind) and a birdie, plus that big blowout. Timbits amazing on the hard par three 3rd into the teeth of the wind with par and a quality bogey next time around. He only lost one ball all day – to a raven on the 8th! Go Tim.

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So after day 4, the leaderboard is:
Ian +21 (par, +11*, +10)
Felix +23 (+1,+11*,+11) and Basil (+4,+8*,+11)
Tim +24 (-6,+24*,+6)
Cravo +30 (+10,+14*,+6)
Leroy +33 (-2, +22*,+13)

 

Day Five – Cape Wickham

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Basil completes his epic twenty year quest to play every golf course in Tasmania! At the best course in Tasmania. WOW

Oh. My. God. The course. Amazing. 35-45kmh winds as usual, squally showers, but oh my gosh. You actually had to allow up to a couple of cups break for the crosswind on mid range putts, and you had to smash it into the wind or just tickle it downwind. Judging approaches to the green was silly as well – most of us hitting 3 irons from 140m into it, and half swing 52s downwind. And if you didn’t hit them pure they were GONE sideways.

Thirty six holes. Look out!

Cravo too tired to grab the highlights, mostly…

Although,  Leroy did have an airswing, a duff and then over balanced and fell into a bunker! That brought the laughs!

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Cravo great off the tee sometimes, Basil amazing amazing on his Ambrose with Ian.

TJ lit up the back nine with a 47! Including a birdie and a par or two.

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Tim’s new Star Wars sand people celebration for par. Saw that a lot today!

Halfway thru day 5, leaderboard is:
Tim +9 (-6,+9*,+6)
Ian +21 (par, +11*, +10)
Felix +23 (+1,+11*,+11) and Basil (+4,+8*,+11)
Leroy +27 (-2, +16*,+13)
Cravo +30 (+10,+14*,+6)

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Resisting the obvious caption,

And at the end of the day after thirty six holes on the most magical and amazing golf course we’ve ever played…..

Tim +9 (-6,+9*,+6)
Felix +18 (+1,+11,+6*)
Ian +19 (0,+10,+9*)
Bas +20 (+4,+8,+8*)
Leroy +27 (-2,+13,+16*)
Cravo +28 (+10,+12*,+6)

IMG20190428100217Basil’s highlights :
Being at the last golf course in Tasmania that I hadn’t played, with a great bunch of mates and finding that the best course was left til last. Sharing special moments and completing the 20 year epic journey. Highlights on shots: drilling 3&4 irons into the wind from 130m – 140m out on the ninth and the twice on the sixteenth hitting pure shots into the teeth of the gale. My purest shot was smashing my 3 iron to 3m behind the pin on the 17th hang it over the bunkers and let it drift left. And just seeing the most amazing course in pristine condition prior to the pro am. AND we had the whole course to ourselves! Nowhere else in the whole world would that happen.

 

IMG20190428083654Ian :
Putting average of 1.94 per green for the day was pretty amazing. Par on the 12th with a free drop out of a mutton bird hole and popped it on the green. Just some more improved swing form – better than dunes and king island and better again from front 18 to back 18. And highlight was Tim nearly killing us all by missing the first big turn on the road home trying to remember what he did on a hole rather than look at the road.

 

20190428_150448Tj:
For me it was scoring the same in the afternoon to replace the asterisk round. Asterisk was because one of my balls I thought went over fairway before it got lost, and the others disagreed but I pushed for it. But no asterisk now. Bas says the highlight was watching Tim putting from 12m to a foot. And he read a double break! He parred the 17th.

 

20190428_082548Felix:
Almost a lip out for eagle on 12 (went driver, putter, putter). Very happy to Par the last into the wind (4iron, 8iron for GIR). Had a rough patch starting the second round (but who didn’t). That’ll do. Exhausted.

 

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Loved the course. Amazing. Crazy amazing. Loved watching gents hit cracking shots into the tempest or downwind. Had a lot of great personal moments to treasure, and even more shit moments to forget, particularly having more than 30 putts on the front nine first time round. Now hates flagsticks as they rejected his short putts twice! Found out something that he knew already – needs to work on his short game. But loved it when he committed to shots and smoked them.

I also had a spirit/nature moment, picking up an exhausted muttonbird off the first fairway and moving it to the burrows. Which was an amazing feeling of fragility and determination to give everything you can in life. Think I need to make a little shrine or a picture at home to remind me to be more like that muttonbird.

 

20190428_094955Leroy:

Loved everything about it.

Day Six – the local.

Tim J looking good with a huge lead.

Conditions: Light Breeze about 20km/h

Cravo missed the cut and flew out early to try and qualify for the next Major! It’s the first time a Gent has ever missed a cut on Tour.

The rest of us headed back to the brilliant local course and the friendly bar manager said we could play for half price green fees, very generous indeed.

Ian and Leroy teed off first and played a couple of reasonable shots down the fairway over the Boobayalla scrub. Tim and Felix also hit some good shots down the fairway. Poor old Bas lost his concentration after talking to a local lad who suddenly appeared in front of us out of the bushes. After a quick chat and finding out he was a golf addict by day and a baker by night the lad watched on as Bas put his first tee shot into the scrub ten metres in front of the tee off.

Tim and Felix both had a cracking front nine. It was glorious to watch them hold their nerves as they both went about 5 under their handicaps. Felix shot a 39 off the stick and Tim a smooth 45. The Par 3, 3rd hole straight down the hill towards the ocean was a highlight with the trio scoring a team par and a circle high five to boot.

We all thought Tim J had it in the bag as he notched up plenty of pars and bogeys. Bas found a brief hot streak on the back 9 and birdied 3 holes in a row (first time ever). Smashed a 7 iron to 3m on the 12th and sank the birdie, then on 13 hit driver, three wood then chip to 1m for an easy 4 on a Par 5. On 14 he scorched a driver then a perfect weight half wedge to 1m, then sank the putt for a birdie 3. He even put on a pumped up swagger dance live on Felix’s twitter feed but did not get much joy from Tim J who was in a world of pain. Tim J faltered with an 8 on the 14th after his second shot landed close to the OOB pegs. A joint ruling by his fellow competitors saw his ball precisely on the out of bounds line meaning he had to hit another shot and add a penalty.

After all the shenanigans on the short Par 4, 14th the Par 5 15th was pretty routine with pars and bogeys. Stepping up to the par 4 16th Tim J said he was starting to run out of puff, but Felix and I truly believed he had the Wanderer title in the bag even if he fumbled a bit coming home on the last 3 holes. Bas and Felix hit pretty good shots down 16 leaving themselves short irons to the green. Tim J’s lack of whiskey on the back 9 finally got the better of him (or heaven forbid maybe he had golf poisoning after 6 days solid golf) and his tee shot flew into the bushes lost forever. He managed to scramble another 8 I think while Felix and Bas got their Pars. Onto 17 we went, Bas scratched another Par up the hill while Tim and Felix got a bogey?

We trundled up the hill to the Par 3 18th, straight up the big hill infront of the clubhouse. Scrub left and right. Bas was hoping to snatch a par on the 18th so he could shoot a 1 under off the stick for the back nine but sprayed his 7 iron into the Boobayalla scrub close to where he went on the first tee shot. Bas finished with a double bogey and a 37 on the back to go with 42 on the front and an even on handicap round to nudge him into 3rd place (over 3 best rounds) just in front of Ian.

Tim J hit a great pitch to 1m and sank his par putt on 18 to a ruptious applause and plenty of congratulations. Felix scrambled for a bogey 4 on 18 and managed to play his first round ever without a higher score than a bogey. Awesome stuff and Felix equalled his best score ever with a 40 on the back nine a cool 79 off the stick (-10 on handicap- unbelievable).

After Tim had his photo taken near the 18th green we did some tally work on the scores and realised that Felix had pipped Tim on the post and finished with a grand total of 3 under for his 3 rounds while Tim had finished with a grand total of 2 under.

What a climax, a one shot win to Felix- the 2019 Wanderer Champion! Great golfing Tim J, but a solid 2nd place, silver medal.

King Island is a truly amazing place and the golf courses are jaw dropping spectacular. Bas finally notched up the last few golf courses on his Tassie list, he definitely left the best course till last- Sunday at Cape Wickham will be in my memory for ever. Thanks for sharing such a great journey of discovery and comradery GWT! It is going to be hard to beat this one…………..

Felix -3 (+1, +6*, -10)

TJ -2 (-6, +9, -5)

Bas

Ian

Leroy


Cravo MC

 

 

 

 

 

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