As Defending Champ, Ian had the honour of choosing the course this year, and the timing. He duly sent us to New Norfik in late June. It would be cold. Who would bring the HOT GOLF to burn off the Derwent Valley winter chill?
The Gentleperson Golfeurs and their daily GA handicaps:
Basil (6), Leroy (13), Felix (14), Cravo (14), Ian (17), Tim J (20), Mr Sexy (30*)
Felix with a chance to claim his career Grand slam. He has been playing hot golf lately, so should give it a good shake!
World Number One could change hands here too, with about four or five Gents in with a chance if they could beat Tim.
Great to see Mr Sexy return to the Tour. Now we have two funny bunnies!
The ground was covered with a thick blanket of frost. As we stretched and tried to get warm, the sun rose over the high hills which frame the course, giving us hope of a great day to come.
Cravo negotiated a few extra handicap shots for Mr Sexy, as he hadn’t played in 12 months and had not had a high finish in any of his previous Majors.
Tim not best pleased with his handicap relative to Basil. Norfik’s low slope rating meant Tim lost about three shots to Bas compared to tougher courses.
Defending champ Ian threw the balls in the air to sort us out into our groups. He led us off first, with Leroy and Mr Sexy. Mr Sexy hit a pure 7 iron, and the boys were away.
Mr Pant’s Report for Group One
Leroy sleep-walked the front nine. (Ian says that didn’t stop him giggling!)
Ian was playing xylophone on the icy greens, putting up a storm.
Sexy just started with a bang and then had the old man snoozes!!
Leroy magic appeared out of the icy shards.
Was a bunch of chalk’n’cheese golf all day from 3 amigos xxx
Cravo’s Report for Group Two
Hot favourite Tim, last start winner Felix, greatest of all time Basil, and Monday qualifier Cravo were off next.
Basil split the fairway, Tim a bit left, Felix a bit right, and Cravo further right. Felix hit his next shot onto the green to set up a 4m eagle putt across the ice. Easy birdie for him, with pars for everyone else. Forgot to high five!
A bit of loose play off the tee here from everyone other than Tim. Basil even managed to hit it into the hole the locals had dug so they could work on their sprinkler system. They told us that as it wasn’t marked GUR he’d have to take a two shot penalty. But they were kidding. Tim hit an amazing second shot here inside a metre and sunk the bird, to give him 7 points from 2 holes and one under Par off the stick! Felix also one under Par, but only 5 stablefords.
Great shots onto the green from Basil and Felix on the tough uphill 165m Par three, and pars for both. Felix still one under off the stick.
Cravo scratching for points thus far, tries to smash his drive a million miles, but tops it along the ground. Basil fairway middle and easy Par. Bogies for everyone else.
Basil tugged his drive a bit left, and it caught a skinny tree branch but finished in a good spot in the middle of the fairway. Cravo smacked a great drive up the left side, leaving a half wedge in. Felix and Tim both found the trees on the right, but Felix got up by the green (although wide) for two. Felix hit a nice chip but it landed on the plastic cart path and got a huge kick, rolling almost the whole way across the green. Cravo hit his second to a metre, leaving a good birdie look. But left it short in the heart. Pars for him and Bas, doubles for Tim and Felix.
The iconic Par three was playing off the front marks with the pin at the front, so a short pitch of about 80m. Tim best, Cravo also good and the other boys alright. Pars for Tim, Bas and Cravo and Felix with a shortish Par putt. He said, I don’t want to mess team Par up for you. Tim said go right ahead! Mess it up. And he did.
Cravo streaky drive finished unkindly with a tree root right in front. Basil unhappy that he hit his perfect drive up the middle instead of five metres further right, as it would roll off the fairway. It did, and left him jammed up by a tree. He hit an amazing shot from there and made Par of course. Bogey for Tim, doubles for the others.
The Par three across the dam saw team GIR. The greenkeeper had put the hole on a wicked side slope, so putting was a nightmare. Pars for Cravo and Bas.
The trees all wiggled their branches out of the way of Cravo’s drive, letting it get way out there. He followed that up with a huge three iron fade to about 15m short of the green and got easy Par from there. Bas bogey, and Tim and Felix putted poorly to wipe.
Score update after nine holes:
Mr Sexy 21
Bas, Cravo 19
Ian, TJ 18
Leroy 8 (still asleep)
Could anyone catch Mr Sexy on the back nine?
Annoyed at wasting points on the ninth, Felix re-focussed and mastered this hole again, which is a long Par four second time round. Two great shots to set up a good birdie look. Easy Par for him. Bogeys for everyone else.
Felix set up for a fade, but drew his tee shot (double-crossed it) out of bounds and couldn’t recover. Bas hit a great shot on, setting up an 8m birdie try and easy Par. Cravo bombed an 8m Par putt, and Tim got tidy bogey.
Highlight here was Felix’s drive which was just off the front of the uphill 260m
Par four! Everyone had Par here apart from Cravo who missed from a metre with a very weak roll.
Three great drives and a Tim whoopsie which went 30cm. After waiting around a while, Cravo hit a duff from fairway middle on his way to a bogey. Basil had the best look at bird, but the putt turned away at the end. Pars for Bas and Felix, Cravo bogey and a wipe for Tim who had treenanigans.
After that wipe, poor old Tim was feeling rubbish, and draped himself over the fence by the tee, lamenting what a crap game golf is. No paparazzi please. Bas stepped up and drove it left, Felix lefter, Cravo killed it up the fairway and Tim trees right. Tim saved Cravo from hitting the wrong ball on the green! Could’ve been disaster. Cravo Par and everyone else one pointers.
Cravo lucky here with his pitch to the short Par three holding up on the left ridge, leaving easy Par. Felix and Tim front bunker and problems, Basil three putt from just off.
Score check. We’d heard that Ian had had a few bad holes which slowed his scoring, and that Alex had a couple pars and a couple wipes for seven or eight points, so still leading but not lapping the field. Leroy had fired up but was too far back after the front nine. In our match the last two holes Bas hadn’t got a shot on stroke index, and that had helped Cravo grab a four point lead. Three holes left to play. Whatever happened in our group, would it be enough to beat Mr Sexy?
A tree jumped out of the way of Cravo’s drive again, putting him in the perfect spot to go for home in two on the Par five. Basil’s perfect drive was again 5m too much in the middle for the fairway cambre, and again he was not pleased. Felix a bit too high side got stuck behind a tree root, necessitating a drop. Tim’s OK drive went nowhere as it got smacked down by a sand bank (that wouldn’t stop him getting the equal best score on this hole though!) Cravo hits his best shot of the day, an immaculate 3 iron which bounces in front of the green, rolls thru and stops just short of the dam. Another five shots from there for a wipe! Gosh. The other boys had a chance to gain some ground but bogeys and stroke index meant it was only one shot.
Par three across the lake with the tricky side-slope pin. Felix, Bas and Cravo on the green and a Tim shank into bushes left. Tim’s third was an amazing chip which lipped out for what would’ve been a fantastic Par save. Cravo the only Par. Cravo a five shot lead on the group, but what had Mr Sexy posted in the clubhouse?
Cravo and Bas great drives. Bas had to cut his second around the corner from 165m, and he found the front bunker. Cravo hit good contact on his 5 iron from 170m but aimed it up 20m left of the green and found a tree and some sand. Got it down for a bogey and two points, which ended up being the two points he beat Mr Sexy by! Bas a great sand save Par for the gallery.
Cravo wins! He was lucky to even be allowed to tee it up, having finished dead last in the previous two Majors.
Tim and Ian 30