Durkan Wins at Green Valley
The Pattaya Links Golf Society revisited Green Valley on Wednesday, 15th January with forty-three golfers getting the nod from the starter to begin twenty minutes earlier than booked.
What a difference this makes with large numbers champing at the bit to take on a tough golf course. Green Valley was certainly up for it with fairways giving plenty of run, bunkers well-tended and greens consistent and quick.
The day started fine but, as so often happens here, slowly the cloud cover increased and the final few holes were played in overcast and humid conditions.
Three flights were cut at thirteen, seventeen and eighteen and above and the scores mirrored the toughness of the day. In the third flight Richie McIntosh made a rare podium appearance with his 29 points taking the place on countback. The top two golfers were subjected to countback and Dave Rodrigues’ 31 points was adjudged second to Ray Clarke’s better back nine.
Second flight scores fared better with third place going to “The Count”, John Malet de Carteret with 31 points. Second place went to Bill Buchanan with 33 points whilst Wayne Peppernell managed a welcome first place again, after a long hiatus, with 34 points.
The top flight saw better scores as Rana Gurnam took third with 35 points, two behind Barry Wellings (37) and that left Paul Durkan to take his first Green Jacket with 38 well crafted points.
Near pins went to Bill Buchanan, Shabir Hussein, Adam Barton, Phil Mitchell, Dave Rodrigues, Simon Watts and John Malet de Carteret. Consolation awards went to Dave de Caminada for his splendid 23 points on the front nine and Mike Ehlert’s fine level par effort on the back nine.
‘A’ Flight ( 0-13)
1st Place – Paul Durkan (9) – 38pts
2nd Place – Barry Wellings (5) – 37 pts
3rd Place – Rana Gurnam (13) – 35 pts
“B” Flight (14-17)
1st Place – Wayne Peppernell (16) – 34 pts
2nd Place – Billy Buchanan (15) – 33 pts
3rd Place – John Malet DeCarteret (17) – 31 pts c/back
‘C’ Flight ( 18+)
1st Place – Ray Clarke (18) – 31 pts c/back
2nd Place – Dave Rodrigues (30) – 31 pts c/back
3rd Place – Richie McIntosh (28) – 29 pts c/back
Best Front Nine “C” ( non winners)….David DeCaminada….23 pts
Best Back Nine “A” (non winners)…..Mike Ehlert ….18 pts c/back
Mr. Phil decided to award the “silly hat” to his old mate Rana Gurnam for losing his place on the tee when he decided to disappear to the driving range, knowing he was in the second group, and completely unaware that often starters promote groups when the tee is empty. In short, in High Season, if you want to practice, get to the course very much before time.
The ‘wig’ went to Simon Watts for his lacklustre round and he received the usual words of encouragement from Mr. Phil, in order to avoid a repeat.
The general verdict afterwards was that the course was in excellent condition and is well worth the visit, even in high season, as the Asian golfers do not seem to be there in numbers such as a few years ago.