Nearly man wins at last
After weeks of complaining that he’s usually there abouts at the finishing
line, but never actually wins, Jim Catterson earned a place on the winner’s
podium in the Chiang Mai Golfers stroke play competition at the Lanna course
last Tuesday. However, he had to be satisfied with sharing the position with
Matysek (left) and Jim Catterson, joint winners at Lanna last Tuesday.
From a field of 21 in piping hot conditions, Jim and Len both staggered home
with net scores of 71, while the Stableford prize also produced a tie, with
Gordon Langtry and Roger Mack scoring a low 34 points each.
On Thursday, Chiang Mai Golfers enjoyed having an empty Gymkhana Club to
themselves. Despite a cooling breeze, a combination of the hot weather and
Songkran were cited as reasons for the deserted course, but it also might be
due to a 50% increase in the green fee. Nevertheless, after coming second
two days before, Garry Walker got lucky this time out by winning with 38
Stableford points, one ahead of David McCunnel.
The Royal League is now well into another session of scratch play
competitions at the Highlands, and last Tuesday produced joint winners -
Steve Polaski and Kari Sirelius - with scores of 85 strokes. Dennis Dobrick
came in third with an 86.
Steve will be cursing his recent lack of consistency, when the odd blemish
has cost him the round. This time out it was a 9 on the par 5, third. Steve
completed a schizoid performance going out in 38 and back in 47; while
Kari’s more stable 41/44 brought the match to the wire, where Steve missed a
birdie chance and Kari bogeyed via a bunker to square the match.
Despite a leg injury, Dennis produced an even steadier round of 43/43, but
he won’t forget the 8 he accrued on the 11th.
On the following Thursday, in form Hong Kim notched his second win in four
weeks with an impressive 39 Stableford points. Playing off 24, his five pars
in the round and third place in the overall prizewinners list must give food
for thought to the handicappers.
Dennis Dobrick’s gross 82 and 37 points saw him safely into second place,
and he was left to rue the 3 double bogeys on his card. Steve Belair played
well off his lowest ever handicap of 12. And a creditable 87 strokes and 33
points put him firmly into 3rd spot.
There seems to be no holding Kari Sirelius back these days, and his net 64,
which included 3 birdies - was enough to take first in Happy Bar Std’s
stroke play event at Mae Jo last Monday. His fellow Finn, Kari Laukkanen
came in second with a net 69, two strokes ahead of the ever improving David
Mike Neun took the honours on Wednesday at the Highlands, with Happy Bar
coordinator, Noel O’Dwyer second. However, third placed John Gordon played
the shot of the day with a 323 yard drive on the par 4, 11th. John watched
his ball make the water before seeing it drop into a greenside bunker. But
the lad kept his cool to secure a birdie.
Back at Mae Jo on Friday, Peter Efremgan, David Cameron and Tom Ingham came
first, second and third with net 73, 74 and 75, respectively. While two
players failed to finish their round when the heavens opened up on the 16th,
their playing partners, Dennis Woerner and Dennis Dobrick battled on through
the storm to finish 40 minutes behind everyone else.
For more information visit www.theroyalleague.com, www.chiangmaigolfers
.blogspot.com or ring Garry Walker on 081 032 8803, and for Happy Bar Std’s
ring Noel O’Dwyer on 089 256 5705.
Ring in the changes
The Chiang Mai Pool League cancelled last Friday’s programme so that most of
us could celebrate Songkran by chucking ice cubes and powdered water at our
neighbours and friends. There’s nothing like family fun at the festive
season, and this third New Year of 2007, like all New Years, signaled a time
This is Heaven’s Beach.
While some pool seasons might seem much the same as previous ones, this term
has seen a number of significant changes. After John Whiting’s resignation
from league coordinator, he followed it up with a miraculous vanishing act,
which shut down the Out Back bar and made all their players redundant.
What lay behind John’s flight is likely to remain a mystery for evermore;
however, his successor, Shaun Dodd of December Bar, made no secret of how
the league would be streamlined. He backed a clearer interpretation of the
rules, put the starting time back 30 minutes, introduced 4 more teams,
arranged ultra efficient data distribution and put December’s best player in
the family way - his wife, Mai.
There’s little doubt that Shaun has performed admirably since becoming
coordinator, and the general consensus has given him the thumbs up,
especially Mai, who recently gave birth to a baby boy.
It’s been just as well that news in the League spreads fast these days
because names and venues have changed quicker than the weather. Last year’s
runner up, Friends Corner is now known as Em & Em and currently props up the
rest of the League. Meanwhile, La Villa has been renamed Chokdee, and they
play in a bar at the back of beyond, where the balls wobble when the
floorboards creak under pressure. And debutants, Maggie’s Place recently
moved to the bar beer centre behind the stark empty shell of the once
vibrant Out Back.
New side, Oasis, is almost as hard to find as those in the Sahara; and many
visitors have expressed amazement when treading the sands of Heaven’s Beach.
This soft undulating floor surface around the table not only calls for
stance contortions, but it’s also rumoured that a female Number 1 Pub player
lost a high heeled shoe in it.
Like Heaven’s Beach, fellow newcomers, Inter Bar subject their visitors to a
crowded ambience of heavy rock and head bangers, a mere cue’s distance from
the playing area - but there’s no sand.
So, what of the future? One of the few complaints of this season has been
its length. A long session of over 30 matches can become meaningless for the
mid table sides before half the term has been completed. One suggestion is
to find three more teams and make up two divisions of 10. With 3 top prizes
and 4 sides relegated and 4 promoted, more than 50% of the entire League
would have an interest right up to the final whistle.
We’ll have to wait and see what Shaun has up his sleeve. In the meantime,
it’s back to “normal” next Friday, and I’m sure you all enjoyed the Songkran
soaking. Personally, I can’t wait to get back into the pool.
Bowlers’ spirit hardly dampened
Despite Songkran, twenty-four ten pin
bowlers still fought their way to PS Bowl through a shower of premature
celebrations and mustered 6 teams of 4 at last Wednesday’s Chiang Mai team
week’s runaway victors are Jo, Oi, Yung and Bob.
Individual performances of note included Ron’s 257 and Garry’s 256 off
handicaps of 68 and 66, respectively, and high handicappers Oi and H.
Patterson both scored 253. Moreover, Yung turned in an impressive display of
accuracy to complete two of his three frames with straight scores of over
200. And, this week’s team event went to runaway victors Jo, Oi, Yung and
This weekly meeting manages to create a competitive edge in an informal and
very friendly atmosphere and anyone is welcome to join in. Just turn up any
Wednesday before 3.30 pm and introduce yourself to Les Harvey, who picks the
teams and works out the handicaps.