HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Team bowling goes to the wire

Celts clinch Chiang Mai Challenge

Chiang Mai Pool League

Chiangmai SportRoundup

Team bowling goes to the wire

Right to left are Jo, Ken, Ron and Da

Anyone who cares to turn up at PS Bowl is welcome to play in Chiang Mai Bowlers’ weekly team event, and 24 participants arrived last Wednesday afternoon to make up 6 sides of 4.

Although the bowling wasn’t quite up to the usual standard, the finish couldn’t have been closer. With Gary, Phil, Colin and JJ sitting on a comfortable lead, up popped Jo to score 3 strikes with her last 3 bowls and lead the rest of her team - Ron, Da and Ken - to a last gasp 6 pin victory.

Notable individual performances came from the ever consistent Yung with a 246, H. Patterson on 234 and Les with a 230.

Celts clinch Chiang Mai Challenge

Sandy Lie

Chiang Mai Golfers held a very successful 2007 International Challenge Cup event at the Lanna club last Tuesday, with 29 players from eight countries competing. In hot and humid conditions on a fairly free course, the Scottish side - Scott Lumsden, David McCunnall, Jim Catterson and Malcolm Tetley - took the honours with an average score of 72, two strokes better than last year’s winners, the USA. Third place was shared between Canada and England - both carding 75.

Scotland - (left to right) Scott Lumsden, David McCunnall, Jim Catterson and Malcolm Tetley.

"The Kim Gilles Hole in One Prize" of Bt1,000 went home with Kim, but Warren Simpson, Kieran Savage and Scott Lumsden all won sports shirts - sponsored by Number 1 Pub - as nearest-the-hole awards on the par 3s. This type of event has caught the imagination and grown in popularity, and Chiang Mai Golfers will consider staging up to 3 international challenges in future years. Rumour has it; there could be another one as early as next December - so watch this space.

Happy Bar Std’s had a very busy programme last week - cramming in two Chiang Mai events at Mae Jo and traveling up to higher ground for their monthly Chiang Rai Cup.

In the Rose of the North, last Monday’s stroke play competition was dominated by Gordon Langtry, whose handicap has been falling like Niagara. He started the round playing off 24 - down from 30 - and after carding a winning net 69, with six pars and a birdie, left the course with a 21 handicap. It could have dropped further had it not been for his ten on the fourth.

The last two Chiang Rai Cups produced first time winners and last week’s event saw a third in the shape of Peter Efremjan. In slightly cooler climes at Santiburi Golf Club on Tuesday, Peter finished leader in the clubhouse after completing a net 74, with Eric George and Noel O’Dwyer close to his tail.

While Noel faltered on the following day, Eric began a charge for the top, but Peter managed to stave him off with a total net score of 150. Eric finished on 154 and Noel came third with 157.

Back in the northern capital, five golfers fought toe to toe in Friday’s Stableford contest. Tom Ingham parred four of the first nine, scored an eight on the 15th and then eagled the 16th. Nineteen handicapper, Neil Alper, had 7 pars on his card, while Gordon Langtry achieved six, which prompted yet another cut in his handicap.

Mike Nuen shot ten pars and a birdie in his round and Noel O’Dwyer grossed 97. The outcome was a tie for first between Tom Ingham and Mike Nuen, both with 39 points. The other three challengers were just one point adrift.

As drunk as a lord and seeing two off the tee some years ago, I barely remember striking my drive straight down the first and birdying the hole. I then managed par, bogey, par, par before the hangover kicked in and I ended the round with a 121 and heart palpitations.

So, I fully empathize with Sam Chinnapongse, who was caught red-handed in the trees at the Highlands last Tuesday, swigging from an early morning can of beer before the Royal League’s scratch event had even started. Sam set off like Ernie Els - completing the first nine in 40. But after putting his beer down and starting to concentrate, he came home with a head-spinning 53.

Sam had led the field at the halfway stage, but finished joint fifth at the nineteenth, leaving Grahame Curry the winner, Steve Polaski second and Kari Sirelius and Mike Neun joint third.

For more information visit www.theroyallea, www.chiangmai or ring Garry Walker on 081 032 8803 and for Happy Bar Std’s call Noel O’Dwyer on 089 256 5705.

Chiang Mai Pool League: It’s a three horse race

Pat Black

The Chiang Mai Pool League’s top three powerhouses relented nothing last Friday night. Half Moon Pub waltzed home with a comfortable win, while Blue Sky Bar and Inter Bar stamped their authority onto matches that had posed them early problems.

Jit playing for Inter Bar.

After The Local had taken a 1-0 lead, visitors Blue Sky Bar inflicted a backlash of 4 frame wins on the trot. Even though the home side clawed themselves back in the last singles, the Bar polished off all the doubles to run out 7-2 victors.

At Happy Bar, the underdogs gave Inter Bar a run for their money - at one time leading 2-1, and tying the singles when Happy’s Eugene seven balled Inter’s Daeng. But Inter put their true form together to take all three doubles with some of the best potting and ball control I have seen in the Chiang Mai Pool League.

Meanwhile, the game was over by half time at Chokdee, when Half Moon Pub moved into a 5-1 lead. And The Moon maintained the tempo by clearing up two of the doubles.

These three wins, and the fact that the next three teams lost, has opened a gap of 4 points between third and fourth in the League, and this season’s championship is beginning to look like a 3 horse race.

It was all over after the first doubles at Enjoy Place, who has fallen away badly over recent weeks. The home side started brightly by winning the first frame against Maggie’s Place and they went 2-1 up before Maggie’s knocked off 4 frames in a row.

December Bar will also be disappointed with their 4-5 defeat to debutants Oasis. At 2-4 down at the break, there was no recovery for December. They pulled one frame back in the first doubles, but Oasis won the next two.

And despite The Wall producing the most exciting match of the night, a scratched black in the deciding frame allowed Heaven’s Beach to all but extinguish any hope of The Brickies catching the League leaders.

Elsewhere, Number 1 Pub made short work of basement boys Em & Em by winning 5 of the singles and one doubles. However, Kim and Scott of Number 1 commented that Em & Em are no pushovers and their low position is another indicator of the strength of this league.

Lastly, Blue Sky Garden also finished off their oppo quick time. Rock Hard Bistro has only won one match on the road so far this season and their trip to The Garden changed nothing. They were 1-5 down at the break and managed only one doubles win before returning home.