Castletown Golf Links
Members were out in force to support the Men's multi-tee stableford at Castletown on Saturday. It was perfect weekend weather and the course looked splendid after the recent rain which had helped freshen-up the fairways and render the greens invitingly receptive. Consequently, nearly forty percent of the field were able to meet or beat their handicaps.
There were some exceptionally good scores posted and 17 players collected 40 or more stableford points. A special mention goes to our vice-captain Gez Bradley (1). He may have finished sixth with 43 points, but Bradley had the distinction of adding a new course record (70) to his list of golfing achievements.
With the new 18th fairway now in play records were up for grabs and Bradley had no hesitation in taking on the championship (black) tees. Birdies on the Road Hole and the par five 7th enabled him to turn at two under par which he managed to maintain. Another birdie on the next par five quickly balancing out Bradley’s only bogey from the previous hole.
Your correspondent had the pleasure and privilege of witnessing the compilation of the amazing competition winning score of 49 points and, it could have been more! Ian Souter (15), who came second with 40 points in the third winter eclectic back in March, has grown in confidence and sharpened his short game since then.
Souter did have one stroke of luck when the pin stopped his bouncing ball on the 4th enabling him to filch a fortunate four. Apart from that he was a model of consistency. The highlight was a brilliant birdie on the Road Hole and, with five tap-in bogeys, his splendid gross 76 is also a new course record off the white tees.
Second placed John Ledwidge (15) birdied the 6th and the 15th and, at just two over par, was level pegging with Souter on 45 points after sixteen holes. Unfortunately, perhaps daydreaming of what could have been, Ledwidge failed to finish the final two holes and so did not add to his impressive total.
The Shore Hotel’s Mark Walker (12) served up his second fine performance of the week in third place with 44 points. Turning at two over par it was then a case of one step forward and two steps back for Walker. His four over par back nine included two birdies and two double bogeys.
In fourth spot Stewart Fleming (35) may have been at sixes and sevens but he got them in all the right places to accumulate 43 points from 16 scoring holes. These included three fabulous four pointer pars. His blobs were sustained on the Road Hole and the 18th.
Starting and finishing with nil pointers Gareth Morris (7) also carded 43 points. Boosted by five birdies he played the remaining 16 holes in a remarkable one under par to finish fifth.
Les Doherty led the charge from the yellow tees to head that group with 34 points but, by completing every hole, Peter McKenna (23) now has his name in the hall of fame with a new course record of 102.
There was a two-way tie for top spot in the midweek stableford, won on countback by Paul Keeley (8). His 42 points were more evenly distributed than second placed Les Gale (12). The aforementioned Mark Walker came third with 40 points. Jon Corke was fourth and it should be noted that his gross 74 improved by two shots the initial championship tee’s new course record set in the previous stableford.
This Saturday sees the welcome return of the SMP Partners sponsored monthly medal series. Being a multi-tee competition, with a first prize maximum handicap limit of 28, there may be a temptation to convert to the yellow tees and go glory hunting by improving McKenna’s mark.