Piperdam Golf Club 2010
The day got off to a delayed start - after advising everyone to be at the meeting point by 7.15am sharp for a departure at 7.30am, the organisor decided that this would be the day he would sleep-in (after having a particulary rigourous 'training' session at the bar at the Marcliffe hotel on the Saturday evening!). A frantic re-organisation saw the bus being re-routed to Denwood before the journey south could begin. Magners helped in the recovery process with Kitty man Dod organising the bar from the back of the bus.
There was only one casualty / player missing from the event - John Murray had a dose of the sh*ts and had to cancel - it is suspected that he could not handle the pressure of being this years favourite to lift the M&S cup after it was confirmed that Andy Buchan was working........
We eventually arrived in Piperdam with just enough time to enjoy bacon rolls and coffee.
Derek Wood, last years champion had the honour of sclaffing the first ball into the water at the short par 3 1st hole, but somehow, with the course bathed in sunshine, he managed to send his first shot straight onto the dance floor, quite close to the band. He eventually missed the birdie putt and had to settle for a par 3.
After suffering without his on-course coach (Rod Snr) last year, Bernie saw a vast improvement in his score with an increase of 38% in his performance as Rod Snr returned to the event.
With Andy Buchan and John Murray having pulled out of the tournament, the competition for lifting the M&S Cup was wide open. This year saw a new highest score for last position and the 'winner' of the M&S trophy 2010 was Dod Laing, scoring a massive 21 points. Former champion, Graeme Meade managed to scrape a couple of points on the 17th and 18th holes which untimatly resulted him in coming in 2nd last, and thus avoiding the accolade of having both winner and loser trophies.
Yet again Big Bob was beaten by his loon, who was playing his fourth ever game of golf.
The business end of the leaderboard saw four players within four points of each other. On 35 points; former number 1 player Nick Frost and 2-time champion Phil Sinclair, and on 36 points Iain Ritchie, another former 2-time champion. Nick played the par 3's very well but his downfall was on the short par 4's and a no-score on the last hole. Phil sclaffed his first shot of the day into the water and finished bogey - bogey. Ultimately, these mistakes cost them a chance of the title.
This years winner was Niall Ritchie who scored 39 points. He had a slow start to the round by gathering zero points on the first hole, but played exceptionally well to recover the outward 9 holes in par. It was on the back nine that Niall secured his win, powering in with 21 points (3 under par), with an equivalent birdie, eagle, birdie, par finish. During his winners interview you could see that he wanted to celebrate, but his professionalism as a teacher took over his conscience as he had school the next day!
Congratulations to Niall who's win has seen him re-enter the Order of Merit at number 19.
There was controversy during the prize-giving ceremony; it had been stated that Graeme had secured a hole-in-one at the 9th hole on the Wee Piper course. However just as he was about to receive his bottle of Highland Park, it was discovered that this was a made up story. Graeme claims he had nothing to do with this, but the committee will be sitting to discuss his next handicap adjustment!
The morning round had two Nearest-the-Hole competitions. The 6th hole, sponsored by Nick Frost Photography who very kindly donated a £100 voucher for a photo shoot, was won by 'The Hobbit' - Iain Sellar. The 11th hole sponsored by the 5th Major, was won by Phil Sinclair, who picked up a Yonex Hybrid golf club.
The afternoon competition was a nine hole Texas Scramble over the Wee Piper par 3 course. All but two teams had gross scores of par or better, but with a nett score of 22.3 the winners were Bob, Jim McCombie, Niall and Jim Wright.
This years Nick McLeod Putting competition saw the introduction of the spring putter. After the initial round it looked like bad light (darkness) would interupt the competition, as most players struggled to hit the ball, never mind get it near the hole. The event however was over in round 3 and was won by rookie player, Barry Stewart, who kindly donated the winnings to the kitty.
The journey home was noisy, with the entertainment being led by Phil, who had created 'Sounds of the 5th Major'. However, the bus did not have a CD player, so earlier in the day, the driver was sent to Tesco to purchase a portable CD player and a set of batteries! The cats choir was again diabolical.
This year we did not have a phantom spewer - it was Graeme Meade who was caught on camera howking up his haddock supper. An eventful day for the former champion has seen him inducted into Rogues Gallery. Following the river of spew, the bus was ordered to stop at the next petrol station and Bob and his loon, Matthew took charge in the clean-up operation - it was like a scene from CSI Miami when they turned up with rubber gloves, 2 tonnes of paper towels and bin liners. It just goes to show that experience is valuable...
After returning back to Aberdeen, three of the group, Rod, Nick McL and Big Bob managed to stagger to G Casino for more drink (why??) and to lose money (why??), although Rod made a wee profit. The fourth member of the group, and the only G casino member, Matthew, was refused entry as he was too drunk.
Another classic 5th Major .......
A DVD of the day will be available soon.