The Club Championship finals were played today in very hot conditions. Temperatures peaked at 38 degrees and in the sun of course it was quite uncomfortable. My thanks to referees Don Barker and David Boyd who officiated for the B and C grade matches. The A grade was contested by Alex Mulholland (6) against David Burgess (13) and as all finals, it was played off the stick. The match tee'd off at 7:56 and David got off to a good start winning the first 3 holes. This lead was maintained but then it was whittled away by Alex to 1 by the 8th and then they were all square at the turn. At the 10th David pulled his tee shot into the 'woods' but then recovered to be a good 170 meters out on the fairway but still denied a straight shot to the pin. A beautifully drawn rescue flew 'round the pine tree and landed inches from the pin - he got the putt and returned to 1 up.
The next 4 holes were squared, Alex won the next 3 and they finished the first 18 with Alex 3 up. After lunch Alex won with a par on the 1st (19th hole) and then with a birdie on the 20th (the temperature at this stage was 36), David pulled one back on the 3rd (David was perhaps a little too far left up by the 150 marker and then sent a low rescue to land on the green). Alex won the 4th with a par and the next two holes were halved. Alex's drive on the 7th was a beautiful drawn drive that left him a short wedge to the green and he won the hole.
On the 8th both gentlemen drove close to 300m (see photo), their balls landing only metres apart. Both players hit their balls near to the green and David got one back, leaving Alex +5. The 9th was halved, so at the turn Alex maintained a 5 shot lead. On the 10th David found the trees on the left and then again and decided to navigate his way to the 10th green via the 6th. Alex's drive was perfect, leaving him with a wide open green he capitalised on this finishing by taking the hole. At this stage he was +6. On the 11th neither player found the green and David walked off getting one back. On the 12th David got another one back . The 13th Alex drove the green - beautiful to watch - and David navigated to the green via the 16th but the halved the hole. At this stage it was like a sudden-death playoff - the loss of any hole would be the end of the match for David. On the 14th - that's the one up the hill - Alex's ball found the lefthand bunker. David was to the right in the "valley of sin" (we all know that place). David played first, chipping to within a few metres of the pin. Alex came out of the bunker but his chip went just off the green. A great putt and he got it in. David, with great match nerves, putted confidently and also got the putt. It was fantastic. On the 15th (the temperature was now 38 deg.) David's drive faded to leave him a shot that had to navigate the trees. Alex's drive ended up near the Stan Austen tree (in a similar position as the morning's drive). Alex had to get a 3m putt to win the hole and he did. The 2014 club champion, 5 and 3, Alex Mulholland - a great match played by two gentlemen.
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