Sunday Women’s Pennant Report – Round 4

Published on 16th April 2024 in Guests News, Latest News, Public Latest News

It was Masters weekend as we headed for Box Hill for Round 4 of the Ladies Sunday Pennant, and I have to say that as I crossed Ray’s Creek, the azaleas were in full bloom in the beautiful sunshine. It was also great to see Scott Thomson enter into the Masters spirit by wearing the white jump-suit while carrying out his caddy duties.

Just before things get underway in Pennant, the two managers swap team sheets, and it’s a chance to suss out how strong the opposition is. Quite a shock today as the Sanctuary Lakes team had a 0.5 handicap at No.1, and a 1.3 handicap at No.2. This was not going to be the easy day we were looking for.

Flying in from Paris, especially to play at No.7 was MJ Lee. Ditching her usual caddy, husband Ken, Feirn was on the bag today. Let’s call it a scrappy start and blame the jet lag, but MJ was 2 down early and not happy with her game. Quite a turn around, MJ clearly woke up and was 3 up by the turn, running out a comfortable 5 & 4 winner.

Getting to the pointy end of the season, we called in the ‘big guns’ today and Hayley Peters made her long awaited season debut. Fast out of the blocks she fired her second shot to the heart of the green and knocked her first putt to 18 inches. Her opponent was struggling and Hayley had 2 for the hole, but the putt was not conceded! Hayley stood with her ball in hand, eyeing her reluctant opponent for quite a while before she buckled, and conceded the putt. Always encouraging, husband Andrew must have thought he had a chance of the caddy money when Hayley strolled home 6 & 5.

Last week’s headline act, Jody Doran didn’t make the same mistake twice, and was always ahead in her match. 4 up, she swapped a couple of wins with her opponent before finishing off the match on the 13th hole, 6 & 5. Caddy Duncan was already counting his share of the caddy money after a much more relaxing day.

At No.4 today was Melinda Crawford, continuing her partnership with Rita. One down after the first few holes, there was a slight scoring dispute with her opponent where Mel and Rita had miscounted and a shot which had rebounded off a tree had been ‘overlooked’ by our pair. They don’t usually have to count as high as 8! The matter was easily and amicably resolved, but Mel was 2 down for a while, in what was our closest match of the day. She found her consistency and had squared the match by the turn against an opponent with a lower handicap. For those who have played Box Hill, Mel’s game reached the ‘top field’ but she was playing well and closed the match out on the 16th with a fine par, 3 & 2

Erica has made the No.3 spot in the team her own and on paper at least should have been able to chalk up another win. A beautiful drive down the first followed by a sweet iron shot onto the green saw her win the first hole and she never looked back from there. For those of you who know Boxhill, it is a tight, narrow course and Erica’s opponent struggled with her line and solid play on the first 5 holes saw Erica 4 up. Erica was 5 up playing the 9th hole but a miraculous shot from her opponent who had almost hit her tee shot out of bounds saw the score 4 up at the turn. A bit of tree trouble on 10 and we were back to 3 up before caddy Shirley said to “bring it home now”. Wins on 12 and 13, they were dormie. A solid final hole and the match was over 5 & 4. A comfortable winner.

Helen’s young opponent was 5 shots better in handicap (all matches played ‘off the stick’) so she knew it was going to be a big challenge right from the start. Although Helen played some great golf, she couldn’t afford to make any mistakes, and when she did, she often lost the hole. Encouraged by Scott, Helen won consecutive holes and was hanging in, only 2 down at the turn. Helen also made it to the ‘top field’ but couldn’t hold off her talented opponent, going down fighting 4 & 3.

What can I say about young Fay? Her handicap is 0.0, but this was her biggest test so far in Pennant, playing against a young lady off 0.5. High expectations for a close, high quality game. On the first hole, all the other ladies were hitting a variety of irons into the green for their second shots. Fay – driver finished just off the green side! Impressive power. She couldn’t get up and down and the first hole was halved. A few holes were halved, but Fay was in great form, 1-up, then 2-up, 3-up and 4. I asked her how she was going – “I’m playing well”. She’s quite understated. It is great to see her enjoying Pennant and she loves to win, but she also loves to see the others doing well. Caddy mum gets really excited too and is clearly loving the team match play games. Onto the back 9, with Andrew and Duncan counting their money, Fay was unstoppable, and destroyed a quality opponent 7 & 5. Mum was delighted!

Another big turn out from our support was great to see. We are unbeaten, and have clinched a promotion spot, but must travel to Kooringal next week to play the home team, who are also 4 from 4, so we will have to be at our best to keep our winning streak going. Win or lose, we will have a final on 28th April where we will play Kooringal for the second week in a row, but this time on a neutral course, yet to be decided.

Calum Munro
Team Manager

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