Donald won the Spring Stableford!
In August 2007, the guys had the difficult task of their first trip to Grantown without Joe. In typical style, the team rallied round, and on several occasions, the expression "what would Joe have done in these circumstances" kept the momentum going.
A Thursday 'prologue' of 36 holes of Stableford competition at the new Spey Valley course at Aviemore was taken on by Bob, Ian, Gordon, Ewan, Peter, Brian and Dave. Fortunately, buggies were compulsory and the longish trek was accomplished with relative ease. Bob triumphed with a modest 57 points from Peter and Brian on 54 (must have been all that practice at Merchants set them up well for Spey Valley!) Gordon's scored of 46 gave no hint of his excellent form to come later in the weekend. Brian had a 2 at the 16th to get the winners rounds kicked off in style.
Donnie and Jim joined on the Friday, and immediately Jim's day of rest was rewarded with his first win in the Seniors tournament with 40 points (including a 2 at the 16th), just ahead of Ewan and Gordon on 39. Rumours of a stitch-up were rife, especially when it was announced that this was to be the last playing on the Seniors, and Jim was "encouraged" to retain the trophy!
On Friday afternoon, a typically complex team format (contrived by Bob of course) saw Ewan, Dave & Bob triumph with 182 points. The first round of what was to become a new Stableford competition in memory of Joe resulted in good scoring all round, with Gordon, Bob and Dave recording scores in the 40s.
The Grantown Open was played over two rounds of strokeplay on the Saturday. Some rather inclement weather saw the field reduced to just six for the afternoon round, but this did not detract from excellent gross scores of 73 and 74 from Gordon landing him his fourth Grantown Open, by three shots from Ewan. Greig Wilson joined us for the afternoon round, which was followed by the scattering of Joe's ashes in the woods by the 10th hole - more on this by following this link.
Very heavy rain overnight continued into Sunday morning, and no golf was attempted.
GGS OVERSEAS TOUR No. 8
Tuesday 9th September
The combination of Heathrow Airport and British Airways lived up to its reputation and duly managed to lose Ewan's golf clubs on the journey out. Coupled with Lisbon Airport have the worst lost luggage facility in the world, the tour did not get off to the best possible start, but this was soon rectified with a meal and a few drinks in the hotel.
Wednesday 10th September
An enhanced Stableford team format at the Estoril course reversed the formbook and saw the "high handicappers" of Jim, Brian & Donnie triumph by just one point over "middlemen" Bob, Ian & Dave, with the so-called "hotshots" Gordon, Ewan and Donald a distant third. However, the enhance scoring format masked the true form and once the "Donalds" had kicked in, the handicaps (and treasurer's purse) had swelled impressively!
Jim had a rare two earning him €40, nearly enough for a decent winner's round!
Thursday 11th September
A return to the 2002 "home base" of Quinta da Marinha for a team scramble competition saw the first playing together of the week-long teams. The Shades (Donald, Dave & Brian) run out comfortable winners over TLC (Gordon, Bob & Jim) and Respect (Donnie, Ewan & Ian). No individual 2s, but the Shades recorded three team 2s within their five birdies! TLC retained a narrow lead in the team competition.
Friday 12th September
On to Belas for a Bob-special 3-2-1 team format, which strangely enough, saw Bob's team (with Ewan and Brian) trounce the opposition by 27 and 33 points respectively! Dave had a 2, and Donnie was nearest the pin. A good team showing by the Shades saw them taking a narrow lead into the weekend break.
Saturday 13th September
With some form of bug affecting some of the guys to varying degrees, there were somewhat tentative outings to Lisbon and Estoril (for the Moto GP Final Practice).
Sunday 14th September
Back to Penha Longa for the 2007 Masters, and a truly astonishing 40 points from "death-warmed-up" Ian Wilson saw him take his third Masters title by a massive 6 points from Ewan, with Bob being the only other player in the thirties.
Gordon had a 2, and the only disappointing feature was that the little bar at the 9th hole was no longer operational. Ian and Ewan's strong performance took their Respect team to within one point of the lead in the team competition.
Monday 15th September
On to Oitavos for the last day, and several competitions being played. Upstairs terrace bar still on part-time duty, but buggy-beers and promises of full service after the round cheered the boys up!
On an individual basis, the second round of the Joe memorial competition was played, with Bob just edging out Gordon by one point. Their fine scoring helped overcome Dave's pathetic effort to allow these three to win the best ball team competition on 49 points, courtesy of a better inward half over Donald, Ewan and Donnie.
A very close finish to the week-long team competition saw the Respect team of Donnie, Ewan and Ian take the spoils.
**** Check out all the 2007 charts and tables here ****
Tuesday 17th September
Only one bag (JDK's) lost on the way home.