The Spring Cup was played over the weekend of the 11th and 12th of September and was sponsored by ZHIMING LI and we thank Zhiming for his support of the Club’s oldest Championship.
The Spring Cup was first played in 1935 and 2021 was the 86th year it had been played. This year a field of 84 players participated each with hopes of having their names etched on the Perpetual Trophy.
Previous winners of the Spring Cup who played over the weekend were – Tony Slee (1998), John Venner (2004), Angus Johnson (2008), Gavin Furness (2017), Ako Futaesaku (2018), Mackenzie Buck (2019) and defending champion Paul Coni.
Saturday was a beautiful Spring Day and with the newly renovated bunkers back in play surprisingly the scores suggested that the course was playing much the same as before the “Great Flood” of the 9th July.
The leader after the completion of the morning round was the Immediate Past President Tim Tan – playing off his 6 Handicap Tim had an outstanding first round of 39 Points. A solid first nine of 18 points was followed by a second nine of 21 points which included three birdies. Next was John Samuels with 36 points.
In the afternoon the scoring was a little better with seven players having 36 points or more. The affable Scotsman Craig Marshall was flying after an outward nine of 21 points and this was supported by a very good last nine 19 points which was helped by two 3-pointers in his last four holes. Ron Birmingham, Haydn Robinson, Joe Ricciardone and Callum White were 3 points behind on 37. “Lurking” 4 points behind on 36 points was the 2017 winner Gavin Furness together with David Falconer.
So, after the conclusion of Round One there were nine players between 36 and 40 points.
The stage was set for a tantalising second round.
Another fine Spring Day greeted all players and the question was – could overnight morning leader, Tim Tan, give the afternoon field something to chase – or perhaps John Samuels.
John Samuels could not make up any ground and the chasing pack were not fairing much better so it was left to Tim Tan. After a solid 17 points on his first nine holes, he faltered over the next 2 where he only had one point. Six pars followed but it was a too much too late – finishing with 33 points and an overall total of 72.
So, what could the afternoon players do?
Overnight leader, “The Flying Scotsman” Craig Marshall got off to a bad start, fought back to have a chance only to have a disastrous final holes finishing with a two-round total of 66 points.
Of those on 37 points only Callum White made an impression. After 16 points on his first nine 17 points followed, but overall, 7 one pointers during his second round ultimately led to his downfall. His two-round total of 73 points overtook Tim Tan on 72 points.
So now what was the “lurking” Gavin Furness doing? Nobody knew as he was not using the “Ap” as he normally did. Game plan maybe? No definitely!
A solid front nine of 18 points put him on track for a good second round, and after 6 holes on the final nine he had 12 points. 2 three pointers followed so now there was his final hole to negotiate – the 18th. He was in a greenside bunker for 2 and played a good bunker shot to around 12 feet, putted to a “gimmee” length of 2 feet and then can you believe – he missed it! Had he done the unthinkable – “choked” – and thrown the Spring Cup away? His playing partners, Messrs, Fraser, Noske and Hing tried to console the “unconsolable” Furness but to no avail. He thought his final score of 73 points was not enough.
And then arrived that blissful moment – a win on a countback from the luckless Callum White who was left to rue the chances he had during the final round. There are probably many more who threw their chances away but all credit must go to the two-time Spring Cup champion Gavin Furness. He was finally “consoled”. Maybe now he will realise his true potential!!
Tim Tan finished third with 72 points and the evergreen Davd Falconer next on 71 points. Best Gross went to Ben Cullinan with 67 points on a countback from Callum White.
Best first round went to Craig Marshall with 40 points and the second-round winner was Matt Craig with 39 points on a countback from Ken Grunder.
Best of the other “Past Winners” was Ako Fataesaku 67 points.
So, there is now another two-time winner of the Spring Cup and congratulations to Gavin Furness who also won this years Summer Cup. No doubt he will set his sights on overtaking the late Russell Parker’s record of 4 Spring Cups. If he can hold onto his handicap, he could be in the mix in the upcoming Cam Wilson Bowl, Dalkeith Cup and of course the pinnacle – The CG Dudley Cup.
Given the issues the club has faced over the last 2 months, the course was presented in excellent condition by new course Superintendent Liam Spooner and his staff.
Others who contributed to a successful 2 days who deserve acknowledgment include Golf Shop staff and the Clubhouse staff and John in the kitchen.
Finally, acknowledgement must be made of the sponsor of this year’s Spring Cup – ZHIMING LI whose support of the club is most appreciated.
With Bunkers now in play did you know? –
1. Over the course of 4 Saturdays in August 8.7% of the total no of players scored more than 36 points.
2. Over the course of the weekend 7.8% had more than 36 points
3. Over the course of 4 Wednesdays in August 12.7% of the total no of players scored more than 36 points.
What does all that mean? You be the judge.
From – Greg Fitzhardinge