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Steve Lee-Sang Champion - Major No 4 Muswell Hill Golf & Country Club
Friday 12 July 2013, 07:00 - 22:00
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by David Williams

Steve Lee-Sang is on Song at Muswell Hill

SLS Winner

Everything was in order: the biggest field for over 3 years, warm weather (the thermostat was apparently going to touch 30 degrees making it hotter than some parts of the Caribbean) and a golf course in superb condition with sun baked greens to add just a bit of spice and everyone honing their games to perfection (according to the Muswell Hill Pro-shop they have been inundated with members getting good practice in preparation for the 4th major of the year.

The day started with 2 late withdrawals Don Stewart and Steve Garner both did not face the starter. In the case of Steve it was the rather sad news none of us ever hope to receive. Of course our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with him and his family.

So 40 members took on the test of Muswell Hill's lightning greens including the return of an old stalwart Wilf Solomon on who is among a select group of stalwarts whose selfless efforts of the past sowed the seeds of what we are reaping the dividends of today. It was very good to see him. We also had 3 other guests who were given our customary warm welcome. Bose Sreedharan was down as a guest but is a actually an ex member making his way back. One hopes he won’t regret not paying his embership if he has a good score today. Joining was too were David Prince and David McEwan both of whom are playing their second events and will hopefully become full members soon. Also making their seasonal debut were Sedgwick Gordon, Steve Lee-Sang and Mark Henry.

The field also included the champions of the last 2 events Wayne Cudjoe and Roger Goddard both of whom were hoping to defy the handicap cut and complete the very difficult feat of winning 2 majors in a season. Whilst others were hoping and praying today will be the day they break their ducks. Our resident bookie Austin, was taking no prisoners making the usual suspects Randy, Roger Goddard and Richard Payne were down as joint favourites. There was one individual (you know who you are!) who decided to publicly question the rather long odds assign against his name. It turned out that this individual who has yet to win a major followed the wisdom of the rest of the members by not backing himself either!

This was our 5th visit to Muswell Hill in total and our 3rd in 2 years, as ever they accommodated us beautifully and allowed the rare luxury of a 2 tee start. So come 8.30 precisely Stuart, Tunde and Dave McEwen from the 1st and Roger, Dean and Steve Lee-Sang from the 10th got us underway. Within 45 minutes all of us were on the course and before long finding out whether the legends of the Muswell Hill fast greens were true. The intelligent talk amongst the scholars of the game before the first group returned was how many members would play to their handicap today. If the recent past is anything to go by there will not be many. We didn't have long to wait before some of the answers came back because after just over 4 hours the first groups came back and defying the predictions was Steve Lee-Sang with an impressive 39 a  great effort, 2 birdies suggested it was a dream round but the single blob on 4th suggest their was still something in the tank for the afternoon challenge. This score was backed up by Dean also from the first group who returned a decent 35. These good scores were matched by Mikey and Greg who had 35 and 37 respectively. Greg's card showed that it was a very good performance no blobs and highlighted by a birdie 2 on the 12th. Another 12 players came and went without troubling the leaders until Bose in group 4, (surely must be already regretting his decision not to send in his membership cheque for £60) posting a fine 36. The inform Gary Cameron and seasonal debutant Sedgwick also returned 35s. Others who had felt they still had a good chance were Randy, Danny and Colin with 34s. So of the 40 players only 2 layed above their handicap and only 5 shots covered the top 10. For some though it was a round they will quickly want to forget. Good old Muswell Hill had done to the likes of Tunde, Sophia, Wayne, Mark and Andy that it had been doing to many before in its 120 year history.

As the players tucked into their light lunch and having the luxury of well over an hour break thanks to the 2 tee start there was plenty of time for players to take stock of what happened, console themselves with what might have been and make their plans of what they will do better next time around. The leaders now had to contend with the pressure of expectation. For the likes of Greg and Mikey could they keep their nerve and produce another good round and claim their first major. Could the leader retain this position and find the winning post for the first time since 2002? Whatever the answer, they had to contend with usual refrain from Mr. O’Garro reminding them about suicide bombers and backpacks blowing up - ringing in their ears. Who will keep their nerve? Was the first round effort a fluke? Can they defy the devil in the greens one more time? Will those just off the pace find the miracle round they need to overhaul the leaders?

Ding-dong, seconds out the bell sounded for round 2, starting about 15 minutes earlier than schedule, we were off again to face our destiny. The leader if he felt any sign of nerves was giving very little away an opening bogey for a single point wasn't the way he wanted to start another drop shot on the 4th probably caused even more cause for concern however a closing birdie 4 on the 9th gave him a very respectable 19 points on the front 9. The back 9 wasn't as good and the double bogey 1 point finish on the 17th and 18th must have made Steve feared the worse as it was 36 points for a total of 75 is a very good score and obviously took the early lead.

Dean played really nicely as well for another 36 for a 72 point total. Dean must have rued the blobs on the 1st, 5th and particularly the par 5 11th where a par would have bettered the score of the leader. Anyway it wasn't to be and all Dean could do is to wait and see which one of he minor paces he would pick up. So what of our other leaders? Well Greg confirmed how difficult it is for high handicappers to put together 2 great rounds back to back. A measly 20 point return saw him plummet down the leader board. Mikey Griffin though did his best to disprove that theory though with another excellent level par round of 36 and 72 points in total. The best score of the afternoon was from homeboy Ossie who used his local knowledge to compile a lovely blob-free 37. The highlight was 2 birdies both coming on par 5s. However his 32 in the morning session wasn't good enough to take the challenge the leader and he too would have to contend with the minor places. He however can take the satisfaction of knowing he played well on a course that took no prisoners. Unfortunately Mr. Plowright will be the waiting with his scissors for his afternoon efforts.

And so they came in with more hard luck stories than Supporters of Arsenal FC. As they tumbled in it was becoming clear that those who Muswell Hill didn’t get in he morning she got them in the evening. Judging by the scores, the course clearly played more difficult in the afternoon session. The steady eddies such as Colin Parson (no 's' please on the Parson) did well again with 34 to go with the 34 in the morning for a 68 total and a good back up to his Canons Booking showing. Another homeboy Randy played nicely without attracting the headlines he had a 34 in the morning and followed that up with another 34 for a 68, and just outside the prizes. He must feel that with home course advantage this was a chance blown to add to his 2 majors.   The big “MO” (Malcolm to his mom) had a creditable 36 to go with his 32 in the morning, just creeping into the prizes on count back. Another steady performance from George Grant, bettering his 30 in the morning by 6 points to make another top 10 but still waiting for the big one. The final homeboy that hasn't been mentioned is Roger Greenidge, redeemed himself with a fine 35 after shooting 10 shots fewer in the morning. One has to mention though the lack of attention to detail by Roger. Clearly all that warm weather training hasn't improved his ability to notice the two letters NP on the scorecard. Roger saw a nearest pin marker on the 5th and having hit it to 5 feet and clearly feeling that was the winning effort, wrote (Roger "it's my course" Greenidge). Sadly for Roger the real nearest the pin hole was he 12th! Hands up all those who feel sorry for him, maybe Roger might want to add a pair of reading glasses next time he packs his golf bag!

 A special mention for the other “come back” kids, Tunde who was amongst the strongest" players in the morning showed a lot of resolve to carve out a fine 35 in the afternoon. This includes 3 straight blobs from holes 1 to 3 but, he balanced things off with 2 birdies on the 9th and 17th. And a mention too for Bose who complimented his fine first round effort with another good round in the evening of 34 points. One of the prizes would have been his if he paid his membership but alas he has to settle for the Guest Prize.

And so after all the scores were checked, signed and entered there was a clear winner. As a result of his brilliant 3 over par 39 points in the morning, they could not catch the morning leader and Steve Lee-Sang had his second major exactly 11 years after claiming his first. In his victory speech Steve thanked his playing partners and
the committee and was clearly pleased that he managed to deliver his best golf when it mattered.

And finally, the dream of all golfers was achieved by one of our guest Chris Brown who judging by his post golf talk, he too found the Muswell Hill greens treacherous. However one way to avoid putting on them is to put it straight in the hole off the tee which is exactly what he did on the 5th to claim a lifetime first - hole in one. (1 shot, 5 points!). Sadly being a guest he could not claim our hole in fund but, get our membership money in Chris and try again at Nizels!

And so we left Muswell Hill for the 5th time, with good memories for some and great memories for others and for a few well lets just say they had better days. Thanks to the staff and members for the warm welcome and great hospitality, and despite what Chris Thomas and Andy Ferdinand says … I’m sure it won’t be long before we are back!

ACGA Press Release - CompetitionResult

Major 4 - Result of the Competition played on 12th July 2013 at Muswell Hill Golf Club



 Round   1         

 Round   2


 1st   - Steve Lee-Sang




 2nd   - Dean Witter




 3rd   - Mickey Griffin




 4th   - Ossie Roberts




 5th   - Malcolm O'Garro



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