The Bushranger Cup
Cash & Co Classic
Kelly Gang Shootout
William Buckley Classic
Jack the Hack
2006 Surf Coast Cup Summary - by Bernard Collins (2003 & 2006 Surf Coast Cup Champion)
The 8th Surf Coast Cup once again provided some thrilling action, some of it on the golf course, as competitors gathered at the prestigious 13th Beach Golf Links for the weekend. This year five teams playing two grommet ambrose took part in the standard 36-hole format.
Whereas in days gone by the weekend diet of the average SCC player consisted mainly of pies and VB's, competitors were treated to a special Friday night pre-tournament dinner that reflected a maturing of the event. In a most un-John Daley like fashion, players were served a number of 'gourmet' pizzas, including one covered not in tasty cheese but in, of all things, rocket lettuce!. Like Fuzzy Zoeller's rejection of Tiger's Masters Dinner, this choice caused outrage within the group and led to a symbolic protest of sorts later in the weekend, but more on that later. Competitors ended the evening drowning their pre-tournament nerves in a more traditional fashion, drinking enough beer to make even Quiz Mania seem like interesting viewing!
Round One commenced in sunny, if cool weather, with groups taking on the more recently completed Creek Course. The all important first-hole tee offs were expertly negotiated by every competitor and players then got down to the serious business of working off last night's hangovers. As they say at more prestigious events, you can’t win it on day one, but you sure can lose it and all teams worked hard to make certain their interests would be maintained into Round Two. At the end of the day, only 5 shots separated all teams, proving that players (and the handicappers) were finally taking this tournament seriously.
For those who had experienced last year's horrendous Sunday arvo storm, the sudden and dramatic increase in wind strength towards the end of the first round was very unsettling - the torment of Appleby's joke holes at The Sands in 2005 being an all too raw memory.
The Round finished early enough to enjoy a lovely clubhouse lunch (some of us even got what we ordered) and a cold, refreshing ale or two watching the cricket. It was at lunch that competitors Bremner and Battershill decided to make a stand and return the tournament to its grand beginnings. And so, whilst other players took time to rest and relax, call loved ones and shower, these two ardent traditionalists stayed at the bar, glued to both the telly and the beer tap wiping out the memory of the previous evening's split pea pizzas. Boldly choosing to leave their tomorrows to the golf Gods, these two undertook a torrid 12 hour drinking session - spent most of time giving complementary back slaps and making bold statements about their wining margin on Sunday. A true return to the early SCC days. After a night enjoying the visual delights of the Barwon Heads pub, the evening concluded back at the units with players engaged in various games for cash - either on the poker table or the by-now mysteriously alluring Quiz Mania.
The second round commenced after a welcome sleep in and a hearty breakfast (only two wrong orders this time). The tough Beach Course awaited competitors, and the supposedly harmless downwind first hole would prove fatal to some teams. The rather shabby Bremner/Batters team heavily exuded both confidence and stale beer over their playing partners, but their protest had been well made. Unfortunately, their bogey on the first hole indicated that the golf Gods really did favour pumpkin pizzas over Carlton Draught and their much spruiked challenge never really recovered. Elsewhere, Messrs Barnard and Barnard toiled diligently, with Neil playing the back nine under the considerable duress of a strained arm muscle and Johnny playing a full round under the much heavier duress of his choice of lemon coloured trousers. Jack Newton would have been proud of both their efforts. The silent partnership of Willow/Matt cleared right out from the rest of the teams, but unfortunately so did their score.
When not retrieving his ball from the far right rough, Ian Crotty did his best to taunt the clubhouse leaders, Collins and Docking, but in a performance inconsistent with their status as Geelong supporters, their mental stability never wavered. By now admitting that the leaders wouldn't come back to them, Crotty instructed his team-mate Justin to unleash his previously unused driver in a desperate attempt to steal the game. Despite Jubba proceeding to hit every drive 270m down the middle, it was way too late. Six shots up at the last over their 4 ball partners, Collins and Docking opened their shoulders, splitting the middle and settling the contest. As the alcohol wore off, Bremner & Batters came flying home but again, it was too little too late.
And so another successful SCC comes to a close. All competitors agreed that the accommodation was first class, the food ordering third class and the courses again proved to be a true challenge of bad golf. By God, even the handicapper got it right this time, with only a 10 shot spread between the first and last teams over the 2 rounds. We all look forward to a bigger and better SCC next year, with gourmet pizzas definitely off the agenda.