Waikare Golf Club hosted round one of this year’s Auckland Irish golf society and the inaugural Paddy McAuliffe Trophy. In the blistering heat the fairways were burnt by both the sun and some players with a few incredible scores. It’s brilliant to see so many people attending and we hope it’s another great year.
Not such a great start to the year was the closest to the pin completion on the 9th hole. Unbelievably, yet is has happened before, not one of the 35 players manged to hit the green. A mere 125 metres with no water to the front but an extremely inviting Out Of Bounds behind. Luckily the unclaimed bottle of wine was needed elsewhere later that day.
The team competition was a pair’s best ball score but due to numbers and the draw we had one team of three. With Maria leading the way, the ladies team including Denise and Sue took the chocolates with 57 points and were left to fight it out over the bottle of wine. Maria continued on her Waikare form from last year claiming overall second place again but this time with a better score of 46 points.
Each player was allowed one free throw on the day and while some where throwing out of bunkers or down the concrete fairways for a gain of 150 metres, Kevin Everett needed his from under a tree. On the par-5 third hole, Kevin hit his ball into the green side bushy tree. With an unplayable lie it was time to use the throw but this was difficult with the ball against the trunk and Kevin’s reach was just long enough so that any passer-by could only see a hand immerging. With a flick of the wrist and directions from his playing partners, the unsighted Kevin managed to make the green and save par.
Other players in our group were also struggling mentally and physically. Tom’s head was melting (not from the sun) as he could not hit a fairway from the tee. The driver looked like something he was holding for the first time ever as he found himself on the 10th fairway four times. To be fair to the big man, one of those times we were actually playing that hole but soon enough he decided to leave the driver in the bag just hit his 6-iron over 200 metres.
Seamus was struggling physically with stomach pains blamed on the heat or that eighth pint last night was a bit off, all the rest seemingly tasted fine. Seamus was in some distress for the first nine holes until Kevin gave him some “pain killers” from his bag. After that Seamus managed to finish strongly on 42 points which highlights the need for more drug testing on the day of competition.
If Seamus took a couple of these tablets then Kevin must have finished off the bottle. With a near flawless performance, the Scot rarely found himself in trouble and with a sharp short game Kevin shot four over with a handicap of eighteen for a winning score of 50 points!! With strong accusations and raised voices of cheating and handicap fixing in the clubhouse, the legend of Paddy McAuliffe will live on in the Auckland Irish Golfing Society.
With such a high winning score, Martin Conlon can be forgiven for thinking he had won with 46 points as he re-hydrated after his round. Martin was heard practicing his winning speech in the shower by the ever present Gerry Quinn who will search out any weakness that can be used in his attack / prize giving later on. While Martin was compiling his list of liars which would be crowbarred in his speech, Father Ted style, I met John Atkinson in the carpark. John was also feeling bullish about his chances of winning a prize with 41 points. His face dropped when I told him I had 42 points and when he received the news that someone in my group had 50 points he slammed the car door and spun the wheels all the way out of the carpark. He shouted something out the window about beating the traffic but it was difficult to hear with the noise of screeching tyres and pedestrians screaming.
The winners and places on the day were:
1st Kevin Everett 50 points - The Paddy McAuliffe Trophy
$40 Golf Warehouse Voucher & Bottle of wine
2nd Maria O’ Hanlon 46 points - $30 voucher
3rd Martin Conlon 46 points - Bottle of Wine
4th Diarmuid O’ Keeffe 42 points - Bottle of Wine
Longest Drive - Aidan Redmond on the 18th hole
Closest to Pin - Nobody! What a useless bunch
Best team - Maria O’ Hanlon, Sue Gander, Denise Flanagan
The next round will be in Murali on the 24th March and we will email you in a few weeks.