If conditions weren't tough enough already last Thursday (Greens firming up, rough up, fairways bouncing and gusting wind coming from all directions) we added the additional challenge of sending everyone out on the the 3 Club Challenge. The competition was well supported with a record entry of 54 turning out for the 4th year.
Top of the ladies was Noreen Sullivan who used a 7w, 7i and putter, scoring a commendable 29pts. There was a sniff of taking the ladies course record standing on the 16th tee but one good and two bad holes put paid to that. Noreens points haul was also good enough for 10th place overall as well. Congrats Noreen.
The top players in the overall included Elliot Brown who finished 5th on his 3 Club debut. Elliots decision to bully the course with a driver, wedge and putter combo looked like an error as he tee’d it up on 7 with just 6pts on the card, but from there on he came back under handicap, finishing with 31pts. His gross score of 81 was the lowest of the day in a field that included 7 of the Muswell Hill scratch team and he was just 2 off the course record of 79.
In 4th place Matt Chaplin (4i, 8i, Putter) threatened for a while with gross birdies on 2 and 6 but sadly faded with his first blob on 16 to return a credible 32pts (his best score in 4 attempts in this comp). Apparently he ‘hit it great’ … unfortunately, there is so much more to this game.
Gareth Evans (joint gross course record holder with 79 in 2015) also managed 32pts using 3w 5i and putter (doing very well to steer clear of the bunkers no doubt). The classy shot maker from north of the border has a great record in the this comp with scores of 35, 29 and 32 and may well be considering dropping off a few clubs before the Presidents this weekend.
In 2nd place was Mick Brady who came in early with an excellent 34pts using a 5i 8i Putter. Micks round started well and with 27pts after 12 holes he would have fancied a sub handicap round but the 13th put paid to that and thereafter it was a case of clinging on as 3 more points were dropped.
Micks score came in in the mid afternoon and looked like it was safe as the wind picked up even more. At 9pm with 95% of the field in, the engraver was already getting to work on the silver (plated) salver, however as a few of the late starters trudged off 16 for early beers there was one final group still heading down 17. Amongst this group was Neil Argent who continued the form that has already seen him cut by two shots this summer to return a sensational 37pts. Neil was using a hybrid, wedge and putter and that decision really paid off the 11th. Hole for hole he was still behind Mick on the 11th tee but he soon drew level, after two fantastic hybrids which got him to the back of the 11th green and then draining a 50ft put to a front pin position. 3 for 5, 3 for 5!! Neil then pulled ahead of Mick on 13th with a 3pt swing and then it stayed that way as he also stumbled a little over the Muswell Hill’s final 4 ... ‘N22 bear trap’.
Congrats to Neil on winning on his first attempt and setting a new stableford course record!
Thanks to everyone who played, its a tough challenge and something a little different. I hope to see everyone plus more next year!
Most popular clubs - Hybrid, 8iron, Putter
Hardest hole - 15th (avg 5.7) Easiest hole - 11th (avg 5.5)