Around The Green
|By Darryl Loo|
Poppy Ridge is the NCGAs stellar golf course located amongst the vineyards in the Livermore Valley, sitting on top of a ridge south of the Altamont Pass. It can sometimes get a bit windy, and windy it was on this day. With 48 golfers on hand, we leaned into the wind and teed off. Now dont get me wrong, Poppy Ridge is a great course. The course was in perfect condition with some extremely slippery putting surfaces. In the best of weather Poppy is not easy, but in the howling wind it can be brutal .
One of our members will most likely be returning to the course. Im not sure if Antonio Vernon has broken 90 before, but on a tough course in 25 mile winds he shot a fine 89 to net a 62 to take first place in the B flight . Great shooting by one of our newer members. Following in a distant second with net 68 was Dennis O Neill. Not to put down Denniss round, but Antonios six shot margin is huge. Usually the A flight gets first billing, but Antonios score was the round of the day. Al Lee also shot a 89 to win the A flight. The big difference is Als handicap is 7 strokes lower. We would like to see Al playing in more events, maybe he might contend for the title. Al has a good game and seems to score well.
Four players tied in second place. Two of them play together and shot 80 and 89 respectfully, Travis Rail had the low round of the day and the second place points vaulted him into the points lead. His playing partner was Dave Maxion, (who recently made his first Ace!) is in the race this year also, he is now in third place. Frank Bonal and Chris Spear were the other two in the tie.
Chris is one of our newest members and may be a force to watch in the future. He is a strong player with quite a game, so Ive been told. My playing partner, Frank Bonal shot 89, but he could have easily shot five shots better. Sometimes I wonder why Frank doesnt have a much better handicap. Hopefully we can return to this great venue and see it on a calmer day.
Thank you to everyone who attended, we would like to know if you would like to return to the courses we played this year.
Sometimes I think that the month of September is the best part of the year. The weather is perfect, the kids are back in school and I have time to play golf. Once again Oakmont in September was magnificant. The weather was perfect and the course was in its usual plush condition, with speedy and tricky greens. In past years, Oakmont was my least favorite course on our schedule. Mostly because the drive from where I live is 1 1/2 hours, but also because I couldnt figure out the greens. This year I finally got the hang of them. Twelve years is a long time, I guess Im a slow learner. For the first time in those years I finished in first place in a tournament. Nearly every golfer at station 17 has won one and I have been hearing about it for years. By the way Terry Smith also tied for first place with a great 84 net 67.
Terry is a great guy, but I wish he missed that last putt so I could have it all to myself. Just kidding. If I have to share, Terry is a good choice. Sometimes you can get so caught up into your own round, that you are unaware of your playing partners. Some people call it the zone. My good buddy, John McNulty was having a fine round of his own, but I was totally oblivious. His 86 netted him a tie for third place, great round John, too bad I didnt notice. Two other players shot net 68s. Willie Cassillas shot the low round of the day, his 77 is a pretty nice score. He was happy to point out his score was two strokes better than mine. John Won who at the start of the day was complaining about his game, looked like he was happy with his score of 84 .
Last year I wrote that I thought Dennis ONeill would contend for the B flight title. After his first place finish at Oakmont, he has jumped into second place. He is right in the middle of the race. Im not sure, but I think his score of 89 is a personal best. Way to go Dennis!! A long time member of the club, Dave Britt, shot a very nice score. His 90 net 66 would win a lot of tourneys, so Im sure he was very happy with that score.
Once again Mr. Leo Tingin is chasing the club trophy. His third place finish has him in first in the B flight and only 4 1/2 points from the overall leader Travis Rail. Looks like we have a good race with only two events remaining. Our next event is at Silverado. We hope to fill this tournament, so we are encouraging people to invite guests. Please, if you sign up to bring guests make sure they will attend. This is one of our best locations so come out and play.