Today eleven BYFORD members gathered for the final golf day of the season. Yes it was MASTERS DAY again held at THE CUT and our Captain told us we would again play Stableford given that this is such a tough course.    As always to be eligible to win THE MASTERS one must win an individual game during the season so let us first go down memory lane and go through the qualifiers in a timeline fashion.

First to qualify was Peter Pronyszyn at MANDURAH on March 12 with a superb 66 Nett, repeating his first up win from last year. He chalked up two more individual victories in all during the course of the season (both in April), as well as winning the Ambrose with Wayne at Whaleback in June, so well done on your victories for the golfing year and once again thanks for being an outstanding Secretary for the year.

Second cab off the rank was Carl Conway who won the first game of the year held at PINJARRA on March 18 with a Nett 73 and thus his second victory with the club, after breaking through last year. He chalked up one more team victory when he combined with Rob van Herk to win the Split Sixes at CARRAMAR in mid-October. Finally congratulations on getting a little more consistent this year and good luck for next year.

Third to qualify was Tony Bartlett (Kiwi 1) getting in early this year with 34 Points at our first of four scheduled games at KWINANA on March 27. He collected his second win 8 weeks later at MANDURAH in late May. After that Tony collected just one more victory in August but many other placings as well throughout the year.  Tony did hit a little bit of a purple patch late in the year starting with a great opening round for 2nd spot for the day in the first round of the Club Championships and then tried his best to retain his trophy on the final day, but alas to no avail as you know by now. But Kiwi did win the Gross Championship by a whisker from Martin Yates, as well as sharing the ECLECTIC trophy with Rob Van Herk. So perhaps he can cap off another good year by winning today?  If not Tony has still had a decent golf year.                                                                                                                                                      
Next up Peter Van Herk finally got back in the winner’s circle after a winless spell in 2016, winning with a Nett 72 at Point Walter on the 2nd of April. He did not have to wait too long for another win, when after coming back from Thailand a father, he soon won again at Kennedy Bay on the 14th of May, after that he collected a further 4 wins for a total of 6 victories for the year up till today, as well as several second and third placings including finishing equal second in the Club Championships. So well done on a good year and perhaps it can get even better if you win The Masters and/or at least end up chasing down your Big Brother to win the Consistency Award today or do both?

Cody Dawes was the fifth qualifier winning at MANDURAH with a very good Nett 67, before leaving us to go and work in Queensland, so we wished him well when he left us and don’t expect him to fly down to WA just for a game of golf?

Then the author of this story Bart Romein finally became a winner on April 23 at WANNEROO with 30 Points.  This breakthrough victory came for me after having quite a few close calls since joining the BYFORD Social Golf Club back in August 2015, so now I can finally play in The Masters as a qualified person, rather than being one of the non-winners like the first 2 years. Furthermore I also collected 5 more wins including two during the Club Championships as well as several placings during this year. I even managed to lead the Consistency award for a long time before a mid-winter cough stopped me in my tracks & when I came back to golf in late September I was unable to catch up to the Van Herk brothers who went 1-2 in this award. Once back however I never missed another game, playing 28 out of the 38 games for the year (including today’s game). Also many guys complained I was a sand-bagger with a false handicap, but truthfully I only had five rounds below 100 this year and of those only 3 were below 95, it just so happened that 2 of those came during the Club Championships when I won round 1 & round 3 at MANDURAH, as well as finishing third in round 2 at KWINANA 9 with a 97 and thus managing to win this year’s Club Championship. So all in all it has been a very good third season for me with the club & perhaps soon enough I should be back to an 18 or 19 handicap which should stop the complaining? Yet it could have been an even better year if I had not missed so many games, but I guess it will be a sweet finish if I can win The Masters today. That would be the icing on the cake but also bring further howls from my fellow club members?

Julio Aquino was the lucky 7th qualifier when he won two weeks later on May 6 at PINJARRA with a very good Nett 68. After that first win Julio secured 2 more victories for the year and several placings and also nearly got himself to a single figure handicap. So well done on a pretty good year Julio and I have no doubt you will get to play of a single figure handicap sometime early next season.

The next month at Meadow Springs on June 4 finally saw the other Van Herk qualify, as Rob Van Herk won his first game after many tries on June 4 before stringing together 3 more victories as well as winning the Match-play Championships and at the back end of the year he also shared the ECLECTIC Trophy with Tony Bartlett. The Grey Ghost (as I like to name him) also secured many placings and going into today’s game he is just 2 shots ahead in the Consistency Award. So he may yet add to his trophy cabinet? In any event well done Rob despite your up & down form at times, overall it was another good year for you. 

Wayne Turnbar then became the ninth person to qualify first winning an Ambrose at Whaleback on the 17th of June which did not count as an individual win, but then prevailed again eight days later at Marri Park for his first individual win of the season. After that he secured a further 3 wins for a total of 4 individual victories for the year as well as several placings.  So not altogether a bad year for Wayne.

Gary Burke became the 10th and in the end the final individual to qualify, getting back in the winners list after missing many games this year. Gary won his first game at KWINANA with 32 points on July 2 and later on won the BYFORD cup at PINJARRA steaming home over the last nine holes. Gary then proceeded to be a regular place getter and won 1 more individual game during the year, again at KWINANA in round 2 of the Club Championships, for a total of 3 victories for the year. So well done to our President and he is also another potential dark horse for today’s MASTERS.

Neville (Nifty) Steward by virtue of being the defending Master Champion did not really have to get a win during this year but nonetheless he did have one win for the year when he finally returned to the winner’s list on July 8 at PINJARRA with a Nett 72. He then got a few more placings for the year despite his many overseas sojourns?  So overall it was a quiet year for Nifty due no doubt to his many little trips away exercising his many muscles? The rest of the year saw the wins shared between the multiple winners mentioned above.                        

So for those non-qualifiers we wish them luck next year, especially to our evergreen Martin Yates to whom we send our commiserations as he was pipped on the very last hole of the Club Championships by Kiwi for the Gross Championship (which would have qualified him) so he did not get any individual wins for this year. All he had to show for his year really was winning the Putters Cup during the Club Championships. Martin then told us he would not able to make it to this year’s Masters because of prior commitments. So Martin if we do not see you at the end of year break up we wish you a good XMAS break Martin and hope you come back refreshed & raring to go in 2018 and perhaps with a more nicer handicap?

Finally there is a further notable absentee who won’t be able to play at The CUT, this is of course Andy Dodd and we wish him all the best for XMAS and for his continuing fight against cancer in 2018. Perhaps we may see him at the End of Year celebration.
Well that is enough for our memory lane journey.

Now let’s actually get to the golf story of THE MASTERS for 2017.

A beautiful yet windy morning greeted all who had gathered and El Capitano divided the 11 players into 3 groups, two 4’s and a final group of 3 in order of victories for the year. So the first group of multiple winners to tee-off were El Capitano himself, Bart Romein and Rob Van Herk who were joined by Nifty Steward as he was the defending Masters Champion. The second group then comprised of multiple winners Wayne Turnbar sharing his cart with Kiwi 1 (aka Tony Bartlett) together with Julio Aquino & Peter Pronyszyn. While the final group featured multiple winner Gary Burke who played with Carl Conway (1-win) and Peter Schenk the only one in not eligible for winning THE MASTERS. Again like last year there were many close battles throughout the day, quite a few within the actual playing groups just like last year, Déjà vu?
Now before we get down to the results there were 4 main questions awaiting to be answered at end of this day;

  • Was either Peter Van Herk or Bart Romein (the author of this story) going to get “bragging” rights for the most victories in the year and get victory number 7 by winning The Masters?  
  • Was El Capitano going to pip his older brother for the Consistency Award after he reduced the deficit to him to just 2 points by winning last week & beat him today by 3 points or more or would we have a tie or will Big Brother prevail & beat him today to keep his lead & take out this award?
  • Who would win The MASTERS this year and get to count all the coins in the heavy tin?
  • Who would get the NAGA today?

Well here are the answers starting with the NAGA battle among the winners, which was fought out in the end as it turned out in the first group, again featuring myself (Bart) together with one of the Van Herk’s & Nifty (Neville Steward). It ended with the defending champion going from getting the chocolates last year to 20 boiled lollies this year and bringing up the rear. Well Nifty all I can say that life can be tough trying to defend a big title, just ask Kiwi?
Peter Schenk had no other non-winners show up so was in his own little competition but managed to scrape enough points together to beat two other people, so good to see you again Schenke.
So therefore in the first group only one Van Herk turned around his fortunes on the back nine to feature in the top 4 and more on this later, while the other Van Herk narrowly avoided the NAGA. As for the author, well I had another one of those very hot & cold days with my driving being good for most holes but there were also a few dud tee-shots with some very lucky escapes occasionally. But alas I had many stupid second & third shots leading me to have too many wipes. At least I had one highlight for the day driving the 3rd green (a par 4) but then wasted a near certain birdie by 3-putting for just a par & collecting just 3-points! Oh that damn speed and slope on the hole?

In the second & third group the main battle for THE MASTERS was actually played out between Wayne Turnbar, Tony Bartlett and the President together with one of the Van Herk’s from the first group featuring as well and this story will follow shortly. However there were three worthy highlights to tell from these other 2 groups. Carl Conway who was back from his fly-in fly out job started slowly but had a superb back nine and nearly got into the top 4, so well done Carl on your excellent back nine. As for Peter Pronyszyn well he did have a pretty good front nine but then sadly his back nine let him down, but at least he did have something to show for his day (see NTP’S after the top 4). While finally although Julio Aquino was not having a good time off it overall, he did have a memorable finish on the 18th were he got some glory by virtue of sinking a monster putt and got the LPOTL (see results after top 4).

Now the low-down for the top 4.
WINNER - Gary Burke with 31 Points. So here is the answer to the questions 1 & 3. Our President finished off the year in style with another steady performance, sometimes you get lucky don’t you? Gary was as it turned out the most consistent on the day so perhaps deservedly won, being mostly his accurate self throughout both nines without getting any real hot streak going, he did accumulate a total that was good enough on the day. After a messy start missing out on scoring on the first hole he got his score going with a good par on the second for a 3-pointer, before then continually mixing up his game throughout the rest of the front nine with a further wipe and just 1 more 3 pointer par while mainly getting 2-pointers for the other holes. So at halfway he had collected a decent enough 15 points. Gary then managed to score consistently for the first 5 holes on the back nine before his only other wipe on hole 15 halted his scoring a bit. However a good par on the 16th righted his ship so to speak. He may have missed an opportunity on the 17th to get a par but did get the standard 2 points before he managed to scrape together what turned out to be the most valuable point of all by getting a double bogey on the last hole for 1 point and 16 points on the back. So congratulations El Presidente on winning THE MASTERS and enjoy counting your pot of gold coins?

2ND - Peter Van Herk after winning a 3-way countback with 30 points.El Capitano complained straight away on the first about his bad back, but don’t they say beware the injured player? Well it was evident from the outset that Peter did have serious back problems so I will say kudos to him for toughing it out. And of course he was also chasing glory but not expecting much. As it turned out Peter did have a pretty average front nine being level with two of the hackers in our 4-some (me and Nifty all on 12 points at halfway) and the most important thing being 1 ahead of his Bog bro? What happened then on the back nine was nearly a miracle! He again mucked up his first hole on the back but then got 3 more points over the next couple of holes. Then suddenly his game came alive with a par on 13 and then really got going with a 2-pointer on the toughest hole on the course (no 14) and then came two holes from nowhere when he drilled in a long putt for a birdie on the par 5 15th and followed it up with the best shot of his day, chipping in from about twenty meters away to get an amazing birdie on the 16th. However he will forever rue the 17th hole when he failed to get a point & perhaps had an ESP moment stating that he may just have missed his chance at some glory? However he did get a very good par on the last for another 3-pointer which ultimately got him second on the count-back. Eerily he predicted that Gary Burke would probably have a good round and at worse would get 31 points and beat him?
Oh how spooky and how true a prediction in the end from our Captain. So well done Peter on completing your round with that sore back. Yet how different it may have been if you had no back trouble today, so I know you are disappointed for coming so close to bragging rights and the win. However there is a silver lining to this second place finish as your big brother had a day to forget and you duly overtook him to win the Consistency Award by six points. So well done Peter for your Consistency win and thanks from all of us for all your hard work during the year as Captain.

3RD Place - Tony Bartlett after a 3-way countback with 30 points. 
Kiwi finished his year in style but not quite as he had hoped for, again being so close to win number four but yet again having to settle for third place (that made it 4 games in a row, but who’s counting?).  He played steady enough for the first six holes before an untimely wipe halted his progress on the 7th but he instantly hit back on the next hole with a great par (on the second toughest hole as per the course index) and at halfway had collected a very respectable 16 points. However a few glitches must have appeared in his game as he wiped one more hole and missed a few opportunities here and there to scramble home with just 14 points on the back and missing out on victory by a mere 2 points. So double bad luck Kiwi as El Capitano got the last fiver for the year.

4TH Place – Wayne Turnbar after a 3-way countback with 30 points.
Wayne started of steady but slowly collecting points on every hole on the front nine including a couple of 3-pointers and was very handily placed at halfway with 19 points ahead of his fellow cart sharer Kiwi. So the banter on the back nine may have gotten to poor Wayne as suddenly his aura of invincibility to wipes vanished on the back and unfortunately he had probably one wipe and one putt too many. So it also was a case of what could have been a happy ending to the year turned into a “rats if only I had done this on that hole day”. So commiserations Wayne for your unlucky back nine finish. But hey you did have a good competition against Kiwi today and managed to get to 30 which most of us did not. So well done as well Wayne.

Now for the NTP’s etc.
NTP             4th – Peter Pronyszyn (including 2-ball birdie)
13th - Tony Bartlett
16th - Gary Burke

Longest First Putt (on the last) – Julio Aquino (a monster putt to deny PVH?)

Memorable 2-ball as well for Peter Van Herk on the 16th (see top 4 story).
Furthermore now a short wrap up of the Consistency Award.
WINNER - Peter Van Herk – Managed to chase down his Big Brother to win the Consistency Award today by six shots in the end so congratulations again El Capitano.
RUNNER-UP Rob Van Herk - Rob nearly secured the Consistency Award but an end of year slump saw him lose out to his little brother on this last day by just those measly six points, so commiserations to you Grey Ghost.
THIRD - Tony Bartlett – Finished in third place after missing about nine or ten games due to sickness and could have perhaps given the Van Herk brothers a scare or more probably have beaten them if he had been able to play all games this year
Bart Romein - Finished in fourth place & like Tony I went missing, for 10 games in a row to be precise (8 due to sickness and 2 when on my Thailand holiday). So like Kiwi I could have or more likely would have beaten the Van Herk brothers if I had been able to play more games this year. Such is life?

Last but not least after the Presentation today we held our AGM and after a few discussions the outgoing committee were thanked for their services during this past year, especially Peter Pronyszyn who said he did not want to do the Secretary job again. So the club elected the following people to be the Committee for next year.
President – Peter Pronyszyn (elected unopposed – changing his active role into a lesser ceremonial one)
Captain – Peter Van Herk (re-elected unopposed) & Treasurer as well (ie Peter will collect the monies for most of the games since Peter Schenk has stated that he probably won’t be able to come to all the games due to his normal commitments).
Vice-Captain – Rob Van Herk (elected or just business as usual?)
Secretary – Peter Schenk (elected unopposed after generously rendering his services to organize the games schedule)
Handicapper – Bart Romein (re-elected unopposed). Also I will continue keeping the ECLECTIC again next year at MANDURAH and try to win it?

During the AGM there were some suggestions made about the golf games and especially the club championships by Kiwi which led to some good discussions amongst all of us. Also the Handicap system was discussed & the committee will be changing the handicap system with most input to come from the Van Herk brothers & I will set up an Excel Spreadsheet that is easy to follow. Overall the new committee will no doubt look into all the suggestions and formulate a good fixture book for next year so we can all continue to enjoy our golf.

A final message before signing off – End of Year Function to be advised, Check the Website or ask one of the Peters?
Well that is it for another season of the BYFORD golf club.
So I wish you all a MERRY XMAS and a HAPPY NEW YEAR.
Maybe next year I will get less jibes about my handicap when we bring back the old type system and I reset the handicaps?
So good golfing over XMAS for those that will play and to all have a great break and see you in the next year all being well. Stay safe and don’t drink & drive, but if you do drive, drive straight a golf ball that is?

Bart Romein aka The Golfing Poet




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The Club's weekly results are HERE and the Consistency HERE. Click to check your Handicap HERE (enter "byfordgolf" as the Club I.D., then click on your name to see the last twenty rounds, which determine your handicap). LATEST NEWS




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