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KKUT Challenge 2012

A two day event contested between a team from Khon Kaen and a team from Udon Thani. The event is played according to Match Play rules; Day 1 being doubles format, Day 2 being singles. This year each team fielded 10 players.

For the previous couple of months it had been all talk, with a lot of email conversations thrown in for good measure. Rules had been discussed, venues had been discussed, the weather had been discussed, silly trivial things had been discussed, but now the day had arrived and discussion stopped.

Twenty golfers arrived at Ubolratana GC on the morning of Wednesday, 31st October for the inaugural KKUT Challenge. This had been somewhat of a ‘challenge’ in itself; only days beforehand it had been discovered that the original location, Dancoon GC, had decided to do major maintenance on their greens, so an alternative venue had been sought. Actually this was probably a blessing in disguise; The Dam is in good condition at the moment, and definitely a better course to play than Dancoon. The two teams gathered for the announcement of the groupings for the ‘pairs’ and to find out who their opponents would be; Udon resplendent in their new team shirts, Khon Kaen adopting the more casual look. You could almost feel the tension as the two captains announced their pairings alternately, ‘Ryder Cup style’, until a group of very noisy school kids decided to start playing games in the immediate vicinity, thoroughly destroying the sense of occasion.

The groups made their way to the first tee to commence ‘battle’, amid plenty of banter, no doubt designed to put the opponents off (hopefully) and to relieve any personal tension (definitely). Etiquette eventually prevailed and good order was maintained as all groups played their first shots. All then concentrated on their particular match.

At the end of the day there was somewhat of a surprise; the Khon Kaen team had prevailed in all the doubles matches and had moved into a 10 points to nil lead. A whitewash had not been expected; certainly not by Udon, and not by KK, although we had dreamed the night before. After some refreshment, all headed back to KK to prepare for the evening.

A meal had been arranged at the No. 1 Bar for all the participants; let’s just say it was not what we had been led to expect. Although everyone expected Wednesday to be a quiet night, we had all forgotten Halloween; and No. 1 forgot to tell us they were having a party!!!! For the food; some said it was OK, others did not, I am saying no more. After the meal, people dispersed to other watering holes around town and thence to bed.

Thursday was singles day, and all met at Singha Park on another glorious day for golf. The KK team were in good spirits anticipating an easy win (well they only needed to win 3 matches), the Udon team confident and determined. Once again banter accompanied the players to the first tee; then all groups were out on the course doing battle. As the groups finished their rounds it became clear that Udon were definitely staging a recovery; images of the last Ryder Cup started to fill the air. Only two matches left on the course and the scores were tied 13 points each; both teams gathered on the balcony to watch the final groups come down the last. Approach shots were made, not on the green; is it in the rough, or did they go in the water? The tension mounted. Then the news final filtered up; both matches had actually finished on the 17th and the Khon Kaen team had prevailed, but it had been very close.

So the inaugural KKUT Challenge finished with Khon Kaen winning 17 points to 13 points, but that is only detail. The REAL winners were all the participants and the game of golf. Khon Kaen had surged into an early lead, Udon staged an impressive recovery and nearly overcame the deficit. Every game was played in a competitive but friendly atmosphere; victory accepted modestly, defeat taken graciously. That is the way golf should be played.

All left with a smile on their face, and an eager anticipation for next year’s match; surely the best testimonial for a successful event.

 

Individual results.

 

Khon Kaen

pts

Udon Thani

pts

Tim & Jarmo

2

Bob & Graham

0

Deni & Trevor

2

Cliff & Terry

0

Mick & Garry

2

Gary & Frank

0

Alan & Jeff

2

Gordon & Richard

0

John & Sammi

2

Danny & Steve

0

Total for doubles

10

 

0

John Brown

1

Danny Harris

1

Sammi Koivumaki

0

Cliff Saveall

2

Deni Price

0

Bob Strutt

2

Alan Griffiths

0

Gary Parks

2

Tim Seitz

2

Richard Russell

0

Mick Collins

0

Graham Firth

2

Mick Fahey

0

Gordon Caygill

2

Jarmo Tarvainen

0

Terry Aston

2

Garry Taylor

2

Steve Pettit

0

Trevoe Edge

2

Frank Lynch

0

Total for Singles

7

 

13

Overall Result

17

 

13

 

Our thanks to Cliff from UTGS for the images.
The KKUT Challenge Cup

Both teams at the start of Day 2

Khon Kaen Team at the start of Day 2.

The two captains, as Terry reluctantly hands over the trophy.

Alan gets his hands on the trophy.
(I wouldn't say the last hour got a bit fraught, it was the wind on the balcony that did that to my hair!!)