Friday 8 July 2011 | Published in Regional
Alice Pilkington proved that she still has nerves of steel as she beat all other 19 players to win her 2nd Michigan Motors Shootout tournament at the Rarotonga Golf Club on Saturday.
The competition started on the 7th tee with all competitors teeing off.
Only 2 players, Tuaine Marsters and Ned Howard, managed to hit the green while 2 of the new entry players, possibly suffering from nerves on this big occasion, each sent their ball to visit Henry Punas house.
Only 11 out of the 20 players scored par for this hole and 6 were involved in the shootout for the remaining 2 positions.
The third hole, played to the second green, saw some good and bad luck.
Royle Brogan, playing from the front right bunker, caught a flyer (which looked like it was heading for Aitutaki) and hit the pin, stopping less than a metre from the hole.
Ned Howard wasnt so lucky. Ned bladed his chip shot over the back of the green and left the next one short.
Meanwhile, Tania Karati, involved in the shootout for that hole, almost chipped into the hole saving her from sudden death.
Alice Pilkinton was the only player to par this hole.
At the seventh hole of the competition, played on the short par 3 fourth, there were 4 players left. Henry Story, who had been playing rock solid golf, unaccountably got under the ball from the tee and was well short of the green.
That seemed to undermine Henrys concentration and he was the next to be eliminated or retired as some suggested.
All round the course Alice hardly put a foot wrong and clinched her place to contest the last hole when her drive landed on the eighth green while her two opponents at this stage, Tom J Marsters and Royle Brogan, were short of the green and had to chip on.
Tom Marsters, who had sunk a long putt on the previous hole for a birdie, left his chip shot short and bowed out of the competition after a well-fought game.
Royle played his second shot on the final hole, played to the ninth green, from out of the rough and the ball headed straight for the pin.
Unfortunately the ball was short and finished in the bunker.
Alice played her ball from the middle of the fairway and it went as straight as an arrow to finish just short of the green.
Alice putted up fairly close to the pin and Royle was left with a much longer shot after his bunker shot.
Royles putt was very good but not quite good enough and Alice sank her putt to win the Michigan Motors Shootout for the second time in 3 years.
Amazingly, this was Alices first tournament win for the season.
She put her success in this competition down to ignoring what the other players were doing and just concentrating on her own game and thinking carefully how she would play each shot. There may be an important message there for all of us not-so-good golfers.
After only a few minutes rest, Alice joined about 60 other players, playing another 18 holes for the afternoon stableford competition, in which she carded a 79 off the stick to be the best of the ladies.
The best round from the men came, once again from Kirk Tuaiti.
Winners in the stableford sweep for the day were Henry Puna (43), Pape Aviu (43),
Rita Howard (41), Haimona Browne (41), Here Story (41), Archie Moana (41), Vaike Tairi (41), Yitiri Akama (40), Alice Pilkinton (40), and Darrell Brown (39).
Saturday is a normal club sweep day but the following Saturday, July 16, is the Fletcher Memorial Tournament.
This is a team event with four players per team. This is another popular and fun day so get your team organised well ahead of time.
As usual, good luck to all golfers.