The heat continued with afternoon temperatures in the mid 20's again and there were several shorts wearers on parade, some of whose legs hadn't seen the light of day - not in Scotland anyway - for some time.
We had but one Anglo on parade - Ian D - don't know where the rest were - perhaps celebrating the trouncing of the mighty Slovenia? According to our man in Helsinki, we should have had 14 or 15 playing last night, but only 11 showed - and just 10 of us finished. Dan and Steve were no-shows, as was Ken P - and Les (who was only a possible). As a result, we started off with two fourballs, leaving a three at the back with space for one of the assumed latecomers to join the last group - but nobody showed and no phone calls - mmmmmm. There have subsequently been allegations from some that apologies for absence were made to Rob prior to his trip to Finland - but who would you say is the more reliable - Rob or the no-shows? Answers on a postcard please.
Ian was in our leading group and seemed amused at Jack being in the bunker at the 5th:
A rare sight on the 9th green - a greenkeeper cutting the greens late in the evening:
We all remember the "black man" at the 13th - which briefly became the silver man - well, now it's the green man!:
At the 13th, my playing partners had some fun. John ended up on top of what Ken called the new "Teletubbies" hill - the first time I'd seen somebody play from there:
Meanwhile Ken himself was in some difficulty, having put 2 balls out of bounds - or so we thought until we found both of them still inches in, allowing Ken a shot to the green:
The greens were all being cut as we went round - apparently there is some Ladies' event this afternoon (Thursday) - and the surfaces were like carpets. This was the 17th green - the true texture can really only be seen if you click on the photo on the blog itself:
So, to the scores - they were pretty poor considering the excellent conditions:
1 McWhinnie, John 36
2 Taylor, Dick 33
3 Sharp, Ian 32
4 Stewart, Ian 31
5 Cook, Archie 31
6 Dring, Ian 30
7 McRae, Ian 30
8 Black, Ken 29
9 Gray, Keith 28
10 Simpson, Jack 27
11 Grant, Gary 4
Poor Gary had to retire after 5 holes as he was having problems with his arm. Yes, I know - it's a tough school being nominated DoD when you have to leave the course with a genuine injury, but that's the historical precedent I'm afraid - lowest score, no matter the circumstances, becomes DoD.
Ironically, Gary was talking to me just last Friday about his only previous DoD back in 2008, when he and Syd had identical scores, even down to the back nine, last six, etc etc. On that occasion, Gary claims he "volunteered" to be DoD, but I suspect there was a bit more science to it than he claims.
To add salt to the wound, Gary's score of 4 points becomes officially the lowest ever recorded score. The Quaich is, after all, a stableford event, so N/R's are not possible - if it were, it would be too easy to avoid DoD by walking off early - not that that applied to some of the other all-time low scores. Syd's 6 points in 2007 was caused by another genuine injury, but Dave Williamson's (remember him?) score of just 8 points in 2008 came after 13 holes of a wretched evening for our man in Reading.
Gary's slight consolation is that his 35 points last week gave him the lowest gross of the season to date - 73 - knocking Mr. Sharp and I off the top.
But enough of the DoD - what about the winner? John has only played 5 times this season and has won 3 of them - amazing! I played with him for the final 13 holes last night and found it a little hard to believe, but then I thought of Syd and the H word. The downside - if there is one to winning - was that John's winning total was the lowest of the season, eclipsing Archie's 37 points back in April.
There was another slight glitch - no ball to present, so we made do with a virtual presentation from last week's winner to this week's:
One noteable stat is that we, as a group, have only amassed a total of six 40 pointers this season - the lowest since records began. Must try harder.
Dick is now the only ever-present.
Just 10 weeks to go now and here's the latest top 10, with scores to drop next week in brackets:
1 Taylor, Dick 354 (33)
2 Sharp, Ian 353 (30)
3 Meaden, John 340 (31)
4 Dring, Ian 337 (30)
5 Stewart, Ian 336 (28)
6 Simpson, Jack 319 (26)
7 Pollard, Rob 314 (19)
8 Cook, Archie 269
9 Gray, Keith 237
10 Corbett, Daniel 206