Take a look around and happy golfing, The Happy Bandit Crew
Convict Cup Dates 2016 & 2017
Dates for the 'Greatest Weekend of Golf' in 2016 are October 14th, 15th and 16th.
Team Captains/Officials to be confirmed and announced prior to or at Round 4, April 10th 2016
Location of the event to be announced prior to or at Round 5, May 1st 2016
Team Members to be announced at or prior to Round 8, August 21st 2016 - obviously any late changes are permitted
In 2017 we will be celebrating the 10th year of the famous Convict Cup. To celebrate the occassion a special 'longer version' of the vent will take place due to the travel required, tentative dates are October 11 (Wed) to 16 (Mon) with the main golf again played on the Friday through Sunday inclusive.
Haley Winds Back the Clock With a Dominant Display
14 Feb 2014 - 19:44 by Mike Trigwell
It seemed like only yesterday all Bandits were having a go at the handicap of the little Nick Haley. His two barnstorming wins in a row had him labelled as a true bandit. However that was 3 full years ago.
Once again though Nick showed his early season taking the chocolates at The Springs. IN all honesty this event was over by half time as Haley stroked his way around the golf course like a modern day Jack Nicklaus. His gentle fade allowing his ball to settle snugly on the tight fairways and soft greens as he plundered 4 pointer after 4 pointer to make the turn in what must be a Bandit record 27pts - yes a full 9 under his handicap.
I'm still unsure if Nick's beaming smile as he accepted the winner's medal was due to embarrassment and how he took the field apart or complete glee at finally getting his golf game out of the rut.
In addition to the medal, the tour points and some cash, Haley's reward was a whopping 2 shot drop off his handicap.
The big question is can he repeat his feats of 2011 and go back-to-back - the odds have been slashed and Bet365 has him at 10-1 to go back-to-back.
Jim and Midge Notch up wins at Camden Lakeside & St Micks
10 Mar 2013 - 11:57 by Mike Trigwell
Jim completed one of the finest victories in Bandit Tour history when his 47pts was five better than returning Bandit Dan Smith, first time Bandit, Matt Zibert and the perennial bridesmaid, Skoota.
Jim's 47pts included an amazing 27pts on his final 9 holes and provided a more positive note on the day with "pencilgate" making yet another return to the tour.
On to St Micks where the expectation was for wind, fast greens and some really tough golf holes. What transpired was a pretty still day, some heat and again some poor golf.
However 4 players somewhat stood out. Paul Midgley completely dismantled the home course of his 'handicap nemesis' to secure the victory and a whopping 3 shot handicap drop. Matt Siddons also returned to form after a long time out of the podium positions (the effect of pencilgate obviously didn't rattle him too much). And finally last year's champion, Fraser, made his first podium of the year and in doing so dropped his handicap into single digits for the first time, while yet again Skoota picked up 4th spot.
At the top of the leaderboard Matt Siddons finds himself there 4 years after winning the tour, while midge is just 1,000 points back, with Skoota, Jim and Fraser making up the top 5 who have made a bit of a gap on the rest of the field.
However with only 7 rounds counting this year the opportunity is there for every player to make a charge.
Next round is at Eastlake in a few hours, the course where the Bandits have always struggled, is it the long walk, the gentle hills, the wind that often accompanies a late morning start, the narrow fairways or the lashing rain that often accompanied our rounds there that makes it so tough, we're about to find out.
Round 1 Jan 20 2013: Camden Lakeside 5:45am
15 Jan 2013 - 00:29 by Mike Trigwell
The draw for Camden Lakeside is as follows:
Group 1 Fraser (10) Matt B (19) Howard (25)
Group 2 Alex (14) Colin (12) Matt S (15) Ryan (24)
Group 3 Jason (18) Matt Z (11) Trigger (10) Dan (11)
Group 4 Skoota (16) Jamie (8) Haley (20) Tim (18)
Group 5 – The Gamblers Group Allen (15) Ben (8) Mani (18) Zac (18)
Group 6 Simon B (20) Greg (27) Jim (27) Midge (25)
See you all there.
Mani Wins the Champs, but Fraser Takes the Big Prize
11 Jan 2013 - 12:03 by Mike Trigwell
Needing a win on the day Mani stepped forth and duly delivered while Fraser and Trigger battled to get somewhere close to him to keep hold of the top positions.
The battle was going pretty strong until about the 11th hole of the day (the 1st) and then Fraser started to extend his led over Trigger and keep Mani at least within his sights.
In the washup at the end Fraser squeezed out 35pts, which was 8 shots behind Mani's amazing 43pts on the day. Thankfully for Fraser only another 3 players could better his score and despite tying for 5th with many others on the day he had done enough to hold off the fast finishing Mani to take out the Happy Bandit Tour Champion title in his debut season.
Fraser will be returning in 2013 to defend his crown and with the addition of new players such as Allen Harivel, Nathan 'Skoota' Jackson, Jamie Maher, Matt Zibert and the return of Dan Smith the competition will be more fierce than ever.
On the more sombre side of things 2013 sees us say farewell to tour regulars Aaron Hamson and Simon Millard, both taking indefinite breaks, while first timer Travis Davis is also moving on from the tour.
The 2013 Tour kicks off at Camden Lakeside, the perennial home of the Bandits with 7 previous events played there with no less than 39pts needed to win plus a couple of two time winners in Colin Esplin and Mike Trigwell (who has won the last two events here, both with scores of 43pts). To show how difficult (or easy) it will be to be win, 39pts was only good enough for a 3 way tie for 4th last year.
Look forward to seeing you all at Camden Lakeside on Sunday January 20.
Alex Carr no Longer Alex Parr
3 Sep 2012 - 17:35 by Mike Trigwell
In a scene reminiscent of some of the greatest triumphs on the global golfing stage, Alex "The Kalisz Bunny' Carr, absolutely decimated the field at Long Reef to record what will forever go down as the largest winning margin in Bandit history - a whopping 9 shot victory over his nearest competitor.
What this has done for Alex's confidence going into the Convict Cup (Oct 19-21 for those unsure) we'll soon see. With the announcement that he's become part of the leadership group, behind Simon 'Chippy' Millard he has stepped up to the plate and filled his team with confidence that his woeful Convict Cup record, 0-3 in foursomes, 0-2-1 in singles and 2-1 in 4bbb (his partner must've played great in those wins) is but a distant memory.
The big question must be, will Alex want to go 'mano a mano' up against the Team Southern Captain, Greg Kalisz for the 5th time, given a record of 1 win and 4 losses it's very unlikely.
Back to the Bandit tour and while Alex was busy polishing his medal, Mani and Colin filled the minor placings, while this didn't have a significant impact on the placings at the top of the leaderboard Mani picked up valuable points to get him closer to Trigger with just 2 events remaining.
Adjusted Leaderboard With only two events here are two different leaderboards.
Top 10 with 1 dropped score 1. Trigger 125,500 (5,000) 2. Mani 113,500 (9,500) 3. Simon B 103,500 (0) 4. Fraser 101,000 (0) 5. Howard 99,000 (4,000) 6. Matty B 96,500 (0) 7. Midge 94,500 (0) 8. Jim 91,500 (5,000) 9. Haley 91,000 (5,000) 10. Jason 90,000 (0)
Top 10 with 2 dropped scores - both dropped scores in ( ) 1. Trigger 119,500 (5,000, 6,000) 2. Mani 104,000 (9,500, 9,500) 3. Fraser 101,000 (0, 0) 4. Midge 94,500 (0, 0) 5. Simon B 92,500 (0, 11,000) 6. Howard 90,000 (4,000, 9,000) 6. Matty B 90,000 (0, 6,500) 8. Alex 87,500 (0, 0) 9. Jim 86,500 (5,000, 5,000) 10. Haley 85,000 (5,000, 6,000) 10. Jason 85,000 (0, 5,000)
On the Handicap Front Alex was the big change, however many golfers are a chance of going out or down given the next round at Mona Vale.
Alex down to 14 (13.5) Howard up to 25 (24.6)
Close to change... Alex (14 (13.5) Mani 20 (19.5) Howard 25 (24.6) Jason 18 (17.5) Matt B 19 (19.4) Matt S 16 (16.4) Nick H 20 (20.3) Simon B 20 (19.6) Simon M 20 (20.4) Zac 18 (17.5)
A potential 5 shots to be dropped and 2 to be gained by Team England (poor Scots and Irish in the team) and just 1 down and 1 up for the Southerners. Although as Alex showed at Long Reef a big win and anything can and will happen.
So what will you be doing at Mona Vale, playing to pad that handicap (max of 0.4 is what you can up) or putting on the hand break once you look like hitting 36 points.