Ay Nik Open Golf competition
CDS DS have 30 staff permanently based in Cyprus and so was delighted to sponsor the 2017 Ay Nik Open Golf competition, the most prestigious competition for the club.
Ayios Nikolaos (Ay Nik) is home to a remote Joint Service Signal Unit (JSSU) military base. CDS DS have 30 staff permanently based in Cyprus and they are embedded within the unit providing direct support to military operations.
CDS Defence Support decided to sponsor the 2017 Ay Nik Open Golf competition. This is the most prestigious competition for the small golf club attracting competitors from across the military clubs of Cyprus and a number of competitors from the UK. The Ay Nik Golf Club is unique and offers many challenges not found on traditional courses. The lack of available water and scorching temperatures means that there is a lack of grass and many exposed rocks leading to the infamous ‘Ay Nik bounce’.
The Ay Nik Open is a 2-day event with the competitor with the lowest combined net score over the 2 days being awarded the prize. In 2017, the competition as held over the weekend of 18/19 Mar 17 and attracted 63 competitors. This included four individuals from CDS DS; Peter Ramshaw playing with a handicap of 10, Brian Finnigan playing off 14, Kev Pinder playing off 21 and Ian Alexander who because he didn’t have an active handicap played off scratch.
Day one commenced in glorious sunshine with the Excellent Ay Nik Golf Club ladies providing the tea, toast and ball-spotters. After a fiercely competitive day of golf, our very own CDS DS Cyprus Manager (Kev Pinder) had the overnight lead. A traditional social night in the Ay Nik Golf Club followed leading to a few sore heads amongst the early starters on Sunday. As is traditional on a 2 day competition, the leaders are the last to tee off on the second day so Kev and the 2 nearest competitors set off at 11:56. The first 9 holes went well for Kev playing to net Par, although he was unaware of how competitors in other groups were playing. A bacon sandwich and coffee at the half-way house seem to have a negative effect and Kev put his second shot on the 10th hole out of bounds! As the afternoon wore on, Kev was dropping shots to his nearest competitor (Norm Howie from the UK) and it was obvious that it was going to be a close finish.
As Kev and Norm stood on the 18th tee, it was desperately close. The club-house patio was packed with people watching as Norm teed off first, but he pulled his drive into the trees. Kev put a good drive onto the fairway to the delight of the Ay Nik
members. Norm could only play out sideways from the trees so had effectively lost a shot. As Kev lined up to take his 2nd shot, the onlookers went silent. Kev played a great shot across the ditch and landed a few feet off the artificial grass of the 18th green. Norm played his 3rd shot and was also just off the green. Despite the pressure, Kev managed to put his chip to within 2 feet of the hole and sunk the putt for a par. Norm also sunk his for a 1 over par bogie.
After an anxious wait for the scores to be counted, Kev was confirmed as the Ay Nik Open Champion for 2017. Kev admits that it was a little embarrassing that the first time CDS DS have sponsored the
competition, we also took first prize, but he hasn’t stopped smiling from winning his first ever competition. Of our other employees, Brian Finnigan came an excellent overall 6th, Peter Ramshaw 18th and despite playing off scratch Ian Alexander put in a great couple of days golf and also won a prize for a 2.
The Ay Nik Open was a hugely successful event and CDS DS increased its visibility amongst the wider Cyprus military community and enhanced its reputation in being an integral part of the Unit.
Pictured above is CDS DS Employee Brian Finnigan presenting The Ay Nik Open Champion Kev Pinder with the First Prize.