Denis Dale reports on all the senior amateur golf action from around Australia.
National: Gordon Claney Wins the Gold Coast Senior Classic
Victorian senior Gordon Claney (pictured above centre) has been one of Australia’s top ranked senior golfers for several years and once again he showed his class with a final round of even par 72 to comfortably win the 2016 Gold Coast Senior Classic.
The Gold Coast Classic is always played on three of the best courses on the coast and this year was no exception. In winning Claney had rounds of 75 at Royal Pines, 74 at The Glades and 72 at Links Hope Island for a 54-hole total of 221.
Claney had shared the overnight 36-hole lead with Murwillumbah senior Warren Colefax with quite a few other talented senior golfers within one or two strokes. There was anticipation of a real battle in the final round. However, in an immaculate display Claney proved far too good for the top class field, making no mistakes and eventually winning by five strokes.
A few weeks earlier Claney had won the 2016 Australian Senior Matchplay Championship and he is clearly the inform senior golfer in Australia. In fact, Claney has now won the last three Australian Senior Ranking events he has played in..
Second place in the Gold Coast Senior Classic went to Warren Colefax and this newcomer to major senior golf tournaments is a welcome addition to the playing ranks. Colefax had rounds of 77-72-77 for a total of 226.
Queenslander Mario La Chiusa took out third prize with consistent rounds of 75-77-75=227 to record his first top three placing in an Australian Senior Ranking event. With the form he displayed this week La Chiusa will be a player to watch in future major events.
Visiting New Zealander Michael Barltrop and a previous winner of this title was fourth after rounds of 75-76-77=228. New senior Kym Olsen faded a little in the final round to finish in fifth place.
FINAL LEADING SCORES
221 CLANEY Gordon 75-74-72
226 COLEFAX Warren 77-72-77
227 LA CHIUSA Mario 75-77-75
228 BARLTROP Michael 75-76-77
230 OLSEN Kym 78-72-80
232 SMALL Terry 79-74-79
233 CRANFIELD Geoff 74-80-79
234 FROST Ian 79-75-80, PITCHES Neale 77-78-79
235 HANNAH Peter 82-77-76
236 TOYNE Steve 80-78-78
237 HALLAM Col 79-73-85, DEAKIN Tim 79-80-78
238 DALE Denis 75-86-77
240 PEECK Mike 82-77-81
National: Kym Olsen Wins the Queensland Senior Amateur Championship
Victorian Kym Olsen (left) has won the 2016 Queensland Senior Amateur Championship played over 54 holes on the Bribie Island course.
Olsen fired a final round of one over par 73 to maintain his overnight lead and defeat the Barltrop brothers, Michael and Rodney who had made the trip from New Zealand. Always good to see these two great players playing in major Australian senior events.
Olsen has now played just two Australian Senior Ranking events and he has moved into 28th place on the ranking table. A member at The National Golf Club where he plays to a +2 handicap Olsen is a welcome addition to the playing ranks and looks certain to make senior representative teams in the near future.
Victorian Gordon Claney finished in equal fourth position alongside the emerging NSW star Geoff Cranfield.
Claney has been in great form and he is such a fine player he is probably a little disappointed with his final round 78 that saw him finish in equal fourth position in this championship. He now holds down second place on the national ranking table just a point behind fellow Victorian Greg Rhodes.
Geoff Cranfield is another newcomer to Australian Senior Ranking events and the scratch marker from Long Reef in Sydney has quickly made his presence felt. Look for him to also feature in many events in the next few years.
The best score in the final round belonged to another Victorian Ian Frost. He returned a card with two birdies and two bogies in his even par round of 72.
Ray Geary (Southport) won the Nett Section with a total of 216, with Robert Carter (Yeppoon) as runner up on 220.
The Club Teams Challenge, consisting of the three best Nett scores out of the four team members was won by the Redcliffe team of Mogens Andersen, Col Hallam, John Campbell and Neil Moss.
Players enjoyed three spectacular days at Bribie Island Golf Club with the excellent course conditions and service to be commended. The players were also keen to recognise proud sponsors Prescare and the Moreton Bay Regional Council for their support of the event.
FINAL LEADING SCORES
221 OLSEN Kym (VIC) 77-71-73
225 BARLTROP Michael (NZ) 76-76-73
227 BARLTROP Rodney (NZ) 77-76-74
229 CLANEY Gordon (VIC) 76-75-78, CRANFIELD Geoff (NSW) 80-74-75
230 CLARKE Brett (QLD) 76-79-75
233 LACHIUSA Mario (QLD) 76-77-80, TOWLE Phillip (QLD) 80-76 – 77, TOYNE Steve (QLD) 82-77-74, HALLAM Colin (QLD) 75-81 – 77,
234 FROST Ian (VIC) 85-77-72
236 HORNE Keith (QLD) 76-83-77, CHRISTIE Samuel (QLD) 73-85 -78, DEAKIN Tim (QLD) 75-83-78
237 DUGUID Greg (QLD) 76-84-77
238 ELLIS Greg (NSW) 82-80-76, COLLINS Gregory (QLD) 81-79 – 78
More information on the Australian Senior Ranking competition available on the AUSOOM website – www.ausoom.com.
NSW: First time winners in NSW Senior Order of Merit events
Coffs Harbour Seniors
Forster-Tuncurry senior Gary Cush won the 2016 Coffs Harbour Senior Amateur with an excellent round of 72 on the testing layout. It was the first Order of Merit win in 2016 for Cush.
Second place went to Belmont senior Garry Barber with a round of 74 a stroke ahead of another Forster-Tuncurry visitor Tony Jay who finished with a score of 75.
This event was the first round in the 36-hole 2016 Coffs Coast Senior Open with the second round played at Bonville Golf Club the following day.
Bonville is one of the highest slope rated courses in Australia and it proved a stern test for the field of senior golfers that contested the 2016 Bonville Senior Cup.
In a testing day on the beautiful course often described as “the Augusta of Australia” only one golfer managed a score under 80 while not one managed to play to their handicap.
The scratch winner was Leigh Anthony who recorded his inaugural Order of Merit win with a score of 78. Second place went to Garry Barber on 80 with Gary Cush in third place one stroke further away on 81.
The Bonville Seniors was the second round in the 36-hole Coffs Coast Senior Amateur with the first round played at Coffs Harbour Golf Club the previous day. The overall winner was Gary Cush with rounds of 72-81 for a total of 153. Cush finished a stroke ahead of Garry Barber 74-80 and Leigh Anthony 76-78 who tied for second.
Most years Cabramatta Golf Club proves to be one of the hardest courses on the NSW Senior Order of Merit calendar. 2016 was no exception and the Cabramatta Seniors Cup was a real test for the field of 60 senior golfers.
The Cup was played on a cool breezy morning with the recent rainy weather meaning that the course played to its full length. Good scores would be hard to find.
Concord golfer Ken Brewer recorded his first NSW Senior Order of Merit win for the year with a very good round of 73. He edged out St Michael’s member Steve Gibson on 74 and the defending 2015 champion Twin Creeks senior Denis Dale on 75. Local member Peter Hart was next on 79 and the only other player to finish under 80.
Hart was the winner of the Under 61 handicap prize with a nett score of 70 from his 9 handicap while Ajit Singh (Fox Hills) won the Over 61 prize with a nett score of 72 from his 24 handicap.
All players remarked on the outstanding greens with Ken Brewer commenting they were “the best greens I have played on this year”. Dale had extra reasons to be happy after achieving a hole-in-one on the 12th hole.
More information on NSW Senior Order of Merit events here – www.golfnsw.org/
VICTORIA: Rhodes goes Wire to-wire in Coomealla Senior Amateur
Local favourite Greg Rhodes went wire-to-wire in winning the 2016 Coomealla Senior Amateur.
Rhodes was the defending champion after a sensational win in 2015 when he had rounds of 67-68-72 to finish five under par and win by an amazing 28 strokes.
In 2016 Rhodes was not quite so devastating but he did save his best for last, producing a slick two under par final round of 70 to cruise to a comfortable 13 shot victory. The prolific winner who is currently ranked the number one senior golfer in Australia, used a combination of local knowledge and precision shot making to record another dominant win.
Second place went to Midlands senior Robert Wallace with rounds of 74-73-80 with South Australian visitor John Davey in third place after rounds of 74-81-76.
In the men’s nett event, Coomealla’s Peter Duscher ensured both the nett and gross title’s would remain in local hands finishing with a two round nett total of 215 taking the nett event from Rhodes by five shots.
Buninyong’s Helen Pascoe was crowned the Women’s Senior champion with a scratch Stableford total of 58 points with Jillian Morrison (Midlands) in second place with 47 points
In the Women’s championship, Noelle Hartnett (Rossdale) took top prize in the Stableford event with a two round total of 69 points with Coomealla’s Sue Jones in second place with 63 points.
Further information on the Victorian Senior Order of Merit is available on the Golf Victoria website www.golfvic.org.au .
COMING SENIOR AMATEUR EVENTS
September 1-2 * Kooyonga/Grange Senior Classic
September 5-7 * South Australian Senior Amateur – Victor Harbor
September 5 Wyong Seniors (NSW)
September 11 Shelly Beach Seniors (NSW)
September 12 Keperra Seniors (QLD)
September 12 Lang Lang Seniors (VIC)
September 15-16 Nudgee Masters (QLD)
September 15 Melton Valley Seniors (VIC)
September 19 Camden Seniors (NSW)
September 22 Port Kembla Seniors (NSW)
September 23 Maroochy River Seniors (QLD)
September 26=27 Northern Seniors (VIC)
September 26 Magenta Shores Seniors (NSW)
September 30 Liverpool Seniors (NSW)
October 1-2 Sandhurst Seniors (VIC)
October 4 Brookwater Seniors (QLD)
October 6-7 Bendigo Seniors (VIC)
October 11-13 * Australian Senior Amateur Championships (Kooyonga)
October 17-19 * Victorian Senior Amateur Championships (Coomealla)
October 17 Windsor Seniors (NSW)
October 20 Darling Downs Seniors (QLD)
* Part of the Australian Senior Ranking System