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At 61 Gordon Claney is a debut winner in his first national golfing appearance

“As you get older you realise any day you play could be a disaster” says Gordon Claney. But it wasn’t so this week as he blitzed a field of top senior amateur golfers. Photo courtesy of Golf Australia

“As you get older you realise any day you play could be a disaster” says Gordon Claney. But it wasn’t so this week as he blitzed a field of top senior amateur golfers. Photo courtesy of Golf Australia

VICTORIA’S Gordon Claney admitted to some overnight nerves but held on for a wire to wire debut victory at the 2014 Australian Men’s Senior Amateur Championship in Western Australia.

For various reasons the 61 year old hadn’t challenged for a national title in a long amateur golfing career but was able to hold off all comers over three rounds at the Mandurah Country Club, about an hour south of Perth.

Claney opened his account on Tuesday with an even par 71 and was never headed, finishing the 54 holes six over the card and two clear of his nearest rival.

“I didn’t play these when I was a younger amateur because I worked and just wasn’t really good enough,” Claney said after accepting the Kerry Packer Trophy. “So this is the first national championship I’ve played in, and it’s a great feeling to win it.”

Claney appeared to handle the pressure admirably but admitted he hadn’t slept that well going into the final round.

“Last night when I went to bed they kicked in, it was definitely a nervy night in bed,” he said.

“Today I made a solid start and didn’t have any problems until the 8th hole where I had to lay up short because I hit a poor drive, but otherwise I had no dramas today.”

“As you get older you realise any day you play could be a disaster, so I’ve got a very fatalistic attitude to how I play golf! But my hope was to play well today and I’m glad I did.”

Claney finished the final round with a 2-over 73, enough to hold off a challenge from Western Australian Trevor Hughes, whose 1-under round of 70 earned him an outright second finish at 8-over par.

Overall it was a very consistent day for the winner, who made one birdie and only dropped shots on the 14th and 16th holes. His double bogey on the 14th opened the door for Hughes, who came within two strokes of the lead with four to play, but the Victorian was able to keep the field at arms length down the final stretch.

NSW golfer Dale Tapper was outright third with a final round 74.

In the Interstate Teams event, the Western Australian team of Harry Crosby, Robin Dybeck, Trevor Hughes and Ian McPherson secured an 11 stroke victory (274) over the second placed New South Wales team. Victoria was third with Queensland in fourth and Tasmania in fifth.

Men’s Senior Amateur Championship – Age group winners:

55-59 Years – Michael Barltrop NZL
60-64 Years – Ian McPherson WA
65-69 Years – Harry Crosby WA
70+ Years – Mal Roberts WA

Final Scores:

219 Gordon CLANEY  71 – 75 – 73 VIC
221 Trevor HUGHES  74 – 77 – 70 WA
225 Dale TAPPER  74 – 77 – 74 NSW
226 Harry CROSBY  75 – 75 – 76 WA
227 Ian MCPHERSON  76 – 75 – 76 WA
229 Barry SQUIRES  78 – 76 – 75 WA
230 Michael BARLTROP  78 – 77 – 75 NZL
231 Martin MINOGUE  77 – 77 – 77 WA
231 Roy VANDERSLUIS  78 – 75 – 78 NSW
232 Ross BOCKMAN  81 – 75 – 76 NSW
232 Sal BALLARD  75 – 80 – 77 NSW
232 Colin HALLAM  77 – 78 – 77 QLD
232 Gary TUCKER  77 – 76 – 79 WA
233 David EDWARDS  80 – 78 – 75 NSW
233 Neville DELANE  74 – 76 – 83 WA
233 John WANLESS  74 – 76 – 83 WA
234 David BURTON  76 – 81 – 77 QLD
234 Steve TOYNE  75 – 81 – 78 QLD
235 John BANTING  80 – 79 – 76 WA
235 David LIMBACH  78 – 80 – 77 NSW
235 Denis DALE  76 – 76 – 83 NSW
236 Douglas WILLIAMS  81 – 79 – 76 HKG
237 Vince CLARK  77 – 80 – 80 NSW
237 Alan BULLAS  75 – 80 – 82 VIC

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About Brian O'Hare

Brian is the editor and founder of ASG. He is a former Sydney journalist and is now an avid "senior" golfer. Brian is a member of the Australian Golf Writers Association.

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