Wheeler wins the coveted 2015 National Senior Masters: Senior Amateur May National Roundup

Denis Dale rounds up the latest senior amateur golfing action from around the country.


John "Wheels" Wheeler

NATIONAL:  Wheeler dons National Senior Amateur Green Jacket

Local member John “Wheels” Wheeler (pictured) was a proud man as he donned the coveted green jacket awarded to the winner of the 2015 National Senior Masters.

A very popular member at The National, Wheeler had led after the opening round with a brilliant round of two under par 70 on the Moonah course. He followed this with a second round 74 on the magnificent Old course to find himself two strokes behind leader Barry Tippett (Thirteenth Beach). Tippett had opened with rounds of 71-71 to set a hot pace at two under par.

In a tense final round played on the most challenging Ocean course Wheeler admitted to feeling quite nervous playing in the final group. However, he handled them well and in difficult and windy conditions his score of 77 was good enough for a three stroke winning margin. This was the title Wheeler most wanted and his rounds of 70-74-77=221 created a tournament record.

It was the first win for Wheeler in an Australian Senior Ranking event and he certainly picked a great event in which to break through. The three courses are all world class and the field was the strongest possible and would not have been out of place in an Australian Senior Amateur Championship.

Second place went to a trio that included NSW senior Simon Bracegirdle (Killara) and two Victorians, Ian Frost (Bendigo left) and Barry Tippett (Thirteenth Beach). Bracegirdle (74-75-75=224) is now a member at The National after a long and well performed career at the Killara club in Sydney.. Frost (71-75-78=224) has performed very well in senior events in recent years and is not only one of Victoria’s best seniors but also one of the best across the country.

Barry Tippett was the defending champion and led the field into the final round after two great par-breaking rounds of 71-71 on the Moonah and Old courses. He slipped a little with is final round of 82 that saw him fail in his effort to be the first two time winner of the green jacket. However, he did share second place points and has now climbed into second position on the Australian Senior Ranking table behind fellow Victorian Gordon Claney.

Sharing fifth place were leading West Australian senior Ian McPherson (74-77-75=226) and another Victorian Greg Rhodes (73-74-79=226). McPherson has been an Australian representative for several years while Rhodes was the recent runaway winner of the NSW Senior Amateur Championship. Both Rhodes and McPherson will join Tippett and Frost in the Australian senior team that takes on New Zealand in July this year.

This year’s National Masters field was the strongest ever, with four of the past five champions competing along with the cream of Australian senior golf and several top level visitors from New Zealand. As always the organisation was at the highest possible level, all three courses were in beautiful condition and the hospitality of the club warm and generous.

A winning foursome, all previous winners of The National Senior Masters. (l to r) Barry Tippett 2014, Roy Vandersluis 2013, Tham Chin 2011, Rick Oliver 2010
A winning foursome, all previous winners of The National Senior Masters. (L to R) Barry Tippett 2014, Roy Vandersluis 2013, Tham Chin 2011, Rick Oliver 2010

Tournament host Adrian Barr has developed an event to be proud of and there will certainly be a high demand for a place in the field next year as it continues to grow in status on the senior amateur circuit.

221 John Wheeler VIC 70 74 77
224 Ian Frost VIC 71 75 78, Simon Bracegirdle NSW 74 75 75 Barry Tippett VIC 71 71 82
226 Gregory Rhodes VIC 73 74 79, 226 Ian McPherson 74 77 75
227 Russell Simmons VIC 75 73 79, Steve Toyne QLD 73 75 79
229 John Rademakers NZ 71 76 82, Sal Ballard NSW 78 73 78
230 Paul Maslen NSW 71 76 83, Gordon Claney VIC 76 75 79 Tom Harold NT 78 73 79
231 Michael Barltrop NZ 71 77 83

The incredible weather that lashed Sydney during May forced the cancellation of the 2015 Sydney Senior Classic. This 54-hole event was to be played at The Lakes, The Australian and Avondale Golf courses.

Heavy rain and strong winds forced players from the course quite early in the opening round at The Lakes and the continual wild weather made play on these three and any Sydney course impossible.

Obviously there were many disappointed senior golfers who had looked forward to playing on these three world class courses. The entry list was perhaps the best ever with golfers from interstate and New Zealand making the trip to Sydney. Unfortunately nothing can be done to control the weather and with a busy year ahead it was not possible to reschedule in 2015.

More information on past and upcoming national ranking events and full ranking tables available on the AUSOOM website – www.ausoom.com

2015 Australian Senior Rankings
  Player State Events Ave.
1 Gordon Claney VIC 8 116.60
2 Barry Tippett VIC 6 95.98
2 Stefan Albinski NSW 7 91.96
4 Michael Barltrop NZ 6 87.36
5 Sal Ballard NSW 8 81.86


NSW:  2015 NSW Senior Order of Merit Update

The 2015 NSW Senior Order of Merit competition continues with fifteen of the forty seven scheduled events now complete.

Col Kenning winner of the 2015 NSW Veteran Stroke Play Championship
Col Kenning winner of the 2015 NSW Veteran Stroke Play Championship

The NSW Veterans Stroke Play Championship was a new addition to the Senior Order of Merit competition with ranking points being allocated to players in the 54-hole championship. The tournament was played on three of the better courses in Sydney’s west – Richmond, Glenmore Heritage Valley and Stonecutter’s Ridge.

Winning the 54-hole championship for an impressive fourth occasion was 66 year old Col Kenning. The Kiama Golf Club member entered the tournament on a handicap of 1 and promptly shot rounds of 71 at Richmond, 72 at Glenmore and then a fine 74 at the Greg Norman designed Stonecutters Ridge to take the title by five strokes from Leonay’s Laurie Cupples (72-75-75).

“I put three good rounds together,” Kenning said after being presented with the Des Coady Shield. “Three over for the tournament, you’ve got to be happy with that” . Kenning also won this championship in 2010, 2011 and 2012 and was runner-up last year.

Laurie Cupples (Leonay) continued his good form with a win in the Bowral Jubilee Cup – Seniors. On the tight course Cupples had a good round of 75 to share the leading score with Dunheved’s Graeme Howland with Cupples awarded the major prize on a countback. In third place was Bankstown senior Stephen Stanton.

With fifteen events completed Long Reef senior Ross Bockamn maintains his lead in the year-long Senior Order of Merit with Dale Tapper (Bayview) in second place and Greg Stanford (Mona Vale) third.

More information on NSW Senior Order of Merit events here – www.golfnsw.org/

2015 NSW Senior Order of Merit
  Player Club Events Best 14
1 Ross Bockman Long Reef 8 1020
2 Dale Tapper Bayview 7 865
3 Greg Stanford Mona Vale 8 716
4 Paul Day Kooindah Waters 8 617
5 Laurie Cupples Leonay 6 608


VICTORIA:   2015 Victorian Order of Merit Update

The competition for the Doug Bachli Trophy (scratch) and Paul Lulofs Trophy (handicap) continues and with fourteen events completed has almost reached the half way mark.

Ian Frost winner of the 2015 Cobram-Barooga Senior Open
Ian Frost winner of the 2015 Cobram-Barooga Senior Open

The 2015 Cobram-Barooga Senior Open tournament continued its tradition of being one of the most popular events on the Victorian Senior Order of Merit calendar. The host club warmly welcomes all visitors and it is not surprising that many make a return trip each year.

In the first round a field of 120 men played a stroke competition for Doug Bachli Trophy points on the Old course. At the same time a field of 140 (80 ladies and 60 men) played in a Stableford competition on the West course. There were 75 clubs represented from Tasmania, South Australia, NSW and Victoria.

In wonderful golfing conditions Bendigo senior Ian Frost opened with a par round of 72 to take a one stroke lead over Michael Jackson (Yarra Yarra) with Ross Banks, Gary Hunt and Ross Percy next on 74.

The second round was played under contrasting weather conditions. Winds were gusting at up to 50 km per hour with the sun blocked out by a dust storm. Best score of the day was a gutsy, no birdie 76 from Alan Bullas (Commonwealth), closely followed by overnight leader Ian Frost (Bendigo) with a 77.

Frost held a two stroke lead over Bullas and Michael Jackson heading into the final round on the Old course.

With a seeded draw adding extra pressure it was an exciting final day. On an overcast but generally fine day Ian Frost (72-77-76=225) handled the conditions well and his round of 76 saw him finish with a four stroke winning margin. Frost had the distinction of a wire-to-wire victory with Yarra Yarra’s “Super Senior”  Michael Jackson (74-77-78=229) finishing in second place. Third place went to Greg O’Brien (Howlong 75-77-73=230) and Alan Bullas (Commonwealth 77-76-77=230).

Cobram Barooga member Colin Rankin utilised his local knowledge to take this year’s nett event playing off a handicap of 13 with a three round nett total of 213. Russell Williams (Leongatha) finished in second place with a score of 214 with the defending Paul Lulofs Trophy champion Ignatius Duivenvoorden rounding out the top three places with his nett score of 219.

With a large crowd of 280 attending the presentation dinner the list of prize winners was almost endless. The major prize winners are listed below:

Men’s Scratch:              225       Ian Frost (Bendigo)
Runner Up:                   229       Michael Jackson (Yarra Yarra)
Men’s Handicap:           213       Colin Rankin (Cobram-Barooga)
Runner Up:                   214       Russell Williams (Leongatha)
Men’s Stableford:         107*      Kevin Keating (Cobram-Barooga)
Runner Up:                   107       John Blackburn (Walwa)
Ladies Stableford:        107       Wendy Pullar (Cobram Barooga)
Runner Up:                   105       Noelle Hartnett (Rossdale)
Teams Event:               209       Commonwealth GC – Graeme Bone, Alan Buckley, Alan Bullas

Victory in this event has further lengthened the lead Ian Frost has in the 2015 Doug Bachli Trophy.

Further information on the Victorian Senior Order of Merit is available on the Golf Victoria website www.golfvic.org.au .

2015 Victorian Senior Order of Merit
  Player Club Events Best 12
1 Ian Frost Bendigo 7 1430
2 Ken O’Brien Rossdale 8 1142
3 Gordon Claney Kingston Heath 7 975
4 Alan Bullas Commonwealth 8 970
5 Tony Hyde Rossdale 14 957


QUEENSLAND:  2015 Queensland PresCare Senior Order of Merit Update

Recent results from the 2015 Queensland PresCare Senior Order of Merit:

The McLeod PresCare Queensland Senior Order of Merit event attracted a very pleasing field of 76 players (44 men and 32 women).The course was a fair test and given the heavy overnight rain was in good condition. It was a very hot and humid day making it a real test of endurance.

Winner Men’s Scratch:               Mario La Chiusa 73

Runner Up Men’s Scratch:          Peter Duncan 74

Winner Men’s Nett:                    Monty Soilleux 40 points

Runner Up Men’s Nett:               Malcolm Wykes 38 points  cb

Winner Women’s Scratch:          Josie Ryan 81
Runner Up Women’s Scratch:     Cheryl Sternberg 85 cb

Winner Women’s Nett:               Sandra Croft 33 points

Runner Up Women’s Nett:          Collette Bryne 32 points

Winner Super Seniors:               Ian Simpson 36 points

A very good field of 74 players (61 men and 13 women) competed in the Carbrook PresCare Queensland Senior Order of Merit event.

It was a perfect day for golf with the course presented in immaculate condition. Carbrook is a course that gets better every time it is played and this time the field was able to play the new seventeenth hole that had just been opened.

Winner Men’s Scratch: Mario La Chiusa 71
Runner Up Men’s Scratch: Greg Fraser 73
Winner Men’s Nett: George Spillane 42 points
Runner Up Men’s Nett: Paul Price 39 points cb
Winner Men’s Super Seniors: Phil Green 74
Runner Up Men’s Scratch: Harold Burke 75

May 7 was the date for the inaugural Hills PresCare Queensland Senior Order of Merit event at The Hills Golf Club with a field of 34 players.

The weather was perfect and the course presented in great condition after the extreme weather of the previous week – a fantastic job by the course staff. The Hills is one of the longest courses in Australia and it proved to be an enjoyable challenge for the senior field.

Winner Men’s Scratch:               Greg Fraser 76

Runner Up Men’s Scratch           Tim Deakin 79 cb

Winner Men’s Nett:                    Peter Wallace 37 points

Runner Up Men’s Nett:               Rodney McNeven

Winner Women’s Scratch:          Wendy O’Connell 84

Winner Women’s Nett:               Adrienne Naismith 31 points cb

 2015 Queensland Prescare Senior Order of Merit
  Player Club Events Best 8
1 Mogens Andersen Redcliffe 8 784
2 Phillip Towle Coolangatta TH 7 740
3 Anthony Haijar Palmer Colonial 8 674
4 Ian Broom Caloundra 7 619
5 Leigh Madsen Gailes 6 585


More information available on the Golf Queensland web site www.golfqueensland.org.au


SOUTH AUSTRALIA:  2015 South Australian Senior Order of Merit Update

Phil Smith winner of the 2015 Flagstaff Hill seniors and current leader of the SA Senior Order of Merit
Phil Smith winner of the 2015 Flagstaff Hill seniors and current leader of the SA Senior Order of Merit

Four events have now been completed in the 2015 South Australian Senior Order of Merit with Phil Smith from Tea Tree Gully currently leading the race from Steve Ross (South Lakes) and Chris Everett (Tea Tree Gully).

The most recent events been played were at Mt Osmond and Flagstaff Hill. It was pleasing to see that the course staff had worked hard to present their courses in fine condition. All that was needed was for the players to enjoy the cool autumn Adelaide weather and play some good golf.

Mt Osmond  Seniors

Gross Winner:               Ken Brown (Tea Tree Gully) 72
Runner Up:                   Steve Ross (South Lakes) 76
Hcp Winner:                  Alex Dixon (Kooyonga70
Runner Up:                   John Anderson Flagstaff Hill) 72
Super Seniors Winner:   John Hill (Mt Osmond) 73
Runner Up:                   George Christopoulos (Mt Osmond) 78
Handicap Winner:          Tony Weber (Mt Osmond) 70
Runner Up:                   Joe Crawford (Mt Osmond) 73

Flagstaff Hill Seniors

Gross Winner:               Phil Smith (Tea Tree Gully) 76
Runner Up:                   Nigel Turner (Lady Bay) 78
Hcp Winner:                  Phil Smith (Tea Tree Gully) 72
Runner Up:                   Graham Howarth (Flagstaff Hill) 73
Super Seniors Winner:   Jim Richards (Tea Tree Gully) 77
Runner Up:                   Paul Starrs  (Flagstaff Hill) 79
Handicap Winner:          Paul Stars (Flagstaff Hill) 70
Runner Up:                   Glen Bruce (Mt Barker) 74

There is now a break in events until a new SA Order of Merit event at Glenelg Golf Club in late August. Mid-September has an Australian Senior Order of Merit ranking event played over 36 holes at Kooyonga and Grange Golf Clubs. Following straight after is the final event of the South Australian Order of Merit year, the 2015 South Australian Senior Amateur Championship at Links Lady Bay Golf Club.

All of these courses are highly rated championship courses and the organisers look forward to a good number of interstate entries to join with the local seniors in enjoying the competition offered.

More information available on the Golf South Australia web site www.golfsa.com.au



June 11                          Manly Seniors NSW

June 12                          Oatlands Seniors NSW

June 12                          Araluen Seniors WA

June 14                          Heathcote Seniors VIC

June 15-17                      * Australian Senior Matchplay at Coolangatta Tweed Heads

June 15-16                      Shepparton Seniors VIC

June 15                          Caloundra Seniors QLD

June 18-19                      Tocumwal Seniors VIC

June 22                          Pymble Seniors NSW

June 29                          Coolangatta Tweed Heads Seniors QLD

July 15-17                       Australia vs New Zealand – Sanctuary Cove GC

July 17                           Coffs Harbour Seniors (NSW)

July 18                           Bonville Seniors (NSW)

July 19                           Ocean Shores Seniors (NSW)

July 20-22                       Coomealla Seniors (VIC)

July 22-24                       * Gold Coast Senior Amateur – Royal Pines, The Glades, Hope Island

July 27-28                       * Queensland Senior Amateur Championship – Southport GC

July 27                           Cabramatta Seniors (NSW)

August 1-2                      Port Macquarie Seaside Classic (NSW)

* Part of the Australian Senior Ranking System




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