BY DENIS DALE
Leading senior amateur golfer Denis Dale rounds up the latest news from around the country
NATIONAL: Greg Ellis a rising star in Australian Senior Golf
Forster-Tuncurry senior Greg Ellis now has the honour of winning back-to-back titles on the Australian Senior Amateur circuit. In an exciting day at Federal Golf Club Ellis clung to his one stroke overnight lead to win the 2015 ACT Senior Amateur Championship by the same margin. His round of 75 on a day that was interrupted with some heavy rain, water-logged greens and then clear and sunny conditions was a very good one and he was a deserved winner.
Just a few weeks previously Ellis won the 2015 Victorian Senior Amateur Championship and he is definitely the form senior golfer in Australia. In both wins Ellis has played with the pressure of being in the last group and on both occasions he has come out on top – championship level golf!
Runner-up was Greg Rhodes from Coomealla. Rhodes was great from tee-to-green today but had no luck at all with the putter and his closing round of 74 saw him just miss another title. He has, however, extended his lead in the national rankings and is now clearly the dominant and number one senior golfer in Australia,
Tied for third were Peter Hannah (Pelican Waters) and Greg Stanford (Mona Vale). Hannah is a relative newcomer to senior golf and his recent efforts have been top class and he now finds himself well inside the top twenty ranking list. Hannah closed with a good round of 74 and a win is definitely on the cards in the near future.
Greg Stanford played consistently well all week and his equal third place was his best result in recent events. In an interesting side note the final group consisted of the four “Gregs” – Greg Ellis, Greg Rhodes, Greg Stanford and Greg McKay.
Fifth place was a three-way tie between Steve Toyne (Nudgee), Denis Dale (Twin Creeks) and Sal Ballard (Penrith). A highlight of the final day was a hole-in-one by Dale on the sixteenth (a lucky bounce off the bunker helped!).
ACT Senior Championship Leading Scores
225 Greg Ellis (Tuncurry) 73-77-75
226 Greg Rhodes (Coomealla) 74-78-74
227 Greg Stanford (Mona Vale) 77-74-76, Peter Hannah (Pelican Waters) 75-78-74
228 Steve Toyne (Nudgee) 75-81-72, Denis Dale (Twin Creeks) 77-78-73, Sal Ballard (Penrith) 79-77-72
229 Graeme Howland (Dunheved) 72-83-74, Terry Small (Kogarah) 79-75-75
230 Russell Rogers (Tura Beach) 77-78-75
Australian Team Announced For Kiwi Series
Golf Australia has announced the twelve-man team to compete in the 2016 Sanctuary Cove Trophy international series played between Australia and New Zealand. This is an annual event played in a similar format to the Ryder and President Cups with the venue alternating between each country.
The 2016 Australian team is Greg Rhodes VIC, Gordon Claney VIC, Barry Tippett VIC, Ian Frost VIC, Steve Toyne QLD, Ian McPherson WA, David Limbach NSW, Stefan Albinski NSW, Peter Hannah QLD, John Banting WA, Mark Pearson NSW and Lester Peterson NSW. The non-playing captain is Tony Kennings and non-playing vice-captain is Denis Dale.
Australia won the first two years in 2007 and 2008 but New Zealand has been dominant in recent years and now holds a six to three series lead. The matches this year will be played in New Zealand in February at the Royal Wellington Golf Club, a wonderful course to celebrate the tenth playing of the Sanctuary Cove Trophy.
The date for 2016 Tasmanian Senior Amateur Championship is February 10-12, 2016. As usual the venue is Mowbray Golf Club in Launceston. This is a change from earlier advice that the tournament would be moving to a November date.
More information on the Australian Senior Ranking competition available on the AUSOOM website – www.ausoom.com.
State Senior Orders of Merit Finalised for 2015
Across Australia most states now conduct a Senior Order of Merit competition as year-long annual events for the best over 55 years senior golfers. These competitions have grown both in stature and in the number of participants and now form an important part of the senior golfing calendar across Australia.
NSW: Dale and Musgrave get the medals in the NSW Senior Orders of Merit
The 2015 NSW Senior Order of Merit competition counted each player’s best fourteen scores from a possible 41 events held at metropolitan, regional and country golf clubs across the state. The 2015 NSW Senior Order of Merit medal went to Twin Creek’s golfer Denis Dale who has now won this title nine times in the ten-year history of the competition.
After a slow start to the year Dale found his best form in the second half of the season and finished with five wins, three seconds, one third and a total of thirteen Top 5 finishes. After receiving the trophy and Tom Tom watch prizes at the season ending presentation dinner at Cromer Golf Club the 67-year-old Dale indicated he looked forward to playing as many events as possible next year in his quest to make it ten titles.
Second place went to Greg Stanford (Mona Vale) who narrowly defeated Dale Tapper (Bayview) for the runner up position. Stanford recorded two wins during the year and the 2014 Order of Merit runner-up showed his consistency in accumulating enough points to again finish in second place.
Dale Tapper had the honour of winning the most individual titles with six victories during the year and only an injury mid-season stopped him from finishing higher than third place. Long Reef’s Ross Bockman was another to miss part of the season through injury and he was not far away in fourth place.
The Super Senior’s medal for the Over 65 year olds went to Denis Dale ahead of Vince Clark from The Lakes. Third place went to the 72-year old John Benn from Chatswood who enjoyed his best season for several years.The Handicap Order of Merit gold medal went to Kogarah senior Steve Musgrave who journeyed far and wide playing in 28 events and taking home the winner’s medal. Runner-up was another “senior tour” regular in Windsor’s Robert Lewis. He finished just a few points ahead of Port Kembla’s Brad Fifield who recorded the most handicap wins during the year with four victories.
This year the final day and presentation luncheon was supported by the TomTom company with the major winners of the Order of Merit trophies receiving new TomTom Golfer GPS watches.
Special mention goes to a number of senior “iron men” who once again journeyed across the state to play in NSW Senior Order of Merit events from Mollymook in the south, to Orange in the west and Ocean Shores in the north. Cabramatta’s Chris Collins played in 32 events to take home the iron man title just ahead of Links Shell Cove’s Graham Leake (29 events), Geoff Lumsden (Pennant Hills 28), Steve Musgrave (Kogarah – 28) and Don Brown (Long Reef – 26).
Further information on the NSW Senior Order of Merit is available on the Golf NSW website www.golfnsw.org
VICTORIA: Frost and Duivenvoorden Win the Bachli and Lulofs Trophies
The Victorian Senior Order of Merit is played for the Doug Bachli medal and each senior player counts their best 12 results from a possible 36 events played across Victoria during the year.
The winner of the 2015 Senior Order of Merit and the 2015 Doug Bachli Trophy was Bendigo golfer Ian Frost. Runner-up was Portsea and Commonwealth senior Alan Bullas who finished the season very strongly to edge out the 2014 winner Gordon Claney (Kingston Heath).
In an outstanding year of senior golf Ian Frost won four Bachli Trophy events with numerous top five finishes. His total of 2761 points saw him win by almost six hundred points. Frost won the Cobram-Barooga Senior Amateur, the Kingston Heath Senior Amateur, the Bendigo Senior Amateur and the Moyne Senior Classic. Nationally Frost won the South Australian and Queensland Senior Amateur Championships, helped Victoria to a clear win the teams section of the Australian Senior Amateur Championships and was selected to represent Australian in China for the 2015 Asia-Pacific Senior Amateur Championships.
Second placed Alan Bullas won the Bachli Trophy in 2012 and he has been a strong supporter of senior golf in Victoria and across Australia for many years. He is one of Australia’s best senior golfers when on his game and 2016 may be a year to watch for Bullas. Gordon Claney is well known as one of Australia’s best senior golfers and this year he won four Bachli events including a purple patch that saw him win successive events at Royal Melbourne, Metropolitan and Commonwealth Golf Clubs.
The 2015 Victorian Handicap Senior Order of Merit for the Paul Lulofs Trophy went to Yarram senior Ignatius Duivenvoorden who has now won this year-long handicap competition for five successive years. A marvellous achievement and it is hard to imagine it could ever be beaten (unless he improves on his own record with another win in 2016).
Duivenvoorden played more events than any other Victorian senior (32 events) and with a total of 1538 points just edged out RACV senior Paul Fink who finished with 1521 points. The National’s Guy Krall was in third place.
Further information on the Victorian Senior Order of Merit is available on the Golf Victoria website www.golfvic.org.au .
QUEENSLAND: Hannah and Ryan on top in PresCare Senior Order of Merit
The PresCare Queensland Senior Order of Merit is in its third year and in 2015 once again benefited from generous sponsorship from PresCare – an outstanding aged care provider in Queensland. PresCare are continuing their support for the event into the future. They have also extended their sponsorship to include the Queensland Senior Amateur Championship.
This year The PresCare Queensland Senior Order of Merit had 779 players play in 26 events. There were 294 women and 485 men who played in at least one event this year. The average field size was 60 players with 70% of the fields being 50 or more players.
The overall men’s scratch winner was Pelican Waters senior Peter Hannah playing his first year in the senior ranks. Hannah played 9 events with a win in the Toowoomba City Seniors his best performance. He was very consistent in all events and finished ahead of Nudgee’s Mario LaChiusa who recorded three wins from his fourteen starts.
Runner-up LaChiusa had finished third in 2014 and will be looking to improve another spot and take home the top position in 2016. Third place went to Timothy Deakin from McLeod Golf Club who played in 18 events with wins at Caloundra and Virginia his best results. Trevor Box (Windaroo Lakes) repeated his 2014 title in claiming the Super Senior medal for the Over 65 year old seniors.
Queensland also conducts a year-long competition for senior women and the winner was Josie Ryan from Headland Golf Club. Ryan had a great battle with Wantima’s Wendy O’Connell before claiming the title with victory in the Brookwater Seniors. That made it seven titles for Ryan in 2015. Laidley’s Cheryl Sternberg was third.
The calendar for the 2015-16 PresCare QSOOM has been changed and the season will now finish with the 2016 Queensland Senior Amateur Championships for men and women to be played at Bribie Island Golf Club in July. This means the 2015-16 year is already underway with quite a few counting events already played.
2015 PresCare QSOOM Winners
Winner Men’s Scratch: Peter Hannah
Runner Up Men’s Scratch: Mario La Chiusa
Winner Women’s Scratch: Josie Ryan
Runner Up Women’s Scratch: Cheryl Sternberg
Winner Men’s Nett: Ian Broom
Runner Up Men’s Nett: Tim Deakin
Winner Women’s Nett: Wendy O’Connell
Runner Up Women’s Nett: Gwen Clutterbuck
Winner Men’s Super Senior: Trevor Box
Runner Up Men’s Super Senior: Rodney McNeven
Winner Women’s Super Senior: Helen Gray
Runner Up Women’s Super Senior: Adrienne Naismith
SOUTH AUSTRALIA: Cordina and Claxton take the honours in Order of Merit
The final of the South Australian Senior Pennant was played on very breezy afternoon on a wonderfully presented Kooyonga course on Monday 23rd November.
The winners were again the Tea Tree Gully Golf Club with a strong 51/2 to 1/12 victory over a gallant Blackwood team. This now makes it nine pennants in consecutive years for the Tea Tree Gully team. They have won every pennant since the inception of this event in 2007.
This undefeated winning streak is a record that the Tea Tree Gully club are extremely proud of and will be looking to extend their winning record to ten consecutive titles n 2016. The pennant competition in Adelaide has grown and now includes sixteen teams as senior golf in South Australia continues to grow and develop.
The season ending Senior Golf dinner was held at Kooyonga Golf Club where the newly named South Australian Senior Order of Merit trophy’s were presented.
The winner of the inaugural John Beaumont Senior Order of Merit trophy was Norm Cordina from Tea Tree Gully for the second consecutive year. A fitting reward for another consistent year from South Australia’s leading senior golfer
This trophy is named after a great South Australian senior golfer John Beaumont who passed away in 2014. It is both interesting and fitting that the first name on the John Beaumont Trophy is in fact John Beaumont having won this title in 2013, the first year it was held.
Another great South Australian senior golfer was Tony Mazzone and sadly we also lost him in 2014. The Super Senior Trophy is named in his honour and the 2015 winner was Blackwood’s Chris Claxton another long time supporter of senior golf in his home state and across Australia.
The 2016 South Australian Senior Order of Merit event schedule has now been finalised and there are ten events on the calendar for next year.
A great addition to the schedule is Royal Adelaide on Monday 29th August. Royal Adelaide is a very special and iconic links style course designed by Alistair Mackenzie. This new event allows those seniors with the time available to play Adelaide’s four premier golf courses (Glenelg, Royal Adelaide, Grange and Kooyonga) in a two-week period beginning late August. A great time for a holiday and some time in the wine country!
The 2016 Australian Senior Amateur Championship will be played at Kooyonga in October so it certainly looks like a great year of senior golf in South Australia in 2016.
Further information on the South Australian Senior Order of Merit is available on the Golf SA website www.golfsa.com.au
COMING SENIOR EVENTS
January 6 NSW Senior Foursomes (Belmont)
January 7-8 Belmont Seniors (NSW)
January 11 Forster-Tuncurry Seniors (NSW)
January 11 Keysborough Seniors (VIC)
January 18-20 * Royal Melbourne Senior Classic
January 27 St Michael’s Seniors (NSW)
January 28 The Coast Seniors (NSW)
Feb 1 Yarra Courses Senior- Latrobe GC (VIC)
Feb 1 Wollongong Seniors (NSW)
Feb 11-12 Surf Coast Seniors – The Sands GC (VIC)
Feb 10-12 * Tasmanian Senior Amateur – Mowbray GC
Feb 11-13 New Zealand Senior Amateur – Paraparaumu GC
Feb 15-17 * Australia vs New Zealand – Royal Wellington GC
Feb 15 Concord Seniors (NSW)
Feb 16-17 Kooringal Seniors (VIC)
Feb 25-26 Warragul Seniors (VIC)
Feb 29-Mar 1 Cranbourne Seniors (VIC)
Mar 1-3 * NSW Senior Amateur – Bermagui & Narooma GCs
- Australian Senior Ranking System event