Denis Dale presents his latest wrap of senior amateur golf action from around Australia
National: Warburton and Chappell win in WA
Royal Perth Senior Amateur
West Australian Dennis Warburton (pictured above) was the winner of the inaugural Royal Perth Senior Open played over 36 holes on this traditional and challenging golf course.
Royal Perth member John Banting held the overnight lead with his opening round of 74 while Warburton was a stroke behind with his score of 75. In a close finish Warburton’s rounds of 75-75 for a 36-hole total of 150 were just enough to edge out Banting (74-77=151) and Neville Delane (80-71-151) by a single stroke. Neville Delane had the round of the tournament with his closing 71 that saw him almost snatch a dramatic win.
West Australian Senior Amateur Championship
Paul Chappell and Sharon Dawson were the winners of the 2016 WA Senior Amateur Championships played at Melville Glades Golf Club.
After a blistering opening round of two under par 70, Chappell was never headed and finished a comfortable 6 shot winner. His rounds of 70-75-75 proved he is definitely a new senior golfer to watch when he travels to the eastern states for more senior tournaments. Chappell defeated Australia’s current number one ranked senior Victorian Greg Rhodes who was consistent with his rounds of 75-75-76. West Australian John Banting was another stroke away in third place after his rounds of 76-75-76.
This was Chappell’s first Australian Senior Ranking title having recently reached the qualifying age of 55. As a senior Chappell has continued to win on the WA open amateur circuit with wins at the Rockingham Bowl and the Hartfield Open since turning 55.
In the Women’s Championship Lake Karrinyup’s Sharon Dawson started the final round just one shot ahead of Alison Eather. Dawson, the current Australian and New Zealand Senior Amateur Champion, then came to the fore in difficult conditions. Her rounds of 86-79-82 gave her a six shot margin over Janine Northrop of Melville Glades in second with Eather (WA Golf Club) finishing third.
Golf Australia vs ADFGA
Each year, a Golf Australia Senior Team contests a match against the Australian Defence Forces team. The event is played over two days, with foursomes and four-ball matches on day one, and singles matches on day two. This year the venue was once again The National Golf Club with all games played on the Ocean Course.
Day one began with warm weather and just enough wind to make the player focus on every shot. As always The National was presented in wonderful condition. After the fourball and foursomes matches the scores were Golf Australia 6.5 points and the ADFGA 5.5 points giving the Golf Australia team a one-point lead.
Day two saw twelve individual matches played in very strong winds coming from the opposite direction to day one. At times the winds gusted to almost gale force providing a real test for all the players. It was the younger and stronger ADF players who handled the tough conditions best winning the singles day by 8 matches to 4 matches.
This gave the ADFGA an overall winning score of 13.5 matches to 10.5 matches and they reclaimed the title that the Golf Australia team had won in 2015.
For Golf Australia the two debutant women performed very well. Queenslander Josie Ryan finished with 2 points and Australia’s top-rated senior woman Jacqui Morgan earned1.5 points from their three matches. Bronwyn Mullins represented the ADFGA very well earning 2 valuable points for her team. Simon Bracegirdle was undefeated for the GA team while Rod Smylie matched this feat for the ADF.
Once again it was a memorable experience for everyone who participated in this prestigious event. The golf course was sensational as was the hospitality shown by all the staff and members of The National Golf Club.
The formal dinner on Monday night featured several presentations from ADFGA members that highlighted the work they are currently doing in the national armed services. Brigadier Paul Nothard (A.M. CSC) gave a very interesting overview of his role in the armed services as part of his welcoming address.
NSW: Denis Dale 5 in a row in NSW Order of Merit
NSW Veterans Strokeplay Championship
Twin Creeks golfer Denis Dale (71-72-72=215) won the 2016 NSW Veteran’s Strokeplay Championship. He completed the 54-hole tournament played on three different courses with a par round of 72 on the Stonecutter’s Ridge course.
Dale had led the defending champion Colin Kenning (Kiama 72-73-81=226) by one stroke after an opening round of 71 at the Richmond Golf Club. He increased it to a two-stroke lead after the second round when he recorded an even par score of 72 at Penrith. With his par round on the final day at Stonecutter’s Ridge he had led all the way and eventually won the title by ten strokes. Dale did struggle early in his final round but finished strongly being four under par for the final ten holes.
Second place went to Penrith senior David Limbach (75-77-73=225) who carded a final round 73 that saw him edge out Col Kenning for the runner-up prize. Limbach’s golf on the final day was exceptional and could easily have been much lower if the birdie putts had dropped. Kenning finished in third place in a very good attempt to make it a total of five NSW Vet’s Championships. His record of four titles is still a very impressive one.
Dale received a replica of the Des Coady Shield for his win plus the winner’s prize. He also had the rare achievement of recording the best round on every day of the three-day competition.
Each individual daily event also accumulated points for the 2016 NSW Senior Order of Merit competition. Dale received the maximum available points each day and now takes over the lead from Stefan Albinski in this year-long competition.
The tournament was a great success with the organisation being flawless. All players were certainly well satisfied with their three days of golf on beautifully presented courses and great weather. It will be on again next year when another capacity field is sure to line up for this championship.
Pennant Hills Seniors
A good field of 59 senior golfers were rewarded with a beautifully presented course and an even better day for the playing of the 2016 Pennant Hills Seniors Cup.
The overall winner was Concord senior Grant Wilson with an even par round of 71. The four-marker played some great golf and was a two shot winner from a group of three golfers on 73 – Richard Greville (Magenta Shores), Greg Wilson (Pennant Hills) and Denis Dale (Twin Creeks).
After a delicious buffet lunch the club captain John Buchanan presented the prizes to all the winners and invited everyone to return in 2017 when the event will again be played with an early morning shotgun start.
Gungahlin Lakes Seniors
50 senior men enjoyed another great day at the Gungahlin Lakes Golf Club. Local member Les Molloy was the winner with an excellent round of two over par 74. He defeated Gold Creek’s Bill Banks who finished with a score of 78 and Grange senior Ward Hummerston third on 79
Royal Sydney Seniors
A highlight of the NSW Senior Order of Merit competition every year is the Royal Sydney Invitational Senior Medal. The field is restricted to the Top 40 performers on the Order of Merit table from the previous year plus additional invitees.
Royal Sydney was in wonderful condition although the rough was certainly more demanding than usual as the club begins the year-long preparation for the 2016 Australian Open to be played at this iconic course later this year.
In keeping with tradition the event was played from the championship tees – the same course setup as will be used for the Australian Open. In fact, with some very tight and demanding pins many players thought it may have been even harder than the setup the pros will find. Either way it was a real challenge with most wishing they could add a little of Adam Scott’s or Rory McIlroy’s length off the tee.
This year the course was the real winner with only two golfers managing to break 80. The winner was Twin Creeks senior Denis Dale with his round of 78. Dale played solidly and only bogies on the final four holes stopped a very impressive round. Runner up went to the consistent Ken Brewer from Concord with his round of 79. Brewer also reported letting a few slip away late in his round. Next on “even par” 80 were Mark Pearson (Mona Vale), Peter Stephens (Concord) and Rick Allison (Camden Valley).
Bonnie Doon Seniors
Denis Dale continued his recent string of victories in NSW Senior Order of Merit events with a win in the 2016 Bonnie Doon Senior Amateur Cup. This event is always played on Easter Monday and this year attracted a field of over 60 senior golfers. Rain threatened all day but did not arrive and the pleasant conditions made good scoring possible.
Dale (Twin Creeks) was the defending champion having won in 2015. This year he had a par round of 71 on the testing layout to record a two-stroke winning margin over Steve Stanton (Bankstown) and Ken Brewer (Concord). St Michael’s senior Steve Gibson showed a return to his best form with a round of 74 to finish alone in fourth place.
Dale has now won the last 5 NSW Senior Order of Merit events with his victories at Royal Sydney, Richmond, Penrith, Stonecutter’s Ridge and Bonnie Doon.
VICTORIA: New Names in the 2016 Senior Order of Merit
Alpine Senior Masters
John Kelly (Metropolitan) and Barry Webb (Yarrawonga) claimed the 2016 Alpine Senior Masters played at Bright Golf Club titles after the second and final round was abandoned because of the weather.
The round one leader and therefore the tournament winner was Metropolitan member John Kelly who fired the best round with an even par 72. The 1979 Australian Amateur Champion, and former professional golfer mentioned that his short game was key to his win. “I holed a lot of 4-5 foot putts. I had a good stroke going” Kelly mentioned.
Leading Victorian senior golfers Gordon Claney (Kingston Heath) and Ian Frost (Bendigo) finished in second and third places with rounds of 73 and 74.
In the handicap section, it was Yarrawonga’s Barry Webb taking the honours after carding a fine net 67 in round one.
Mornington Peninsula Seniors
Round one of the 36-hole Mornington Peninsula Senior Amateur was contested in perfect conditions at the picturesque coastal Flinders Golf Club.
Leading after the first round was Ian Frost with a strong score of one over par 70. The Bendigo member had a two-stroke lead over Sandhurst senior Wayne Aigner on 72.
Round two was played at Portsea Golf Club and again the field was presented with perfect weather and a beautiful course.
Wayne Aigner played a solid second round to record a score of 77 and finish level with overnight leader Ian Frost who had a round of 79. Aigner has been a strong supporter of senior golf for many years and after winning on a countback commented, “It’s been a long time between drinks”. Aigner’s last win came back in 2008.
Taking out the men’s nett trophy was Tim Kirtley of Thirteenth Beach with a two-round nett score of 143, to win on a count-back from Chris Keeshan of Centenary Park.
The women’s scratch Stableford section was tightly contested and won by June Tickell of Trafalgar. In her maiden senior event of the year, Tickell recorded 25 and 27 points for a total of 52 scratch points. She defeated Buninyong’s Helen Pascoe by one stroke.
Box Hill Senior Amateur
On a fresh morning, 55 men and 16 women competed in the Box Hill Senior Amateur played over eighteen holes with the men competing in stroke and women playing Stableford.
Bryce Birtwistle from Sandhurst shot a brilliant score of two under the card 69 to win the gross section by a convincing 3 shots. Birtwistle’s highlight of the round came in the form of a perfectly struck iron on the par 3 17th hole, landing past the pin and spinning back for an ace. Runner up John Kelly and third place Ken O’Brien shot 72 and 73 respectively.
Home ground advantage came into play in the nett competition, with both the winner and runner up coming from Box Hill. Club captain Michael Ransom with a handicap of 19, scored a nett 67 to narrowly beat fellow club member John Ford on nett 68. Kerry Boehm off a handicap of 7 came in third place with a nett 69.
Helen Pascoe has wrapped up another win on the women’s seniors circuit scoring 34 scratch points and winning by 10 points. Back to back birdies on the 13th and 14th for the Buninyong golfer were highlights on Pascoe’s card. Louise Dawson was the runner up.
In the Stableford competition, Helen Somogyi from Box Hill won the event with a score of 36 points followed closely by Jenny Chandler on 33 points.
Golf Victoria vs ADFGA
Perfect autumn conditions greeted the Golf Victoria Senior team and the Australian Defence Force team (ADFGA) on the final day of the sixteenth match played between the two teams at Sorrento Golf Club.
The ADFGA team is made up of players who are current members of the Australian Services, whilst the Golf Victoria Senior team incorporates the current top ten players of the Doug Bachli Senior Order of Merit with an additional two captains picks. The Golf Victoria Senior Team was captained this year by senior advisory group chair Tony Hyde.
Following a Ryder Cup format the first day saw fourball and foursome matches between the teams. At the end of these matches the contest was delicately poised at 6.5 points to 5.5 in favour of the Golf Victoria Seniors.
The ADFGA team were quick out of the blocks on the second day winning the first two singles matches. Then the Golf Victoria Seniors hit back with wins to Barry Tippett and John Wheeler. Soon after Rod Smylie, Sam Harkis and Kurt Lampe completed a flurry of comfortable wins to the ADF team and they again had a two-match lead with five matches remaining.
Guy Krall and Tony Greenwood could not be split halving their encounter before ADFGA player Bronwyn Mullins returned a tight 1up win over Ken O’Brien. The ADFGA team needed half a point from the remaining three matches.
Golf Victoria’s Gordon Claney and Alan Bullas recorded fine wins meaning the overall result would come down to the last singles match. Fittingly, two of the country’s top ranked seniors in Ian Frost and Daryl Whitehead were left to fight it out. After eighteen holes the match could not be split and the halved result gave the ADFGA team the narrowest of overall win’s 12.5 points to 11.5 points.
Undefeated players for the Golf Victoria Seniors included both Alan Bullas & Barry Tippett with Tippett in particular producing some outstanding golf to take home the Paul Lulofs Medal as the most outstanding player over the two days. Kurt Lampe produced some fine golf for the ADFGA team finishing as the only undefeated player.
SOUTH AUSTRALIA: Two more events in the Senior Order of Merit
Mt Osmond Seniors
The third Senior Order of Merit event in the South Australian season was played at a beautifully presented Mt Osmond course. The winner was Phil Smith from Tea Tree Gully with a good round of 77. He won by a single stroke from local member Andrew Long on 78. Nigel Turner was third with a 79.
Long’s scratch score of 78 gave him a net score of 66 – a great round from the 12 handicapper. The Super Seniors was won by SA senior stalwart from The Vines, Nigel Coles with 80 on a count back from the ever consistent Chris Claxton from Blackwood.
Tea Tree Gully Seniors
58 players hit off in the Tea Tree Gully Masters on a wonderfully conditioned course. Local Tea Tree Gully member John Davey played well all day and his even par round of 71 gave him a comfortable four-stroke winning margin.
He defeated another Tea Tree Gully member, the ever consistent Norm Cordina on 75. Cordina is the reigning SA Senior Order of Merit champion. In third place was another local Phil Smith on 78.
The Super Seniors section was won by John Anderson from Flagstaff Hill and a stalwart of SA senior golf with a fine round of 76. He defeated Allan Cooper from Mt Osmond on 82.
The handicap section saw Mark Griffiths from Grange victorious with 72 defeating Blackwood’s Keith Parry Jones on a countback.
The South Australian Senior season enjoys a winter a winter break before the action resumes at Glenelg Golf Club on 22nd August. This is the beginning of a run of events on top quality courses including Royal Adelaide, Grange and Kooyonga, before the South Australian Senior Amateur Championship at Victor Harbour from September 5 – 7.
COMING SENIOR AMATEUR EVENTS
May 2-5 Cobram-Barooga Seniors (VIC)
May 2 Penrith Seniors (NSW)
May 4 Flagstaff Hill Seniors (SA)
May 5 Hills International Seniors (QLD)
May 10 Strathfield Seniors (NSW)
May 13 Mandurah Seniors (WA)
May 16-17 Leongatha Seniors (VIC)
May 16 Indooroopilly Seniors (QLD)
May 24 Mona Vale Seniors (NSW)
May 26-29 * Northern Territory Seniors at Darwin GC
May 26-27 Hepburn Springs Seniors (VIC)
May 27 Pelican Waters Seniors (QLD)
May 30 Caloundra Seniors (QLD)
June 2 Manly Seniors (NSW)
June 6 Pacific Harbour Seniors (QLD)
June 10 Oatlands Seniors (NSW)
June 19 Heathcote Seniors (VIC)
June 20-22 * Australian Senior Amateur Matchplay at Coolangatta Tweed Heads
June 20-21 Shepparton Senior Amateur
June 20 Pymble Seniors (NSW)
June 27 Coolangatta Tweed Heads Seniors (QLD)
* Part of the Australian Senior Ranking System