Denis Dale reports on all the senior amateur golf action from around Australia, including recognition for one of our long time best senior players.
Stefan Albinski Honoured by Mona Vale Golf Club
Recently the Mona Vale Golf Club held a special presentation night for one of their more famous golfing stars – Stefan Albinski. This presentation was in recognition of Albinski’s incredible golfing career and some details of this career follow.
Albinski (pictured at top) is a long-time loyal member of the Mona Vale Golf Club on Sydney’s northern beaches and in what most consider his greatest club achievement he has won the Club Championship in each of the five decades since the 1970s.
He has represented the Mona Vale Club many times in the Major Pennant competition and is currently a member of the Master Pennant team. He has won a number of Club Foursomes Championships and in 1990 won the NSW State Foursomes Championship with another long-term member and close friend, Greg Stanford.
However, it is his record since becoming eligible to compete in senior amateur competition, both in Australia and overseas, that his record has been nothing if not stellar!
Albinski’s first foray into senior golf (over 55 years in Australia) was in the 2007 New Zealand Senior Amateur Championship. Whilst he was only 54 at the time, in New Zealand the qualifying age is only 50, so he took his place in the field. He started with an incredible 9 under par 63 and went on to win by 13 shots!
Since then, his winning record has been phenomenal. His major victories include:
- Three Australian Senior Amateur Championships
- Three Australian Senior Amateur Match Play Championships
- Two Asia Pacific Senior Amateur Championships
Since reaching the top spot on the Australian Senior Ranking table in November, 2008 Albinski has held this position for an incredible total of 250 weeks. He was passed six times during this period and six times he played great golf to take back his position. The next best record on top of the table is 112 weeks.
He recently won the 2016 NSW Senior Championship, which meant that he had won every State and Territory Senior Amateur Championship in Australia; several on more than one occasion. For example, he won the West Australian Senior Championship in six consecutive years.
Albinski has represented Australia many times in both the Asia Pacific Senior Championship and the Sanctuary Cove Trophy against New Zealand. As you might expect he has been a key player in many winning teams.
It has been said by those who study such statistics that Stefan Albinski has the best record of any Australian golfer at any level since 2008. He has won 29 Australian Senior Order of Merit events in nine years. The next best is 16 events and third place is 12.
While Albinski has won 29 times his total of second and third place finishes is only six. This highlights that when he is in a position to win he usually does. He is a legend in Australian senior golf and it is unlikely that his record will ever be equalled.
Albinski’s career is by no means over and he continues to work on his game and recently commented “I keep practising in the belief that my best golf is still ahead of me!” A true champion.
National: Gordon Claney Wins the Senior Matchplay Championship
Victorian Gordon Claney won the 2016 Australian Senior Matchplay Championship played on the West Course at Coolangatta Tweed Heads Golf Club. In a strong display of quality golf, the top seeded Claney was too good for leading New Zealand senior Michael Barltrop winning the final 4&3.
The final began in drizzly conditions with Claney taking an early lead with some steady golf on a damp course still recovering from the 150mm of rain earlier in the week. Barltrop then rallied to win consecutive holes at the 5th and 6th and take the lead.
Thereafter it was all Claney as he birdied the 8th and 9th to retake the lead and then continue with some exceptional golf. The experienced Barltrop is a previous New Zealand Senior Amateur Champion but he could not match the golf Claney was playing. Barltrop was gallant in defeat and later commented “Gordon played absolutely flawless golf from the middle holes until the match finished”.
This now gives Claney the honour of having won both Australian Senior Amateur Championships – the Strokeplay Championship in 2014 and now the 2016 Australian Senior Matchplay Championship.
In the playoff for third place NSW senior Lester Peterson won convincingly over Victorian Alan Bullas recording a 6&4 win.
More information on the Australian Senior Ranking competition available on the AUSOOM website – www.ausoom.com.
NSW: Cranfield and Greville winners in Senior Order of Merit
Long Reef senior Geoff Cranfield continued his very good recent form with a clear cut win in the 2016 Oatlands Senior Cup.
Cranfield had an excellent round of even par 70 on the tight Oatlands course to record a three stroke win over Bardwell Valley senior Lester Peterson. Cranfield had started his round with consecutive bogies but then settled down to play immaculate golf for his even par score. Peterson’s only real blemish was a double bogey on the ninth hole.
Magenta Shores senior Richard Greville made the trip down from the central coast well worthwhile picking up the third place prize on a countback from the consistent Ken Brewer (Concord) after both finished with rounds of 74.
The overall handicap prize went to Roy Shuttleworth from North Ryde with a net score of 69 from his 8 handicap. He defeated local Oatlands member Bill Mitchell by two strokes.
Denis Dale was the leading Over 65 golfer with a score of 77 while Alan Moulds was a popular winner of the Over 65 net with a score of 73 from his 9 handicap.
As always the Oatlands course was presented in excellent condition, especially considering the very heavy rain in the preceding week.
In 2015 the well-known senior Richard Greville (Magenta Shores) finished as the runner up in the 2015 Pymble Seniors to local member Gary Mangelsdorf. This year, however, the positions were reversed with Greville recording a good round of 74 to defeat Mangelsdorf by two strokes.
Third place went to Asquith senior Dave Morgan with the big hitting scratch marker defeating Ken Brewer, Geoff Cranfield and Ron Hall on a countback after all had finished on scores of 77.
Gungahlin Lakes member Abdul Rizvi made the trip from Canberra and went home with the net prize after his round of net 71 from a handicap of 8. Antill Park’s Ross Nattrass was the runner up one stroke away.
The Over 65 scratch went to Port Kembla’s Ron Hall and the Over 65’s net to Cessnock’s James Hogg.
The field of 60 seniors were very pleasantly surprised with the excellent presentation of the Pymble course following some recent heavy rain. The greens were a little slower than normal but the fairways were beautiful and all players enjoyed another day on the picturesque Pymble course.
More information on NSW Senior Order of Merit events here – www.golfnsw.org/
VICTORIA: Wonderful week of senior Order of Merit Golf
Heathcote Senior Amateur
The Heathcote Golf Club hosted its 9th annual Senior Amateur tournament with a capacity field of 82 players. Heathcote was the first of three events in the same week with Shepparton and Tocumwal also hosting Senior tournaments.
Recent rains combined with an overcast morning left the course damp underfoot, yet it kept its country charm with players walking amongst the kangaroo’s at the foot of scenic Mount Ida.
Ray Walker from Gardiners Run prevailed as the 2016 Champion, his second title at Heathcote in three years, carding a one-under par 70, edging out Rossdale’s Ken O’Brien on a countback.
Walker completed his opening nine with a one over-par 37 before finishing the round in stellar fashion with a two-under back nine. As usual Ken O’Brien was very steady and pieced together his round with only two bogeys on the card.
Helen Pascoe from Buninyong Golf Club has won back to back titles, returning a fine Scratch Stableford score of 30 points to triumph in the women’s scratch defeating Kooringal’s Heather Harley.
Shepparton Senior Amateur
Kym Olsen completed a fine two-day event claiming the Shepparton Senior Amateur with two rounds of 73 for a 146 total. The National member started the second and final round tied in the lead with Ken O’Brien but broke away when O’Brien slipped up with a double bogey on the 17th. A par down the last gave Olsen a three shot victory.
This was only the second senior amateur event for Olsen after just turning 55. Olsen is not unfamiliar to the golfing scene after making an appearance at the 2013 US Senior Open and is certainly a senior golfer to watch in coming events.
Paul Ansell (Metropolitan) and Ken O’Brien (Rossdale) were the next best with 36-hole totals of 149. With O’Brien finishing on top of the nett leaderboard after nett rounds of 70-73, Ansell was awarded the scratch runner up prize.
June Tickell (Trafalgar) outclassed the women’s field to win the scratch Stableford section with rounds of 30 & 29. Christine Mildren (Albury)) took home the Stableford title with rounds of 28 & 30.
The Shepparton Golf Club is home to a fantastic 18-hole championship layout. Players enjoyed the course and hospitality provided with most commenting that ‘they’ll be back next year’.
Tocumwal Senior Amateur
A terrific week of golf along the Murray River was wrapped up at the Tocumwal Golf and Bowls Club. With a heavy downpour of rain overnight, the course was left damp but by no means unplayable, the beautifully manicured fairways and greens shown little signs of winter.
After the opening round there were three joint leaders on 77 – Buninyong’s Chris Tatt, Bendigo’s Stan Davis and Broadford’s Greg Holmes. Tatt was well placed as he attempted to defend his 2015 title. Stephen Valentine from Kew finished the opening round one shot behind on 78.
In the final round Valentine played outstanding golf for a round of 73 to pass the leading trio and record a one stroke victory over Tatt (77-75) and Kym Olsen (79-73) from The National who matched Valentine’s closing 73. A very excited Valentine regularly plays in Golf Victoria senior events and was thrilled with his win, hanging on well and playing the pressure packed final holes without a mistake.
Helen Pascoe won the Women’s Tocumwal Senior Amateur title with a total of 57 Scratch Stableford points for 36 holes. Helen took the lead after round one and extended this to defeat second placed Heather Harley (Kooringal) by 9 points.
Further information on the Victorian Senior Order of Merit is available on the Golf Victoria website www.golfvic.org.au .
QUEENSLAND: Toyne on Top at Pacific Harbour
Pacific Harbour PresCare Seniors
The Pacific Harbour PresCare QSOOM event attracted a field of 30 players. One of Australia’s best senior golfers, Steve Toyne (Nudgee), was the only golfer to break 80 on the demanding course when he finished with a very good score of 75.
Winner Men’s Scratch Steve Toyne 75
Runner Up Men’s Scratch Lindsay Brown 80
Winner Men’s Nett David Hannah 36 points
Winner Ladies Scratch June Wills 95
Winner Ladies Nett Amanda Murray 29 points
More information on the Queensland Senior Order of Merit events here – http://www.golfqueensland.org.au/
WESTERN AUSTRALIA: Chappell Leads the Senior Order of Merit
The WA Senior Order of Merit has grown recently and there are now 12 events on the annual calendar.
The clubs currently hosting one day tournaments include Sun City, Araluen, Lakelands, Hartfield, Joondalup, Cottesloe, Wanneroo, Mt Lawley, Lake Karrinyup and Mandurah. Royal Perth will again host the 36-hole Royal Perth Seniors and there is also the 54-hole WA Senior Amateur Championship. The calendar also includes the WA Senior Handicap Championships at Mosman Park.
The WA Senior Order of Merit table will be used to select the four-man team to represent Western Australia in the Interstate Teams event at the 2016 Australian Senior Amateur Championship.
Currently Paul Chappell has a good lead at the top with the following three places being closely grouped. The final four could easily change with three more events to be played before the representative team is announced.
WA Senior Order of Merit
390 Paul Chappell (Hartfield)
325 Dennis Warburton (Melville Glades)
297 Trevor Hughes (Hartfield)
295 Neville Delane (West Australian Golf Club)
260 John Wallace (Lake Karrinyup)
227 John Banting (Royal Perth)
220 Steve Graham (Lakelands)
212 Michael Dunsmore (Hartfield)
172 Martin Minogue (Lakelands)
164 Bob Gamsby (Joondalup)
Sun City Seniors:
74 Neville Delane, 75 Brendon Curtin, 76 Dennis Warburton
84 Tom Salvarino, John Wilks, 85 Trevor Hughes, Ian McPherson
74 Neville Delane, 77 Dennis Warburton, 78 Tom Colella
76 Paul Chappell, 77 John Wallace, 79 Michael Dunsmore
More information on the West Australian Senior Order of Merit events here – http://www.golfwa.org.au/
COMING SENIOR AMATEUR EVENTS
August 4 Monash Senior Masters (NSW)
August 8 Carnarvon Seniors (NSW)
August 8 Yarra Yarra Seniors (VIC)
August 9 Beerwah Seniors (QLD)
August 9 Kingston Heath Seniors (VIC)
August 12 Victoria GC Seniors (VIC)
August 15 Kooindah Waters Seniors (NSW)
August 15 Gailes Seniors (QLD)
August 15 Metropolitan Seniors (VIC)
August 15 Mandurah Seniors (WA)
August 16 Royal Melbourne Seniors (VIC)
August 17 Commonwealth Seniors (VIC)
August 22 Glenelg Seniors (SA)
August 30 Palmer Gold Coast Seniors (QLD)
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)
* Part of the Australian Senior Ranking System