Denis Dale reports on the latest senior amateur golf action from around Australia.
QUEENSLAND: Mario LaChiusa and Josie Ryan win PresCare Senior Order of Merit
Now in its fourth year, The PresCare Queensland Senior Order of Merit continues to prove its popularity providing an excellent avenue for senior golf around Queensland.
This year the PresCare QSOOM year attracted 687 players participating in 27 events all over the state. Of this, there were 225 women and 462 men who played in at least one event. The average field size was 56 players with two thirds of the fields being 50 or more players.
This year the season was changed to finish in July to correspond with the playing of the two major events of the year – the Gold Coast Senior Classic and the Queensland Senior Amateur Championship
The major champions for the year were Mario LaChiusa and Josie Ryan (pictured at top). Special mention to Gwen Clutterbuck who played in 19 women events with Tim Deakin and Joe McDermid, participating in 21 events for the men.
The prize winners for the 2015-6 PresCare QSOOM series were as follows:
Winner Men Scratch: Mario La Chiusa
Runner Up Men Scratch: Peter Hannah
Winner Women Scratch: Josie Ryan
Runner Up Women Scratch: Cheryl Sternberg
Winner Men Nett: Joe McDermid
Runner Up Men Nett: Tim Deakin
Winner Women Nett: Wendy O’Connell
Runner Up Women Nett: Gwen Clutterbuck
Winner Men Super Senior: Philip Towle
Runner Up Men Super Senior: Trevor Box
Winner Women Super Senior: Adrienne Naismith
Runner Up Women Super Senior: Margaret Emerson
PresCare will continue supporting the Senior Order of Merit series in 2016-7 as well as sponsorship of the 2017 Queensland Senior Amateur Championships. All players were highly appreciative of the ongoing support and dedication by PresCare in sponsoring these senior events.
The new season is already underway with the recent North Lakes and Beerwah events kick starting the 2016-17 season.
The first event of the 2016-17 PresCare QSOOM year was played at North Lakes Golf Club with a total of 54 players (31 men and 23 woman) competing. It was especially pleasing to see so many ladies in the field.
It was an overcast day but the conditions were quite pleasant and the course was excellent. Many of the players commented that the North Lakes course was in the best condition it has ever been.
The prize winners for the day were as follows:
Winner Men Scratch: Steve Toyne 75
Runner Up Men Scratch: David Hannah 80
Winner Men Nett: Larry Pumpa 35 points ocb
Runner Up Men Nett: David Bowtell 35 points ocb
Winner Ladies Scratch: Wendy O’Connell 83 ocb
Runner Up Ladies Scratch: Josie Ryan 83
Winner Ladies Nett: Belinda Hogarth 35 points
Runner Up Ladies Nett: June Wills 34 points
The second event of the 2016-17 PresCare QSOOM year was played at Beerwah Golf Club. This was the first time the Beerwah course has been used for a PresCare QSOOM event. The day was glorious and the course was presented in fabulous condition.
The event attracted a large field with 70 players (59 men and 11 woman) competing. It was also great to see so many Beerwah members (29 in all) playing in their first senior event.
The prize winners for the day were as follows:
Winner Men Scratch: Mario La Chiusa 74
Runner Up Men Scratch: Steve Toyne 75
Winner Men Nett: Trevor Morrison 67
Runner Up Men Nett: Robert Swanson 70 ocb
Winner Ladies Scratch: Theresa Tatham 87
Winner Ladies Nett: Marie Voorma 72
Western Australia: Paul Chappell wins the 2016 WA Senior Order of Merit
The final event of the 2015-16 WA Senior Order of Merit competition was the Mandurah Senior Amateur. The event was played in very tough conditions as just before play began there was a very heavy downpour which flooded the greens and then presented some testing conditions for the field.
The winner of the 2016 Mandurah Senior Amateur was John Wallace from Lake Karrinyup who edged out Hartfield senior Michael Dunsmore by a single stroke.
76 John Wallace, Lake Karrinyup
77 Michael Dunsmore, Hartfield
78 Sul Varella, Wanneroo
80 Dennis Warburton, Melville Glades
82 John Banting, Royal Perth
82 Trevor Hughes, Hartfield
The 2015-16 Senior Order of Merit finished with the Mandurah Seniors. This timing allows the leading players to be recognised with selection in the West Australian Senior team to compete in the 2016 Australian Senior Amateur Championships to be played at Kooyonga GC in October.
This year the clear winner of the Order of Merit was Hartfield senior Paul Chappell. Amongst his wins was the 2016 West Australian Senior Amateur Championship. The final Order of Merit points are shown below.
Order of Merit Final Standings
395 Paul Chappell, Hartfield
347 Dennis Warburton, Melville Glades
330 Trevor Hughes, Hartfield
320 Michael Dunsmore, Hartfield
310 Neville Delane, WA GC
305 John Banting, Royal Perth
302 John Wallace, Lake Karrinyup
The West Australian team for the Australian Senior Championships is the top 4 players from the ranking table shown above – Paul Chappell, Dennis Warburton, Trevor Hughes and Michael Dunsmore..
With three players from the Hartfield Country Club in the state team it shows that they are the top senior club in Western Australia. This was also identified earlier in the year with their win in the 2016 WA Men’s Senior Pennant competition.
NSW: Results from Senior Order of Merit events
Concord senior Ken Brewer took a long time to win his first NSW Senior Order of Merit event in 2016 but he has wasted no time in making it two in a row.
After a good win in the Cabramatta Seniors Brewer followed up by taking out first prize in the next event played – the 2016 Carnarvon Senior Amateur. Brewer played his usual controlled game and the plus one handicapper finished with an excellent score of one over par 73.
Brewer’s consistency this year has been outstanding and from 20 starts in NSW Senior Order of Merit events he has finished in the top three places 11 times. Rex Suckling made the trip from Belmont Golf Club well worthwhile finishing with a score of 75 and the runner-up prize.
Two over 65’s players tied for third place – Geoff Calvert (Forster-Tuncurry far right) and Denis Dale (Twin Creeks far left). Calvert defeated Dale on a countback for the winner prize in the Over 65’s.
The Over 55 Scratch prizes went to John Kindred (Kogarah second from left) with a round of 77.
Mick Brooks won the handicap prize with a net score of 69 just edging out Ken Lockery by a single stroke.
The Carnarvon course was beautifully presented considering the recent heavy rains and was a credit to all involved. The good sized field of more than 60 seniors look forward to returning to Carnarvon in 2017.
Kooindah Waters Seniors
Mollymook senior Graham Beasley has won the 2016 Kooindah Waters Senior Amateur.
On a beautifully conditioned course the large field struggled on the tight layout with Beasley winning with a round of five over par 77. The high scores were a surprise as the weather was perfect and the greens superb. Kooindah Waters is a challenging course with water everywhere just waiting for that off line stroke.
Beasley’s round consisted of three birdies and he was the winner by one stroke from Stefan Albinski (Mona Vale) and Rex Suckling (Belmont) after these two golfers returned scores of 78. Albinski’s round was highlighted by a very strong finish with two birdies and a closing eagle in his final five holes.
In form Concord senior Ken Brewer was well on track to record his third successive win until he recorded a quadruple bogey seven on the par three second – his fifteenth hole after the shotgun start. Brewer finished with a round of 80.
Monash member Jacqui Morgan was an easy winner in the women’s scratch with a round of 82. Local member Robyn Tetley won the handicap with a nett score of 75.
Perhaps the real story of the day belonged to Lane Cove senior Mark Spence. In his round Spence had the excitement of recording a hole-in-one on his first shot. He then went amazingly close to a very rare feat as his final card contained scores of 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10. All he needed was a 2 to complete what would have been a most remarkable scorecard.
More information on NSW Senior Order of Merit events here – www.golfnsw.org/
VICTORIA: Claney and Owen on fire in Senior Sandbelt Week
One of the most anticipated weeks of golf for Victorian and interstate senior golfers is the “Senior Sandbelt Week”. Golfers have the unique opportunity to play many of Australia’s best golf courses in the space of a week.
This year the courses included Yarra Yarra, Kingston Heath, Commonwealth, Victoria, Metropolitan and Royal Melbourne. The undisputed star of the week was Gordon Claney who won the first four events. To complete the week Barwon Heads senior John Owen then took out the final two events.
The six host clubs and Golf Victoria would like to thank all the Victorian players and the interstate visitors for supporting the week of events on the sand belt.
Yarra Yarra Seniors
Yarra Yarra was once again the venue for the first of six August Senior Amateur events across the Melbourne Sandbelt. 66 players teed it up to compete for the “Ray Barned” trophy in cold August weather.
Gordon Claney fired the lowest round of the day, a five over par 77 to claim the first event and the coveted trophy named after the late Ray Barned. It has been almost two years since the Victorian golfing community were saddened by the passing of Ray Barned who contributed greatly to the game.
Claney’s round in difficult conditions was a very good one and it was highlighted by birdies on holes 14 and 18. Runner up was The National Golf Club member John Wheeler who was the only other golfer to break 80 with his round of 79. In the nett, it was Dave Berg from Lakes Entrance who stayed the most persistent to card a nett score of 73.
Players enjoyed impressive hospitality from the Yarra Yarra Golf Club and enjoyed a world class golf course. Yarra Yarra is also set to hold the Victorian Boys and Girls Championship in September along with the Australian Amateur in January 2017.
Kingston Heath Seniors
Gordon Claney made it two wins in as many days as he tamed brutal winds to win the 2016 Kingston Heath Senior Amateur.
The strong and unpleasant winds were prevalent throughout the entire round which guaranteed high scores would be common. Claney, a local member at Kingston Heath, was the most enduring out of the 96 player field with his round of four over par 76 including three impressive birdies.
The top two on the leaderboard hadn’t changed from yesterday’s game at Yarra Yarra with The National’s John Wheeler once again claiming runner up, shooting a round of 77.
Players came from wide and far to get their opportunity to play one of the best courses in the world. “My favourite golf course in Australia and one of the world’s best” was a line used by Australian great Ian Baker-Finch.
In the nett, Rod McNeil (Eastern GC) carded a fantastic nett score of 73 to claim the Handicap event. With the tough conditions it was no surprise that the average scratch score was 93 with an average nett score of 83.
83 competitors from throughout Victoria and interstate teed it up in this years’ edition of the Commonwealth Senior Amateur, the third event in the ‘Senior Sand Belt’ series.
A windy afternoon greeted the field, following on from the first few days of wintery weather that Melbourne had provided. It certainly created a challenge for all who took to the fairways of the par 73 Commonwealth layout, which was presented in beautiful condition.
In the end it was hot favourite Gordon Claney (Kingston Heath) firing the round of the day – a sensational one under par 72. The win gave Claney a 100% strike rate for Sandbelt Week winning all three of the events played so far.
Claney finished 6 shots ahead of Stephen Valentine (Kew) with the handicap honours for 2016 going to Royal Melbourne’s Alan Evans who returned a nett 74 from his 5 handicap. Evans narrowly edged out New South Welshman Drew Simonsen (Castle Hill) who finished with 75 from his 10 handicap.
The fourth leg of the Senior Sandbelt week of golf took place in blustery conditions as the spotlight for 91 senior golfers turned to Victoria GC. The par 72 layout, one of the country’s finest, always provides a stern test for golfers of all levels and today was no different.
In the gross championship, Gordon Claney (Kingston Heath) continued his hot run of form to record his fourth win of the week after shooting a four over par round of 76. This time Claney was tested and he won on a countback from Trafalgar’s Jeff Hasthorpe. Roger Hogg was another player on the same score of 76.
Claney, a prolific winner on the senior circuit is continuing his sensational form after recently recording wins in the Gold Coast Senior Amateur and The Australian Senior Matchplay Championship. These national ranked events cemented his spot in the top two of the Australian Senior rankings, just a point behind fellow Victorian Greg Rhodes.
In the handicap competition Lakeside’s Roger Hogg recorded the day’s finest nett round winning outright with a nett score of 71 from his handicap of 5. Hogg had a day to remember, finishing with the tied best gross score of the day along with taking out the nett title.
Mike Steventon (Northcote) was runner-up in the handicap competition with a nett score of 72 from a daily handicap of 16.
The windy and wintery weather had gone and the 2016 Metropolitan Senior Plate was played in beautiful sunshine that certainly warmed the field of 70 senior male golfers.
This event is in its 11th year and is the fifth event on the August Senior Sandbelt calendar. Tight pins and signature bunkers cut into slick rolling greens proved to be a challenge for the field and was reflected in the overall scoring for the day.
John Owen of Barwon Heads came in with the best round of the day, shooting 3 over par 75 to finish a single shot ahead of Peninsula-Kingswood’s Mark Abeyaratne. A trio of golfers were next on 77 including Michael Doutch, Ian Frost and Robert Wallace. Gordon Claney’s run of success ended with the star golfer finishing with a round of 78.
Owen enjoyed his first Victorian Senior event win and in his acceptance speech thanked the club for the superb hospitality.
The nett section was dominated by interstate visitors from NSW, with Rod Fraser from Monash Golf Club taking top order from Ian Ashton of Pambula Merimbula. Fraser had a net 73 off a handicap of 8, one better than Ashton’s nett 74.
Royal Melbourne Seniors
The August Senior Sandbelt week concluded with a spectacular day at Royal Melbourne. Sunshine beamed down on the East Course with a strong northerly breeze graduating throughout the day.
John Owen backed up his win in the Metropolitan Plate with another solid round today to take home the coveted silver trophy at the Royal Melbourne Senior Amateur. The Barwon Heads member has recently returned from an injury and he recorded the good score of 75 in the testing conditions.
Owen defeated his nearest rival Gordon Claney of Kingston Heath by 3 shots. Claney claimed runner-up prize from Robert Wallace of Midlands on a count-back.
The nett section was tightly contested with victory going to John Hoare of Pakenham. The 13 marker posted a nett 73 to win on a count-back from Lonsdale’s Adam Charleston.
All six host clubs and Golf Victoria would like to thank Victorian participants and interstate visitors for supporting the week of events on the sand belt. This outstanding week of golf is certain to be very popular when it is held again in 2017.
Further information on the Victorian Senior Order of Merit is available on the Golf Victoria website www.golfvic.org.au .
COMING SENIOR AMATEUR EVENTS
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)
October 1-2 Sandhurst Seniors (VIC)
October 4 Brookwater Seniors (QLD)
October 6 Monash Seniors (NSW)
October 6-7 Bendigo Seniors (VIC)
October 11-13 * Australian Senior Amateur Championships (Kooyonga)
October 17-19 * Victorian Senior Amateur Championships (Coomealla)
October 16 Moss Vale Seniors
October 17 Windsor Seniors (NSW)
October 20 Darling Downs Seniors (QLD)
October 24 Camden Seniors (NSW)
November 3 Twin Creeks Seniors (NSW)
November 7-8 Melbourne Senior Classic – Spring Valley & Woodlands (VIC)
November 7 Virginia Seniors (QLD)
November 8-10 * ACT Senior Amateur Championship
November 15-16 Eureka Senior Amateur – Midlands & Buninyong (VIC)
November 15 Bankstown Seniors (NSW)
November 16-18 Asia-Pacific Senior Amateur – Manila, The Philippines
November 20-21 Mollymook Seniors (NSW)
November 22-23 Warrnambool Seniors (VIC)
November 24-25 Moyne Senior Classic – Port Fairy (VIC)
November 25-27 * Tasmanian Senior Masters (Royal Hobart)
November 28 Long Reef Seniors (NSW)
November 29 Cromer Seniors (NSW)
November 29 North Lakes Seniors (QLD)
* Part of the Australian Senior Ranking System