Greg Rhodes back to back as Australia’s top senior amateur golfer

Greg Rhodes – winner of the 2016 Australian Senior Ranking gold medal

VICTORIA’S Greg Rhodes continued to dominate Australian senior amateur golf in 2016, topping the national rankings for the second year running. DENIS DALE wraps up all the senior amateur action for the year, including state order of merit winners.


NATIONAL: Australian Senior Amateur Rankings

The 2016 Australian Senior Ranking competition finished with the playing of the Victorian Senior Amateur Championships at Coomealla and Riverside Golf Clubs. The winner of this event was Greg Rhodes.

With all events complete the winners of the prestigious medals for the top placed person in each competition are now finalised are listed below:

Australian Senior Ranking: Open

  1. Greg Rhodes (Victoria)
  2. Gordon Claney (Victoria)
  3. Michael Barltrop (NZ)

This makes it two years in a row for Rhodes and two years in a row as the runner-up for Claney. They will be certainly hard to beat again in 2017. Good to see popular Kiwi Michael Barltrop taking home one of the medals.

Australian Senior Ranking: Over 65

  1. Phil Towle (QLD)
  2. Vince Clark (NSW)
  3. Roy Vandersluis (NSW)

A win for Queenslander Phil Towle (pictured below) and with a few more seniors joining the Over 65 ranks it could be more new names in 2017.

Australian Senior Ranking: Handicap

  1. Steve Toyne (QLD)
  2. Greg Rhodes (VIC)
  3. Peter Hannah (QLD)

A very consistent performer for several years Steve Toyne (pictured below) has won the top medal in the 2015-16 Handicap Order of Merit. In this year-long competition the best 40 net placings in each event receive points. A player can only count his best five finishes during the year.


2016/2017 National Season Begins

ACT Senior Amateur Championship

Russell Bunn (76-74-74) fired a great last round of 74 to come from behind and snatch victory in the 2016 ACT Senior Championship. The final round of the 54 hole championship was played at Federal Golf Club with the first two played at Queanbeyan and Gunghalin Lakes.

Bunn’s last round was enough to pass overnight leader Ken Brewer (74-72-79) who recorded a 79. Brewer played well early in his round and turned one over par and seemingly in charge of his game. 

Then Brewer dropped five strokes in the last five holes while Bunn parred the last three holes to record the narrowest of wins.

Wayne Buick (77-74-76) and Graham Beasley (76-74-77) finished in a tie for third place two strokes behind Brewer in a consistent display. John Neeson (78-74-76) rounded out the top five finishes.

2016 ACT Senior Final Scores

224   Russell BUNN   76 – 74 – 74  
225   Ken BREWER   74 – 72 – 79  
227   Wayne BUICK   77 – 74 – 76, Graham BEASLEY   76 – 74 – 77  
228   John NEESON   78 – 74 – 76  
231   Russell ROGERS   77 – 78 – 76  
233   Ross BOCKMAN   80 – 74 – 79  
234   Greg STANFORD   79 – 77 – 78  
235   Dennis ALLEN   80 – 79 – 76, Greg MCKAY   73 – 79 – 83  
236   Geoff CRANFIELD   79 – 81 – 76, Bryan KELLY   80 – 74 – 82, Mick STREIT   78 – 76 – 82  

2016 Tasmanian Senior Masters

Steve Toyne easily won the inaugural Tasmanian Senior Open played at the Royal Hobart Golf Club.

Toyne fired a third round of 77 to go with his earlier rounds of 75 and 76 to defeat a gallant Mark Gatty. Toyne’s total was 238 while Gatty had rounds of 80-76-77 for a 54-hole total of 243.

David McClelland finished third overall with rounds of 86-78-81 = 245. Terry Small was fourth and Peter Crocker fifth. 

228  Stephen Toyne       75-76-77

233  Mark Gatty               80-76-77

245  David McClelland   86-78-81

246  Terry Small              85-78-83

247  Peter Crocker          81-83-83

248  Darryl Hearsch       80-88-80, Robert Dyson 81-86-81

249  Bill Wellington          85-82-82

252  Bryan Gulliver         87-84-81

255  Stephen Stanton     84-81-90

257 Geoff Wright             83-89-85,  Carl Steedman 87-83-87




NSW: Senior Order of Merit Champions 2016

Bankstown Seniors

69 players graced the tight fairways of Bankstown Golf Club on a beautiful spring November day. The players were treated to a course set up for scoring and we were not let down with 2 scores under par.

Geoff Cranfield shot a one under par score 70 to beat evergreen veteran Noel Wood on a count back.

Local Bankstown member Ken Dawson won the handicap prize with a nett 65 in his first SOOM event and Warren Marsh from Kogarah won the over 65’s with a scratch score of 80.

Mollymook Seniors

Neil Bartley from the Port Kembla Course has won the 36 hole Mollymook Senior Open.

Played on a beautifully presented course the good field certainly enjoyed the day and the course. Bartley had an opening round of 75 and a closing round of 79 for a 36 hole total of 154. He defeated local member Frank Lampe by two strokes.

Popular Camden member Bob Zelesco won the handicap prize with a two round total of 144. He edged out port Kembla’s Robert Montgomery by a single shot.

Long Reef Seniors

Unlike the last few years it was a fine day with only a mild breeze. With the dry conditions the course was fast which was reflected in the scores.

The leading players in the NSW SOOM, Ken Brewer, Geoff Cranfield and Stefan Albinski were drawn together and Geoff advised he was injured and on pain killers. Beware of the sick golfer as Geoff shot a two under 69 to take the Medal from Warren Gorton (72) from Hawks Nest and SOOM leader Ken Brewer on 73.

The Over 65 went to Greg Stanford (74) and the net to local Hugh Wilson (67).

Cromer Seniors

The season ending Cromer  Seniors saw Geoff Cranfield record another win in the NSW Senior Order of Merit. Cranfield has been playing great golf recently and he has won at his last three starts,

Cranfield had a round of 72 to defeat Warren Horton (Hawks Nest) and Ken Brewer (Concord) by a single shot.


NSW Order of Merit winners – Geoff Cranfield, Ken Brewer and Denis Dale

Ken Brewer has won the NSW Senior Order of Merit for 2016. Brewer played exceptionally well during the season and finished with 4 wins. More importantly he had 16 top three places and he finished the season with 2025 points.

Second place went to Long Reef member Geoff Cranfield who finished the season with a bang winning at his last three starts, including the season ending Cromer Seniors. He had a season total  of 5 wins and finished with 1900 points.

Third place went to the defending champion Dens Dale of Twin Creeks who failed in his attempt to make it 10 wins in the event. Dale had a season total of 7 wins. Still, Dale was pleased to win the Over 65s medal.

The Handicap section went to Bob Zelesco (pictured below) who zoomed home to snatch victory in the very last event. Zelesco won the Mollymook event and his overall consistent play gave him enough to edge out Graham Leake and William Warren and  claim the prize.


More information on NSW Senior Order of Merit events here –


VIC: Senior Order of Merit Champions 2016

Melton Valley Seniors

Mick Kaufman, now of Melton Valley won the Melton Valley Seniors by 3 shots with a fine 73 defeating Bachli leader Ian Frost (76). This also gave Kaufman the best nett score off his 4 handicap. The course was in good condition and it was a warm 27 degree day although the wind came up quite strongly after a few holes to make conditions difficult.

The nett was also won by a local, Leo Strebs-Stelps. Playing in his first seniors event he won the nett with a good score of 70 to defeat Rob Bride from Foster by a single stroke.

There was also a small women’s field where Bev Smith from Hepburn Springs won with 33 points, and Helen Pascoe won the scratch with 26 points.

Melbourne Senior Classic

Mark Stanford from The National won the 2016 Melbourne Classic. Stanford opened with a great 71  to establish a five shot lead over the field and with a fine76 at Woodlands held on to win by one shot over Gordon Claney (76,72). A further 5 shots back was Ian Frost in third place.

Stanford’s great first round was emphasised by the quality of the field in his wake – one of the best of the year. The first round was played in very strong wind initially followed by some light rain. The second round was played in more pleasant conditions.

The Nett event was taken out by Bill Estrada from Yallourn (Nett 74, 70) by three shots over Kelvin Steel from Eastern (74,73).

There was also a small women’s filed where Chiristine Greenhatch from Yarra Yarra won the event and Helen Pascoe won the scratch stableford.

Eureka Seniors

Ken O’Brien from Rossdale won the inaugural Eureka Seniors played at Midlands and Buninyong Golf Clubs with rounds of 78, 73. He closed with a great 73 at Buninyong to beat local scratch marker Chris Tatt (75,76) on a count-back with 2 shots further back to Ross Percy (75,78) from Cobram Barooga.

The Nett event was taken out by Ballarat player Bob Cooper (Nett 72,68) off his 18 handicap to lead runner up Jim Llewellyn from Bellarine Lakes (72,68) by four shots.

There was a good sized field of 16 Women with local Midlands player Jill Morrison winning with 66 stableford points. The scratch was taken out by local favourite Helen Pascoe with 66 points.

The small field of 35 men enjoyed very good playing conditions on both days. The event will move to an April timeslot next year.

Warrnambool Seniors

Greg O’Brien (75,80) from Commercial Albury has won this year’s Warrnambool Seniors by two shots from fellow traveller David Robb (79,78) from Thurgoona. A further shot back was Guy Krall (80,78) from The National. GC

In fine conditions on Day 1 O’Brien had a good round of 75 to lead the field by two shots with only four players breaking 80.

Day 2 was an eventful round for O’Brien – he started with two double bogeys and was in big trouble when he had a 10 on the par 4 14th. Aside from these holes he played some excellent golf in cool, but fortunately dry, conditions to card an 80 and win by two shots. He also had the best nett score for the event off his handicap of 4.

Gary House from Sanctuary Lakes won the nett event (72,76) by two shots over Greg Welsh from Colac (76,74) on a count back over Col Gardner from Melton Valley. House was one of only four players on day 1 to break 80 and had a solid 82 in the lead group to win the nett event.

The women’s event was won by local Vicki Johnstone with 64 points and Helen Pascoe won the scratch stableford with 53 points.

Moyne Senior Classic

Rob Wallace (77,77) from Midlands won the Moyne Senior Classic at Port Fairy by one shot over Greg Welsh (77,78) from Colac and Chris Tatt (76,79) from Midlands. In a closely fought event a further three players were just another shot back.

Wallace who started playing seniors mid last year has played many events this year and this was his first victory – he was most appreciative. The victory also raised him to 4th overall in the Bachli in his first full year.

The Nett event was won by Greg Welsh off his 5 handicap, two shots ahead of Tony Hyde from Patterson River (71, 76).

The women’s event was won by Sue Mahwhinney from Portsea with 66 points and Helen Pascoe won the scratch event with 58 points. The dinner on Thursday evening included the presentation of the women’s annual trophies – a successful and entertaining evening.

 Victorian Oder of Merit Winners

2016 Doug Bachli Trophy

Victorians Ian Frost and Gordon Claney

Ian Frost won his second successive Doug Bachli Trophy. It was another close battle between Frost and fellow Australian star Gordon Claney.

1            Ian Frost             2783
2            Gordon Claney  2638
3            Robert Wallace  2209

For the first time in five years there is a new name on the Paul Lulofs Trophy for the best nett performance throughout  the year. Ken O’Brien won convincingly from Guy Krall and Greg Welsh and the winner for the last five years Ignatius Duivenvooden.

2016  Paul Lulofs Trohpy

1            Ken O’Brien        1708
2            Guy Krall            1487
3            Greg Welsh        1378



Senior Order of Merit

The culmination of the 2016 senior golf season in South Australia was held at the magnificent Kooyonga club. There were 115 seniors at the end of season dinner to see the presentation of the senior order of merit trophies. This season saw ten events being played with further expansion on the cards for next year.

The winner of the John Beaumont Trophy for seniors for the third consecutive year after another consistent season was Norm Cordina from Tea Tree Gully with Nigel Turner the runner up from Blackwood.

The Tony Mazzone Trophy for the super seniors was won by Chris Claxton with the runner up being Tony Timmins from Kooyonga. This year saw the introduction of a handicap trophy with Chris Claxton winning from Mt Barker’s Gordon Whittaker. Congratulations to all.

SA Order of Merit winners Chris Claxton and Norm Cordina

Senior Pennant

Tea Tree Gully won the South Australian senior pennant for the 10th year running with a strong five- two victory over Grange GC at Kooyonga. On a beautiful Adelaide day with a good breeze blowing as always the Kooyonga course was presented in wonderful condition.

After being undefeated during the season the Tea Tree Gully team were never headed in the final although first blood went to Grange in the first match out with Rob Crawford going down to Kym Meyer. From there TeaTree Gully won the next four matches to be decided with Mike Richards, Ken Brown, Marty Miller and John Davey winners to secure another pennant victory. 

There was some terrific golf played in testing conditions and always in the right spirit. Commiserations go to the Grange team after another strong season. The clubs will be lining up again next year in an  attempt to topple the Tea Tree Gully team.

The Plate, a team stableford event, played by all other fourteen clubs was won for the first time by the hosts, Kooyonga.  A big congratulations to them.

Tea Tree Gully Senior Pennant Team – winner of the pennant 10 years in a row


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