Denis Dale wraps up all the latest action on the senior amateur golfing scene around Australia.
Included is the recent Australian Senior Matchplay Championship at Coolangatta Tweed Heads Golf Club, recent state events in NSW, Victoria and South Australian, and a rundown of upcoming senior amateur events in August and September.
By Denis Dale
NATIONAL: Toyne wins Australian Senior Matchplay Championship
Steve Toyne has won his share of golf events across three continents, but he’s never had a more moving experience on the golf course.
The Queenslander capped a spectacular week recently, taking down the Australian Senior Match Play Championship with a tight 2&1 triumph over defending champion Gordon Claney at Coolangatta Tweed Heads Golf Club.
After a pulsating clash in which the lead was never more than one hole either way until the 16th, Toyne cashed in on a great four-iron tee shot to the long par-three 17th, lagging down his first putt to within 15cm and earning a concession from the Victorian that sent his heart racing.
“I’ve won some things in my life, but you can’t describe that feeling,” Toyne said. “Walking on to that 17th green, it’s all in my favour and things would have to go right for him to beat me, but still the emotion gets the better of you.
“There were 20-odd people wandering and watching and it was just fantastic feeling.”
Toyne, 59, won a prestigious junior event as a 17-year-old in his native Africa that earnt him selection to an international event. He then played county golf in England before moving to Australia in the mid-1980s.
“But this is a national title — it really stands out above them all,” said a clearly emotional Toyne, the fifth seed who’d reached the final by taking down top seed Greg Rhodes yesterday.
“It’s even more special because we played a great match and I respect Gordon’s game a lot — he’s got lots of experience and plays high-class pennant in Melbourne.
“All 32 of us in this field have got the ability to win this, so I’m really proud of this and to have beaten Greg yesterday and then Gordon today is the icing on the cake.”
Toyne said during the week his game plan was to play his own game and not be distracted by what was happening around him.
“I really did that well today, I stuck to my game and there’s a number of par-fours on where you drive with a 3-wood and I did that well and never really missed the middle of the fairway all day.
“When you take that angst (of playing form the rough) out of the game, everything else falls into place.”
Claney, the 2014 national senior amateur champion, jumped in front with a win on the second hole, but watched as Toyne won the fourth and then ceded the lead for the first time with a three-putt bogey on the fourth.
The Victorian pulled level again with a birdie on the sixth, but gave the lead back to Toyne with another three-putt bogey from long range.
Toyne twice lipped out for birdie on the 10th and 11th, then watched as Claney made a great save from the sandy on the 12th, then birdied the 13th to have the match square again.
The Indooroopilly member let slip a golden chance when his short birdie try on the par-five 14th went awry, but regained the lead when Claney bogeyed the 15th after missing the green long from a fairway bunker.
A conceded birdie to Toyne on the 16th put the Victorian on the brink and he reached out to shake hands on the 17th after his own birdie try missed and Toyne lagged to gimme range.
The consolation match for third place was won by Victorian Rhodes, who took down New South Welshman David MacClelland 6&5.
NEW SOUTH WALES: Trio of senior golfers on top at Pymble
There was a three-way tie in the 2017 Pymble Seniors. The testing Pymble layout is one of the favourite courses on the NSW Senior circuit and a good-sized field of nearly 60 seniors enjoyed a great day.
The trio to finish on top were Greg Stanford, Glenn Rosewall and Mark Pearson. The handicap event went to Lynwood’s Andrew Waters.
75 STANFORD Gregory – Mona Vale
75 ROSEWALL Glenn – Pymble
75 PEARSON Mark – Mona Vale
78 BUNN Russell – Newcastle
79 WATERS Andrew – Lynwood
79 GORTON Warren – Hawks Nest
79 EASTERBROOK Rowan- Oatlands
80 OSBORN John – Mudgee
80 MIDDLETON Alan – Ryde Parramatta
80 BEVERLEY Scott – Mona Vale
Earlier in the month senior events scheduled for Manly and Oatlands were postponed because of the inclement weather. New dates are not yet available.
VICTORIA: Three great events on the Murray River
The Heathcote Golf Club hosted its 10th annual Senior Amateur tournament with a 72 player field taking to the course in beautiful golfing weather.
While an overnight frost and some lingering fog kept the ground moist underfoot for nearly half a round, it kept its country charm with players walking amongst the kangaroos at the foot of scenic Mount Ida.
Stan Davis from Bendigo has prevailed as the 2017 Champion, his first title at this event, carding a three-over par 74, edging out Metropolitans John Kelly who shot a 75 off the stick.
Davis cruised around the front nine with an even par score which set him up for his great round, returning to the clubhouse with a three-over par back nine. Kelly’s card was identical on the back nine, but one extra shot on the front handed Davis the win.
It was an all Kooringal show in the women’s Stableford event, with members Vera Lund and Heather Harley taking out first and second places respectively.
Lund posted 34 points off a 15 handicap, while Harley was just a shot behind with 33 points from her 6 handicap.
In the men’s handicap section, Shane Hearps from Heywood took the main prize with a nett 67 (handicap 15), with Buninyongs Kevin Robinson finishing second, one shot behind and off a countback from gross winner Stan Davis.
David Robb (Corowa) won his first senior rankings event with a fine even-par score for the second round giving him the Champion’s title for the Shepparton Senior Amateur.
The Corowa member started the second and final round 4 shots behind eventual runner up Ian Donaldson (Yering Meadows), Donaldson’s 4-over par opened the door for Robb to move up the leaderboard and take the top place after a countback.
Paul Ansell (Metropolitan) again featured high in the rankings in the gross section, finishing tied second in the 2016 instalment of the tournament. This year, Ansell also finished second in the overall nett section, returning rounds of 71-72 (143 total) and lost the overall section by a countback to Ray Falla (Nathalia) who returned scores of 72-71.
Helen Pascoe (Buninyong) outclassed the women’s field to win the stableford section with rounds of 31 & 30. Vera Lund (Kooringal) has appeared in the winners circle for the second time in a week, finishing in second place after Pascoe at only 2 points behind.
The Shepparton Golf Club, which current site was established in 1922, is home to a fantastic 18-hole championship layout. Players enjoyed the course and hospitality provided with common statements that ‘they’ll be back next year’.
A big week of golf wrapped up at the Tocumwal Golf and Bowls Club, which is situated on the famous Murray River.
With an overnight frost and morning fog, the temperature was low but the spirits high as the players took to the beautifully manicured fairways and greens that shown little signs of winter. Players tried their hand on the Captains course, which proved difficult for some players.
David Robb from Corowa successfully claimed his second victory of the week, his first Doug Bachli event come earlier at Shepparton. David finished 2 shots behind overnight leaders Wayne Moriarty (Commercial Albury) and Gre Holmes (Broadford), but after returning the round two lowest core catapulted him to the top of the leaderboard.
Holmes finished one shot behind Robb, a 5-over par 77 today gave him outright second place from Malcolm Barnes (Neangar Park) a further2 shots back.
Heather Harley from Kooringal has claimed the Women’s Tocumwal Senior Amateur title, with a total of 67 Stableford points for 36 holes. Heather took the title on a countback from overnight leader Judy Langford (Wodonga). Locals Bobette Wilkinson and Julie Penny rounded out equal third place.
Eastern member Patrick Mitchell fired a sensational 64 nett from a 12 handicap in round 1 of the tournament, setting himself up well for a good finish, taking the handicap title from Chris Mansour (Centenary Park) with a two round total of 138
Further information on the Victorian Senior Order of Merit is available on the Golf Victoria website www.golfvic.org.au .
SOUTH AUSTRALIA: Davey and Claxton shine in the West Lakes Seniors
The West Lakes Seniors was a new, and most welcome, event on the South Australian Senior Order of Merit calendar and a field of 53 players assembled to compete on the tight par 70 layout in the western suburbs of Adelaide.
Unfortunately showers, which ultimately turned to rain, continued through the round and very much added to the challenge. Certainly the hospitality in the clubhouse of a warm meal and a glass of red was appreciated by all.
As always, no matter what the conditions, some players can always turn in good scores and this was very much the case with some of the cream of SA Senior golf rising to the top with John Davey and Chris Claxton taking out their respective sections.
Commendable efforts from John Zandvoort (Mt Barker), Bruce Lindner who had just got off a plane from the Alice Springs seniors and Tony Timmins who, as a former Victorian, stated that he felt at home in the conditions.
Our thanks go to West Lakes, particularly the Club Pro and his staff, for holding this inaugural event and we look forward to it being a regular event on our calendar.
Seniors – Gross
76 John Davey Tea Tree Gully
78 John Zantvoort Mt Barker-Hahndorf
79 Nigel Turner Links Lady Bay, Norm Cordina Tea Tree Gully
80 Bruce Lindner Kooyonga
Super Seniors – Gross
81 Chris Claxton Blackwood, Tony Timmins Kooyonga
82 Graeme Smith Kooyonga, John Everingham West Lakes
84 Nigel Coles The Vines of Reynella
Seniors – Nett
73 John Zantvoort Mt Barker-Hahndorf
76 Bruce Lindner Kooyonga, Charlie Wintle West Lakes 76
Super Seniors – Nett
72 David Laird West Lakes
73 Chris Claxton Blackwood
74 Graeme Smith Kooyonga
South Australian Senior Order of Merit Update
Senior Events in South Australia now go into a hiatus until the end of August when they will tackle the demands of the sand belt courses culminating in the Senior Championship at Tanunda Pines in the Barossa Valley – a venue that has previously hosted an Australian Senior Championship.
After six rounds the status of the Senior and Super Senior Order of Merit for the Tony Mazzone and John Beaumont trophies sees a tight battle in all the categories.
Bruce Lindner narrowly leads the Seniors from 2016 winner Norm Cordina and Eric Lane is just ahead of Chris Claxton (also last year’s winner) in the Super Seniors.
With the best 8 rounds to count for the OOM winners and the bigger events to come, John Davey, with only 4 rounds to-date, can be expected to be a real threat when the events resume.
South Australian Senior Order of Merit Standings after Round 6
Seniors – Gross
1 Bruce Lindner Kooyonga 468.75
2 Norm Cordina Tea Tree Gully 430.00
3 Nigel Turner Links Lady Bay 415.00
4 Steve Ross South Lakes 405.00
5 John Davey Tea Tree Gully 361.25
6 Trevor Smith Naracoorte 330.00
7 Ken Parker Kooyonga 281.75
Super Seniors – Gross
1 Eric Lane The Grange 239.25
2 Chris Claxton Blackwood 237.00
3 Tony Timmins Kooyonga 226.25
4 Nigel Coles The Vines of Reynella 212.50
5 John Anderson Kooyonga 142.33
6 Glen Bruce Mt Barker-Hahndorf 133.75
Seniors – Nett
1 Norm Cordina Tea Tree Gully 293.33
2 Bruce Lindner Kooyonga 290.42
3 Nigel Turner Links Lady Bay 228.33
4 John Davey Tea Tree Gully 178.33
5 Trevor Smith Naracoorte 174.54
6 Rob Crawford Tea Tree Gully 149.50
Super Seniors – Nett
1 Chris Claxton Blackwood 262.12
2 John Anderson Kooyonga 190.75
3 Jack Roberts The Grange 179.58
4 Tony Timmins Kooyonga 171.75
5 Martin Kreuzer Flagstaff Hill 157.67
6 John Reynolds Tea Tree Gully 150.83
COMING SENIOR AMATEUR EVENTS
July 31-Aug 2 * Queensland Senior Amateur Championship at Bribie Island
August 7 Carnarvon Seniors (NSW)
August 7 Yarra Yarra Seniors (VIC)
August 8 Beerwah Seniors (QLD)
August 8 Kingston Heath Seniors (VIC)
August 9 Commonwealth Seniors (VIC)
August 10-11 Nudgee Masters (QLD)
August 11 Victoria Seniors (VIC)
August 14 Kooindah Waters Seniors (NSW)
August 14 Metropolitan Plate (VIC)
August 15 Royal Melbourne Seniors (VIC)
August 21 Gailes Seniors (QLD)
August 21 Glenelg Seniors (SA)
August 23 Newcastle Seniors (NSW)
August 28 Royal Adelaide Seniors (SA)
August 29 Palmer Gold Coast Seniors (QLD)
Aug 31 – Sep 1 * Grange Kooyonga Senior Open
Aug 31 – Sep 1 Bendigo Seniors
September 4-6 * South Australian Senior Championship – Tanunda Pines
September 10 Shelly Beach Seniors (NSW)
September 11-13 * Victorian Senior Amateur – Bairnsdale/Lakes Entrance
September 11 Magenta Shores Seniors (NSW)
September 11 Keperra Seniors (QLD)
September 11 Land Lang Seniors (VIC)
September 21 Port Kembla Seniors (NSW)
September 22 Maroochy River Seniors (QLD)
September 25-26 Northern Seniors (VIC)
September 25 Wyong Seniors (NSW)
September 29 Liverpool Seniors (NSW)
* Part of the Australian Senior Ranking System