Senior Amateur Golfing Wrap: August 2017

Top senior amateur golfers Kym Olsen and Greg Rhodes

Denis Dale wraps up all the latest on the elite senior amateur golfing scene around the country, including the great victory by Australia over New Zealand in the Sanctuary Cove Trophy, the 2017 Queensland Senior Amateur Championship, and details of upcoming events.

 

NATIONAL ROUNDUP

Australia defeats New Zealand in the Sanctuary Cove Trophy

Australia has won the Sanctuary Cove Trophy by 12.5 matches to 11.5 after a dramatic finish to the tournament.

FOURSOMES MATCHES

The tournament began with six foursomes matches and the Australian team came out firing. A win and an early lead was all important.

First off were the pairing of Peter Hannah and Ian Frost and they played some great golf and set the tone for the day in winning 2 & 1 over the Kiwi pair of Andrew McKechnie and Reg Fleet.

John Banting and John Davey also played well but the Kiwi pair of Frank Borren and Arthur Parkin matched them and in the end we were defeated 2 & 1. The scores were 1 match all.

Our top team were Australia’s number one golfer Greg Rhodes and fellow Victorian and current Australian Senior Champion Kym Olsen (pictured above). They didn’t let Australia down and cruised to an easy 6&5 win against Michael Barltrop and John Batley – two of New Zealand’s finest.

Australian veteran and most experienced senior golfer Stefan Albinski was paired with former Eisenhower Cup player Lester Peterson but the Kiwi team of Stuart Nicholls and John Sanders proved a little strong. When they won 2 & 1 the scores were locked at 2 matches all.

Gordon Claney & Steve Toyne

The Aussies needed a win and Gordon Claney and Steve Toyne gave it to them. These two had faced each other in the final of the Australian match play a few weeks earlier but now were team mates. They faced strong opposition from experienced Kiwis Hugh Harrison and Rodney Barltrop but the final result was a win to the Aussie team 2 & 1.

The final match saw newcomers Geoff Cranfield and Ken Brewer from New South Wales together. They were up against the Kiwi pair of Murray Martin and Bruce Middlemiss. In a very impressive display of Foursomes golf they ran away with the match and when they had won 6&5 the Australian team had won the morning foursomes by 4 matches to 2.

Time for some lunch and then prepare for the afternoon of Fourball matches.

The winning Aussie team

FOURBALL MATCHES

The. Australians decided to vary the teams for the afternoon fourball matches and every pairing was different. This was a new approach for the Aussies who knew that the Kiwis would be keen to overcome the early lead the Australian team had established.

Stefan Albinski and John Davey had both tasted defeat in the morning but turned the tables on the New Zealand team of Andrew McKechnie and Arthur Parkin for a 3 & 2 win. First blood to the Aussies.

John Banting and Lester Peterson had also lost their opening match but this new pairing really clicked and they ran away from Bruce Middlemiss and Hugh Harrison winning 6 & 5. Peterson was really on fire recording five birdies in the thirteen holes played.

Australia now had a lead but the Kiwis have not won the last five times the two countries have played by giving in and the determination was evident when their team of Reg Fleet and John Batley defeated the Australian team of Steve Toyne and Peter Hannah 3 & 2.

They followed with another win when their pairing of Michael Barltrop and Stuart Nicholls proved just a little too strong for a courageous Aussie pairing of Kym Olsen and Geoff Cranfield. A 2 up victory for the Kiwis saw the scores locked at 2 all. The Australians need a win.

Greg Rhodes and Ken Brewer were next for the Australian and they continued on their winning way with a nice 3 & 2 victory over the Kiwi pairing of Rodney Barltrop and John Sanders.

The Australians had the needed point and it looked like three all as Ian Frost and Gordon Claney came to the final hole trailing Frank Borren and Murray Martin by one. The eighteenth at Sanctuary Cove is one of the best finishing holes in Australian golf and when Ian Frost was the only player to make his par the match was squared.

The Aussies had opened a commanding lead winning the day by 7.5 to 4.5. No team had overcome a 3 match margin on the final day in the events ten year history. But the New Zealanders are known for their never say die attitude. The singles will be exciting.

SINGLES MATCHES

The weather was another beautiful day and both teams looked nervous as they gathered around the first tee. New Zealand continued the pattern by winning the toss for the third time and had the honour.

First off was Peter Hannah and the legend of New Zealand golf Rodney Barltrop. Barltrop has won multiple New Zealand Senior Championships and multiple Australian Senior Championships in a wonderful career. He used all his experience birdieing the seventeenth to reach the lead and winning on the final hole.

Geoff Cranfield was next for the Australians and he faced another experienced New Zealander in Arthur Parkin. In a see sawing battle that again went to the final hole Parkin was the winner 2 up. Just the start the Kiwis needed.

The third match saw newcomers Ken Brewer for Australia and Stuart Nicholls for New Zealand. Both players were undefeated and a real battle was expected. And they delivered. A quality match with both players playing some great golf again would go the eighteenth. Stu Nicholls maintained his advantage to win 1 up.

The Kiwis had wiped out their three match deficit in the opening three matches. The impossible was now the possible.

Match four and Australia’s John Banting was facing the tough New Zealander Frank Borren. It looked good for Australia when we were 3 up with just 4 holes remaining. But Kiwis don’t give up and in an amazing match Borren won the final four holes and claimed victory at the last hole.

Australia had lost 4 matches at the last hole and now trailed New Zealand. We needed a win to set us on the right course and we needed it soon.

Kiwi Hugh Harrison and Australia’s Stefan Albinski

Stefan Albinski was up against popular Kiwi Hugh Harrison. After a tight battle Albinski was one up as they too headed down the final hole. Albinski managed to hang on and his win gave Australia our first point. Well done vice-captain Stefan and the scores were back to level.

News came through that John Davey was playing some great golf and he eventually defeated Bruce Middlemiss 5 & 4. A great win. With this much needed point Australia was again in front by one match.

Lester Peterson was up against Kiwi star Murray Martin and after trailing by a hole or two all day Peterson eventually lost 2 & 1. Square again!

Ian Frost was matched with the wily veteran John Sanders who has the best record of any New Zealander to play in the Sanctuary Cove Cup. Frost had recorded a win and a half and was keen to go through the series undefeated. He did just that in a high-quality match that ended on the seventeenth hole.

The two teams were still in a real battle. Australia had a one match lead with just the four top matches remaining.

This lead soon disappeared when Reg Fleet from New Zealand recorded a 2 & 1 victory over Steve Toyne. In a tough battle Toyne was behind all day and although he rallied late in the match Fleet was a little too strong. All square!

Gordon Claney and Michael Barltrop were locked in another close battle. The pair had played each other in 2016 when Barltrop was the winner and he did the same again this year. He played some beautiful recovery shots to record victory on the seventeenth. New Zealand now had the lead by one with two matches still underway.

The top match saw Greg Rhodes against Andrew McKechnie. It was very tight until Rhodes edged ahead on the twelfth hole. Rhodes then played wonderful golf to defeat McKechnie 4 & 3. Rhodes had gone through the series undefeated and Australia’s number one senior golfer again did us proud.

One match remaining and the scores were tied. Australia 11.5 and New Zealand 11.5. Kym Olsen for Australia and John Batley for New Zealand. Olsen was the current Australian Senior Champion. Batley had won the New Zealand Senior Championship in 2016. They stood on the seventeenth tee all square.

Both played the par five seventeenth hole solidly but Batley faced a four-footer to halve the hole. Missed. Australia was one hole up playing the final hole.

Both hit wonderful drives on the demanding finishing hole. Split the fairway with water left and right. Batley played first and hit the green but was looking at a long putt.

Olsen then played the shot of the tournament. With the gusty wind he backed away until he was set before hitting an iron that missed the hole by centimetres. Batley made par but when Olsen putted safely the match was his. And Australia’s.

A wonderful tournament that produced exciting golf. The Sanctuary Cove Club had once again presented their course in outstanding condition and been wonderful hosts.

This event is the pinnacle of senior golf in both countries and once again it had produced an exciting finish. The last three matches had seen score lines of 13-11, 13-11 and 12.5-11.5.

The next match is February 2018 in Christchurch, New Zealand.

 INDIVIDUALS

     

 AUSTRALIA

5

 NEW ZEALAND

7

 Peter Hannah

 

 Rodney Barltrop

1up

 Geoff Cranfield

 

 Arthur Parkin

2up

 Ken Brewer

 

 Stuart Nicholls

1 up

 John Banting

 

 Frank Borren

1up

 Stefan Albinski

1up

 Hugh Harrison

 

 Ian Frost

3&1

 John Sanders

 

 John Davey

5&4

 Bruce Middlemiss

 

Lester Peterson

 

 Murray Martin

2&1

 Kym Olsen

1up

 John Batley

 

 Steve Toyne

 

 Reg Fleet

2&1

 Gordon Claney

 

 Michael Barltrop

2&1

 Greg Rhodes

4&3

 Andrew McKechnie

 

 

Gold Coast Senior Championship

Kingston Heath’s Gordon Claney

Defending champion Gordon Claney from Kingston Heath won the 2017 Gold Coast Senior Men’s Amateur Championship by three shots after the final round was played at Hope Island.

Although Claney (75-70-79) had a final round of 79 he won comfortably from Stefan Albinksi (77-72-78) who finished with a score of 78.

Kiwi visitor Robbie Bell finished third after his three rounds of 74-76-80.

Michael Peeck, the popular Queenslander from Dalby, finished very well with a round of 74 and he finished in fourth place just ahead of Mario LaChiusa in fifth.

Leading Scores
224 CLANEY Gordon – Kingston Heath 75-70-79
227 ALBINSKI Stefan – Mona Vale 77-72-78
230 BELL Robbie – Ashburton NZ 74-76-80
231 PEECK Michaek – Dalby 78-79-74
232 LACHIUSA Mario – Nudgee 77-70-76
233 FROST Ian – Rich River 84-74-75
234 COLEFAX Warren – Murwillumbah 79-80-75
        BARLTROP Michael – Royal Auckland 81-76-77
        HALLAM Col – Recliffe 82-76-76

2017 Queensland Senior Amateur Championship

Reigning Australian Senior Amateur champion Kym Olsen added the 2017 Queensland title to his resume with a wire-to-wire victory at Carbrook.

Olsen, a 56-year-old from The National GC in Victoria, took a nine-shot lead into the final round which he retained until the end.

His was the only player to finish with a sub-par aggregate after rounds of 69-68-74 on the Par-71 Carbrook layout.

He defeated Ian Frost (Rich River) who also closed with a 74 while Peter Dagan (Redcliffe) was a further three strokes back in third place.

“I spent the first nine holes trying to figure out how to blow a nine-shot lead,’’ said Olsen, reflecting on his final round. “My putting was very ordinary … I must have used up all my currency on the greens in the two opening rounds.

“I finally breathed a sigh of relief on the 14 or 15th hole when I realised I couldn’t really lose it from there.’’

Olsen said the lightning fast greens at Carbrook were the slickest he had encountered for a long while.

“The course was a good test of golf and a credit to the green staff, management and members who must have worked so hard to recover from the damage inflicted earlier in the year,’’ he said.

Carbrook sustained severe damage in the aftermath of Cyclone Debbie in early April and it is remarkable the club was able to host a significant tournament only four months later.

Kym Olsen won the Australian Senior Amateur Championship in Adelaide in 2016

Olsen plans to defend his Australian Seniors title at Royal Hobart in October after he tales a lengthy break from the game to address on-going issues with mental health.

“I’ve battled a mental health issue for the past 18 months and need to take time off to continue with treatment,’’ he said.

“I have depression and I have to fight that every day. Golf is not a problem, it is the anxiety and a multitude of issues that go with that …
“I’ve had days where I’ve had six or seven-under and cannot wait to get off the golf course and get away.’’

Olsen said he was appreciative and grateful to his fellow players for the understanding of his on-going battle.

“Everyone is very understanding of the situation, they are great people everywhere I have played.

“Hopefully I can raise awareness of mental health issues and prompt people to seek help and support.’’

Olsen, who travelled extensively in his vocation as a construction project manager, contested the US and Canadian amateurs earlier in his career.

He also had a successful stint as a professional after turning 50 years of age, winning 14 events on the Australasian PGA Legends Tour during his debut season.

After experiencing the world of professional golf, Olsen applied for re-instatement as an amateur and was sidelined from the game for two years.

“Playing as a professional was never about money for me. It was about testing and challenging myself,’’ he said.

Olsen has also struggled with physical problems in recent years, including surgery for Polyarticular Arthritis, a condition which causes inflammation of multiple joints.

He has an invitation to contest the Canadian Seniors Amateur Championship in September but is uncertain if he will make the trip.

Queensland Senior Men’s Championship age division winners (gross) were as follows:

55-59 years, Kym Olsen (The National) 211
60-64 years, Peter Dagan (Redcliffe) 223
65-69 years, Philip Towle (Coolangatta –Tweed) 232
70 + years, John Zygis (Windaroo Lakes) 247

The Queensland Senior Men’s Championship is supported by PresCare which continues to evolve as a leading provider of quality aged-care facilities and in-home community care throughout Queensland. PresCare recognises the importance of people remaining independent no matter how old they are.

COMING SENIOR AMATEUR EVENTS

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)

October 3             Brookwater Seniors (QLD)

October 5             Monash Seniors (NSW)

October 9             Camden Seniors (NSW)

October 10-12      * Australian Senior Amateur Championship – Royal Hobart

October 16           Windsor Seniors (NSW)

October 17           Warwick Seniors (QLD)

October 18-20      Asia-Pacific Senior Championship – Royal Adelaide

October 18           Toowoomba City Seniors (QLD)

October 19           Middle Ridge Seniors (QLD)

October 30-31      Melbourne Senior Classic (VIC)

           * Part of the Australian Senior Ranking System

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