Story and Photos by Noel Rowsell
Final acceptances have taken this year’s field in the 2019 NSW Veteran Golfers Association (NSWVGA) Strokeplay Championships to 139 players.
The event will be played at three of the premier golf courses in Western Sydney, being Richmond Golf Club, Glenmore Heritage Valley Golf Club and Stonecutters Ridge Golf Club, and will be played from 25th-27th March.
The Western Sydney Region has hosted the Championships since 2014 but this year’s field will be the strongest in that six-year history, with 48 players on a handicap of 10.4 or below and 30 of those players on a handicap of 6 or below.
2018 winner Ricky Allison (Camden Lakeside GC) is the low marker in this year’s field but will face a much tougher task in this year’s event, with a class field of experienced and talented golfers all looking to claim the coveted title.
The youngest player in the field Giora Frieke (The Lakes GC) was remarkably one of the final entrants, just making the cut-off date for entries.
Frieke plays off an impressive 4.7 handicap and will be highly motivated to win the Championships at his first attempt, as will another 4-marker Sam Smale, who is returning from Royal St Georges GC in the UK for his second attempt at the title.
The oldest player in the field is Fred Croyston (Stonecutters Ridge GC), who at 84 years of age just shades his closest rival in age Phil Osborne (Cabramatta GC), who will turn 84 in April.
Paul Edwards (Darwin GC, NT) will have the distinction of being the longest-travelled Australian in the field and is also a strong chance, also playing off a handicap of 4.0.
Richmond GC members have embraced the event and the Club will field twelve players this year, narrowly pipping Leonay GC with 11 and Dubbo GC with 9.
In all, some fifty-four golf clubs will be represented in the Championships.
Photo at top: Andrew Waters playing in the 2018 event