Australian senior amateur golfing wrap: October 2019

Darryl Hearsch wraps up all the latest senior amateur golfing action from around the country.



John Davey wins the Grange and Kooyonga Senior Open Amateur

A perfect sunny day with a light breeze greeted all players for the opening round at The Grange. Some different names would sit on top after round one but as always the names of Rhodes, Davey, Dowling, Hannah and Frost were circling behind the pack. Mark Gatty (Royal Perth) returning to senior golf, led along with Col Halam (Redcliffe), after both players returned three over par, 75’s.  One shot back was Geoffrey Walker (Young) and Andrew Davis both on 76. Norm Cordina and John Davey, both from Tea Tree Gully were next on 77.

Players were bracing themselves for a day of high winds and persistent showers and some hail on day two at Kooyonga. As the day turned out the heavy rain stayed away but Kooyonga would prove a difficult challenge for all players.

John Davey winner of the Grange Kooyonga Senior Amateur

John Davey (Tea Tree Gully), coming out of hibernation and returning to the senior circuit, notched up his up his second SOOM title in taking out the Grange / Kooyonga Seniors amateur. With conditions forecast of high winds, rain and hail for the last day, Davey would have been confident, as he is a noted mud runner having won his first title, the SA Seniors in horrendous conditions at Tanunda Pines.

John’s quote summed up the final day “I can confirm I lost my one remaining hair as from now I will adopt the Ian Frost hair style” Peter Hannah (Pelican Waters) continued his consistent form and was runner-up and is back to his best with many strong performances in 2019.

In the super seniors, Col Halam won with 157 from David Cherry (Royal Adelaide) on 159 and Ian McPherson (Joondalup) on 160. In the nett event Colin George (Rosebud), won on a count back from Mark Gatty on 154. In the super seniors, Alan Cooper won with 148 nett from Ian Darwen on 151.

Final scores

154 John Davey (77-77)

155 Peter Hannah (78-77)

157 Col Halam (75-82)

158 Mark Gatty (75-83)

158 Greg Rhodes (81-77)

159 Geoffrey Walker (77-82) and David Cherry (79-80)

160 Colin George (81-79) and Ian McPherson (83-77)

161 David Mc Clelland (81-80)


Greg Rhodes wins the South Australian Senior Amateur at Naracoorte.

The Naracoorte course was described as “having small, fast, elevated greens making an interesting course especially after rain overnight which slowed the run on the fairways.”

Three familiar names filled the top spots with Greg Rhodes (Coomella) leading after day one after shooting a superb 1 under par, 71. His round was neatly composed of 2 bogeys, 3 birdies and 13 pars in which he came home two under for the last five holes. In second spot on 3 over par 75, was John Davey (Tea Tree Gully). Two behind Davey on 77, was a quartet of players which included Geoffrey Walker (Young), Eric Lane (Grange), Colin George (Rosebud) and Mark Gatty (Royal Perth). Geoffrey Charnley (Rossdale) and Dave Mc Clelland (Wyong) were next on 78.

After day two, Greg Rhodes (Coomealla) sat on even par (71-73) and held a four shot lead over South Australian ace, John Davey (75-73) (Tee Tree Gully) after both players returned 73 in their second round. Not far behind on 154 (77-77) was Colin George (Rosebud) after carding another 77. Brad Dowling (Soutport) (80-75) and Doug Cullam (Monash) (80-75) moved up the leaderboard into 4th place after solid rounds of 75. Eric Lane (Grange) (77-78), Stephen Valentine (Kew) (80-76) and Andrew Grant (Grange) (79-77) all sat in 6th place moving into the last day.

On day 3, Greg Rhodes (Coomealla) was involved in a close battle with John Davey (Tea Tree Gully) during the final round at Naracoorte. Playing together in the last group, Greg had a four shot lead but John Davey narrowed the lead to draw even with Greg on the 15th tee but 2 bogeys in the last three holes by John gave Greg the one shot victory.

Stephen Valentine (Kew) came home with a wet sail to pick up third place on 230 after closing with a fabulous 74, which moved him up the leaderboard. Brad Dowling (Soutport) also closed with a good round of 76 to finish outright 4th on 231.

Scores on the last day were a little higher with a tricky wind making the course playing tough. The greens were rolled and cut with some very difficult pin positions. Apparently several players putted off the greens into bunkers! All players were very appreciative of the hospitality shown towards them and especially to the members for giving up their course for the event.

Final scores

224 Greg Rhodes (71-73-78)

225 John Davey (75-73-77)

230 Steve Valentine (80-76-74)

231 Brad Dowling (80-75-76)

232 Colin George (77-77-78)

236 Geoff Charnley (78-84-78)

239 Trevor Smith (80-80-79)

240 Dave McClelland (78-84-78), Doug Cullam (80-75-85) and Mark Gatty (77-82-81)


Barry Tippett wins the Victorian Senior Amateur in a perfect finish

Winners of the Victorian Seniors Jacqui Morgan and Barry Tippett

Opening day for the Victorian Senior Amateur at Barwon Heads GC was always going to be difficult as the players had to prepare for winds that were between 15 and 20 knots plus also allow for the cold with beanies being a popular head accessory. Only 3 players were mad enough to wear shorts but this didn’t affect first round leader Chris Tatt (Buninyong).

Chris played a magnificent first round of 2 under par, 68, in very difficult conditions. Tatts’s round only included one blemish, a double bogey 5 on the eighth hole but this was corrected with 4 birdies and 13 pars.

Chris was in a group that all played well and must have spurred each other on. The three other players in the group were Gordon Claney (Kingston Heath) and Frank Fowler (Thirteenth Beach) who both posted even par rounds of 70 and sat in equal second place. Kiwi International Michael Barltrop (Royal Auckland and Grange) must have felt like a hacker in the group, as he only carded 75 which placed him at equal 10th.

Barry Tippett (Barwon Heads) who doesn’t play much senior golf these days as it hampers his travels, was in fourth place with a solid round of 71. One shot behind Tippett, was two very hot players at their top of their game in Greg Rhodes (Coomealla) and South Australian John Davey (Tea Tree Gully) who sat at two over par, 72.

Day 2 moved to the Creek Course, Thirteenth Beach and players were presented with a much better day on a course that was longer then Barwon Heads and with many front pins tucked right and left. If you were out of position it was very difficult to make par. Many players would have expected much lower scoring today but this was not the case.

Frank Fowler (13th Beach) used his local knowledge to move into the lead with a fine three over par, 75. Fowler was on 145 (70-75). One shot behind him on 146 (71-75) was another local, Barry Tippett (Barwon Heads) who also carded 75.

Breathing down their necks was Gordon Claney (Kingston Heath) on 147 (70-75). Greg Rhodes (Coomealla) was next on 148 (72-76) with Geoff Cranfield (Long Reef) (73-76), John Davey (Tea Tree Gully) (72-,77) and first round leader, Chris Tatt (Buninyong) (68-81) all on 149. The low round of the day went to WA star, John Banting, who carded a superb one over par, 73 which included 3 birdies, 2 bogeys and a double bogey 7 on the par 5, 17th hole.

On the final day, the result was in the balance up to the very last hole. Tippett stood on the 18th tee with a one-shot lead over Frank Fowler and Greg Rhodes. With Fowler in close for two and a chance for birdie, Tippett faced a difficult bunker shot with an eager gallery looking on. Tippett played the perfect shot and holed it from the bunker to win the championship in style. Fowler then missed his putt giving Tippett a three-shot victory in the championship.

Fowler was outright second on 222 with Greg Rhodes and Gordon Claney tying for third position on 223.

In the nett event, Marcus Padley (Yarra Yarra) won with 212 with consistent rounds of (71-71-70). One shot behind was Tim Deakin (McLeod) who was runner-up on a countback from Barry Tippett who were both on 213. 

Final scores

219 Barry Tippett (71-75-73)

222 Frank Fowler (70-75-77)

223 Greg Rhodes (72-76-75)

223 Gordon Claney (70-77-76)

225 Michael Barltrop (75-76-74)

226 John Davey (72-77-77)

227 Geoff Cranfield (73-76-77)

228 John Banting (77-73-78) and Chris Tatt (68-81-79)





Snowy Gorton in fine form in the Shelly Beach Seniors

Its not often that a senior golfer shows up the young bucks and that is what Warren “Snowy” Gorton (Hawks Nest) did in winning both Vardon and SOOM events at Shelly Beach. Gorton shot a brilliant two over par 73 in cold and windy conditions.  Warren’s great form of the past weeks continued. His last three SOOM outings include a 2nd at Newcastle and 1st at Horizon’s and Shelly Beach. 

There is a great story behind Snowy’s win. With heavy traffic on the freeway, Warren was running late and arrived just as he was being called to the tee.  In the rush his putter was accidentally left in the car.  He discovered the error on the first green.  After putting on the first and second holes with his wedge there was a quick jog to the car.  In addition to this Snowy also had 2 shanks!

Runners-up were Matt Taylor (Stonecutters Ridge) and Ken Brewer (Lynwood) with 78.  These were the only scores under 80 on a difficult day. 

Johan Mare wins his first SOOM event at magenta Shores

Johan Mare (Killara) has won his first SOOM event with 31 scratch points under very difficult conditions around the tough Magenta Shores layout. Too often courses are set up too hard and to Magenta’s credit they adjusted the course to cope with the strong winds. Players were saying it was a 4 club wind on some holes. Mr Consistency, John Osborn (Mudgee) was runner-up. In the over 65’s, local player John O’Keefe took the win.


Another first up winner, David McMillan wins the Wyong Seniors

Strong and cold winds greeted players at the Wyong Seniors. David McMillan (Twin Creeks) won his first SOOM event with an excellent score of 75 in difficult conditions. Runner-up went to John Karren (Mona Vale) on a count-back from Greg Stanford (Mona Vale) and John Osborn (Mudgee) who all retuned scores of 78. In the nett event, John Elder (Wyong) won with nett 71 from Gary Belgre (Wyong) and Keith Pitty (Wyong) who both carded nett 72’s. The over 65 winner was Greg Stanford.

For the first time at Wyong, women played in the Senior event with the gross winner being Kim Burke  (Shelly Beach) and Wyong local, Vicki Atkins won the nett.


 Paul Day wins at Kooindah Waters

Paul Day (Kooindah Waters) returned a great score of 37 scratch stableford points to win the Kooindah Waters SOOM. Paul doesn’t play much senior golf these days and as his win showed, he can still mix it with the best. Runner-up was another local, Michael Bowditch who also returned a fine score of 34 scratch points. Graham Leake (The Links Shell Cove) was third with 33 points from Rex Suckling (Barnham) on 32 points.

In the nett event, Keith Shaw (Maitland) won with a great score of 40 points on a count back from local player Adrian Tall.

In the women’s section, Kim Burke (Shelly Beach) easily won the scratch event with 28 scratch stableford points from Sue Hutton on 15 points.


Geoff Cranfield wins the Gosford Seniors

Geoff Cranfield (left) winner at the Gosford Seniors

Geoff Cranfield returned back to the senior circuit after spending some time in the UK on holidays with his family plus playing in the England Seniors and trying to pre-qualify for the British Senior Open. Geoff won the Gosford Seniors with a fine score of one over par, 72 to narrowly defeat Terry Small (Kogarah) and Roy Shuttleworth (North Ryde) who both carded 73’s. Rex Suckling (Barnham) who recently returned from his lap of Australia in his RV, was next with 75.

In the nett event, Steven Jones (Dunheved) won with a fine score of nett 69. Five players tied for second place after returning scores of nett 71, these were Gary Poland (Fox Hills), Michael Burke (Shelly Beach), Stephen Tomlinson (Gosford), John Rowley (Gosford) and Neil Carr (Gosford).


Rex Suckling takes Everglades Seniors

Rex Suckling’s (Barnham) good form continued with a win this time in the Everglades Seniors after he returned a score of 73, 5 over par around the Everglades course. Rex was runner-up the previous day to Geoff Cranfield in the Gosford seniors.

Runner-up to Suckling was Roy Shuttleworth (North Ryde) who beat Murray Shaw (Wyong) on a count-back after both returned scores of 74. Rounding out the top 5 was Geoff Cranfield (Long Reef) with 75 and Greg Harnwell (Kograrah) with 76.

In the nett event, Graeme Anderson (Wyong) won on a count-back from Gary Poland (Fox Hills) after both players returned nett 69’s.

As this was the last day of the Central Coast 6 event swing, prizes were awarded to the best 4 from 6 events for the men and the best 3 from 5 events for the women. John Osborn (Mudgee) won on a count-back from Geoff Cranfield (Long Reef). David McMillan (Twin Creeks) won the nett from Rex Suckling (Barnham). Warren Marsh (Kogarah) took out the over 65’s title.

In the women’s event, Kim Burke (Shelly Beach) won the scratch trophy with Terese Jones (Dunheved) taking out the nett event.


Glenn Rosewall takes the win in the Camden Seniors

L to R Glenn Rosewall and Dave Owen winners at Camden

A large field of 80 senior golfers prepared for their 8.30 tee time in the Camden Seniors. Many seniors golfers support this annual event due to the generous sponsorship of one of our own senior players, Bob Zelesco who is a regular on the senior circuit. Bob owns and runs Camden Tyres.

Glenn Rosewall (The Coast) won on a count back from Dave Owen (Wakehurst) after both players carded a fine 3 over par, 75. Rounding out the top 5, all on 76, were Russell Kellam (Dunheved), John Osborn (Mudgee) and Geoff Cranfield (Long Reef).

It was fitting that the handicap event was won by Bob Zelesco (Camden) with a super score of 69 nett. Runner-up in the nett was Robert Lewis (Windsor) on a count-back from Mick Lewis who both scored 70 nett. In the over 65’s, Dale Tapper won with a score of 77.

This event is one of the premier one day events and if you missed out this year mark it down as a must play in 2020. Many thanks to Bob and his team for organising such a great day.

Steve Wyatt takes the Gunghalin Seniors

The Gungahlin Senior (NSW SOOM event) was conducted over 2 days in conjunction with the Gungahlin Open on the 21st and 22nd Sept.  The conditions on day one were tough with rain all day and winds gusting to 60 km/hr in the afternoon. Even with the testing conditions, local players Jim McCormack and Les Molloy managed to shoot 77 and 78 respectively to lead the field.

The second day saw better conditions with no rain and moderate winds, but the committee decided to make the pins tougher, so the average scores were higher.  Steve Wyatt (Federal) shot 79 followed by Simon Dunstone (Gungahlin) with Terry Small (Kogarah) 2 strokes behind Dunstone.

The overall winner was Steve Wyatt who finished two stokes ahead of Simon Dunstone with Greg Harnwell (Kogarah) a further 4 strokes behind. In the nett event, local Abdul Rizvi won with Jim McCormack runner-up.





Kelly and Daniel win the Bendigo Seniors

Bendigo winners

Former Australian Amateur champion John Kelly (Metropolitan) won the Bendigo Seniors by three shots after he carded rounds of 72 and 77 to finish on 149. Runner-up on a countback was Kevin Sims (Riversdale) from Robert Wallace (Midlands) after both finished on 152. Equal third went to Malcolm Barnes (Neangar) and Mick Kaufman (Melton Valley) on 154. In the nett event, Robert Sutton (Neangar) was too good finishing on 137 with Barry Miles (Sanctuary Cove) runner-up on 141.

In the women’s event, Julie Daniel (Numurkah) won the scratch stableford event on a countback from Elizabeth Raftery (Bendigo) after both players returned 44 scratch points. In the women’s stableford event, Tina Cowie (Pakenham) won with 69 points from Julie Daniel on 67 points.





O’Keefe and O’Connell win at Beerwah

A field of 56 players competed (46 men and 10 women) in the Beerwah PresCare QSOOM event. There were some excellent scores on the day. 

The best scratch scores for the men came from Terry O’Keeffe who had a 75 followed by Mario La Chiusa (Nudgee) and Colin Sloan, who both had 76. The best scratch scores for the women came from Wendy O’Connell with a 77 with Claire Jackson (Redcliffe) following with an 83. 

The best nett score for the men came from local Doug Deeks (Beerwah) who had 43 points.  He was followed closely by visitor Laurie Bennett (Gosnells) who posted 42 points.  Terry O’Keeffe (Redcliffe) and Colin Sloan (Spain) both had 40 points.  The best nett score from the women came from Wendy O’Connell (Wantima) who had 36 points and she was followed by Judy Logan (Laidley) who had 33 points. 


Quinn and Collins win at Royal Pines

The first ever RACV Royal Pines PresCare QSOOM was held this year with a field of 63 players competing (47 men and 16 women). Most players enjoyed playing the course but the real winner was the course, as only two players played to or beat their handicap on the day.

The best scratch scores for the men came from Barry Quinn who had a 77 followed by Paul Murray on 80 and Ian Frost (Arundel Hills) on 81. The best scratch scores for the women came from Joanne Collins with an 81 and Alex Belonogoff (Pacific) with an 82. 

The best nett score for the men came from Martin Riley (Brisbane) who had 34 points followed by Paul Murray (Oxley), Eugene Nix (RACV Royal Pines) and Barry Quinn (Nudgee) who all had 33 points. The best nett score from the women came from Sandy Nix (RACV Royal Pines) who had 37 points followed by Joanne Collins (Wynnum) who had 36 points. 


Travers and Collins win the top prizes at Keperra

A field of 55 players competing (50 men and 5 women) took to the Keperra course with a total of 14 players either playing to or beating their handicap on the day. 

The best scratch scores for the men came from Ian Travers who had 74 followed by Robert Watson with a 75 and Paul Hurst (Pine Rivers) who had a 77. The best scratch score for the women came from Karen Collins (Nudgee) with an 89. 

The best nett scores for the men came from Robert Watson (Virginia) and Ian Travers (Carbrook) who each had 39 points.  They were followed by Padge Singh (Carbrook), Peter Wallace (Redcliffe) and Greg Fraser (Keperra) on 38 points. The best nett score from the women came from Glenda Kamen (Caloundra) who had 31 points. 


Mason and Griffith too good at Maroochy River

A field of 67 players (55 men and 12 women) challenged the links style Maroochy River course. A total of 8 players played to or beat their handicap on the day. 

The best scratch scores for the men came from Michael Mason (Royal Queensland) who had 75 followed by Keith Horne (Maroochy River) on 76.  On 77 were Bob Ogilvy (Gailes), Steve Weir (Peregian Springs) and Sean Curran (Redcliffe).  The best scratch score for the women came from Kath Griffith (Hervey Bay) with an 84. 

The best nett scores for the men came from Barry Porter (Redcliffe) on 41 points, with Michael Mason (Royal Queensland) on 40 points, followed by Howard Smith (Maryborough) on 38 points.  A further 3 players finished on 37 points, namely Tim Deakin (McLeod), Joel Forward (Indooroopilly) and John Gerrard (Maroochy River).  The best nett scores from the women came from Susan Weldon (Nudgee) who had 37 points and Margaret Richards (City) on 33 points. 




October 08-10                 The Australian Men’s Senior Amateur at Maroochy River, Qld (GA)*

October 13                       South Pacific PresCare QSOOM (QLD)

October 14                       SOOM Windsor Senior Foundation Shield (NSW)

October 14                       Wanneroo Senior Open (WA)

October 15                       Warwick PresCare QSOOM (QLD)

October 16                       City PresCare QSOOM (QLD)

October 17                       Middle Ridge PresCare QSOOM (QLD)

October 22                       SOOM Dunheved Seniors (NSW)

October 22                       Melville Glades Senior Open (WA)

October 26-27                 SOOM Moruya Senior Open (NSW)

October 28-29                 Melbourne Senior Classic (VIC)

October 31                       SOOM Twin Creeks Seniors (NSW)

November 04-06             ACT Seniors (GA OOM) *

November 17-18             SOOM Mollymook Seniors & SOOM Presentation (NSW)

November 26                   SOOM Cromer Seniors (NSW)

November 19-20             Warrnambool Senior Amateur (VIC)

November 21-22             Moyne Senior Classic (VIC)

November 04                  Virginia PresCare QSOOM (QLD)

November 26                  McLeod PresCare QSOOM (QLD)

November 15                   Lake Karrinyup Senior Open (WA)

November 26                   Joondalup Senior Open (WA)

December 02-03             Mornington Penisula Senior Amateur (VIC)

December 05-06             Sorrento Senior Amateur (VIC)

*Part of the Golf Australia Order of Merit (GA OOM) previously known as the Australian Amateur Ranking System.

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