Forster Tuncurry Golf Club have continued their recent dominance of the NSW Super Senior Pennant with a rousing finals countback victory against a determined Castle Hill side at Port Stephens.
Defending champions Forster Tuncurry were the last club standing after the three month matchplay competition that sees some 59 golf clubs from nine divisions including Sydney metropolitan, Lower Mid North Coast, Hunter, Central Coast, Blue Mountains and Illawarra face of in division rounds that conclude with a finals knockout series.
The competition was established in 2002 to provide interclub matchplay opportunities for male golfers over 65 and is run by the NSW Super Senior Golf Association (NSWSSGA).
Forster Tuncurry have now won four of the last six finals, one short of record holder The Lakes which has five final titles on the mantelpiece.
Martin Gallagher, NSWSSGA Captain, reports on the finals day action:
The weather Gods turned on a magnificent day for the Final at Pacific Dunes, Medowie. With such conditions it was not hard to enjoy the golf on display at a course which was presented in A1 condition.
It was obvious throughout the day that all players came to respect this golf course from an early stage with its’ tight fairways and quick greens running at 11 after being cut and rolled before play got under way.
The reigning champions, Forster Tuncurry, went to an early lead on the front nine and by the time the 9th green was reached they were ahead 7 matches to 1 with Bob Angus (7) and Peter Chatillon (8) leading in their matches 4 up and 3 up respectively.
Castle Hill’s Drew Simonsen providing some hope for the challengers by leading 1 up after 9 from Gary Cush.
Then things changed dramatically. Suddenly Castle Hill were back in it after 12 holes leading by 4 matches to 3 with 1 square. Led by former Australian representative player Gerry Power, who came from 1 down after 9 to 1 up after 12, his
teammates must have got a message and they too came to the party.
Castle Hill’s Ian Cochrane knocked in an 80 metre pitch on the 12th to get back to square while teammate Warren Grant came from 2 down after 9 to be 1 up after 12 against Tony Reed.
Drew Simonsen continued his strong play and after 12 consolidated his 1 up after 9 to 3 up after 12. Tony Kennings from Forster Tuncurry was proving a handful for Castle Hill Captain, Bob White with Tony chalking up an early 5/4 win. Meanwhile the 7’s and 8’s for Forster Tuncurry proved too strong over the remaining 6 holes , both accounting for their opponents, Trevor Amery and Jim Farnham, 4 and 3.
Things looked to swinging back to the boys from the Mid North Coast however, Castle Hill were not giving up just yet. Both Gerry and Ian from Castle Hill registered good wins 4/2 and 2/1 over Paul Connell and Mike Jackson to close the gap. Geoff Greenaway from Forster Tuncurry edged out his opponent Tony Pagliaro 2 up in a closely fought match where the margins were no greater than 1 hole until the 18th. The number 4’s were to decide the result of the day at the 18th. With Forster Tuncurry leading 4 matches to 3 these two players came to the 18th with Warren Grant (CH) having his opponent, Tony Reed, dormie 1.
The finishing hole, a 461 metre Par 5 with water in the front of the green proved to be a fitting finishing hole.
Warren kept his nerve to halve the 18th and thus win 1 up, placing the result
as a 4 all draw. This then required a countback on the result of holes won by each team. If this was still a draw then the highest seeded team was declared the winner. (Countback rules are contained in the Rules of Play.)
When tallying up the scores it showed that Forster Tuncurry had scored 15 holes and Castle Hill 10 holes, making Forster Tuncurry Champions again for 2019. It now means that Forster Tuncurry have won four of the last six Finals, one short of The Lakes Club who have won five Finals.
Congratulations to both teams for a final that was played in the true spirit of the game. The Committee would also like to thank the staff of Pacific Dunes for presenting such a great spectacle on the day.
Entries for the 2020 Pennant open on the 20th January and close on the 1st March. Clubs interested in being a part of this event can contact the Captain with details at www.superseniorpennant.com/