By Martin Gallagher, NSW Super Senior Golf Association Captain
A year like no other would be an apt description of 2020 with regard to the Super Senior Pennant. Starting with 63 teams when the draw was released Covid 19 quickly took its toll by reducing that number to 54.
As well, the Super Senior Championship held at Toukley Golf Club every year since 2012 became another casualty due to the virus and the restrictions imposed at the time. It will hopefully be held on the 10th May in 2021.
Some quick redraws took place and the Pennant commenced on 3rd August as scheduled. After 2 rounds a NSW Government lockdown was forced upon us from the 19th August to the 30th September. After the lockdown finished the big decision was then made to recommence the Pennant on the 6th October. An overwhelming vote of confidence was received from clubs to continue with the Pennant.
The Divisional Rounds concluded on the 2nd November and the Knockout Finals Series involving the Winners and Runners up of each of the 9 Divisions started the following week. This section of the Pennant takes place over 5 consecutive weeks with the final due to take place on the 10th December. Last year’s finalists, Castle Hill and Forster/Tuncurry, slowly threaded their way through the draw where in the semi-finals Castle Hill accounted for the courageous The Lakes Golf Club Team at Asquith Golf Club while Forster Tuncurry had a convincing win over Cumberland at Horizons Golf Resort.
Thus, the stage was set for a repeat of last year’s finalists to engage once more for the decider at The Lakes Golf Club in Sydney on Thursday 10th December.
Finals day Thursday 10th December at The Lakes Golf Club saw a beautiful day, temperature around 27 Degrees with a slight breeze.
An early lead of 6/2 after 3 holes was established by the Castle Hill team with Gerry Power and Lindsay Verdon for the Sydney team going 2 and 3 up. Forster Tuncurry, not to be denied fought back to 5/3 after 7 and by the 9th, matches were 4 all. The stage was set for a thrilling finish on the back nine with a southerly buster making itself very prominent by the time players reached the 10th tee. By the 14th Castle Hill had recorded 2 matches in with their opposition in the 1 and 2 positions. It was then left to the 5,6,7, and 8 players to decide who would take home the Pennant and the Shield. Tony Reed (F.T.) continued his consistent play all season with a 2/1 win over Graham Hann (C.H.), while Rob Pedersen (C.H.) whose putting was a stand out on the well-manicured, true greens proved too good for Geoff Proctor (F.T.) 8/7. Castle Hill clinging to 3/2 lead increased their position to 4/2 with a 1 up win to David Andrews over Paul Matthews at the 18th.
It was then left to the numbers 7 and 8 to decide who would prevail. At the testing 16th hole, played into the teeth of the southerly, Ian Cochrane, number 7 for Castle Hill, was 2 up teeing off and came to the green needing to sink a 1.2 metre putt over his rival Peter Chatillon. Silence prevailed from the many spectators as Ian proceeded to make the putt… as it fell into the cup the Castle Hill boys erupted with cheers for their number 7. Castle Hill had notched 5 matches. The number 8’s result was declared halved, although Paul Connell (F.T.) has his opponent dormie 3.
Players, spectators and supporters then proceeded to the Banksia Room in the clubhouse for the Presentation where Graeme Phillipson from Golf NSW presented Captain of Castle Hill Bob White with the trophies.
It must be said that all players who participated in the 2020 Pennant were over the age of 65 and considered by NSW Health extremely vulnerable to Covid 19. However, it was shown throughout the Pennant that the virus did not interrupt proceedings and to that the association would like to thank all those who took part in the 2020 Pennant for their vigilance and the responsible behaviour shown throughout the year.
Looking forward to the 2021 Super Senior Pennant
Entries for the 2021 Pennant will be sent out on Monday 18th January 2021 via email to all 63 Clubs who originally entered in 2020. They have until the 1st March to have their form in the hands of the association. The Entry form will also be placed on our website for those new clubs that may wish to enter.