AUSTRALIA’S Stefan Albinski has won the individual 2009 Senior Amateur Championship of the Asia Pacific in Sabah, Malaysia but the Australian team in the Asia Pacific Seniors Championship has been beaten by New Zealand.
The Aussies were defending champions but couldn’t overcome a Kiwi outfit that has had the wood on them in a number of individual and team events throughout the year.
The Kiwis took a two stroke lead into the final round of the 54 hole championship at the Karambunai Golf Course and proved too strong for their cross Tasman arch rivals, eventually extending the winning margin to 8 shots.
A number of the Australian team battled through some illness and heat related disorders thoughout the week but no one was making excuses.
This included Albinksi, who arrived from Hong Kong – where he had added the Hong Kong Seniors title to his growing championship belt – with tummy troubles.
In the final round, Albinski led the Austra;ians with a 74 followed by Greg Corben (77), Denis Dale (78) Ross Percy and Grahame MacDonald (79) and Brian Sams (81). The New Zealanders again carded consistent scores with three 75s (Rodney Barltrop, Ian Donaldson and Eric Brodie) followed by Martin Webber (77) John Sanders (78) and Murray Martin (82).
The Australians, after winning last year, were left ruing a disappointing team result. With the exception of Albinski and a good opening round from Grahame MacDonald the scores were not up to the ability of the players selected.
Denis Dale, writing on the AUSOOM website, said although the greens were tricky and some players struggled physically it was the same for all teams.
“Simply put, this was not the Australian team’s year. Well done New Zealand,” Dale wrote.
In the prestigious individual title section, Albinski beat New Zealand’s Martin Webber by one stroke.
After teeing off in the final round two strokes behind, Albinski played even par golf and had a two stroke lead entering the back nine.
However, a double bogey at 14 followed by a bogey on 15 saw his lead erased and the two rivals were all square playing seventeen.
Showing the class that has helped Albinski to a number of senior titles, he lifted both his game and his concentration and reached the long par 5 in two great shots to take the lead with a birdie.
When both players parred the tricky eighteenth the individual championship belonged to second successive year.
Next year the Asia Pacific Seniors Championship will be held in Thailand in the last week of November. All who make the team will have a chance to reclaim the team trophy and perhaps watch Stefan Albinski make it three in a row.
1. New Zealand
3. The Philippines
4. Hong Kong
Leading Individuals (not all scores listed):
222 Stefan Albinski 72-76-74 (AUS)
223 Martin Webber 74-72-77 (NZ) 226 Eric Brodie 78-73-75 (NZ)
232 Rodney Barltrop 79-78-75 (NZ)
233 Grahame MacDonald 74-80-79 (AUS)
233 Greg Corben 80-76-77 (AUS)
235 Ian Donaldson 82-78-75 (NZ)
236 Brian Sams 79-76-81 (AUS)
236 Iggy Clavecilla 82-74-80 (Phil)
238 Murray Martin 79-77-82 (NZ)
238 Ross Percy 79-80-79 (AUS)