By Brian O’Hare
NEWCASTLE golfer Greg Kent made it back to back wins as the 2014 NSW Veteran Golfers Strokeplay Championship made a highly successful move to its new home in Western Sydney this week.
Kent won the championship title last year when the over 55’s event was played at its former long-time base at Bankstown Golf Club.
The 61 year old Charlestown Golf Club member wasn’t fazed with the switch to a new home – at least for the next three years – at the Penrith, Richmond, and Top 100 rated Stonecutters Ridge golf courses.
Kent was delighted with his two stroke victory over Kiama’s Col Kenning in the 54 hole, three day championship and to lift the Des Coady Shield for the second year in succession.
“It is good to back up and have a second title,” said Kent, who under the new handicapping system hovers around the scratch to one mark. “It was a bit of a struggle today. I fell away over the last nine but I hung on. Obviously some of the other boys must have found it a bit of a struggle as well but it was great to finish on top.”
“There were some good golfers here, Col Kenning and a few of the boys, they certainly know how to get it around a golf course so it was pleasing to get it back to back.”
Kent has been playing regularly in veterans events for six year and has won a number of feature titles, including the 2011 NSW Matchplay Championship in the Illawarra. (We detailed how he started a 50 plus year love of golf as a nine year old when his dad spend a pound on four old golf clubs in this story).
Kent will be looking for a three-peat next year when he was confident he would be back to defend his title.
I’ll definitely be back next year and hopefully we will get a few more of the boys from up my way to come down and enjoy the hospitality down here,” he said.
After all the hard work organising the event at its new digs, Tournament Director Les Knox was thrilled it had largely gone off with a hitch, apart from being a little damp on the first two days and requiring preferred lies. More than 120 golfers from 52 clubs took part.
“We were really thrilled with it,” said Knox, on behalf of the Western Sydney Region Veteran Golfers Association (WSRVGA).
“We were very concerned with the weather leading into the event and it most probably didn’t do justice to the golf courses because it was so damp but we were very fortunate it stayed fine throughout the tournament and we were overwhelmed with the support we got from the players throughout the state. They travelled from as far as Armidale, Tamworth, down south to Kiama, north to Newcastle, Ballina, as far west as Bathurst … so we were very happy with the response,” he said.
“A lot of work goes into it but we had a lot of support from the NSW Veteran Golfers Association lead by Dick Farrant, through to the three clubs where we played the event at Richmond, Penrith and Stonecutters Ridge, the CEO’s at those places were so supportive we were almost overwhelmed by it.”
Significant sponsorship came from Richmond Club, Australand Pty Ltd, Penrith Golf Club, Stonecutters Ridge Golf Club and Warren Saunders Insurance Brokers.
Knox said the tournament, which is played in three grades with daily and 54 hole gross and nett winners, would be back bigger and better in 2015. The WSRVGA has been granted the opportunity to host the event at least until 2016.
2014 NSW Veterans Strokeplay Final Results (Download PDF)