Qld team set for Australian Senior Amateur Champs
The players were chosen after a highly competitive year on the PresCare Queensland Senior Order of Merit (QSOOM) which concluded with the PresCare Queensland Senior Men’s and Women’s Amateur Championships.
The Queensland Senior Men’s and Women’s teams will travel to Kooyonga Golf Club, South Australia and Ballarat Golf Club, Victoria respectively to compete in the Championships in October.
Aged care provider, PresCare sponsors both the Queensland Senior Order of Merit Championships and the Queensland Senior Amateur Championships.
Golf Queensland’s golf operations manager, Luke Bates said the support of PresCare has helped the Queensland teams get to this year’s national Championships.
“The PresCare QSOOM and senior amateur, both men’s and women’s, attracts competitors from across the State and beyond,” Mr Bates said.
“Congratulations to everyone who competed and to the four men and three women who will now represent Queensland at Australian Senior Amateur Championships.”
“PresCare’s support of our QSOOM and Senior Championships is tremendous and we thank them for partnering with Golf Queensland as it helps to deliver these events as well as helps our teams compete nationally.”
Australian Men’s Senior Amateur Championship - Read moreKooyonga Golf Club, SA 11 – 13 October
The Australian Men’s Senior Amateur Championship is open to players aged 55 years and over and is contested over 54-holes stroke play. It is an Australian Men’s Senior Ranking Event.
Mario La Chiusa (Nudgee GC)
Queensland Men’s Senior Amateur Team:
Peter Hannah (Pelican Waters GC)
Tim Deakin (McLeod GC)
Steve Toyne (Nudgee GC)
Australian Women’s Senior Amateur Championship - Read more
The Australian Women’s Senior Amateur Championship is open to players aged 55 years and over. Players contest 36-holes qualifying, with the leading 16 players progressing to elimination match play.
Queensland Women’s Senior Amateur Team:Josie Ryan (Headland GC)
Wendy O’Connell (Wantima GC)
Cheryl Sternberg (Laidley GC)
SA Medallists Proverbs (QLD) and Hilliard (VIC)
Proverbs who won the Gary Player Classic last week, finished at even par with rounds of 71,72 (143) after 36 holes of stroke play at Tea Tree Gully and The Grange, East Course.
“I hit it really well, only had a birdie and bogey and all the rest were pars. I couldn’t really focus though, as one of my close family members just passed away the other day and her funeral was yesterday, so it was still on my mind all day, I was finding it really hard to focus but today was a bit better.” Proverbs said
Proverbs began day two, even with the card, but four behind Windred who fired an opening round 4-under 67.
The 2015 Thailand Amateur Champion had some work to do to bridge the gap but finished with two birdies to claim the medal.
“Two birdies, two of the longest putts I held for the last two days which was good. It’s always good to finish the top seed, it’s definitely a confidence booster going into the match play.
“I’ve never won an interstate title before, so it’s good to get that out of the way. I feel more confident playing match play so hopefully I keep up the good form for that.” Proverbs added.
Matthew Lisk qualified in second position at 1-over with rounds of 72-72 (144) while Blake Windred qualified in third place with rounds of 67-77 (144).
2015 Champion Lachlan Barker (Glenelg) with rounds of 73,72 (+2) qualified in 4th position and will be a dangerous player to face later in the week along with Match Play specialist, Glenelg's Jackson Kalz 71-75 (+3) who qualified sixth.
National squad member Zach Murray (Commonwealth - VIC) 76-75 (+8) qualified 14th while last week’s SA Country Champion Tim Atze 77-79 (+13), qualified in 30 position.All up, 21 South Australian’s made it through to the Match Play top 32.
Impressive scoring at Gary Player Classic
In his final year of eligibility, Proverbs defended his title in emphatic style with a 5-shot victory over Hyunsik Kong (Emerald Lakes).
Pilon has now won three years in a row and has run out of wrists to put his Adina watches on! He is the first player to defend the 16-17 Years championship since Jason Day in 2004 and 2005.
Dobbelaar trailed overnight leader Liam Kennewell (Glenelg) by 6-shots with eight holes to play but with five birdies on the closing nine holes, including a monster birdie putt on the 72nd hole, he forced a playoff.
After both players parred the first playoff hole, Dobbelaar’s birdie on the next secured his first Gary Player Classic title.
There were several rarities during tournament week with Steven Cox’s albatross on the 18th hole in round 3 accompanying Jai Roots’ (Rd 1) and Chase Duffy’s (Rd 4) aces on the 158m par-3 3rd hole.
Thank you to Gary Player for his ongoing support of the Classic. It was great to see Mr Player following all the action on Twitter throughout the week.
Sincere thanks to sponsor Bob Menzies (Adina Watches) who for over 30 years has been providing the high class time pieces for the winner and runner-up of each age division.
For complete scores CLICK HERE
Picture: Left to Right - Blake Proverbs (Pacific), Charles Pilon (Hills International) and Louis Dobbelaar (Brookwater)
Lau claims Katherine Kirk Classic
Lau fired rounds of 70-70-67 for a total of 207, 9-under par. Her impressive 5-under final round equals the ladies course record set by 2015 Champion Robyn Choi.
“It is my first time playing this course and I am really happy with the win,” said Lau. “I am looking forward to heading back home to Malaysia now.”
Second place went to Min Kweon (Sanctuary Cove) who finished the tournament at even par with rounds of 73-68-75 (216) with Darcy Habgood (Toowoomba), a further shot back in third.
In the 21 years and under category, Eun Kwack (Lakelands) edged out Hayuno Tateura (Hills International) on a countback after both players recorded a three round total of 223.
RACV Royal Pines member Karen Kim was victorious in the 15 years and under division posting rounds of 72-74-73 for a 54-hole tournament score of 219.
A special congratulations goes to Hallie Meaburn (Royal Hobart) who scored an ace on the par-3 12th hole. A lucky 9-iron shot secured her first hole-in-one on the 106m hole in the final round.
The Katherine Kirk Classic is now in its eighth year and will continue to be a prominent feature on the Golf Queensland calendar. Many thanks to Katherine Kirk for her continued support of the event.
For all results, click here
Tournament photos are available on the Golf Queensland Facebook page.
What drives you?
To celebrate Golf Month this year, we sought out some of Australia’s most passionate golfers. We had just one purpose – to find out what drives them.
They shared their love for golf with us and we can’t wait to share their stories with you – a dynamic father-daughter duo, an adventurous couple, a family united by the game and a 70-year-old local legend in a country town. They’ve shared their love of golf. Now it’s your turn.
So, what drives you?
Do you enjoy getting out on course with your dad? Do you secretly love that your handicap is about to be lower than his?
Did a day with your partner that you expected to be the most boring of your life fuel a lifelong sporting passion?
Do you love the feeling of draining a long range birdie putt? Even if it’s the only one that’s dropped all day?!
Or do you care more about the camaraderie and drinks with friends after the round than the golf itself?
We want to know!
So share your passion and your story on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook during October with the hashtags #whatdrivesyou and #GolfMonth to be eligible.
Each Monday, we’ll pick our favourite and give away a brand new Cobra King F6 driver, so be creative!
To find out more about Golf Month, visit the website
Choi thrives again on big stage
On the two-best-scores-count system, Robyn Choi fired a 73, Hannah Green a 74 and Karis Davidson a 75 to leave Australia at a combined three over par after round one at the Mayakoba course on the Caribbean coast.
It left the reigning champs 10 shots behind surprise leader Switzerland which banked rounds of 68 and 69, respectively, by sisters Morgane and Kim Metraux, to lead by one from favourite Korea, which played the nearby Iberostar course.
Australia was tied 11th and will need a bold move tomorrow to keep pace with the Koreans who will switch to play the statistically easier Mayakoba course.
Choi, of Royal Pines on the Gold Coast, was the most impressive of the Australian team, playing consistent golf throughout her round.
“I birdied the first but gave it back on the second with a bogey, but from then on didn’t do a lot either way,” Choi said after her one-over-par round.
“It was pretty boring, actually. I was just trying to hit greens and focus on course management – I was surprised to see I had the leading score for us.”
Australian team manager Matt Cutler said the understated Choi, 21st on the individual standings, continued to impress on the international stage and would improve again as her confidence grew.
“She did a really good job. She was in the top 10 for most of the day and very solid and that was great because conditions weren’t easy,” Cutler said.
He said the team’s performance had no massive highlights, but just lacked the spark needed to push through the tournament’s record field.
“There was nothing horrific, it was just a little ‘leaky’ today,” Cutler said.
“Hannah and Karis just left a lot of shots out there, particularly with the putter.
“Hannah was one under through nine, but doubled the tough par-three 10th and couldn’t get it going again with a couple of three-putts late that were costly.
“Karis struck the ball pretty well, especially early, but probably had three or four missed opportunities because she misjudged her clubbing in the breeze and then couldn’t make up for it on the greens, either.”
“But the fact we’re still in it at three over shows you how tough it was and given how many shots we left out there, hopefully we can push through a bit tomorrow.”
Choi said the team had discussed plans to “work back into the tournament” tomorrow.
“We were just saying that if we can get back to even par after the second round, we shouldn’t be too far out of things,” she said.
But the day belonged to the Swiss team, led by the sisters Metraux who both attend Florida State University in the United States.
“I actually had a bad nine to start with a double bogey but I made a 90-foot putt for an eagle on the fifth hole, my 14th,” Morgane,19, said. “I just focused and the score just came.
Older sister Kim, 21, posted four birdies and a bogey for her 3-under 69 and was visibly proud of the team’s accomplishment – the equal lowest first-round total in the tournament’s 52-year history.
“It’s always good to see your country’s name,” Kim said. “It’s always good at the top of the leaderboard.”
The Republic of Korea, which won the Espirito Santo Trophy in 2010 and 2012 and previously in 1996, posted a 6-under 138 on 68 from Hyun Kyung Park and a 70 from Hye Jin Choi, who was the low amateur at the 2016 US Women’s Open.
“I didn’t expect to be tied for the lead on the individual leaderboard, but I am very happy,” said the 16-year-old Park. “I am really willing to make history and win the championship as Korea did in 2010 and 2012 because those players have had great success on the LPGA Tour and I want to follow in their footsteps so that other juniors can look up to me the same way I look up to them.”
In third position at 142, five strokes behind Switzerland was Japan. Nasa Hatoaka and Hina Arakaki both shot 1-under 71.
The People’s Republic of China was fourth at 1-under 143, followed by host Mexico in fifth at even-par 144. Thailand was sixth at 145. Tied for seventh at 146 were Austria, Chinese Taipei, Ireland and USA. Australia, Ecuador, England, Italy, New Zealand, Norway and Puerto Rico were tied for 11th at 147.
Story courtesy of Golf Australia
A King Among Coaches
I've had an amazing journey in golf. When I look back at what the sport has given me it's a fair list. I spent 45 years at Royal Queensland Golf Club as the Head Pro and was President of the Queensland PGA (Division) for nearly 23 years.
But two things that really stand out are helping start up the Sunshine Tour in Queensland and the Monday pro-am circuit. I'd have to say they are the best things I've done in my role with the PGA because what they ultimately did for golf in this country was significant. Of course I got a great thrill being a state and Australian coach and working with Greg Norman, Wayne Grady, Karrie Webb and even Jason Day – some of our finest ever players. I always felt when people were determined to do something in the game they were easy to coach.
During the 1950s we were still recovering from the war and opportunities were still being created. Having been brought up in the bush, I eventually moved to the Gold Coast as a mad footballer and cricketer. I had never played golf before and had actually never been on a golf course. But I've always been a very competitive person, no matter what I am doing. So it was only a matter of time before I would find golf – or it would find me. People often ask me what's been the secret to my longevity in the game? It's simple: the reason I've stuck at it for so long is because golf is full of a lot of great people. That's the key to happiness.
Club Pros are one in a million. The Club Pro is the backbone of the game of golf – I don't care what anyone says. The first person you see when you walk into a golf club is the Club Pro. They're the people who get golfers on the course. They're the people who run all the competitions. They're the people who serve customers in the pro shop. They're the people who ultimately keep golfers in our game. I think as a sport we have never really taken the time to really look at the great lengths Club Pros go to grow our game. Guys like Paul King up here in Queensland, Tommy Moore, Alex and David Mercer down in Sydney. What people like these gentlemen have done for Australian golf is remarkable.
I've had the pleasure of helping Jason Day with his game and to see him dominating the sport in recent times is such a big relief. I think for somebody who came to that fork in the road during his early years, a place where he could have gone either way in life, I'm just so happy he chose the right path because he's an extraordinary talent who is the model example of where attitude and work ethic can take you in this sport.
I might be out of order saying this but I don't know whether golf needs to be back in the Olympics. My old mate Dawn Fraser always said you should be proud to represent your country but our guys do it every week on tour. It's the same with tennis players – most of them don't want to go over and play in the Olympics because they're in the same boat. They travel the world year-round representing their country and playing for iconic trophies and a lot of money … too much money if you ask me. In golf we've got the World Cup and The Presidents Cup and they're basically Olympic-size events anyway.
I'm looking forward to the day where we have a golf tournament that pits the Northern Hemisphere against the Southern Hemisphere. It will include the world's best professional men and women along with the best amateur players and juniors, too. Everyone will be included and while it will take some sponsorship dollars to get it off the ground, it will happen and it will be the greatest thing to ever happen to golf.
If a person wants to become a Professional golfer they need to sacrifice a lot and dedicate themselves. You don't see racehourses hanging around bars and staying up to 2am, chasing fillies all night. They're in bed early, up training at the crack of dawn and keeping themselves fit and strong. It's the same with golfers. You need to be physically and mentally fit to succeed in this sport today.
The great Ben Hogan once asked one of my students how often do you train? He replied, "About 3-4 hours a day, sir." Hogan quickly fired back, "Son, there's a lot more daylight left after your four hours." And that's the attitude today's Professionals must have. Wayne Grady used to practise until his calluses started bleeding – true story.
If there's one tip I can give a budding young PGA Pro it's not to become too mechanical. Use what you have been given and play to your strengths. As soon as you try to reinvent the wheel with your swing and set-up, that's when things go horribly wrong.
I really think the PGA of Australia is in a great place. So much work has clearly been put in and we have people running the game today who really want it to succeed. To get where we are today, with so many great success stories and programs in place, somebody must be doing the right thing. –
The remarkable resume of Charlie Earp OAM
Career Highlight Coached Greg Norman and Wayne Grady
1958 Appointed Head Pro at Royal Queensland Golf Club
1962 Became president of the Queensland PGA (Division)
1978 Awarded Life Membership of the PGA of Australia
1982 Appointed Queensland state coach of both the senior and junior teams
1987 Assisted in setting up the Greg Norman Junior Golf Foundation
1990 Inducted into the Sports Australia Hall of Fame as an Associate (Coaching) Member
1993 Awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for his services to golf
2000 Presented with PGA Lifetime Achievement Award
2003 Retired from his position at Royal Queensland Golf Club in 2003 after 45 years
Current Patron of Junior Golf Queensland
Story courtesy of Brad Clifton, PGA Australia
It’s major season for Blind Golf Australia
Nine Australians will compete in the ISPS HANDA World Blind Championships across three sight classifications.
Blind Golf Australia director Geoff Walsh is hopeful of another great showing after Australians took out the two major championship categories when the championship was last held in 2014 at Nelson Bay, New South Wales.
“We have had an extensive tournament season in the lead-up to the world championships,” Walsh said.
The tournament season kicked into top gear recently with the inaugural Queensland Open followed by the WA Open, the ISPS HANDA Australian Blind Open and NSW Open to close out preparations before the Australian team heads to Japan.
And it won’t stop there; the major tournament schedule continues to grow with six events locked away for 2017.
While the tournament schedule continues to grow, Blind Golf Australia would love to see more players competing in its events.
The introduction of the PGA and Golf Australia ISPS Handa accreditation in blind and disabled golf coaching is having an impact, bringing more players to the game.
Accredited coach and PGA member Kate Dunn hosted the first come-and-try clinic at the Queensland Open, resulting in several new golfers joining Blind Golf Queensland.
GA national inclusion manager Christian Hamilton runs the ISPS HANDA accreditation program and is pleased with the impact the program is having.
“We have developed a great workforce of accredited coaches which continues to grow,” Hamilton said.
“It’s associations like Blind Golf Australia that are a huge link supporting golfers that come through development programs with events, competitions and major tournaments.”
For tournament results and further information about Blind Golf Australia, head to www.blindgolf.com.au or contact either Doug Sloan at firstname.lastname@example.org or Geoff Walsh at email@example.com via email.
Crandell wins 2016 Qld Men’s Mid Am title
Byron Bay member Mat Crandell has claimed the 2016 Queensland Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship at RACV Royal Pines Resort.
Crandell cruised home with an astonishing 11-stroke victory against a capacity field of interstate and international players.
Crandnell opened the tournament with a blistering six birdies and just two bogeys to card a four-under par-68. The second day proved to be tough with early trouble resulting in a two-over par-74.
Despite registering six birdies in his opening round, defending champion Ashley Grosvenor (Keperra Country Golf Club) found himself four shots behind Crandell after adding four bogeys and a double bogey to finish even par. Grosvenor fired another ever par-72 second round to secure himself a place in the final group.
After a triple bogey on the first hole, Grosvenor slowly slid out of contention with additional bogeys on the closing three holes to return a 10-over par-82 for the day, resulting in a third place finish.
David Robinson’s (Lakelands Golf Club) consistent play edged him into second place on 225 (+9) after a closing round of three-over par 75. This followed opening rounds of 74 (+2) and 76 (+4).
Commencing the final round with a two shot lead, Crandell was consistent early, a birdie on the eighth hole eliminated the opening bogey to finish even after nine holes. A further birdie and bogey on the back nine resulted in returning an even par-72 and total of 214 (two-under) for the championship
“Anyone who has played at RACV Royal Pines knows that the new layout is quite difficult. With a bit of pressure on today, I was quite happy with the way I performed and I am stoked with the win,” Crandell said.
“This is my fifth time playing the tournament and I’ll definitely be back.”
Crandell was previously runner-up in 2013 where now professional Damien Jordan took the title.
As part of Srixon's support of the Championship, each player was invited to receive a dozen Z-Star golf balls and compete in a separate nett event. Brett Kurtz from Boyne Island Golf Club was ecstatic to have made this decision as it led to him winning the Srixon 54 Hole Challenge. Kurtz shot nett rounds of 71-76 and a final day nett 73 to take home a year's supply (12 x 12 dozen boxes) of Srixon Z Star Balls. Kurtz was one of 152 players that chose to play the Srixon ball at this year’s championship.
The Upper Mid-Amateur Division (44-54 years) was played in conjunction with the Championship with 2010 champion Michael Neaton (Rockhampton Golf Club) taking out the title with 54-hole score of 230. New Zealand’s John Fearnley claimed runner-up with rounds of 75-81-76 (232).
The Srixon Club Teams Event consists of three players from the same golf club with the aggregate nett scores from the 54-holes counting towards the team’s total. The eventual winners were the team from Calliope Golf Club comprising of Mathew Crossley, Wayne Scarpella and David Evans. The winning Aggregate Nett score left them with a six shot win over the Byron Bay Golf Club team which comprised of Mat Crandell, David Calvert and Glen Llyod.
The Srixon NTP Challenge was held on the Monday afternoon attracting fierce competition. Each player had one attempt at a 60m pitch shot from the clubhouse to the practice green. After a 7-person playoff and numerous close shots, 2015 Mid-Am Runner-up Mark Boulton (Phillip Island Golf Club) was the eventual winner and receives a Srixon Prize Pack.
Golf Queensland would like to extend a sincere thanks to proud sponsors Srixon, RACV Royal Pines Resort and Coca-Cola Amatil for their generosity and support of the 2016 Championship. The Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship continues to grow with numbers exceeding expectations poised by positive feedback received over the three days. The Queensland Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship will return to RACV Royal Pines Resort in 2017 to host the championship for the sixth time.
Full results: Golf Queensland Event page
Tournament photos: Golf Queensland Facebook Page
Charlie Dann wins in Perth
The 23 year-old shot back to back three-under par rounds of 68 on Monday to be the only golfer under par on the final day. His four rounds of 70, 70, 68, 68 is the first time he has shot under par in each round of a national ranking event. His eight-under score of 276 gave him a four-shot win.
Victory in the prestigious tournament is seen as a huge stepping stone following recent strong performances in both the Queensland Amateur and the Queensland Men’s Strokeplay championships, where he finished fourth and fifth and respectively. He also finished second at the Lake Macquarie Amateur and third at the Master of the Amateurs, at Royal Melbourne.
Dann, who works at Pelican Waters to support his golf, said he was both proud and amazed at the victory.
“I was a late starter in golf and this has been a long time coming,” he said.
“I have had many good results from second to fifth in different big events, but finally being able to hold on to a win after being in the lead is a really good feeling. It actually feels amazing.”
Dann, who did not take up golf until he was 15, said being able to concentrate fully on his game had been the turning point for him.
“Without the amazing support of Golf Queensland, my coach Grant Field and the people at Pelican Waters, this would have not been possible,” he said.
“The past two years have been a really big turning point. Stopping full time work to go to part time is where it all changed for me.”
Previous winners of the Mandurah Amateur include 2006 US Open champion Geoff Ogilvy, Olympian Marcus Fraser and five-time European tour winner Brett Rumford.
By Tony Durkin
Dann blossoms with National Rankings win
Dann, 23, cruised home for a four shot victory against an elite amateur field that saw 33 of Australia’s best travel to WA from the eastern states, contesting for a title won previously by major winner Geoff Ogilvy, Olympian Marcus Fraser and five time European Tour winner Brett Rumford.
NSW pair Austin Bautista and Blake Windred finished tied for second on 4-under par, while WA's Min Woo Lee finished fourth on 1-under par as the last remaining golfer in the red over 72 holes.
A clear sky greeted the 52 golfers who made the cut for marathon 36 hole final day, but it was the cold and blustery conditions that caused trouble for most of the field.
Dann seemed impervious to the wind that caused havoc in tandem with the tight tree lines fairways, shooting back to back 3-under rounds of 68 to be the only golfer under par in both rounds on the Monday.
And it’s been a strong year for the Pelican Waters golfer who finished second at the Lake Macquarie Amateur and an impressive third at the Master of the Amateurs.
“It feels amazing and a long time coming,” said Dann of his first National Rankings win.
“I’ve had a lot of good results from second to fifth in a lot of different events, and finally being able to hold on to a win after being in the lead is always a really good feeling.
“I didn’t want to think about [leading] too much. I’ve done that recently but it didn’t really work out too well for me. It started off cold and really tough and those conditions usually suit my game, and it went quite well and I just hung in there and made a lot of putts, a lot of four footers and it ended up really nicely.
“I sort of took the emphasis off who was doing what and just focused on each hole at a time and put myself in good spots on the green and hit a lot of good iron shots. I wasn’t even trying to hole some of those putts that went in, it’s just obviously my day and I loved every minute of it.”
At 23, Dann is almost a veteran of the amateur golfing circuit, but his win is an incredible achievement for a golfer who hadn’t taken up the game until he was 15.
At 18 he was playing off a handicap of 5.
Some in this week’s field were already winning titles at the same age Dann picked up a club, including WA's Fred Lee who won the NT Amateur at 15 and finished 5th this week.
“I was a bit of a late bloomer, and I only started playing the game late too,” Dann said.
“It takes a bit to put it out of my mind that I’m two to three years older than these guys but golf’s a game you can play until whenever, and if I just keep getting better each year that’s what’s important.
“The last two years have been a really big turning point. Stopping full time work to go to part time is where it all changed for me.”
Defending champion Shae Wools-Cobb suffered a disaster 7-over second round in his 4-over total, but the Queenslander had no issues in passing the title on to his good friend.
Wools-Cobb and Dann are not only Queensland state team-mates, but live within 500m of each other on the Sunshine Coast, and share more than just a title when it comes to their games.
After Wools-Cobb signed for his card he was sure to head back on course to bring Dann home, although Dann joked about Wool-Cobb's ulterior motives.
“Shae wanted me to come back to his score from last year, and I think I got him by one so that was my score over the last couple of holes,” said Dann.
“We’ve got a great relationship. We train together and drive together to Brisbane three days a week together to visit the Queensland Academy of Sport.
“They’ve helped me massively this year. I get a lot of help and a lot of direction and I think they’ve all contributed massively to this win.”
Story courtesy of Tom Fee, Golf WA
Tiger is back
Tiger Woods will return to competitive golf in a month, declaring he is “comfortable” with his recuperation from back surgery that has kept him out for more than a year.
The 14-time major champion will return for his own two-day event, the Tiger Woods Invitational in California on October 10-11, then plans a three-tournament swing to round out 2016.
He said overnight that he hopes to play in the US PGA Tour’s Safeway Open, from October 13-16, also in California, then the European Tour’s Turkish Airlines Open from November 3-6 in Turkey. From there, he will front at the Tiger Woods Foundation-run Hero World Challenge from December 1-4 in the Bahamas.
"My rehabilitation is to the point where I'm comfortable making plans, but I still have work to do," Woods told his website.
"Whether I can play depends on my continued progress and recovery. My hope is to have my game ready to go.
"I'm looking forward to going to California for my foundation event and Safeway. I'm also excited to return to Turkey and Albany (Bahamas). It could be a fun fall.
"It was difficult missing tournaments that are important to me, but this time I was smart about my recovery and didn't rush it.
“It was great spending time with my children Sam and Charlie, and also working on a lot of projects including golf-course design, the upcoming 20th anniversary of my foundation and my book about the 1997 Masters.
“But I missed competing. I want to thank all the fans for their kindness and concern. I've been a pro about 20 years, and their support has never waned."
Woods has slipped to No.711 in the world rankings.
Story courtesy of Golf Australia
NSW dominate Queensland Amateur Championship
After a clean sweep by Queenslanders last year, New South Wales has continued their domination of 2016 interstate tournaments taking out the 2016 Men’s and Women’s Amateur Championships played at Pacific Harbour.
With half of the eight semi- final combatants hailing from Queensland (Douglas Klein, Adam Mollis, Charlie Dann and Karis Davidson), hopes were high for another clean sweep from the home state.
Standing in the way were New South Welshman Dylan Perry and Celina Yuan, Victorian Montana Strauss, and New Zealand guest Brittney Dryland.
Douglas Klein faced Champion of Champions winner Adam Mollis in the morning’s semi-final which quickly proved to be a tight tussle for the top match. Klein and Molllis were wire to wire throughout the 18-holes with the Klein’s birdie on the 19th securing him a spot in the final.
Dylan Perry remained hot all week eliminating the 5th, 8th, and 16th top seeds after already taking out the prestigious Queensland Men’s Stroke Play Championship on Tuesday. Standing in his way was Interstate medallist Charlie Dann. The Queenslander held tough the whole match, however Perry was too much for Dann to overcome, with Perry closing out the match 2/1.
In the Women’s semi-finals, New South Wales state player Celina Yuan was tested by 2015 Stroke Play Champion Karis Davidson. A series of missed putts by Davidson saw Yuan hold the advantage most of the match and ultimately steal the finale position on the 17th.
International visitor Brittney Dryland had progressed through the week positively, securing 4th seed from the stroke play. Victoria’s Montana Strauss proved stiff competition despite only returning to competition level recently. Dryland held a 1-up advantage for most of the final holes and eventually toppled Strauss 2-up.
The final was decided; Douglas Klein would face Dylan Perry in the Men’s, with fellow state resident Celina Yuan to play Brittney Dryland.
Could Dylan Perry continue his streak and claim back to back titles, 10 years after World No. 1 Jason Day?
The afternoon 18 hole final looked to be headed Dryland’s way as she led the entire match, bar two moments. Dryland held a 1-up advantage early until Yuan sunk a creaming 45ft putt on the 5th to equalise the match. Dryland took control back on the 8th hole and continued to the 11th where her precise putting further increased her 2-up lead.
Yuan made attempts to equalise the match again on the 12th and 13th however fell short until the 16th where her 10ft birdie continued the match.
Dryland faced the 17th 1-up and was unable to muster her putt to drop to take the win. A series of unfortunate events on the 18th saw Dryland struggle to find ‘dry land’ and lose two balls to the greenside water hazard. The match continued to the 18th where Yuan gathered her composure to duly hole her 15ft putt for 1-up victory and claim the 2016 Women’s Amateur title.
The Perry and Klein match was a thriller. Despite Perry holding the upper advantage since the first hole, Klein played with sheer determination and fighting spirit ready to strike at any opportunity.
The Pacific Harbour wind put on its own show for the afternoon’s contest reaching 25-25km/hr winds. Perry held an early 2-up lead due to his fierce attempts at striking all pins and closing the deal on birdie opportunities.
His lead was extended on the 7th after nestling his shot to 3ft. Perry’s 3-up advantage continued as Klein was unable to capitalise on his birdie run that featured and dominated his Thursday matches.
Perry continued to find his groove making consecutive birdies to maintain his 3-hole advantage over Klein until the par-5 14th. Klein’s birdie putt altered the match to 2-up with 3 to play, requiring every bit of fight left in him from the 36-hole marathon day.
The match was ultimately succumbed when Klein’s attempt to strike the 17th pin fell short in the left bunker with the Queenslander unable to bridge the gap. The Perry v Klein match will go down as memorable for all those watching with 1st class respect shown between both players.
Dylan Perry becomes the 5th New South Welshman to win the Queensland Amateur Championship in the past 7 years. Perry’s exceptional form is to be commemorated also adding his name in the history books as the first person to win back-to-back Queensland Stroke Play and Amateur titles since Daniel Nisbet in 2009, and Queenslander Jason Day in 2006
New South Wales is to be congratulated for both their players taking out the Queensland Championship, but it will never compare to Queensland’s State of Origin record!
For all results, visit http://bit.ly/2bKo4CW
Queensland Stroke Play crowns Perry and Kay as Champions
Men’s Stroke Play
Perry, who hails from Hunter Valley, NSW, finished the tournament with an impressive 4-under par on 284 claiming the title by four shots over Maverick Antcliff (Indooroopilly). Perry’s campaign started slow with rounds of 76-71 but was kick started on Tuesday morning after his caddie joined him on the 10th tee. Despite being three-over through nine holes, Perry proceeded to shoot 12 birdies over the concluding 27 holes! His 6-under back nine became the catalyst of his victory posting rounds of 69-68 to win his first state championship.
"I was struggling a bit this morning with my putting. I got rid of what I was thinking, went back to basics and it all started to click. I made a good up down on the 8th and then birdied the 9th, I had six under on the back nine after that, happy days!" (Golf NSW).
Dillon Hart (Emerald Lakes) emerged as a hot contender on the final day courtesy of his course-record equaling round of 6-under 66. Sadly for Hart, his hot form didn’t continue and he finished in a tie for 6th.
Perry’s victory earns him a spot in the 2016 Isuzu Queensland Open to be contested at The Brisbane Golf Club from 20-23 October 2016.
Players enjoyed three spectacular days at Pacific Harbour Golf Club with excellent course conditions and service to be commended. Thank you to sponsors Moreton Bay Regional Council for their support of the event
Women’s Stroke Play
QAS Squad member Rebecca Kay has taken out the 2016 Women’s Stroke Play title after successfully holding off defending champion Karis Davidson. The Golf Australia National Squad member had started sluggish in her opening round with a two-over par 76 round, burdened by a cold.
Steeled and healthier in round 2, Kay charged back into the mix with six birdies to record a 4-under par 70 round.
Min Kweon (Sanctuary Cove) commenced her final 36-holes just a single shot behind Rebecca Kay, after opening rounds of 74-73 with fellow club member Karis Davidson a further two shots back with a 36-hole total of 150.
Davidson’s opening final day round of 71 was enough to match Kay’s morning round with the girls heading down the final 18 holes in a fierce battle for the title.
Birdies on the 2nd and 8th gave Davidson a one shot edge over Kay through the turn however her inconsistent start on the back nine of par, bogey, double, bogey ruined her momentum. Bogey’s on the 15th, 16th and 17th also ruled Kweon out of the top position.
While both Kay and Davidson registered double bogeys on the 18th after finding trouble in the bunkers, it was ultimately Kay’s consistent play with rounds of 76-70-71-76 (293) that upheld her victory. The Australian GC’s Celina Yuan capitalised on the opportunity recording a 3-under par 71 round to claim runner-up.
Kay thanked her super caddy father as well as her grandfather, who both play huge roles in Kay’s victories.
Ka Yeon Park of Sanctuary Cove fired a course record 5-under par 69 in Round 3 comprising of an eagle, 5 birdies, 10 pars and 2 bogeys.All competitors enjoyed three terrific days at Bribie Island Golf club with the course conditions and service to be commended. Thank you to sponsors Moreton Bay Regional Council for their support of the event
Champion of Champions
The Champion of Champion’s event is open to all players who have won a Club or District Championship in the previous year with the title decided over the first 36 holes.
Women’s Champion Karis Davidson (Sanctuary Cove) emerged a six-shot victory over Isabelle Taylor (Sanctuary Cove) with two consistent rounds of 75.
Men’s Champion Adam Mollis (Blackwater) won the Champions title with rounds of 69 and 77. Mollis, from the town of Blackwater over 800km North West of Brisbane, held a one shot margin from Douglas Klein (Redcliffe).
The top 16 players from the Stroke Play will now progress through to compete in the Queensland Amateur Championship (Matchplay) to be held at Pacific Harbour Golf and Country Club, 1-2 September. The Top 16 are as follows:
Women’s Top 16: Rebecca Kay, Celina Yuan, Min Kweon, Brittney Dryland, Ka Yeon Park, Karis Davidson, Samantha Foley, Gennai Goodwin, Montana Strauss, Deedee-Taylah Russell, Stefanie Hall, Alizza Hetherington, Zara Woodbridge, Lisa Edgar, Isabelle Taylor and Jessica Pickwick
Men’s Top 16: Dylan Perry, Maverick Antcliff, Douglas Klein, Shae Wools-Cobb, Charlie Dann, Lawry Flynn, Dilon Hart, Blake Proverbs, Steven Vail, Mitchell Smith, James Macklin, Joel Wheatley, Jack Murdock, Daniel Gale, Adam Mollis and Lochlan Coleborn.Men's results: http://bit.ly/1O7bqyj
Women's results: http://bit.ly/1P96EeG
Morgan storms to APGC junior crown
To cap a memorable week at the Asia Pacific Golf Conferation’s Junior Championship in Taiwan, the 16-year-old unleashed a remarkable finish to seize the boys’ individual title.
The Brisbane youngster was doing “nothing really wrong”, but had stumbled to three over without a birdie with six holes to play as he and partner Kathryn Norris, 15, of Western Australia, tried valiantly to reach the top 10 of the team competition.
But almost without warning, Morgan, who idolises world No.1 Jason Day, played the most startling hour of golf in his young career to charge home with five birdies in six holes to charge to victory by a stroke at two-under-par 70.
Even more impressive was that his victory secured the product of Gailes Golf Club a start with the professionals of the Japan Golf Tour in the Diamond Cup in late September.
“It was an awesome feeling, the last six holes especially,” Morgan beamed after he and Norris (78) also moved to ninth in the team standings at four over.
“I’d done nothing really wrong and I just kept thinking that I had plenty of opportunities left to come.
“Then I just started driving the ball extremely well and executing my putts – it just sort of happened.”
Morgan’s birdie-birdie-par run from the 13th gave him a vague hope, but it wasn’t until the final three-birdie salvo that he even appeared in title calculations.
“It shows you shouldn’t ever give in,” said Morgan, who plays off a handicap of +3 at Gailes, west of Brisbane where his family lives adjacent to the course.
“It’s been a fantastic week – we have an amazing bond already, especially around dinners (with fellow Aussie team members including Gabi Ruffels and Jye Pickin) and (manager) Ash (Marshall) has been fantastic all week, as has (coach) Stacey (Keating).
“I have never played golf outside Australia before, so when I put on the national uniform on Saturday, it was pretty amazing.
“It’s been a very cool week.”
Pickin, 15, from the Hunter Valley in New South Wales, couldn’t match his new mate’s heroics in firing a closing 77, while his partner Ruffels, 16, of Melbourne, shot a 76 as the second Aussie combination finished 19th at 15 over after the combination of fourball, foursomes and singles.
Marshall said the week had been a great learning tool for the young team.
“It’s fantastic for Jed to have had that success, but all the kids did us proud,” he said.
“To play in such vastly different conditions to what they’re used to was a great experience, especially on greens with a lot of grain.
“They all learnt a lot – the international trips are always a great experience, but it’s particularly important they get to see the strength of their Asian counterparts because they’re playing some quality golf around here these days.”
Story courtesy of Golf Australia
Golf Month: only three weeks away now!
Clubs and facilities can run any sort of activity. Ideas include: open days, clinics, three, six and nine hole events, family days, community events, women’s clinics, twilight events, MyGolf school visits and Swing Fit sessions. Golf Month has branded material you can print with your club/facility logo to assist you doing your own local marketing. Importantly, the campaign is supported by a national media buy featuring radio coverage in metropolitan areas, TV commercial spots in regional areas and significant advertising and paid search across social and digital The content for the TV commercials will be derived from our digital content, which is colourful portraits (films) of four passionate golfers from different target markets. We’ll be running a social media competition aligned with this content throughout Golf Month, which will see us give away a Cobra King F6 Driver every week.
We’re running two big consumer competitions – one prize will go to a member who introduces a new member to their club, and one will go to a randomly selected participant in a Golf Month activity (details here). We’ll be sharing a whole range of other engaging content during October and we are working on some nice PR ideas that we think will generate further coverage
We’re providing resources to help clubs and facilities, including a guide to Golf Month, editable posters to promote their activities and posters to promote the competitions
So now is a great time to get your key committee members, management, professional and members who can contribute.
Golf Month – only three weeks to go!
Aussies shine, but golden Park glitters
The Aussie pair at various stages each looked realistic hopes to snatch a bronze medal on an entertaining closing day at Barra de Tijuca, only to squander back-nine chances.
But regardless of their results, they’d have been playing for silver when Korean Park turned on a putting master class en route to the historic gold medal.
Park shot a closing 66, featuring seven birdies, to finish at 16 under, five clear of world No.1 Lydia Ko, of New Zealand, with China’s Shanshan Feng a shot further back taking bronze.
For much of the final afternoon, it appeared nine under might make a playoff for bronze until Ko clicked into gear.
So when Lee reached seven under after three birdies in four holes from 12-15, it seemed the West Australian would ride the wave to at least that figure with three “gettable” holes to close.
But short birdie tries lipped out on both the 16th and 17th to leave her rueing what might have been after she closed with a birdie for a 67 and a creditable tie for seventh at eight under.
After flat bogeys on two of the first four holes today, the six-birdie salvo was testament to Lee’s fighting spirit.
“I’m pretty happy with the result, especially after the first nine I was pretty far back,” she said.
“But I’m glad I could make a couple of birdies coming in and good one on the last to finish on good note.
“I probably could have made those putts on 16 and 17. But that’s golf – you’re not going to win all of them.
“But I feel good, like I’ve done Australia proud.”
Oh, who also began the day at four under, went damage free through the front nine with just one birdie, a kick-in after a spectacular approach to the long fifth.
But the Victorian leapt into medal contention with great birdies on the 10th and 11th holes and when she escaped the tough 12th unscathed, suddenly had high hopes.
That was until her ball came to rest in a terrible position in the back left bunker on the 13th from where she bladed a shot into a bunker across the green, then eventually made a good 2.5m putt to save a double-bogey that took the wind from her sails in a hurry.
“I was playing really well, didn’t do anything bad and just hit one bad shot into a really bad place that I couldn’t recover from,” Oh lamented after making bogey up 14 to compound the problem before a closing birdie to ease the burden.
“It was the wrong time really. It could have happened on Thursday and I’d have finished in the same place, but it just means more at that time and place.
“That was just the one place you couldn’t really go … and I went there.”
Oh eventually signed for a 70 to leave her tied 13th at five under par.
Both 20-year-olds were full of praise for the Olympic experience and expressed a hope they’ll be in similarly good form in four years when the Games move to Tokyo.
“Normally you play and move on to the next week, but this is all you’ve got. It’s different, I first thought play like another tournament, but it’s not; it’s the Olympics and it’s a special tournament,” Oh said.
“I wanted to do my best because it’s not just another week. It doesn’t come every week.
“When I had that (bad) hole and it’s not like me to get emotional, but I knew I was out of it. I wanted to finish strong and make the best of it.
“But the week overall is unforgettable – that I can call myself an Olympian is quite special. I’m already looking forward to the next one in Tokyo if I can get there again.”
The normally unflappable Lee conceded there was more pressure than a “normal” week on tour.
“You want to medal. You’re always playing for your country, but here you’re really playing for your country. It was such an honour,” she said.
“You always play for Australia, but here you’re really playing for Australia – it’s a different sort of pressure, but it feels good, playing for your whole country.”
Park, 28, has missed much of the LPGA Tour with a thumb injury, but played like she’d never missed a beat.
The seven-time major champion was a cut above the field and only made one real blemish with a drive into the water on the 10th costing her one of just two bogeys.
But whenever she needed to make a stand, the 28-year-old simply dialled up the putter and rammed it home to keep the chasers at bay.
Feng had looked the likely silver medallist all afternoon, but played holes 12-17 one over while others, notably Ko, advanced.
The Chinese ace three-putted from the fringe of the par-five 18th green to take a par, then watched as Ko got up and down from the edge of the fairway to birdie and relegate her to bronze.
Russia’s Maria Verchenova had two great talking points of the round with a hole-in-one on the fourth en route to a course-record 62 that left her at four under overall.
Day, Scott against cracker World Cup field
The pair, along with Masters champion Danny Willett, were confirmed among 33 starters at Kingston Heath from November 24-27.
Twelve players from the world top 50 have committed to the event among the top-ranked players from 28 countries all playing for a $10.4 million purse.
The top two Americans in the world rankings, Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth, have opted not to come, but dual green jacket winner Watson jumped at the chance.
Willett, who upstaged Spieth to win the Masters this year, will be partnered by former Emirates Australian Open champion Lee Westwood.
Both Day and Scott have been confirmed as Australian Open starters at Royal Sydney the week before, while Scott will also contend the Australian PGA Championship at Royal Pines a week after the World Cup.
Day, who hasn’t played at home since 2013, said defending the title with his fellow Queenslander was an opportunity he couldn’t miss.
“The victory at the 2013 World Cup of Golf was a kick-start to a phenomenal stretch of golf for me,” Day said.
“I am truly looking forward to the new team format with Adam. I really can’t imagine a better scenario than to represent Australia in our home country, with one of my good mates at Kingston Heath, one of my all-time favourite courses.”
Watson, similarly, jumped at the chance to play for the USA.
“Anytime I can represent my country, I get excited. It is a great honour to put on the red, white and blue,” Watson said.
“I have visited Melbourne a couple of times. I love going to Australia – the Sandbelt courses are awesome.
“They normally play super fast and you have to be creative to play well which suits my game. I can’t wait to get down there.”
Among the other big names to confirm is an exceptionally strong Asian contingent, including rising Japanese star Hideki Matsuyama and Korean Olympian Byeong Hun An, both likely Presidents Cup players next year.
“It’s always great and I take pride in representing our country,” An said.
“There will be a little less pressure than the Olympics, but it is definitely an event that I want to play well in. It will be my first time playing in Australia. I remember watching the Presidents Cup in Australia and thinking that I hope to play in Australia some day.”
Rising Argentinian star Emiliano Grillo, Spain’s Rafa Cabrera-Bello, Ireland’s Shane Lowry, Fiji’s Vijay Singh and Kiwi Danny Lee are among the big names yet to lock in a partner, while recent US PGA Tour winners Russell Knox, of Scotland, and Jhonattan Vegas, of Venezuela, have chosen Duncan Stewart and Julio Vegas, respectively.
The powerhouse Belgian team of Thomas Pieters and Nicolas Colsaerts are locked in, while fellow European stars Jamie Donaldson (Wales), Victor Dubuisson (France), Joost Luiten (Netherlands), Francesco Molinari (Italy) and Bernd Weisberger (Austria) are yet to seal their partnerships.
Popular Thai star Thongchai Jaidee is also locked in.
Jaidee, the only man to win three Asian Tour Order of Merit titles, said: “I’m looking forward to playing in my fifth World Cup of Golf in Melbourne. With the tournament reverting to a combined team format, I believe it will be very exciting for players and I hope to put up a strong showing with my partner, whom I will announce later.
“My best finish at the World Cup of Golf was tied seventh in 2008 (with Prayad Marksaeng) and it will be fantastic if I can help Thailand improve on that performance and contend for the prestigious trophy,” Jaidee said.
“It is always very special to represent Thailand and with a list of past World Cup champions that include legendary names like Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player, it will be wonderful if Thailand can rise to the occasion.”
This year’s event will be the fifth time the World Cup has been played in Australia, with all four previous tournaments at Royal Melbourne.
Story courtesy of Golf Australia
History for GB's Rose, Fraser 5th
Meanwhile Australia's Marcus Fraser, the first-round leader, finished tied-fifth as golf returned to the Olympics for the first time since 1904.
Rose, the world No. 12, was tied with his Ryder Cup teammate Henrik Stenson of Sweden as the pair walked to the 18th tee today.
The pair had engaged a two-man war all day, Rose starting out a shot ahead but the Swede quickly taking birdies at the first two holes to join him. Each had held the lead on his own at different points, with Rose in front through 15 holes before Stenson hit a beautiful wedge in close at the par-four 16th to lock it up again.
The pair have represented Europe in Ryder Cup together as fixtures in the team, and once were neighbours in America.
But it was Rose who was the steadier on the 72nd hole, a long par-five. After both players were forced to lay up short of the green with their second shots, Stenson's lob wedge shot spun back and left him with a seven-metre putt for birdie. With the door open, Rose stepped up and hit his shot from 30 metres to the shadow of the flag, a certain birdie.
This meant that Stenson knew he had to make, and the Open Champion from this year rattled his birdie putt well past the hole and missed the par putt coming back, leaving Rose to tap in, punch the air and grab his Great Britain shirt.
The Briton goes into the annals as the first Olympic gold medal winner in golf for 116 years.
Fraser, who played with the Europeans in the final group, made four bogeys on the front nine to cruel his chances, but the Australian finished strongly, making birdies at the 14th and 15th and then another at 18 to get himself back into the top five. He had been in or near the lead throughout the tournament after his opening 63.
Fraser said he had enjoyed "an incredible week'', and that the Olympics felt like a major championship.
"I probably learnt a lot about myself this week, to be honest,'' said Fraser. "Not in my wildest dreams did I think I'd have a chance to be here, let alone mixing it with those guys over four rounds in such a big event. It's pleasing. I just didn't have much with me on the weekend. My game was pretty scrappy and I didn't deserve to have a medal. I felt like I fought as hard as I could and it's always nice to birdie the last. It leaves you a pretty nice taste in your mouth when you get on that plane tomorrow.
"There's a lot of self-doubt there that I doubt whether I can do this. I think coming here doing it this week on this stage was pleasing. To finish fifth is a big plus for me.''
His teammate Scott Hend finished tied-39th after a closing round of 71, even-par.
Big crowds turned out for the final day and American Matt Kuchar delivered a 63 to race into the bronze medal position, summing up the feeling of the players who turned up in Rio: "I've never been so happy with third place in my life,'' said Kuchar. "I can't explain the pride to you that's just busting out of my chest to make an Olympics and medal is just amazing."
Spain's Sergio Garcia tweeted his approval of the concept too. "Whoever said @OlympicGolf didn't mean anything must've been on drugs cause this is absolutely amazing!!Coming to Rio, my best decision ever!''
The women's tournament begins this week. Australia is to be represented by young guns Minjee Lee from Perth and Melbourne's Su Oh.
For full scores, visit http://www.igfgolf.org/olympic-games/scores/
2016 Men's Country Week Wraps
Men’s Country Stroke Play – Monday & Tuesday
Defending champion Scott Warren (Gin Gin) has returned to win the 2016 Queensland Men’s Country Week Stoke Event at the Redcliffe Golf Club.
After holding Monday's opening round lead with one-under 70, Warren entered Tuesday’s second round two-shots ahead of Ryley Martin (Wantima).Warren never relinquished his lead over the final 18 holes with his four-under 67 round consisting of five birdies and only one bogey blemish. A 36-hole total of 137 gave him a seven shot win over runner-up Peter Wouters (Caloundra) carding rounds of 75-69 (144).
Ipswich member Peter Cook recorded a hole-in-one on the par-3 13th in round two with his eight iron now his favourite club in the bag.
The Senior Competition Division 1 was won by Keith Horne of Maroochy River with rounds of 78-75 with Allan Down of Bribie Island claiming Division 2 carding scores of 89-88.
Golf Queensland extends sincere thanks to proud sponsors City Golf Club Motel and Moreton Bay Regional Council for their continued and generous support of the Men’s Country Week Championship.
For full results visit here.
Men’s Country Foursomes – Thursday
Keperra Golf Club hosted the Foursomes Championship on Thursday with 56 pairs vying for their Divisional titles.
The City GC duo of Sam Blackshaw and 2014 Foursomes runner-up Anthony Timms claimed the 2016 Men’s Country Foursomes Championship with a score of 75. On the demanding Keperra layout, Timms and Blackshaw’s birdies on the 5th and 7th holes were critical in securing a four-shot victory over Jeff Browning (Boonah) and Doug Westlake (Gympie).
City Golf Club were also victorious in the Nett section of Division 1 with Norm Mitchell and Stephen Wright winning on a score of 72.5.
Division 2 gross honours went to Shannon McDermott and Michael Kluske, with the Chinchilla members signing for a score of 92.
An outstanding score of 64.5 gave perennial contenders Barry Thoms (Ipswich) and Chris Bath (Rosewood) a nine-shot victory in the Division 2 Nett.
Golf Queensland extends sincere thanks to proud sponsors City Golf Club Motel and Moreton Bay Regional Council for their continued and generous support of the Men’s Country Week Championship.
For full results visit here.
Men’s Country Fourball – Friday
Players headed to Virginia Golf Club for the final day of the 2016 Men’s Country week for the Fourball competition.
The Gin Gin GC pairing of Jason Shield and Quinton Jensen took out the championship with a score of 46 points.
The leaderboard was tight with many groups peaking at 41 points and above which ultimately came down to a three-way tie for runner-up all on 44 points. A count back decided the placing with Brock Wooldridge (Bundaberg) and Ivan Groves (Biggenden) finishing in 2nd, Glenn Evans and Robert Kirk (Gayndah) 3rd and John Anderson and Albert Horsfall (Sandy Gallop) 4th.
A massive thank you to all three hosts clubs (Redcliffe, Virginia and Keperra) for the fantastic manner in which the courses were presented and the hospitality presented to the Country participants. Over 120 players teed up this year and many look forward to returning in 2017!
Golf Queensland extends sincere thanks to proud sponsors City Golf Club Motel and Moreton Bay Regional Council for their continued and generous support of the Men’s Country Week Championship.
For full results visit here.
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Australian team named for World Amateur Team Championships
In announcing the men’s team today, Golf Australia’s high performance manager Matt Cutler said high expectations would follow Curtis Luck, Cameron Davis and Harrison Endycott.
Cutler said the women’s team – Hannah Green, Karis Davidson and Robyn Choi – would also carry high hopes when they head to Mexico’s spectacular Caribbean coast in five weeks.
“We are really happy with the teams we’ve chosen – they’ve all got a lot of good results on the board and will be heading away with form and confidence,” Cutler said.
“The men’s team, in particular, is pretty hot right now. We have three guys all in the top 16 of the world amateur rankings and that alone tells you they should be in the mix.”
Luck, winner of his home Western Australian Open Championship, has soared to No.6 in the world with several such prominent showings against leading professionals.
He also was fifth alongside 2011 Masters champ Charl Schwartzel in the ISPS Handa Global Cup in Japan in June.
“These results are actually typical of why our men’s team should be confident,” Cutler said.
“Curtis and the New South Wales boys have all done really well playing against seasoned professionals around the world and this event is the closest thing, by standard, to that level of competition.”
Davis, ranked 11th, was the hero for New South Wales in its dramatic Interstate Series triumph in May, then set a course record at the Colin Montgomerie-designed Rowallan Castle Golf Club in Scotland in June.
Fellow Sydneysider Endycott, ranked 16th, won the recent Porter Cup in New York, capping a staggering seven-month run in which he has five key amateur victories.
He also won low amateur honours at US Open sectional qualifying in England and had a joint runner-up finish at the Players Amateur in South Carolina in July.
“It’s all pretty solid form from the guys, so we’re hopeful they’ll put up a bold showing – it also allows us to arrive there feeling confident.”
The women’s team is the same trio that represented Australia with distinction in April’s Queen Sirikit Cup, finishing second to powerhouse Korea.
Australia, defending the title won by now professional trio Minjee Lee, Su Oh and Shelly Shin in 2014, and Korea have owned the Espirito Santo Trophy for the past three occasions.
“The results from the Asia-Pacific region have really stacked up since 2010, and the trio we’ve picked all showed they’re up for the challenge at the Queen Sirikit,” Cutler said.
The impressive Green, of Perth, will lead the team in outstanding form having just reached the quarter-finals of the US Women’s Amateur and having been joint runner-up in the Canadian Women’s Amateur.
She will be flanked by Davidson, who also made the match play phase of the elite US event and her fellow Queenslander Choi, who has already shown in limited international play that she has the game and will power to contend.
“This same team did really well together in the Queen Sirikit and, importantly, bonded really well and played good golf as a combination,” Cutler said.
“We are confident they will be able to take that up to the next level.”
The women’s championship will be hosted by the Iberostar Playa Paraiso Golf Club from September 14-17.
The men’s championship will be played from September 21-24 at the El Cameleon course at Mayakoba, host venue of the US PGA Tour’s annual OHL Classic.
Robyn Choi (50th Australian representative - Espirito Santo)
Karis Davidson (51st)
Hannah Green (52nd)
Cameron Davis (77th Australian representative - Eisenhower Trophy)
Harrison Endycott (78th)
Curtis Luck (79th)
Sunshine Coast teenager claims golf course record
She carded three-under par 67 at Nambour Golf Club to equal the best-ever women's score there, set by Leanne Bowditch a decade ago.
It was also the best round there since the layout's rating was changed early last year.
Rhianna is so keen on her golf, she does her schooling remotely.
And it's her commitment to the game which has her poised for bigger and better things, according to respected coach Grant Field.
"There's a lot to like about her,” he said.
"She's a really hard worker, that's probably one of the best things for a kid of her age. She's got a really good work ethic.”
As a result, she's already fashioned a solid all-round skill set.
"She doesn't have too many weaknesses in her game and she's just a really good athlete as well,” Field said.
"If she keeps working on getting better, who knows where she can get to.”
Rhianna hails from Gympie but spends about half of her time living at Pelican Waters with her grandmother, which allows her to train at the course there.
She is at the gym from 5am most days and she also puts in plenty of hours on course.
"A lot of the time, she'll do three-four hours and then do her online schooling and then she'll come back to practice,” Field said.
"She's quite focused when she's doing her work too. You can't fault her commitment.”
Rhianna won the Mount Coolum Club Championship (ladies) and is a member of the state junior team.
The record she claimed on Sunday came via a score of 34 on the front nine and 33 on the back, to win the Zone and District Katherine Hull-Kirk Open and Closed Championship/Nambour Junior Open.
Lochie Coleborn won the boys event.
Story courtesy of Steele Taylor, Sunshine Coast Daily.
Olympic profile: Scott Hend
Champion 2016 Queen’s Cup (Asian Tour)
Champion 2016 True Thailand Classic (European Tour)
15th 2016 European PGA Championship
8th 2016 Dubai Desert Classic (European Tour)
Champion 2015 Macau Open (Asian Tour)
Hend, who’ll turn 43 during the Olympics, has been one of the great travellers in Australian professional ranks. But more, he’s been a prolific winner through a stellar career with 14 pro victories in nine countries on the Australasian, Asian and European tours.
Now based in Florida, Hend remains one of the world’s longest hitters and, in 2005, during his second of two seasons on the US PGA Tour, became the first foreign-born player to be ranked No.1 in driving distance.
The Queenslander, originally from Townsville, has made a great habit of winning in the past couple of seasons, particularly in Asia where he was seven times since 2013, including twice already this season en route to his highest career world ranking.
Virginia Golf Club crowned Inter Club Champions for 2016
Team members from L-R: Ian Squires - Clyde Davies - Jim Chiles - David Trappett - Steve Penrose - Peter Barry - Athol Gibson - John Barringer - Bob Watson - Brian Voller
PresCare QSOOM Final
Now in its fourth year, The PresCare Queensland Senior Order of Merit continues to prove its popularity providing an avenue for senior golf around Queensland.
This 2015-6 PresCare QSOOM year attracted 687 players participating in 27 events all around the state. Of this, there were 225 women and 462 men who played in at least one event.
The average field size was 56 players with two thirds of the fields being 50 or more players.
Special mention to Gwen Clutterbuck playing in 19 events, with Tim Deakin and Joe McDermid, participating in 21 events.
The prize winners for the 2015-6 PresCare QSOOM series were as follows:
Winner Men’s Scratch: Mario La Chiusa
Runner Men’s Scratch: Peter Hannah
Winner Women’s Scratch: Josie Ryan
Runner Up Women’s Scratch: Cheryl Sternberg
Winner Men’s Nett: Joe McDermid
Runner Men’s Nett: Tim Deakin
Winner Women’s Nett: Wendy O’Connell
Runner Up Women’s Nett: Gwen Clutterbuck
Winner Men’s Super Senior: Philip Towle
Runner Men’s Super Senior: Trevor Box
Winner Women’s Super Senior: Adrienne Naismith
Runner Up Women’s Super Senior: Margaret Emerson
The next season is already underway with the North Lakes event kick starting the new season. View the QSOOM calendar for a full list of events – click here.
PresCare will continue supporting the Series in 2016-7 and the Queensland Senior Amateur Championship. All players were highly appreciative of the ongoing support and dedication by PresCare in sponsoring the senior events.
Queenslanders fall in matchplay
But tomorrow the West Australian ace will feel every day of her 19 years when she takes on 13-year-old American prodigy Lucy Li in the round of 32 at the US Women’s Amateur.
Green, of Mt Lawley Golf Club in Perth, has been left to fly the flag alone after a day of mixed results for the Australian contingent at Rolling Green Golf Club in suburban Philadelphia today.
The Golf Australia national squad member was given the No.34 seed after the playoff for the final spot in the 64 was wrapped up in the morning, then was made to fight all the way by Chinese 31st seed Tianyu Wang before winning 1-up.
The result put Green on a crash course Li, with the talk of the time-honoured tournament.
Li first came to international prominence when she became the youngest person to qualify for the US Women’s Open at age 11 in 2014. She also will likely become the pin-up girl of Masters innovation Drive, Chip and Putt which she won at Augusta National the same year.
And while it’s tough to say she has matured by her first year as a teenager, Li has clearly impressed this week in being ranked second after stroke play and breezing through her opening match 4&3 today.
Green continued to improve after a weekend bout of food poisoning and was square with the card today beside a triple-bogey seven on the ninth. Wang pushed her to the end, but a par on the final hole was good enough for Green who had trailed by two holes as late as the 11th hole.
The pivotal moment of the match came on the 12th green when the pair were effectively equidistant from the hole with par putts coming.
A coin toss was used to determine the West Australian state team captain would go first and she then stepped up and rammed in her putt before Wang's horse-shoed back at her and cut her lead to one.
"That was pretty much the turning point. I had a bad hole on the ninth, but it got better after that and I was pretty solid through the back nine," Green said.
"I had nothing going for me early, but I was happy to stay in there, made a good birdie on the par-three 14th and then I did what I needed to over the last few holes."
Green said she knew little of Li other than the length of her shots belied her lithe frame.
"I played in front of her today and there were a lot of cameras following her and nearly every shot she had someone videoing her," Green said.
"She's the top seed left now, she's young and talented, but I think the pressure is definitely on her to win.
"That's how I'll be playing it tomorrow -- she's the one expected to win."
Queenslander Karis Davidson fell on the wrong side of her tight match against Alyaa Abdulghany, losing on the 19th hole to the Californian’s par.
Davidson, of Sanctuary Cove, who has lost weight through the same food plight as Green, was erratic early and trailed by two through 14. But showing great courage, the Australian Junior champion hit back to twice square the match, including with a tense par at the 18th.
But she couldn’t continue the run and could only manage a bogey at the first extra hole.
Sadly for young Queenslander Eunice Kim (No.15), her consistent and solid stroke play form deserted her at the worst possible time.
Kim and Maria Fassi (No.50) halved the first two holes in bogeys, but when the Mexican settled, the Lakelands Golf Club member couldn’t go with her and eventually fell 6&5.
Li inherited the top remaining ranking after the big shock of the day came courtesy of the smoking hot putter of China's Muni He, who was the last person into the match play phase after the strokeplay playoff.
He was absolutely phenomenal against medallist Mariel Galdiano, of Hawaii, in winning with an 8m birdie bomb on the 22nd hole to cap a day she played without a bogey in three under par.
He had been 1-up playing the last before the top seed made a long birdie of her own to force overtime.
But the Chinese, who'd only made the match play phase after a big birdie putt in the playoff, then made her spectacular reply to blow the seedings apart and leave Li the nominal favourite.
Story courtesy of Golf Australia
Quayle holds on strong for Aussies
After posting a pleasing even round 71 on the opening day at Knollwood Club in Lake Forest, Quayle was sitting at T28 with Victorian Cameron John.
Opening the first nine with a birdie on the 3rd and 6th to start his campaign, Quayle then bogged the par-3 7th to turn one-under. Despite a late bogey on the 18th, the Qld Men’s Interstate Captain closed out with an even par round with his even tournament score rocketing him up the leaderboard to T12.
Leader Sam Horsfield’s (England) rocky second round 75 consisted of seven bogeys holding only a four-shot advantage, well within reach of a determined Quayle.
Victorian Brett Coletta is the next place Australian one shot back with rounds of 74-69 with last week’s Porter cup champ Harrison Endycott sitting T19. Cameron John was the last Aussie to make the Top 44 cut sitting T40.
The world’s third oldest amateur title continues with 36-holes of individual stroke play on Thursday to determine the low 16 finishers. The “Sweet Sixteen” will compete at Match Play on Friday and Saturday to decide the champion.
Round 3 and 4 draw http://bit.ly/2aTp5vB
Backwell goes back to back
The 52-year-old had an eagle, one birdie and three bogeys on the slick, firm but true Champion greens and was the only player on the day to calm the course. He won the IFAA-Club Super-sponsored event by a shot from the trio of Craig Warren, Mike Zilko and Tim Elliot, who each shot rounds of 73.
“Even though the greens were hard and fast, they were very true and I honestly didn’t think a par round would be good enough to win,” said Backwell, who mastered the greens with just 29 putts.
“I won last year with three under, and I thought that would be around the mark again.”But although surprised to record back-to-back wins with a par round on the course where the Isuzu Queensland Open will be staged in October, Backwell said he was really thrilled with the result.
“The course was in wonderful condition, the weather was magnificent and I played well,” he said.
In contrasting nines, he turned three under after an eagle on the par-five first hole, but faltered with three bogeys coming home. His score was aided by six one-putt greens.
Conversely, the biggest name in the field ,returning two-time Australian Open champion Peter Senior, struggled on the slick greens and had 36 putts in his four-over 76.
Backwell, who is currently working as a builder’s labourer and an Uber driver to supplement his golf income, is starting to establish a winning rapport with The Brisbane Golf Club course and is hopeful of qualifying to play in the Queensland Open from October 20 to 23.
His run of success at BGC dates back to 1984 when, as a youngster living in Toowoomba, he won the Queensland Amateur match play championship.
Backwell has also formed a winning partnership with the Samoa Seniors Open, another tournament on the Legends Tour. He recently won the three-day event in Apia for the third successive year.
Yesterday’s event was the third annual staging of the EZ-GO PGA Legends Tour ProAm at The Brisbane Golf Club, and the tournament attracted a field of 132, including 45 professionals over the age of 50 who are eligible for the Legends tour.
Among the starters were members of the Queensland Academy of Sport Golf Program which is now based at The Brisbane Golf Club. And two of them, Steven Cox and Charlie Dann, provided two of the highlights of the day.
Cox smashed his drive an incredible 325 metres on the par-five ninth and Dann drove the green and sank his putt for eagle on the 306-metre par-four 15th. However both shot four-over rounds of 75.
The leading amateur in the event was 15-year-old BGC member Curtis Eldering with 40 stableford points, while the former Broncos dual-premiership winner Mark Hohn was the best of the celebrities, with 35 points.
Among the other big-name professionals in the field were Rodger Davis, Peter McWhinney, Terry Price, Ossie Moore, Lucien Tinkler and Glenn Joyner.
Celebrities and sporting stars taking part included Wallabies grand slam winning captain Andrew Slack and former Test fast bowler, Ryan Harris, as well rugby league internationals Ben Ikin and Michael Hancock, celebrity chef Ben O’Donoghue, Powderfinger guitarist John Collins and former Test wicketkeeper Ian Healy.
Story courtesy of Tony Durkin
Plucky Aussies advance to match play
So it has already been an impressive feat by Hannah Green and Karis Davidson to conquer food poisoning in joining Eunice Kim in the match play phase at Rolling Green Golf Club in suburban Philadelphia today.
On the leaderboard, Queenslander Kim has been the star of the Aussie contingent with rounds of 69 and 71, including two closing birdies today to ensure she finished in a tie for 12th before the seedings are done by the USGA.
But special mention should be given to Green (70) and Davidson (74) to finish at one over and T33 after their respective preparations were badly hampered at the weekend.
The pair were confined to bed rest with food poisoning limiting their looks at a course that has many severely sloping greens that demand more than just a casual glance in course mapping and planning.
“Karis and I were unwell on weekend and missed (a practice round on) Saturday then just did 18 on Sunday,” Green said.
“We hadn't seen how course plays really … so I think we’re both just happy to get to the next (match play) phase.”
Green, who tied for second at last weeks’ Canadian Amateur, said she “really struggled” during her opening 73, but was far happier today as her course knowledge grew.
“I turned one under (yesterday) and then made a soft bogey on 10, another on 13, then 3 putts on 16, so bad way to finish and I was pretty hard on myself,” the West Australian said.
“I find the greens a lot trickier … and softer (after much recent rain) than what we’re used to playing on, but they were better today and I think it (the weather) is going to get better as the week goes on.”
Davidson, a member of Sanctuary Cove Golf Club, has done really well considering she has lost sufficient weight that shorts she bought at the start of her North American trip now need a belt to stay north.
But the surprise packet is Kim, who reached the event through sectional qualifying at Friendly Hills, near Los Angeles, where she finished third.
And with the first stage of the LPGA Tour’s Q-school in Los Angeles later this month on her mind, Kim continues to progress rapidly.
“I was really honoured even to play the US Am, but I’ve been playing well, I’m happy with it all and am looking forward to tomorrow now,” Kim said.
The Lakelands Golf Club member paid tribute to local caddie Eric Shanline who has helped her in learning the intricate course.
“I’ve been putting really nice … both days and my caddie and I get on well. It’s a tough course, but I’ve managed well with Eric and he’s got my confidence up.”
All three young women are noted match players, with Korean-born Kim paying tribute to the Aussie system for the preparation.
“I didn’t used to be very good at it, but I like it now and play it pretty well. There's so much in Australia that I have learnt a lot.”
Hawaiian Mariel Galdiano fired a superb 65 today to advance as the medallist, while a nine-woman playoff for spots 60-64 was called off in bad light with four of the five berths determined, but one to be finalised tomorrow.
Story courtesy of Mark Hayes, Golf Australia
Teen golfer follows in the path of star Dodt
Teenager Joel Stahlhut is hoping to replicate the journey of one of Gatton's brightest products on the world stage.
Andrew Dodt currently plays on the European PGA Tour, but his humble beginnings in the Lockyer Valley saw him win multiple state honours as a junior.
One of those was the 11-19 years Queensland Golf Championships, the last Darling Downs School Sport male to take home that trophy.
Sixteen-year-old Stahlhut held his nerve in an intense play-off to take home the crown on the second hole this year, heralding comparisons to Dodt.
Both were born and bred in south Queensland, and both have etched their name in to the Queensland Schools Championship trophy, but one plays in Europe and the other has dreams of a stint in the United States.
"Realistically, I am looking at trying to play in the US now,” Stahlhut said.
"When you compare it to the European PGA it is probably the biggest tour out there.”
And while Dodt set the benchmark for south-west Queensland golfers and inspired a generation in the state to pick up a club, it isn't the Gatton product that Stahlhut draws his inspirations from.
The teenager has witnessed the Aussie revolution currently sweeping the sport at the moment, with a number of his countrymen lighting up the world tours making his choice of idol a tough one.
"I would have to say the person I look up to the most would be Jason Day, just the way he handles himself is great,” he said.
His championship win was hard earned, 450mm of rain in Yeppoon hardly made for ideal conditions.
And things did not go exactly to plan on the day either.
Stahlhut was tied on the final round to force a play-off for the trophy, though it only took the Goondiwindi golfer two holes to secure the title and make a little bit of history at the same time.
"It went down to the wire and going in to that second hole I was definitely nervous,” he said.
"Looking back on who's won this trophy I would love to follow in their footsteps.
"It feels great to know that someone like Andrew won this competition when he was my age too.”
With the last Darling Downs School sport male winner of the Queensland Schools Championship going on to turn professional, the bar has been set high for Stahlhut's future trajectory.
Davidson stands tall at US Amateur
Davidson and fellow Queenslander Yu Eun Eunice Kim fired two-under-par rounds of 69 at the Rolling Green Golf Club in Pennsylvania today as the US Women’s Amateur began.
And rounding out a successful day for Australia’s three-strong contingent in the year’s biggest amateur event, Hannah Green fired a 73 to sit T52, one stroke inside the top 64 cut-off who advance to match play after the second and final stroke play round tomorrow.
But after less than flattering results in Canada in last week’s key lead-up tournament, Davidson made the biggest splash.
The 18-year-old was one under at the turn after starting on the 10th tee, but looked back-to-back bogeys on the first and second square in the face and rattled off three late birdies to charge up the leaderboard.
Kim, who impressed last week in Nova Scotia, fired two birdies and a bogey on each side, while West Australian Green uncharacteristically couldn’t find a birdie on the back nine after turning in one under en route to her two-over total.
The leader is Californian youngster Mika Liu who had a day out with seven birdies in her opening 66.
The six-round match play phase begins on Wednesday night, Australian time.
Story courtesy of Mark Hayes, Golf Australia.
Day falls just short in title defence
But despite an eagle on the last hole, the world No.1 had to cede the Wanamaker Trophy today to Jimmy Walker, who held his nerve on the final green to win his first major championship by a single stroke.
After looking home and dry for much of the afternoon, Walker clearly felt the nerves when Day’s eagle putt dropped on the 72nd hole, pulling the Australian within one.
Walker blocked his approach shot to the par-five right and had three shots from the rough right of the green to win the US PGA Championship.
And even then, Walker took it to the last possible second with a rock-solid par putt from just inside 1m in fading light to end a marathon final day of 36 holes.
“I was thinking up 17 that if I could make that (birdie), we’d put it out (of Day’s reach),” Walker said.
“We made the birdie, but sometimes things don’t come easy.
“Golf is not an easy game and Jason is a true champion and I wouldn’t expect anything less than an eagle at the last – it’s unreal.
“It really put it on me to make a par and sometimes pars are hard, but we got it.”
Walker admitted to a bout of nerves.
“There’s a lot of emotion going on out there, I’m not going to lie,” he said.
“It was a battle all day.”
Walker was far from imperious, but played blemish-free golf for a 67 to salute by one at 14 under on Baltusrol’s famous Lower Course.
He became the fifth consecutive first-time winner of a major championship, a run beginning with Day at Whistling Straits last year.
For much of the first two hours of the leaders’ final rounds, there seemed many contenders with no discernible momentum.
Day had overcome a couple of early wayward drives that cost him bogeys to pull back within one of third-round leader Walker.
But in a matter of minutes, the Texan holed out from the greenside sand on the 10th, rolled in another birdie from long range on the 11th and watched as all bar Day fell away.
Open Championship hero Henrik Stenson double-bogeyed the 15th and Brooks Koepka folded after tree trouble on the 11th.
So it was left to Day to keep the heat on the veteran American and he managed to do so with a birdie on the 11th.
But from then, Walker and Day traded pars as the Aussie simply couldn’t dial in his approach shots to realistic birdie range, with his average try more than 13m through the first seven holes on the back side.
The title still didn’t have a realistic home until Day couldn’t make birdie from 4m on the 17th, then Walker went one better from 3m minutes later with a putt that leaked in on the right side at the perfect pace.
Day made one last bold run for glory with a rifled approach from 235m to within 4m for eagle on the last hole and turned up the heat with a perfect putt that sent Walker’s mind into overdrive after he’d taken an iron for safety off the tee.
Unexpectedly, he went for the green and blocked it well right into rough between greenside bunkers and the 18th grandstand, sending a hope through the Aussie’s camp.
But Walker calmly took a big number out of play by flopping to 10m and then using both of his available putts to salute.
Of the other Aussies, Adam Scott looked as though he might make a run when he holed out for eagle on the eighth. But the world No.8 couldn’t maintain the rage on the back side with nine straight pars to finish with a 71 at five under.
On the same number was fellow Queenslander John Senden who made a birdie on the 17th hole to close a consistent week with a 68 to finish T18.
Rio-bound Scott Hend had his share of chances and closed with a birdie, but couldn’t find the magic to make a run and finished with a 72 at two under overall.
One who did get the red numbers flying on the back nine was Victorian Aaron Baddeley on his major championship return after his recent US PGA Tour victory.
Baddeley had been burning money when he was three over through seven holes, but played the last 11 in five under to charge home in 32 for a 70 to finish T49.
Marc Leishman was unusually birdie-free in his 74 to finish one over, while Marcus Fraser and Matt Jones each carded 73s to finish four and five over, respectively.
Story courtesy of Golf Australia.
Kids, go play golf and have fun says Day
Kids today are faced with so many options when it comes to playing sport and, in many cases, they often play more than one.
But the world's number one Professional certainly doesn't see this as a hindrance when it come to leaning golf, in fact, Day himself admits to playing various sports as a kid growing up.
"When I was a kid, I played other sports. I played cricket and other school sports, like school-yard football and all that stuff," Day said.
Golf was a natural option for the Queenslander, it was a game he loved and there was no competition from the regular sports on offer.
"I always knew that it was golf I loved. I had a group of friends at the golf course that I enjoyed," Day added.
It's the enjoyment element that Day believes kids need to focus on; simply go out and have fun on the golf course.
"I would tell kids to just go to the golf course, play golf, have fun. Always make it fun, because you don't want to be burnt out."
Day also knows how important it is to have a PGA Professional, the keeper of the world's best coaching knowledge, by your side. And he strongly recommends that junior golfers see a PGA Pro to help improve their game.
"If you slowly start to like golf, then see a PGA Professional at the golf course and slowly work with him [or her] and try and improve your game from there.
"The hardest thing about being a kid, especially these days, is that everyone is expecting children to be a certain way or practice a certain way. They just need to go out and have fun like I did back in the day."
"I played a lot of golf when I was growing up. I didn't really practice much until I was 14 or so, and that's when I really knew that I really wanted to become a professional golfer."
Earlier this year the 10-time PGA TOUR winner became the face of MyGolf, Australia's national junior golf program aimed at 5-12 year olds.
Seeing kids participate in junior golf at their local club or facility is a fun and rewarding experience. Golf exposes children to skill development, provides social interaction and regular physical activity in a sport that can be play for life.
To find your nearest MyGolf centre, or to learn more about the programs available, please visit the MyGolf website for further information.
Blenkey wins consecutive Qld Women’s Amateur Championship titles
In Tuesday’s quarter-final, Ryan eliminated four-time Qld Senior Women’s Amateur Champion Wendy O’Connell (North Lakes) 4&2 as well as Linda Urquhart (Bribie Island) 4&3 in the semi's.Blenkey’s consistent play all week enabled her to defeat Lyndal Plant (Indooroopilly) 5&4 in the opening match followed by second place qualifier Rosalind Fisher 6&4 in yesterday’s semi-final.
Blenkey and Ryan met in the matchplay event last year where Blenkey knocked out Ryan in the quarter-finals, only to return this year’s ultimate result of a 1-up victory to the defending champion.
Vicki Jones (Bribie Island Golf Club) claimed back to back titles in the 55 to 64 Division 1 Championship defeating Alex Belonogoff (Pacific Golf Club) on the 23rd hole, with Divison 2 won by Headland Golf Club member Helen Fraser over Anne Hill (Moore Park Golf Club) 3&1.
In the 65 year and over Division 1 Championship, Liz Smyth (Royal Canberra Golf Club) defeated Anne Brown (Boonah Golf Club) on the 21st hole while Maree Christensen (Maroochy River Golf Club) defeated Ismay Selby (Royal Queensland Golf Club) 1-up in the Divisoin 2 Championship.
Players were treated to fantastic weather and an extremely well prepared Golf Course at Maroochy River Golf Club, Golf Queensland thanks the Club for hosting this event this year.
Thanks must also be extended to PresCare who sponsored this year’s event for the inaugural time.
For all results click here http://bit.ly/2a6WUDg
Two for 1
In between the barbs, he’s flushing golf shots.
There are no armed police or security guards. No swarms of fans flocking for a glimpse or an autograph of the world No. 1. No manager coordinating the many media and sponsor appearances or meetings. Just two mates, solving the problems of the world while getting a little white ball into a hole as efficiently as possible.
To the untrained ear, the verbal volleys could be considered harsh, even cruel at times. If you listened to the pair go back and forth at one another without fear nor favor, you might blush, gasp and laugh in the same sentence. Plenty of the banter is unprintable but, as is the Australian way, it all comes from love. The old saying goes, the more an Australian makes fun of you, the more they like you.
“We tend to dish it out a lot. But it is the same jokes. We go back and forth at each other a lot and it is almost like we are feeding each other the lines,” Day laughs.
“And if it does cross a line, well, we know each other so well that if a certain tone of voice pops up, you know if one or the other is actually annoyed. It is part of who we are, giving it to each other.”
In reality, this is as close a relationship as you could ever imagine between two former battling Aussies who have taken on the world together, and won.
It is these moments, the ones reminiscent of the old days before they were the greatest duo in world golf, that the pair crave. It keeps them grounded. Keeps them level-headed. And it reminds them where they came from. In the case of Day and Swatton, the silver spoons they may now have the privilege to use were a long way from reality not so long ago.
Tears are emotions we see often at the end of a golf tournament. The enormity of a win washes over a player, or their family, or anyone associated with the team who has put in countless hours to get there. But the tears from Day and Swatton on the 18th green at Whistling Straits in the PGA Championship last year represented sacrifice of a greater magnitude than most. One built over many years. And to understand just how important each man is to the other, and how amazing it is they are together at all as they return to defend the Wanamaker trophy this week at Baltusrol, you have to go back to the beginning and beyond.
Story courtesy of PGA Tour, by Ben Everill.
Qld Senior Men’s Amateur claimed by Victorian Kym Oslen
Kym Olsen (The National Golf Club) has won the 2016 Queensland Senior Men’s Amateur Championship at Bribie Island Golf Club with a three round total of 221.
The Victorian’s second round 71 afforded him a 3-shot lead over Gordon Claney (Kingston Heath) heading into the third and final round. A final round 73 was enough for a 4-shot victory and his first Queensland title. New Zealand brothers Michael and Rodney Barltrop (Royal Auckland and Royal Wellington) finished 2nd and 3rd respectively.
Ray Geary (Southport) won the Nett Section with a total of 216, with Robert Carter (Yeppoon) finishing runner up on 220.
The Club Teams Challenge, consisting of the three best Nett scores out of the four team members was won by the Redcliffe team of Mogens Andersen, Col Hallam, John Campbell and Neil Moss.
Players enjoyed three spectacular days at Bribie Island Golf Club with the excellent course conditions and service to be commended. Thank you to proud sponsors Prescare and the Moreton Bay Regional Council for their support of the event.
To view all results, click here http://bit.ly/2a6MSUc
Jenkins wins back to back Qld Women’s Mid-Amateur Championships
Jenkins started the third and final round one shot behind Olivia Dolan (Noosa Golf Club) but a great front nine of one-under par (35) gave her a three-shot advantage for the back nine. Dolan was unable to bridge this gap and finished runner-up on a score of 238.
In the Nett event, Jo Malone of Bribie Island Golf Club claimed victory with a three round net score of 224. Leesa Ison (Monto Golf Club) finished runner-up with a three round score of 228
For full results, visit http://bit.ly/2a6WUDg
Naomi massages her golfing dream
The 13-year-old grade eight student recently took two days off school and won her second Noosa Golf Club ladies championship, by a whopping nine shots. Her previous win was two years ago, when she was just 11.
And now the golfing prodigy, who stands an impressive 175 centimetres and consistently hits her driver more than 220 metres, has her sights set on a professional career. But it isn’t just the golf and the money that entices her.
“She loves the idea of the free massages the USLPGA players receive,” said her dad Alex, who also doubles as her coach.
Queensland currently has a crop of high achievers among a throng of up and coming women golfers. Karis Davidson and Becky Kay head the list, with the Sunshine Coast’s Anika Park, Sarah Wilson, Rhianna Lewis, Danika Coyne and Cassie Porter turning the heads of good judges.
But few have tasted success as young as Naomi, who has broken the long-standing Noosa course record of 77 twice this year. She shot 76 in in April and 75 a month later.
And Noosa’s teaching professional Andrew Egea predicts the sky is the limit for Naomi “if she wants it”.
“Irrespective of the golf course and the opposition, winning an A grade club championship at 11 and 13 is a truly astonishing effort,” Agea said.
“And the improvement in her game in the past two years is remarkable. She has grown taller and stronger, and looks like a genuine athlete.
“Her distance and control around the greens is now much more commanding and if she has the desire and the work ethic, I have no doubt Naomi can make it to the top.”
Her dad Alex has always had an interest in golf and he said that when Naomi was growing up golf clubs around the house were pretty much a standard item. But the indication that his daughter might take a serious interest in the game came on her seventh birthday.
“She loved 10-pin bowling, so I asked her on her birthday whether she would prefer to go bowling or play the par three course at Noosa,” he explained.
“She chose golf, and that is when I realised she was keen on the sport. I have encouraged her since and have also coached her, and the future does look bright.”
With names such and Katherine Hull-Kirk and Leeanne Bowditch having graduated to the USLPGA tour from Noosa, Alex sees now reason why his daughter cannot do the same.“She says she wants to be a professional golfer,” he said.
“And although she is young and has a long way to go to reach that goal, she fully understands there is a tough road ahead. But she is dedicated and practises hard – and she loves to play golf.”
Naomi, who plays off a handicap of two, shot rounds of 78, 80, 76 and 81 to win the recent Noosa title from last year’s champion, 28 year-old Olivia Dolan who also plays off two.
But she wasn’t the only winner in the family. Her younger sister Sunday, who is 10, won the B grade net.
Story courtesy of Tony Durkin
Photo credit: The Invincibles Tour
Ryan leads qualifiers at Qld Senior Women's Amateur Championship
Josie Ryan (Headland Golf Club) has today won the Stroke Play section of the PresCare Women’s Senior Championship at Maroochy River Golf Club with rounds of 80-80 (160).
In second place on a count back was Rosalind Fisher from Gosnells Golf Club (WA) who recorded rounds of 82-80 over Claire Jackson (Redcliffe) with rounds of 79-83.
Local Maroochy River GC member Clem Sutherland was a popular winner in the Nett section of the event winning on a count back from Sharyn Mott (Oxley Golf Club) with both players recording two rounds of nett 72.
40 Players will now take part in the Match Play section of the Championship which encompasses eight players competing in each of the following sections based on the results of the 36 holes of stroke play.
- 55 – 64 Division 1
- 55 – 64 Division 2
- 65 and over Division 1
- 65 and over Division 2
For draws and complete results please click here http://bit.ly/2a6WUDg
Scott locks in Australian Open
Golf Australia today confirmed Scott, 36, would tee it up in the nation's most prestigious tournament from November 17-20 at Royal Sydney Golf Club.
One of Australia's all-time great players, the world No.8 has had no fewer than 15 top-10 finishes in major championships and continues to thrive with two wins in the United States already this year, including the World Golf Championship in Doral in March.
Scott is ranked third in the FedEx Cup race and, alongside compatriot Jason Day and 2014 champ Jordan Spieth, is already the third player in the world's top 10 to join the field for what promises to be a classic national championship.
"The Australian Open has always been a tournament I value highly, Sydney is a great city and I have fond memories of Royal Sydney as a great venue for championship golf," Scott said.
"I am really looking forward to competing to win my second Stonehaven Cup in November."
Golf Australia chief executive Stephen Pitt welcomed Scott to the field with open arms.
"Adam has been a regular at his national championship over the years and he always seems to bring his A-game," Pitt said.
"We look forward to seeing him play again and we know that the crowds appreciate not only his golf, but the way he carries himself. He's an immensely popular figure and a great ambassador for the sport in this country."
The Queenslander won the Emirates Australian Open at New South Wales Golf Club in 2009, eclipsing the field by five shots.
He has been incredibly close to a second Stonehaven Cup in each of the past three years, finishing fifth in 2014 and joint runner-up last year on top of a memorable last visit to Royal Sydney in 2013.
The Queenslander duelled all the way with multiple major champion Rory McIlroy, who eventually prevailed on the final green in front of a huge gallery.
NSW Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events and Minister for Sport Stuart Ayres said Scott was always a welcome visitor.
"Adam is a local favourite and a past champion, and I can't wait to see him tee it up at Royal Sydney in November for the Australian Open," Ayres said.
"He's already won twice on the US PGA Tour this season and will be bringing this good form to Sydney to take on Jason Day, Jordan Spieth and a host of other top local and international golfers.
"The Australian Open has been secured for Sydney by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW. I encourage all sports fans to make plans to get to Sydney from 17-20 November and see this incredible line-up of players at one of Australia's top courses."
The Emirates Australian Open is a flagship tournament on the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia. The winner will receive a minimum of 32 Official World Golf Ranking points.
The event will be telecast all four days on Channel 7.
Tickets are on sale now from Ticketek at www.ticketek.com or by calling 132 849.
The 2016 Emirates Australian Open will be played at the Royal Sydney Golf Club from November 17-20.
Davidson secures her spot in U.S. Women’s Amateur
The Sanctuary Cove Golf Club Member and 2016 Australian Girl’s Amateur Champion found success in Florida after travelling to the US as part of the Karrie Webb Scholarship. Fellow scholarship recipient Hannah Green of Western Australia also earned her place in the U.S. Amateur after her par 71 round.
The girls were rewarded with their USGA invitation reading “The United States Golf Association welcomes you and wishes you all the best in your quest to become the next U.S. Women’s Amateur champion” which Davidson and Green happily posed with next to their qualifying scores on social media.
The duo spent last week with Webb during the 2016 US Open at CordeValle, south of San Francisco, which was an ‘invaluable and money can’t buy experience.’ Davidson celebrated her 18th birthday walking the fairways with the world’s best women golfers and was ecstatic for the chance to meet “one of her fellow Queensland heroes and idols growing up.”
The 2016 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship is to be held August 1 – 7 at Rolling Green Golf Club, Springfield, Pennsylvania.
Insert Photo: Hannah Green Instagram
FEATURE: Grades, Shark and one great miss
Grady never won an Open, though he loved it so. "It's my favorite,'' he said as he prepared for his annual commentary stint at the oldest professional tournament in the world. "It's the main one for us, because of our connection with Britain and the Commonwealth.''
But he probably should have won at Troon in 1989. He was 32 and at the peak of his career. "I came here after winning the Westchester in the US a couple of weeks earlier, so I was playing pretty nicely, and the course was good for me because it was hard and fast. I got plenty of run. I didn't hit it in one fairway bunker all week, which is always a key to playing links golf. I was plying good and I felt comfortable.''
His opening 68 left him a shot from the lead, and by the time he posted a second-round 67 he was on top of the leaderboard by two, then he held the lead right through the third round, when he carded a 69.
He played with Tom Watson on the final day, starting with a lead of a shot, and it was not until the par-three 17th hole that he conceded the outright lead with a bogey. Greg Norman, meanwhile, had torn Troon apart with six consecutive birdies to start the day, a 64, and had posted 275. So had Calcavecchia, the American who had closed with a 68.
Grady knew what he needed; a birdie at the 72nd hole would have taken him to 14-under and won his first major championship. But he could not manage it. "I hit my tee shot in the right rough, in the first cut, and the second shot ran through the back edge so I had to chip it. It was right on line, but it stopped this far (indicating less than a metre) short.''
Looking back, he is still a little wistful about the way it unfolded elsewhere on the course. "Calc holed a 50-footer on 11 for par and then bombed a pitch on 12 that flew into the hole, it was going over the green and it flew straight in the hole.''
As for Norman, he played one of his greatest single rounds and when the four-hole playoff began, the Shark came out of the gates with birdies at the first and second holes to take the momentum. To this point, Norman was 10-under par for 20 holes on the day, incredible golf.
It was the first time that the R and A had declared a four-hole playoff for an Open Championship over the first, second, 17th and 18th holes; previously the playoff would have been over a full round of 18 holes, a change Grady applauded. "I think they've got it right, it's a good thing. Sudden death is too quick for a major and the logistics of bring everyone back the next day is a nightmare for everyone.''
Had it been sudden death, Norman would have won with his birdie at the first. But Calcaveccia birdied the second and the 17th to lock it up as they went down 18. By this time, Grady had bogeyed the 17th for the second time on the day, and he needed a miracle. Or to be precise, a hole-out eagle at the par-four 18th, since he was two back of the other pair.
Norman had also bogeyed 17 to concede a share of the lead. "Greg hit it over the green on 17 and for some reason, chipped it with an eight or nine iron instead at least a sand wedge, because it was downhill and quick, and he finished 10 or 12 feet past.''
The Shark's tee shot at the last of the playoff holes has been discussed for years. It was a pure strike, aimed left and curving back, but it trickled into a fairway bunker that was so far down (almost 300 metres) that it was not meant to be in play. Even Grady was stunned. "He hit this 30-yard carve, aimed it at the left edge and it carved back towards the bunker, but we all thought it was perfect. He bent down and picked up his tee, and at the same time I was teeing to hit my shot, and we heard the crowd groan, and we both went: 'What the hell was that? It couldn't have got into the bunker''.
It had, nestled up toward the front lip of one of those penal Scottish links bunkers, and it cost Norman the tournament. Calcavecchia flushed his second with an eight iron from the rough up to just more than a metre from the flag and made birdie, Norman hit his second into the trap in front of the green and effectively surrendered, not even holing out, and Grady could not conjure the miracle eagle. "Calc hit it close, so I had to hole out. That's what I was thinking. I actually hit it to four feet, and I missed the putt, but I didn't even need to worry by then.''
Grady had begun his journey into the funky world of links golf not understanding it, but he came to embrace the game. "The first time I came in '79 and it didn't suit me, but once you learn to play it, links is fantastic. It's your imagination and the way you can use the ground to play golf instead of all through the year. You can move it around, it's a lot of fun, you have to land it in the right area to get the ball where you want it to finish.''
But he never again truly contended for the Claret Jug, his best being tied-10th at Sandwich in 1993, when Norman played his greatest-ever round, a closing 64 to win. For Grady, the consolation came the year after his heartbreak at Troon when he won the 1990 US PGA Championship at Shoal Creek, Alabama, his "you bloody beauty'' moment.
Australia golf seemed cursed that day at Troon, with two antipodeans in a three-man playoff unable to stop the only American, and with Norman's travails around that time. But soon afterward, Ian Baker-Finch won the Open at Royal Birkdale, and Norman, for a second time, at Sandwich in 1993. But in 23 years since the day that Norman was "in awe of myself'', no Australian has been crowned the Champion Golfer of the Year. It is pushing towards a drought.
"It's one of those things,'' said Grady. "I mean, why did it take so long for an Aussie to win at Augusta (Until Adam Scott in 2013)? It's set up the same as our courses, no rough around the greens, the ball runs off and you have bump and run. Should've happened years earlier.''
In the years since 1993, Stuart Appleby and Steve Elkington both made a playoff at Muirfield in 2002 and were beaten by Ernie Els, and then Marc Leishman had the same ill-fortune last year at St Andrews in a playoff against Zac Johnson and Louis Oosthuizen. So as ever, the fiercely-patriotic Grady will be hoping for a change of fortunes for his countrymen at Troon as he goes about his work in the TV tower.
"You can't get much closer than a playoff,'' he said. "I was just lucky you won the PGA the next year otherwise I would have lived to dwell on it a bit.''
THE 1989 OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP AT TROON
275 Wayne Grady (Aus) Greg Norman (Aus) Mark Calcavecchia (US)
Playoff: Norman 334x Grady 4444 Calcavecchia 4333
Olympic profile: Scott Hend
Turned pro: 1997
Five key recent results:
Champion 2016 Queen’s Cup (Asian Tour)
Champion 2016 True Thailand Classic (European Tour)
15th 2016 European PGA Championship
8th 2016 Dubai Desert Classic (European Tour)
Champion 2015 Macau Open (Asian Tour)
Hend, who’ll turn 43 during the Olympics, has been one of the great travellers in Australian professional ranks. But more, he’s been a prolific winner through a stellar career with 14 pro victories in nine countries on the Australasian, Asian and European tours.
Now based in Florida, Hend remains one of the world’s longest hitters and, in 2005, during his second of two seasons on the US PGA Tour, became the first foreign-born player to be ranked No.1 in driving distance.
The Queenslander, originally from Townsville, has made a great habit of winning in the past couple of seasons, particularly in Asia where he was seven times since 2013, including twice already this season en route to his highest career world ranking.
Golf team announced for Rio
Scott Hend, Marcus Fraser, Minjee Lee and Su Oh could not be prouder to wear the Australian Olympic uniform and chase a coveted Olympic medal on a new course that should suit the Australian style of play.
Hend or Fraser will be the first to tee off when the men’s tournament starts on day 6 of the Games (August 11). Sixty players will look to tame the course in the 72-hole stroke play format.
“It’s great to be part of the Olympic team heading to Rio,” Fraser said.
“To play in the Olympics is a dream come true, obviously with golf being back for the first time in over 100 years it is pretty amazing and it’s going to be a great week and I can’t wait to represent our great country.”
Hend, who will turn 43 during the final round in Rio, is ready to make the most of his opportunity.
“I’ll go to Brazil and represent Australia the best way that I can,” Hend said.
“I've never been to Brazil and, while I've competed in Mexico and Panama, I'm looking forward to pulling on the green and gold as it will be something different."
Lee, who won her second LPGA Tour tournament in April in just her second year as a professional, is ranked No.14 in the world rankings and very excited to make the team.
“I can’t wait to represent Australia in the Olympics and think it is the highest honour that you can ever have,” the 20-year-old said.
“Just being among all the amazing athletes will be pretty cool and the atmosphere of the Olympics will be a special thing.”
Oh, also 20, has made a big impact on the LPGA Tour with a second and eighth-place finish in the past couple of months.
She and her family are thrilled that her fantastic season has earned her an Olympic spot.
“When my parents brought my big sister, my little brother and me to Australia when I was eight years old, I didn't even play golf,” Oh said.
“They could never in their wildest dreams have imagined one of us would represent Australia in the Olympic Games. It's a dream come true for my whole family.”
Lee and Oh were part of the Australian team that won the World Amateur Championship in 2014.
The 60 women will tee off on Day 12 of the Games (August 17) to start their 72-hole competition.
Ian Baker-Finch will lead the golf section of the Australian Olympic Team.
“I'm excited that golf is back in the Olympic Games after more than 100 years absence and I'm honoured and proud to be leading our golf team into Rio this August.
Congratulations to all four team members, both men and women, upon your selection."
The selection of these four golfers grows the Australian Olympic Team to 368 athletes from 25 sports.
Story courtesy of AOC
Senior comes home to 'retire'
Injuries to each of his elbows, likely caused by 40 years of hitting golf balls, have forced the move, according to his longtime coach, Gary Edwin.
Senior told his colleagues on the Champions Tour a few weeks ago that he was done.
"He said this was going to be his last year anyway,'' said Edwin. "He can't practise before he plays. He's going back home, the kids are happy for him to be coming home. He'll play golf but I don't think he'll do much international travel.''
Edwin said Senior needed to sort his injury problems, but expects him to continue playing tournaments in Australia. "I think he's made a decision with (wife) June that it's about time.''
Senior won more than $US 5.4 million in his seven seasons in America, although he never won a tournament, logging 40 top-10 finishes.
A winner of 34 professional tournaments, he has conjured two major highlights in his golfing dotage, winning the Emirates Australian Open at The Lakes in 2012, and then the Australian Masters at Huntingdale in 2015.
Story courtesy of Martin Blake, Golf Australia.
Isuzu Queensland Open launches dedicated website
Golf Queensland is today celebrating 100 days until the start of the Isuzu Queensland Open with the launch of the dedicated tournament website, www.qldopen.com.au.The website boasts new features, tournament information, live scoring, a countdown clock and social media integration to enhance user experience. Through the website, Golf Queensland is encouraging more people to get involved in the premier golf championship played at The Brisbane Golf Club from 20-23 October 2016.
Tournament Director, Luke Bates said the Isuzu Queensland Open media reach has grown significantly over the past three years, the ability to deliver extra services to the golfing community through the new website will help to promote the Championship further and ultimately engage more people in the promotion of golf and our sponsors.
“We are very excited to have a dedicated site for growing our state’s Open championship. As part of the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia schedule, the Isuzu Queensland Open promises to continue to grow adding to a tantalising summer of golf in Australia.”
The Isuzu Queensland Open will be played from 20-23 October at The Brisbane Golf Club. This will be the fourth year Golf Queensland has managed the Championship since the organisation reignited the interest in this Queensland event.
Jeffress tees up for Rockhampton Pro Am title defence
He will be among the favourites in what tournament co-ordinator Justin Maker says is shaping up to be one of the stronger fields to have contested the event in the past decade.
Rockhampton Golf Club president Ron Murphy has promised this year's pro am will be bigger and better than last year.
That's quite a boast given Rockhampton won the PGA Regional Pro Am of the Year award in the 2015 Queensland Golf Industry awards.
Murphy said it was a remarkable achievement given the event was in doubt after Cyclone Marcia tore through Rockhampton in February, carving a swathe of destruction across the city's golf course.
"But after Herculean efforts by our green staff and club members conducting numerous volunteer working bees, wonderful and continued support from our sponsors, PGA professional golfers had nothing but praise and admiration for the professional way the event was run and the condition of the course," he said.
Maker said it was an amazing recovery operation and the award was a fitting reward for the club.
"But I think it's not only come about from one year; it's been the club's commitment and dedication to continually improve the tournament over the past decade that saw them walk away with the accolade," he said.
Maker said while Jeffress would be a firm favourite to reclaim the title, he could expect some serious competition from Matthew Millar, David Bransdon and David McKenzie, a former US tour player who is currently playing on the PGA Tour in China.
"There are also a number of younger guys in the field who are just starting to make a name for themselves domestically, including Tim Hart who won the Sunshine Swing Order of Merit in 2015 and Geoff Drakeford."
Maker said the Rockhampton course was a demanding one.
"I'm sure following the devastation of the cyclone last year there will be some growth that has returned to make it more difficult than it played last year," he said.
"The Rockhampton course is always in top shape for the pros and that's why we continually get a strong field that comes back every year."
WHAT'S ON THE PROGRAM?
2016 Ian Weigh Toyota Rockhampton Pro Am
Tuesday, July 19: PGA Junior Coaching Clinic, 3.30pm
Wednesday, July 20: Ladbrokes Shootout, 18th hole, 4pm
Thursday, July 21: Round 1 of the Pro Am, 6.45am-5.30pm
Saturday, July 23: Ladbrokes Calcutta, guest speaker Jimmy Maher, 7pm
Sunday, July 24: Final round of the Pro Am, 6.45am-5.30pm; presentations 6.30pm
Ji and Morgan win NSW Junior Championships
Officials were faced with little option than to shorten the event to 54 holes overnight after play was abandoned yesterday when torrential rain flooded many of the greens, with the leaders having only played five holes of their third round.
Jed Morgan grabbed the 2016 NSW Boy's Championship after posting an impressive score of 3-over par 217 to claim the title by a shot from New Zealand's Shaun Campbell.
Morgan, the tournament's first round leader, stamped his authority on the rest of the field when play resumed this morning with an impressive birdie - eagle start on the 6th and 7th holes.
The Queenslander looked to have had the tournament sewn up until the 17th hole today when a near disastrous double-bogey 6 made the result much tighter than it really was.
The win is a great result for Morgan who came close to victory in his home State's junior title last week.
Ji posted an impressive 7-over par 231 to claim the title by two shots from second-round co-leaders, St. Michael's Stephanie Kyriacou and Victorian Linley Ooi. Ji's Concord teammate Doey Choi finished in fourth place alongside Celina Yuan of The Australian Golf Club, June Song of Avondale and New Zealand's Momoka Kobori.
Ji was hardly troubled by the overnight disruption. "I made three birdies in my remaining holes this morning, I played really well,” Ji said. "I didn't really know I was leading, I just stuck to my game plan, I was focussing 100%.”
The 14-year-old was elated with her win, by far her biggest to date. "This is my biggest win, I'm really happy with this, I won in South Australia earlier this year, but this means so much to me,” she smiled.
Story courtesy of Golf NSW
Webb's Olympic dream down to US Open
After the women's Rolex Rankings were released this week the veteran Australian was at No. 59, one place higher from the week before.
But the young woman whose spot she is chasing, Victoria's Su Oh, is now 20 spots ahead of her at No. 39, having jumped three places despite not playing in the LPGA Tour event in Portland.
Webb was tied-41st behind the brilliant young Canadian Brooke Henderson in Portland, missing a chance to push her case.
Now she needs to find 20 spots in one event, the Women's US Open at Cordevalle in California starting tonight.
Given that the 20-year-old Oh has qualified for the tournament, it may well mean that Webb needs to win or at least contend in California to make up the ground, a job made even more difficult by the ranking points that she is defending after her T14 at the event in last year.
Webb's form in 2016 has been moderate by her standards, with only one top-10 finish in 13 events, leaving her 47th on the money list.
Oh's former junior national teammate Minjee Lee, 20, from Perth, is already locked into the women's Olympic team with a world ranking of 13.
The Olympic tournament will include 60 players taken from the world rankings as of next Monday, however there are complications. For instance, a country can have up to four players in the field so long as they are ranked in the top 15. Other countries are limited to two players.
The same applies for the men's Olympic tournament, where Scott Hend (ranked 75th), Matt Jones (81) and Marcus Fraser (82) are in the frame, with Hend to play the Scottish Open on the European Tour starting tonight. Jones and Fraser, not playing this weekend, are in the lap of the world ranking algorithm gods.
The next-highest ranked player is John Senden (107). Hend and Fraser have both expressed a strong desire to play in Rio de Janeiro, where golf makes its return to the Olympics after a gap of more than 100 years.
The Australian team for Rio will be annouced next week.
Story courtesy of Martin Blake, Golf Australia.
The new way to warm up this winter
Looking for a new way to warm up this winter? Get golfing with an innovative golf program exclusively for women.
Ladies, Let’s Golf is a program designed to encourage aspiring golfers and returning ones to develop and refresh their golfing skills and right now you can join some of South East Queensland’s best golf clubs for a free introduction to the course!
In the introduction course, keen golfers can enjoy a free 60 minute session incorporating two golf skill aspects with all equipment like golf balls and golf clubs included, as well as coaching and refreshments.
We know what you’re thinking, “Misleading headline. How the heck is golf going to warm me up this winter?” Well, we’ll tell you.
You wouldn’t think it, but golf is actually a great way to get fit. Did you know a low impact 18-hole game of golf can burn up to 900 calories? It would take you 90 minutes of jogging at 10kms per hour to burn that much off on the treadmill! So, if a game of golf doesn’t warm you up this winter, we don’t know what will!
The Ladies, Let’s Golf course is also a great way to socialise and make new friends.
Meet like-minded women in a fun, relaxed and non-competitive environment, whilst learning more about golf and the skills involved. Why not get all your girlfriends together for a round of golf? Sounds like fun to us!
If you’re worried about embarrassing yourself – don’t! It doesn’t matter if you’re regular golfer or not, anyone can join the course no matter what their skill level. Just have fun!
And if, after the introduction course you feel like golf could be something you’d like to get in to, you could take it further by booking in for Ladies, Lets Golf level 1 designed for novice golfers.
The course consists of 4 weeks of 60 minute group sessions, where you’ll learn the basic golfing skills like the golf swing, chipping, putting and pitching.
So get outside this winter and have a round of golf with the girls! Ladies, Let’s Golf free introduction courses will be held at numerous golf clubs around Brisbane. For clubs involved and for more information visit www.golfqueensland.org.au
Golf Foundation asks golfers to ‘Pitch In’
Put simply, golfers throughout Queensland are being asked to give back to the game they play and love and contribute financially to assist three specific areas - Juniors, Ladies and Golf Clubs.
‘Pitch In’ is a program based on each golf club member contributing $20 annually to the Queensland Golf Foundation. The fee will be added to the annual subscription of each member but, importantly, members will be given the opportunity to opt out and not pay the additional fee.
Golf Queensland Chairman, Peter Castrisos, said the vision for the Queensland Golf Foundation was to grow communities through the great sport of golf.
“We want to share golf with communities who may not have access to the game and share it with people who never thought they would give the game a try,” Mr Castrisos said.
“Our belief is that everyone, from all different walks of life and in our many and varied communities, should have the opportunity to play golf and experience the multitude of satisfaction and the benefits it offers.
“Those of us lucky enough to play the game understand the fun, fitness, learning, perseverance, friendship and personal growth we derive from the sport and we need to encourage others so they can share the same enjoyment.
“I am urging everyone who loves the game to help us grow the sport and the golfing community in Queensland by donating to the Queensland Golf Foundation.”
The Queensland Golf Foundation will be the fundraising arm of Golf Queensland, the peak body for amateur golf in Queensland, and was borne out of the need to focus on participation and development of golf throughout the state.
The aims of the Foundation are reflected in Golf Queensland’s vision of “more people playing more golf”. The most immediate goals are to secure future participation and sustainability of the game, grow and promote the game and its benefits and diversify income streams to invest in the future of the game.
And through the three key focus areas of juniors, ladies and golf clubs, the Foundation will actively raise funds to build new programs and pathways while also enhancing existing programs and ensure the sustainability of clubs by assisting them to manage and grow their operations.
Donations to these areas means Golf Queensland can deliver more learn-to-play programs for juniors and ladies across the state. The funds will also help to deliver programs that will help clubs increase their membership bases and ensure the viability of the club network in Queensland.
The Queensland Golf Foundation’s fundraising partner is the Australia Sports Foundation. Donations are tax deductible and can be made either directly to the Queensland Golf Foundation page on the Australian Sports Foundation website (www.asf.org.au) or via the donate now button on the Queensland Golf Foundation website www.qldgolffoundation.org.au).
Story by Tony Durkin
Mackenzie and Kobori reign champions at Qld Boys’ and Girls’ Amateur
Jay Mackenzie (Ballina) and Momoka Kobori (Rangiora) have claimed victory in their respective Junior Amateur championships after four intense and gruelling days at Bargara Golf Club.
Mackenzie held the 36-hole lead with rounds of 68-69 to sit a comfortable five shots ahead of Mee, only to falter in the third round with a 5-over 77. Trailing overnight leader Jed Morgan (Hattonvale) by five shots heading into the 54-hole marathon fourth day, Mackenzie found himself in a three-way tussle which also included James Mee (Royal Queensland). Morgan’s 7-under round of 65 matched the previous course record set in the 2015 Bargara Junior Classic.
As Mee and Morgan fell away over the final 18 holes, it quickly emerged that it was a 3-horse race between Mackenzie and new contenders Tyler Duncan (Redcliffe) and Mitchell Varley (Sanctuary Cove). With Varley’s bogey on 17 slipping him out of contention, Duncan’s fantastic 67 saw the 14-year old set the clubhouse benchmark. Mackenzie charged under the pressure, playing his final nine holes in 34 (-3) and take honours at the 2016 Qld Boys’ Amateur. All this in spite of his quintuple bogey (9) in the third round!
“I was seven behind with twelve holes to go and I thought I didn’t have a chance. Five birdies went my way in those holes and I’m really happy with how I played this week,” an ecstatic Mackenzie said. His victory also earns him a start in the 2016 Isuzu Queensland Open to be held at The Brisbane Golf Club in October.
The quiet, yet determined 17-year old Momoka Kobori from Rangiora Golf Club in New Zealand, set the standard early, opening the tournament with a new course record 71 (2-under). Round two saw new contender Hazel Martin (Virginia) improve the course record yet again with her three-under round 70 with Kobori falling victim to the tricky Bargara layout, stumbling with a 76.
Victorian Kono Matsumoto (Victoria GC) shook the tournament in the penultimate round, recording a remarkable bogey-free six-under 67 – yet AGAIN another course record! This saw her take a two-shot lead heading into the final day. Fellow Victorian Alex Hilliard (Commonwealth) filled the final spot in the leading group with rounds of 76-73-71.
Summoning her fighting spirit, Kobori turned with a one shot advantage over Matsumoto, as Hilliard struggled with the blustery conditions. It was ultimately her 1-under final round which saw Kobori claim her maiden international victory.
Srixon are to be thanked for their generous support of the Qld Boys’ and Girls’ Amateur. Bargara Golf Club is to be applauded for the magnificent condition in which the course was presented and the hospitality shown to all participants. Golf Queensland and players look forward to returning for the 2017 edition.
Round 3 wrap – Qld Boys’ and Girls’ Amateur
Triple J’s are leading the way in Round 3 of the Qld Boys’ and Girls’ Amateur at Bargara Golf Club.
The leading boys’ group of Jay Mackenzie, James Mee and Jediah Morgan are a combined total of 13-under the card for the tournament, rising to the challenge that Bargara Golf Club presents. After the girls set a new course record three days in a row, it was the boys turn to defy the testing course.
After already shaving 10 shots from his first round of 77, Jed Morgan (Hattonvale) came out firing today to match the course record of 65, set last year by fellow Queenslander Douglas Klein at the Bargara Junior Classic.
Morgan’s round featured an impeccable six birdies and an eagle on the 12th, however his dreams of setting a new record were halted by the 18th green when he inexplicably 3-putted from 15 feet. “I am feeling good, obviously gutted from the three putt though. Just got to keep doing what I’m doing and have fun with James and Jay tomorrow.”
Playing partner James Mee recorded a 2-under 70 for the day, while 36-hole leader Jay Mackenzie stumbled with a 5-over 77. The leading boys will tee off at 11.54am tomorrow.
Golf Victoria’s Kono Matsumoto made an incredible charge to set the new course record of 6-under 67, set the day prior by Hazel Martin with 70. A beaming Matsumoto was able to transform six bogeys into six birdies - a dream for most golfers!
“My goal today was to have less bogeys and more birdies and that’s exactly what I did. I had a bogey-free 6-under round which was really good. I just wanted to feel like I was going to birdie every third hole and it worked out pretty well”, a chuffed Matsumoto said.
The 36-hole leader Momoka Kobori will join Matsumoto in the leading group tomorrow after her 72 today. Commonwealth’s Alex Hilliard’s round of 71 has her taking the remaining spot in the final group. The leading girls tee off at 12.18pm.
In the 14 years and under division, Tyler Duncan (Redcliffe) holds the outright lead with rounds of 77-70-70, two strokes ahead of Louis Dobbelaar (71-74-71). Cassie Porter’s (Peregian Spring) 3-over round of 76 gives her a one shot lead over Bronti Ko on 231.
The J.R. McCracken Plate features players who unfortunately missed the cut, with another opportunity to test their skills on the Bargara layout in a 36 hole Stableford tournament. Bargara local William Martell recorded a terrific 44 points for his opening round, with Brigette Griffin leading the girls’ division on 38 points.
Day to play Australian Open in Sydney
The world No.1 will seek his first national title to add to the sport’s most glittering resume of the past year, including his first major championship triumph.
As tickets go on sale around the country for the November 17-20 event at Royal Sydney Golf Club, 28-year-old Day said he couldn’t wait for his chance to engrave his name on the time-honoured Stonehaven Cup.
“The Australian Open holds a special spot in my heart and I’d love to get my name on that trophy one day – hopefully this November,” Day said.
“Injuries and family commitments have made it impossible for me a couple of times lately, but it’s a tournament I’ve always cherished, just as I know some of the sport’s greats have through the years.”
Day has been close to Open glory on his two previous attempts, having finished T6 behind Rory McIlroy at Royal Sydney in 2013 and T4 behind dual champion Greg Chalmers at The Lakes in 2011.
“I really enjoyed the Royal Sydney layout in 2013 and it was such a good atmosphere around such a great historic course,” he said.
“I’m sure the crowds will be huge again in November – I can’t wait to come home and give it my best shot.”
New South Wales Minster for Trade, Tourism and Major Events and Minister for Sport Stuart Ayres was excited by Day’s enthusiasm to return to Sydney.
“Jason Day is a superstar of world sport and I am absolutely delighted that he is coming to Sydney for this year’s Australian Open. He will headline a bumper field of local and international stars, playing in Australia’s most prestigious event,” Ayres said.
“The Australian Open has been secured for Sydney by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW, and I encourage everyone to make plans to get to Royal Sydney from November 17-20. It will be a must-see event for any sports fan.”
Golf Australia chief executive Stephen Pitt said Day’s recent achievements were mind-blowing.
“He was in contention at the 2015 US Open before his troubles with vertigo, but ever since then he’s been all but invincible. After his near miss at The Open Championship, his seven wins – including his first major – in 17 subsequent starts represents one of golf’s hottest ever winning streaks,” Pitt said.
“To have a player of that calibre back in Sydney is just something we should all be thrilled with – and to see him so excited to play his national championship again will really help us continue to demonstrate the Emirates Australian Open to be a truly world-class tournament.”
Day’s victory at the 2015 US PGA Championship came on the heels of his Canadian Open victory and was the forerunner to FedEx Cup finals wins at The Barclays and BMW Championship last year. He backed that up this year with wins at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, the WGC World Match Play Championship and the recent Players Championship for his 10th career US PGA Tour victory.
All that has added to Day’s comfortable points lead on the world rankings ahead of the 2013 and 2014 Emirates Australian Open champions, McIlroy and Jordan Spieth, respectively.
The Emirates Australian Open is a flagship tournament on the PGA Tour of Australasia. The winner will receive a minimum of 32 Official World Golf Ranking points.
The event will be telecast all four days on Channel 7.
Tickets are on sale now from Ticketek at www.ticketek.com or by calling 132 849.
The 2016 Emirates Australian Open will be played at the Royal Sydney Golf Club from November 17-20.
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AusOpenGolf and #AusOpenGolf
Round 2 wrap – Qld Boys’ and Girls’ Amateur
Bargara Golf Club greeted 144 excited juniors to excellent conditions this morning with the women’s course record broken for the second day.
Over-night leader Momoka Kobori set yesterday’s record benchmark with her 2-under 71 round with Hazel Martin (pictured) of Virginia shooting one better to set the new women’s record of 3-under par 70.A beaming Martin was ecstatic with her round featuring a double bogey on the par-4 13th, quickly bouncing back to eagle the 411m 18th in three. “I’m really happy with today’s round. Yesterday I left a lot of opportunities out there and today I capitalised on those shots. I hit a big ball so that helped.”
New Zealand resident Kobori still holds the lead with rounds of 71-75 (146) with Martin making up her six shot gap from yesterday with 77-70 (147). Alexandra Hillard (Commonwealth) made her charge with today’s par round matching yesterday’s 76 to hold equal third place with Kono Matsumoto on 149.Golf NSW’s Jay Mackenzie stood his ground today returning another sub-par 3-under round (68-69) to hold a comfortable 5-shot lead over today’s climber James Mee (Royal Queensland) on 137. Improving on his seven birdies and three bogeys round yesterday, Mackenzie returned with a blemish free score card which he insists felt no different to yesterday.
“It feels good to get out there and have two good rounds. Pretty happy, the course suits me. I didn’t really do anything differently; I just went out there, got some putts in and it worked out.
Jed Morgan (Hattonvale) proved he is still a force to be reckoned with improving on yesterday’s round by 10 shots to complete a 5-under 67 round (77-67). Morgan’s scorecard featured a colourful display of birdies, pars and bogeys including an eagle on the challenging par-4 8th. Another Kobori family member added his name inside the top 5 with Kazuma Kobori sitting T3 with Jed Morgan, and Mitchell Varley on 144, seven shots back from leader Mackenzie. Defending champion Louis Dobbelaar was taken back with three bogeys today leaving him eight shots off the pace, but with plenty of fight still to come.
In the 14 years and Under Division, Hannah Reeves of Hills International returned a one-under round 72 to match yesterday’s 78 and hold the lead by one shot over Bronti Ko (150). Kazuma Kobori also holds the reigns in the boys’ division one shot clear of Dobbelaar on 144.
Today’s highlights belong to the following players recording eagles: James Mee on par-4 4th, joint eagles for Jed Morgan, Terry Yoon and Robert Spence on the par-4 8th, and leader Hazel Martin for her eagle on the 18th.
The field will be reduced to the leading 50 players (plus any ties) for Boys and leading 20 players (plus any ties) for Girls after today’s second round and 36 holes. These players will contest the final 36 holes over Thursday and Friday. Players missing the cut will have an opportunity to compete for the J.R. McCracken Plate on Thursday and Friday, with the final 36 holes being played in stableford format. The draw for both events will be released at 6.30pm via the Golf Queensland event page here > http://bit.ly/1WVoA3X
Fayde Junior District Challenge
In a new initiative for 2016, Golf Queensland introduced the Fayde Junior District Challenge to be run in conjunction with the Queensland Boy’s and Girl’s Amateur. The Challenge was run over the first two rounds of the Queensland Boy’s and Girl’s Amateur at Bargara Golf Club on the 28th and 29th June.
With sixteen districts sending nineteen representatives, players were challenged for the $500 Fayde voucher to be awarded to their district to be used on junior initiatives.
The Brisbane Districts proved victorious with James Mee winning the boys’ competition on behalf of the Brisbane District Golf Association Inc by two shots of Jediah Morgan of Moreton District Golf Association Inc (74-68(142)). The Brisbane and District Ladies Golf Association representative of Caitlin Campbell-Nyman took out the girls’ event, only one shot clear of Lisa Edgar of Women's Golf Gold Coast Inc on 142 (81-71).
Jason Day withdraws from Olympics
Father-of-two Day, who recently flagged worries over the Zika virus in Brazil, made his announcement at the World Golf Championship Bridgestone Invitational event in Akron, Ohio, today.
"It is with deep regret I announce that I will not be competing in the 2016 Summer Olympic Games this coming August in Rio de Janeiro," Day said in a statement.
"The reason for my decision is my concerns about the possible transmission of the Zika virus and the potential risks that it may present to my wife's future pregnancies and to future members of our family."
"I have always placed my family in front of everything else in my life," Day continued.
"Medical experts have confirmed that while perhaps slight, a decision to compete in Rio absolutely comes with health risks to me and to my family.
"My wife Ellie and I have been blessed with two wonderful and healthy children and our plan is to have more.
"While it has always been a major goal to compete in the Olympics on behalf of my country, playing golf cannot take precedent over the safety of our family.
"I will not place them at risk. I hope all golf and Olympics fans respect and understand my position."
Round 1 wrap - Qld Boys’ and Girls’ Amateur
Jay Mackenzie (Ballina) has kick started his campaign after shooting the best round of the day with a 4-under 68 including seven birdies to lead the Qld Boys’ Amateur with International guest Momoka Kobori (Rangiora) breaking the course record with 2-under 71 to lead to girls’ event.Mitchell Varley of Sanctuary Cove holds outright second only one shot back in the Boys’ open division with a five-way tussle for T3 between Christopher Jimenez (Royal Queensland), Joshua Wellwood (Lakelands), Sam Haines (Peregian Springs), Lochlan Coleborn (Mt Cooluum) and defending champion Louis Dobbelaar (Brookwater) on 71.
New Zealand guest Kobori broke the course record by two strokes after turning even on the first nine followed by a bogey free back nine with two great birdies. Interstate visitor Konno Matsumoto of Victoria GC is only two strokes back with her opening 73 round followed by Bronti Ko (Palmer Colonial), Cassie Porter (Peregian Springs) and Linley Ooi (Kew GC) with one-over 74.
The 14 and Under Gross boys division is currently led by defending champion Dobbelaar with an opening one-under round of 71 with Ko and Porter holding equal first with their round 1 score of 74.
The Fayde District Challenge is run in conjunction with this year’s Qld Boys’ and Girls’ Amateur with the Sunshine Coast Burnett & Women’s District Golf Association taking an early charge with their representative Cassie Porter leading the way four shots ahead of Darcy Habgood. Lochlan Coleborn representing the Sunshine Coast & South Burnett District Golf Association holds the top spot for the boys shooting 71 followed by Tom Harvey of on 74.
Today’s highlights belong to Chris Jimenez and Liam Georgiadis for their eagle on the par-5 18th, Caleb Scott for his eagle on the 8th, and Joshua Horswill for his eagle on the par-5 12th.
Boys’ scores: http://bit.ly/28ZHS2e
Girls’ scores: http://bit.ly/290sp46
All scores: http://bit.ly/1WVoA3X
The Boys’ and Girls’ Queensland Amateur is an Australian Ranking Event for boys and girls. It is for players below the age of 18, and is played over 72-holes stroke play.
‘Seven-star’ Porsche Olympics for Martin
The 15-marker who owns the Retracom Group of Companies – and a Porsche Panamera– is still in seventh heaven following what he described as seven-star service at the recent 2016 International Porsche Cup, held in Mallorca Spain.
“It was my Olympics,” said Martin, who confessed he was there for the experience and not necessarily the golf.
However, it was his golfing ability that scored him the trip.
The adventure started at Royal Melbourne in November last year when he was invited by Porsche to play in the Australian qualifying event. And his 35 stableford points on one of Australia’s most challenging courses was not only good enough to win the event, but it scored him an all-expenses trip to Spain for the International Porsche Cup.
He was a member of the five-person Team Australia, one of 17 countries represented.
“We played two events, one at Golf Son Vida and the other at Club Golf Al Canada,” he said.
“And while the courses were sensational and my golf okay, the highlight of the visit was the manner in which we were entertained and the quality of the accommodation and the functions we attended. It was seven-star excellence universally, provided magnificently by the people from Porsche.
“For instance, at the plush opening ceremony each of the 85 golfers taking part was welcomed individually, with their name and their country’s flag appearing on the giant screen as we stood and were acknowledged. It was absolutely a wow experience.”
As for his golf, the self-confessed 15-handicap ‘hacker’ said he may have been guilty of enjoying the social events a little too much.
“Both days I played the front nines well but faded on the back. I had 34 points the first day and not many the next,” he conceded.
While Martin reckons he is never likely to forget the experience, and the manner in which Porsche entertained their guests, two events are indelibly etched in his memory.
“Just before we left for Spain I received a call from the people at Porsche Centre Brisbane who told he my golf bag had arrived,” he said.
“That was another wow experience. There it was, emblazoned with all these impressive logos, the Australian flag and my name.”
The other unforgettable moment involved his wife of 43 years, Paula, who had been receiving chemo treatment for nine months and was given the all clear a few days after Martin won his Royal Melbourne tournament.
“When I phoned to inform her about the trip, she told me she knew I would win and that she would make sure her medical clearance would be our next victory,” he said.
“Paula was able to join me in Spain as part of their partner program and she too was treated like royalty,” he said.
“This overall adventure, thanks to Porsche and thanks to golf, has been a very special time in our lives.”
Story by Tony Durkin
Nisbet up close in China
The former Australian boys' champion is tied second through two rounds after 70-67, a shot from the lead held by South Korea's Junghwan Lee.
After making five starts in China in 2014, Nisbet, 25, elected to play his entire 2015 season in his native Australia. He returned to PGA TOUR China this year and has played in all five tournaments, making three of four cuts and is now in prime position to contend on the weekend.
Nisbet made five birdies and an eagle to go with two bogeys Friday. “It was a nice day. It’s the first time in a long time that I’ve played well in the rain,” said Nisbet. “[The rain] stopped a couple of times, but then it was also very heavy.”
When the “heavy” stuff really arrived, however, Nisbet was safely in his hotel room drying off. The two highlights from Nisbet’s round were his five-metre putt on the seventh after a four-iron approach and a birdie at No. 15 that was almost an eagle—his approach shot from 60 metres hit the pin on the fly before settling less than a metre from the hole for a tap-in birdie.
Story courtesy of PGA China
Jason Day will play World Cup in Melbourne with Adam Scott
The Aussie duo were winners when the event was last staged in 2013 at Royal Melbourne and Day confirmed he would be heading back to defend his title.
This year’s event will be held at Kingston Heath the week after the Australian Open in Sydney, which Day could also play where he would clash with world No.2 Jordan Spieth.
“I’m planning on playing the World Cup with Adam Scott,” Day said in the US.
“I think we’d be a great team for the World Cup.
“We won the World Cup last time in Melbourne together (2013) and I’m thinking about playing the Australian Open as well.”
Day missed a return to Australia last summer after his ascension to the top of the world rankings due to the birth of his second child.
He hasn’t played a tournament in Australia since the 2013 World Cup and his attendance for the Australian Open will be a huge boost for the Aussie summer.
Story courtesy of Fox Sports
Townsville golfer on course for Queensland Blind Golf Championships
Story courtesy of ABC North QLD, Nathalie Fernbach
Since losing his sight 15 years ago, Townsville golfer Michael Maurice says he's not as competitive on the green as he used to be.
"At the moment it is a little bit below par, but we'll get back there," he said.
Mr Maurice is trying to get extra practice in ahead of the Queensland Open Blind Golf Championship at Brisbane's Virginia Golf Course in July.
Australia is quite competitive in blind golf, however Queensland is yet to establish a blind golf association and the open may be the first opportunity for vision-impaired Queensland golfers to get a handicap ranking and to try the sport.
"There are vision-impaired people who believe they can't play golf because of their vision," Blind Golf Australia's Doug Sloan said.
"And we are out there to show people that they can play it."
Blind golf is played under the rules of golf with a few modifications, such as a golfer can ground their club in a hazard.
Mr Sloan said blind golfers relied heavily on their caddy to help them locate their ball and to direct them how far and in what direction to hit the ball.
"Without caddies, we don't play," Mr Sloan said.
"It is not that difficult [to hit the ball] actually; we do have a few 'airies' as we say, but not a lot," he said.
Loss of sight and loss of confidence kept me away from sport
Michael Maurice was on the golf course when he first noticed his vision was deteriorating.
"There were more curves on the putting green than I thought, I could see all these curves but they weren't on there, it was just my eyes were going," he said.
After being diagnosed with macular degeneration, Mr Maurice said he lost confidence and didn't play for about 10 years.
"I didn't know if anybody would play golf with me like that," he said.
"But I was out with the church boys [one day] and I just felt good and I said 'let's just do it'.
Mr Maurice said he could not see where his shots ended up but he loved the freedom and feeling of playing golf.
"You can still feel when you have a good shot, you can just feel it," Mr Maurice said.
"It feels really good when you have just sunk a putt that is probably ten feet or a shot to win ... once that one goes in the hole and you hear that sound, that is good," he said.
Since losing his sight Mr Maurice said his game had changed, with stance and grip more important now to "feel" the shot.
"You have to get your hands right and your feet right, and concentrate a lot more than you did before to get the feel of the clubs and the ball that you are hitting," he said.
"Trying to read the greens is the hardest," he said.
Mr Maurice's guide dog Max accompanies him on the course and while Max is mostly content to nibble on the grass or a golf ball, he has shown some golfing ability.
"He has picked a ball up and dropped it in the hole," Mr Maurice said.
"Somebody asked me if he could do it again and I said 'no, he only does it once'."
The inaugural Queensland Open Blind Golf Championship is from July 18–19, 2016, with a "come and try" day on July 17. More information here.
Day's push drowns in Oakmont sand
As it turned out, in a year of “all”, the “nothing” finally had its wicked way with the world No.1.
“I had to push,” Day said after assessing his then three-shot deficit to eventual US Open winner Dustin Johnson.
“You can't win tournaments just laying up there. I had the opportunity to go out there and give myself a shot at winning the tournament.
“I hit a great drive. Unfortunately, it didn't work out.”
Day’s tee shot on the driveable uphill par-four came within 1m of giving him an eagle try, but hit the top of a cavernous bunker wall and trickled down to its floor.
With the pin tucked in the opposite corner of the treacherous green, Day again went for glory only to see it trickle into a second trap.
Just as he’d done in taking a six on the par-four seventh hole in his costly opening-round 76, he left his next blow in the sand and ultimately signed for the same double-bogey six.
“I had to hit a really good one … because it's a long way up that hill to the front of the green,” he said.
“I hit a great drive. I honestly did. We were aiming just left of the towers and hit it right on my target and kind of sort of kicked right and then down the bottom of the bunker, just a little bit on the down slope.
“It was down-sloped towards (the wall) and you've got to get underneath it with speed and to try and get it high and soft.
“Unfortunately, I just hit it fat and obviously, the rest was history from there.
“It took the wind out of my sails.”
Day had hovered without progressing from his one-over starting point for much of the afternoon.
But a bumped sand wedge for eagle on the long 12th ignited a run that threatened to produce a second major championship.
“I eagled 12, birdied 13, (then on) 14, I just kind of left it out there to the right (with my approach) and made a good two-putt.
“(My approach on) 15, if it went five more yards it would have landed on the front and kicked up. That would have given me a good shot at birdie. (It was the) same with 16 – if it went five more yards, it would have caught the top and rolled towards the flag. I hit a great shot there.
“But it is what it is. I've got to understand that these things happen for a reason.
“I've just got to understand that and not be too disappointed, because where I was sitting after my first round, shooting six over par to where I am now, trying to fight my way back in and giving myself an opportunity at winning, especially on a U.S. Open course, it takes a lot of grit and a lot of oomph to get there.
“Unfortunately, I didn't quite make it.”
Australia’s second-ranked player Adam Scott effectively suffered the same fate.
Scott made an early birdie off his two-over starting base, but was still at that mark when he began pushing on the back nine.
But bogeys on 13 and 15 took him from contention and he later said he felt like the double-bogey on the 18th was a closing “kick in the nuts” from a course on which the birdie charges both Queenslanders needed were incredibly difficult to both kickstart and maintain.
Scott ultimately signed for a 74 and a six-over finish to tie for 18th with fellow Australian Marc Leishman.
It was Scott’s fourth top-20 US Open finish in the past five years.
Remarkably, Day’s eighth place was his fifth top-10 in six US Open starts.
Story courtesy of Mark Hayes, Golf Australia
Smith pays for losing driving radar
The resultant tail-chasing 79 was the first time in his burgeoning major championship career that he’d taken body blows from which he couldn’t recover.
Not that T59 at 15 over is a shoddy achievement, far from it.
It’s just that the young Queenslander knows there’s such a fine line between what he dished up today and the swing that catapulted into the global golfing spotlight so dramatically in this tournament a year ago when he finished fourth.
“I didn’t hit the ball as well as I did (earlier in the week) today and around here you can’t get away with that,” Smith said matter-of-factly.
“It was a tough day at the office.
“There’s a premium on hitting fairways out here and I only hit a handful and didn’t make a birdie all day because you can’t get those opportunities.
“I really let myself down with the driver – and a few of the other clubs as well.”
Fully fit for the first time since early April after a debilitating stomach bug that ripped 7kg off his lithe frame, Smith appeared set to charge up the critical FedEx Cup standings when he made the cut and pushed forward in the third round to start his final round at six over.
A bogey on the first was a sign of things to come and when he made double on the second after a couple of visits to the rough, the internal warning bells must surely have sounded.
Six bogeys later, that potential points frenzy had evaporated.
But, as ever, Smith was upbeat afterwards, saying he’d not putted better all year and that better results were just around the corner despite climbing to just 156th on the FedEx charts.
“No, I’m not really worried about that. Next week (on the US PGA Tour) is a US Open-style course as well (Congressional) and if I can hit the ball better off the tee there, I can see myself being up there on the weekend,” he enthused.
“If I can get the driver sorted out, it should fall into place.”
“I love playing stressful golf. I don’t know why, but I do. I putted great, probably the best I have all year after … putting an old favourite putter back in my bag.
“So it’s just a matter of sorting the driver out, that’s all.”
Smith was clearly still positive, safe in the belief that his damaging best is much closer than it has been for months.
And he’s still very proud of his 100 per cent strike rate in making four cuts in his first four major championships.
“I’d like to keep that going for the rest of my career,” he said with trademark grin.Story courtesy of Mark Hayes, Golf Australia
Hinze victorious in Texas to win the Women’s Sand Green Championship
Hinze fired a first round score of five-under par 66 captivated by four successive birdies to start her back nine with only one bogey blemish on the 17th. Carmel O’Keeffe (Springsure) finished Runner Up returning a solid first round of one-under par 70.Sunday play was delayed and eventually abandoned mid-way through the second round after the course received a torrential downpour at 1:30pm. The Championship results were determined by the first round scores.
In the Bronze I Division, Alpha member Aloma Everingham captured the title after an opening round of 80. Virginia Jamieson of St George equalled Everingham’s score of 80 to place second on a countback.
The Bronze II Division was won by Madeline Jarman (Stanthorpe) after defying her 24 handicap with an opening round of 83, followed by Lola Cuff (St George) with 85.The Texas Golf Club received extremely positive comments from all involved thanks to the great preparation of their course and kind country hospitality.
For all Championship Results and information, please click here.
The next event on the Golf Queensland Calendar is the Senior Women’s & Mid Amateur Championships held at Maroochy River Golf Club 24-28 July 2016.. More information here.
Photo: 2016 Women’s Sand Green Champion Samantha Hinze, Bronze I Division winner Aloma Everingham and Bronze II Division winner Madeline Jarman.
Johnson prevails after high US Open drama
A year after three-putting the final green from 4m to lose the US Open at Chambers Bay, Johnson survived despite having a penalty stroke hanging over his head for the final seven holes.
The powerhouse world No.6, who had found himself on the wrong side of rules infractions and late collapses in several previous major championships, was approached on the 12th tee by a USGA official who informed him of an impending review into an incident from which he was exonerated at the time.
In question was whether or not Johnson contributed to a moving ball on the fifth green, the official indicating he could face a one-shot penalty after the round – a ruling later upheld.
At the time he led by two and it clearly rattled his nerves for a few holes as he fell back into a tie.
But the 31-year-old rebounded as others faltered, extending his advantage so far that it didn’t make the ultimate ruling consequential, much, no doubt, to the relief of the USGA.
Adding to the relief for Johnson was the spectacular way in which he finished the tournament – rifling his approach to the 18th inside a metre from where he tapped in his third birdie in what ultimately became a round of 69.
His official four-under total was good for a three-shot win over third-round leader Shane Lowry, who started four shots clear, but imploded late with the putter with a 76 to fall to one under.
Americans Scott Piercy (69) and Jim Furyk (66) joined him as runners-up.
World No.1 Jason Day looked like he might make a late charge to an improbable victory before the penultimate hole scuppered his chances.
Day eagled the 12th and birdied the 13th holes to jump to one under par and suddenly in the mix amid the drama behind.
But when he found the bunker on the driveable par-four 17th and trickled his second shot into another trap, then left it in that sand for his third, his charge was over.
A double-bogey and a bogey up the last meant a final-round 71 and two-over finish in a tie for eighth.
Adam Scott finished with a flat four-over-74 to be six over, joining Marc Leishman (69) in a tie for 18th position after the Victorian fired a day’s best seven birdies, but also added six bogeys.
Cameron Smith had huge driving issues finding only five fairways en route to an uncharacteristic 79 and a 15-over finish that left him tied for 59th.
Johnson had 11 previous top-10 major championship finishes without winning. Among several close calls, he took the lead into the 2010 US Open final round before shooting an 82. He was set to be in a playoff in the 2010 PGA Championship before a two-shot penalty was assessed on the final hole.
And, of course, the three-putt last year from which many thought he mightn’t recover.
And you could tell by the enormous smile on his face that nobody was more relieved than Johnson himself.
“It feels good, it feels really good, it feels really well deserved,” he said.
“I’ve had a lot of opportunities that I didn’t quite get it done, so this one’s definitely really sweet.”
Story courtesy of Mark Hayes, Golf Australia
Hend victory has him on Olympic brink
Hend recorded a one-shot triumph at the Queen’s Cup in Thailand today for his second title of the season and ninth Asian Tour career victory, pushing him past Marcus Fraser in the race to the Olympics.
The big-hitting Aussie overcame a two-shot deficit with a final round of four-under-par 67 at the Santiburi Samui Country Club to pip home talent Gunn Charoenkul, who signed off with a bogey-free 66 for his best finish on Tour.
Overnight leader Prom Meesawat endured a disappointing 72 to finish three back in joint third place with American Paul Peterson (69), Korea’s Jeunghun Wang (69) and Thailand’s Pavit Tangkamolprasert (66).
“I lost the tournament in Wentworth, lost the tournament in Mauritius and had chances in China. That’s four times this year and I didn’t win. Whether this was my golf course or not, I’ve been playing very good golf and trying to not get down on myself. It’s nice to win again,” said Hend, who was victorious at the True Thailand Classic earlier this season.
Hend’s latest victory projects him to rise to world No.77 when the rankings are released this week – the fourth-best Aussie but with Adam Scott and Marc Leishman already unavailable.
“There are three more weeks for the Olympic qualifying. I’m 43 this year, who knows how much longer (I can play) although I’m getting better with age,” Hend said.
“It’ll be nice to go the Olympics and be one of the first Australians to play in it since golf’s reinclusion. It’s all these different things that you chalk up in your career and when you’re finished, you just sit back and say this is what I did,” said Hend, who totalled 15-under-par 269 and earned US$54,000.
Hend turned in 35 and then drew level with Prom with birdies on 11 and 12. He surged ahead with a seven-foot birdie on 14, which the Thai bogeyed after finding trouble with an errant drive.
With a two-shot lead, the Aussie parred home to hoist the Queen’s Cup, becoming only the second non-Thai golfer to win the tournament since it joined the Asian Tour Schedule in 2009.
“I sort of put the bit between the teeth and got on 11 and hit driver up to near the green. I took the hole on as I thought I needed to make a move. Prom was ahead then and I chipped to four feet for birdie and on 12, I hit another great drive and hit it to six feet for another great birdie,” Hend said.
“Unfortunately for Prom, he made a mistake on the 14th hole which I made another birdie and that was a big swing. I saw I had a two-shot lead coming down the last hole and I didn’t want to do anything stupid or ridiculous.”
Gunn, 24, charged into contention by turning in 32 but the birdies dried up on the back nine. He had a chance to put some pressure on Hend by missed an eagle chance from 15 feet at the last hole.
“I was striking it really good and I kept making good putts on the front nine. I could just see the breaks. On the back nine, I looked at the leaderboard on 11 and I said okay, I’ve got to do something.
“But I just couldn’t get the breaks right then, I got the speed right but I missed a lot of chances, about six or seven holes. I couldn’t make birdie until the last hole. I hit it close on 18 for eagle and it would have been nice to put some pressure on him.
“Hopefully I can keep improving from here. I’ll keep working hard for sure,” Gunn said.
Prom, chasing a third Asian Tour title, was disappointed he failed to win on home soil for the first time.
“I was playing all right, but didn’t make any putts. Hendy played good and hit almost all fairways. He had a good up and down on 13 and then I made bogey on 14. He played solid golf,” Prom said.
Story courtesy of Golf Australia
Jed Morgan Wins 2016 Wayne Grady Cup
On a day of tough scoring, 16-year-old Jed Morgan (Hatton Vale) emerged the champion after a strong back nine. Starting on the 1st hole, Morgan was 1 over after 13 but then reeled off birdies on the 14th and 15th before holing a bunker shot on the 16th for his third successive birdie. Two closing pars allowed him to post a round of 69 (2 under par).
He was soon tied on that score by Tristan Nicholls (Emerald Lakes) who also finished strongly. Nicholls started his round on the 9th and finished with 2 birdies over his closing 4 holes. Nicholls recently returned to Australia after completing his freshman year at West Virginia University in the United States.
The play-off began on the 18th hole with Morgan forced to chip out sideways after an errant drive. The door was open was Nicholls but he three-putted from 50 feet and the hole was halved in bogies. Play then moved to the 17th where Morgan found the front edge with his approach and safely two putted for par. Nicholls missed the green to the right and when he failed to make an 8 foot putt for par, it was all over.
The win continues a stellar 12 months for Morgan who seems to enjoy events named in honour of major champions. He won the 2015 Gary Player Classic (15 & under division), the 2015 Ian Baker-Finch Junior Classic and now the 2016 Wayne Grady Cup. He was also selected to represent Queensland at the 2016 Australian Boys’ Interstate Teams Matches.
Jarrod Stirling (Redcliffe) was the only other player to break par. He made 17 pars and a single birdie (on the 4th hole) to finish with a round of 70. Matt Toomey shot a 72 to be the low Virginian for the day – a single shot ahead of Josh Brumm. The best nett score of the day came from Ben Stieler (Brookwater) who finished with a nett 69 off a handicap of 5.
Shortening the event to 18 holes turned out to be a wise move as a heavy downpour struck the course around 2pm. Hopefully we’ll have better luck with the weather next year and the event can return to its regular 36-hole format. A huge thanks must go to the greens, kitchen, administration and pro-shop staff who all played their part in crafting another great event. We hope to see many of the players back again next year!
A full list of scores can be viewed by clicking here – 2016 Wayne Grady Cup Scores.
Here’s the full list of prize winners for 2016:
Wayne Grady Cup Champion – Jed Morgan (Hatton Vale) – 69 (on second play-off hole)
Gross runner-up – Tristan Nicholls (Emerald Lakes) – 69
Gross 3rd place – Jarrod Stirling (Redcliffe) – 70
Gross 4th place – Ryan Sevil (The Grand) – 71 ocb
Gross 5th place – Adam Hawkins (Palm Meadows) – 71
Gross 6th place – Jordan McDonald (Pelican Waters) – 72 ocb
Gross best junior – Chase Duffy (Redcliffe) – 72
Nett winner – Ben Stieler (Brookwater) – 69
Nett runner-up – Rommel Quidim (Virginia) – 71 ocb
Nett 3rd place – Matt Toomey (Virginia) – 71 ocb
Nett 4th place – Lindsay Ross (Palmer) – 71 ocb
NTP 3rd hole – Jordan McDonald
NTP 9th hole – Jacob Clarke
NTP 12th hole – Danny Boyden
NTP 14th hole – Jack Weston
Story courtesy of Virginia Golf Club
Day storms into Open contention
After hanging tough just to make the cut earlier in the day with three pars to finish just one inside the “go-home” mark, the world No.1 unleashed a furious afternoon rally to finish within six shots of the lead.
Day’s imperious 66 was sparked by a run of four birdies in his first five holes and after starting on the 10th.
He had a glorious chance to go five under but missed a short birdie try on the 17th, but this was offset by superb par-saving putts on the 16th, 18th and 1st holes to keep the momentum flowing.
He stumbled with three putts for a bogey from the front of the third green, but immediately hit back with an overpowering eagle on the 564m par-five fourth hole.
At one point he reached five-under for the day before a poor drive at the seventh cost him a bogey. At one-over par overall, he is within striking distance of the leaders, headed by Ireland's Shane Lowry at five under through 14 holes of his third round. But Lowry needs to return early tomorrow to complete his third round while Day can relax and focus on his final round.
Of those players who have completed 54 holes, South Africa's Branden Grace (one under) is the best, followed by Day.
It was a remarkable turnaround from a day earlier when the Queenslander opened with his equal worst US Open score – a 76 in round one.
He’d had just two birdies in his opening 28 holes, but found an extra gear befitting the world’s best player when he needed it most.
Three other Aussies also made the cut, but didn’t follow their compatriot’s lead.
Adam Scott was at two over through 17 holes when daylight ran out on a marathon day three with the tournament almost caught up after losing more than eight hours to rain on Thursday.
Playing alongside Scott, Marc Leishman just couldn’t repeat his earlier consistency and stumbled without a birdie all the way back to seven over.
Queenslander Cam Smith had a rollercoaster run with five birdies offset by four bogeys and will resume on hole eight, his 17th, at five over overall.
Geoff Ogilvy, Aron Price and Steve Bowditch missed the six-over cut earlier in the day.
Story courtesy of Mark Hayes, Golf Australia
Scott vows to challenge brutal Oakmont
While many are already cowering in fear at the par-70 layout with a 77.8 course rating and slope rating of 148, Scott said he would take it on wherever possible -- even saying he's rarely seen a course set-up that suits him better.
“You look at the field, you look at the quality of players and how well a lot of the top players are playing (and) it's going to be a very, very difficult golf course to lay back and execute perfectly all week,” Scott said.
“The greens are just so severe that coming in with a longer club all the time is probably going to catch up with you. And I feel like if any of the top guys play well, you're at a disadvantage if you're plodding your way around.
“So I think you need to challenge this course. That doesn't necessarily mean attack. You've got to be a little bit smart, of course, but I think my plan certainly is to challenge this golf course this week.”
With deadly rough across the sprawling masterpiece, driving the ball in the fairways will be a key factor and if Scott can maintain his customary sublime iron play, he holds a distinct statistical edge.
The 2013 Masters champion ranks first on the US PGA Tour for shots gained on approach -- close to half a shot a round ahead of second-placed Henrik Stenson.
Unfortunately for Scott he then ranks poorly in putting, giving back some of his advantage but with the severely undulating Oakmont greens potentially nullifying the flat-club gurus, all players are bound to have their issues.
“I do feel it's a bit of a leveller, these greens. They're so difficult, the long range stuff and the speed that's involved,” Scott said.
“Of course, someone's going to make some long putts, but I think it's going to be much tougher than usual.
“I certainly prefer putting on faster greens with my style of putting, so that doesn't bother me at all.”
While most of the focus has been on the top three players in the world in countryman Jason Day, American Jordan Spieth and Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy, Scott is primed.
“I really feel that if I can execute and play my style of golf this US Open, I haven't seen a better set-up for me personally than this,” he said.
“If I can drive the ball how I usually do, I think I'm at a little bit of an advantage starting out playing from down the fairway here. So I'm excited.”
Story courtesy of Mark Hayes, Golf Australia
Smith bounces back from bug
So it is with Cameron Smith, the young Queenslander who shot to international prominence at last year’s US Open when he nearly holed out for albatross on the final hole and finished tied fourth on debut.
The 22-year-old has been far from that lofty form in 2016, with just two top-35 finishes in 16 starts in his first full US PGA Tour season.
But as he returns to the tournament that so nearly made him a legend, the full truth of his physical battles in 2016 has been revealed.
After a promising T11 at Pebble Beach, Smith began to feel sick during his ultimately failed Masters attempt.
His full illness just beginning to blossom, he turned opening rounds of 74 and 73 at Augusta National into a 15-over blowout before returning home to Brisbane.
While being in Queensland for a long stretch hadn’t been in his plans, it was ultimately a great call as his already lithe frame was about to take a fierce beating from an unidentified stomach bug.
And only now is Smith approaching full fitness again.
“From Augusta onwards it has been pretty bad until Sunday of last week,” he said after sharing separate US Open practice rounds with major champions Jason Day, Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel.
“The doctors were all a bit baffled (about my condition). I couldn’t eat and they suggested it could have been a parasite, but we really don’t know.
“The week after the Masters was the worst—I probably lost 3-4kg in that week alone. I just couldn’t eat and was just struggling to do everyday things.
“Literally every time I ate I felt like it was going to come up. That sickness feeling just came after a couple of bites … I was really lucky I was at home.”
Smith lost about 7kg and only now has bounced back from a base of 66kg to a decent playing weight at 71kg.
“I lost a ton of weight and it was kind of tough getting out of bed there for a while, so to be where I am now is good.”
He was quick to point out he was not seeking sympathy.
“It’s a fact of life, everyone gets sick once in a while. I’ve had my good bits and this was my time for a bad bit. It just came a pretty bad time, but there’s not much you can do about it,” he said.
“You can’t sit back and make excuses, just keep going forward and doing what I did last year to make it work.”
And to return to a course he has played a handful of times with his agent and Oakmont member Bud Martin, Smith couldn’t be happier with the timing.
“If I am not 100 per cent, I am very close. Definitely trying to play tournament golf with your body not being 100 per cent is tough, especially in a week like this which will definitely put it to the test.
“But it is good to be back. I love the set-up, I love the course. I’ve played here a few times … so it’s nice to come back.”
Smith has happily already forged a reputation as being a man for the big occasion – and he’s hoping that trend continues.
“Yeah, that sits OK with me,” he said with a broad smile.
“I love the big tournaments, love rising to the occasion and love a good tough test of golf as well.
“Out here it’s just basically about sticking to your game plan, hitting some good shots and growing some balls and just doing it.
“I haven’t had the best start to the season – definitely not the start I wanted.
“But I think I can sort of restart the season from here and try and have a good run of tournaments. Hopefully I can get on a bit of a streak and have a good finish to the rest of the season.”
Story courtesy of Mark Hayes, Golf Australia
Only way is up for Aussies in Japan
WA’s Kathryn Norris fared the best form the Australians with two birdies in her 3-over round of 75. The 15-year-old is tied for 19th on the individual leaderboard while Queensland’s Becky Kay is T22 on 5-over and Stefanie Hall of NSW is T26 on 6-over.
With the best two scores counting to the team's +8 total, Australia has a long way to go to catch the leading Japanese team who are flying on 9-under par.
Travelling manager Virginia Irwin said the mood in the camp is buoyant heading into the remaining three rounds.
"The girls are doing an excellent job adapting to a very different golf course,” said Irwin.
“The venue is first class and the tournament is a terrific opportunity for our more inexperienced players to develop both on and off the golf course."
Story courtesy of Tom Fee
US Open: Steven Bowditch
As the first tee time approaches Thursday, we break down each of the Australians who will take their place in the field at Oakmont.
Official World Golf Ranking: 121
Previous appearances: Debut
Best finish: N/A
Surprisingly, this is Bowditch's first appearance in the US Open despite making his career in America for more than a decade.
The two time PGA TOUR winner earned his place in the field thanks to a career best top-30 finish in the FedEx Cup list in 2015 though his struggles in 2016 have been well chronicled.
Bowditch, though, is one player who won't be concerned by a string of poor finishes as his game has always been streaky.
While his confidence likely isn't high and he hasn't been anywhere near his best for months, Bowditch has made three of his last four cuts so his game is moving in the right direction.
It would be a stretch to predict Bowditch will contend at Oakmont but if he can make the cut and play some solid golf it might just kick start a resurgence in his form.
Story courtesy of PGA Australia
US Open: Cameron Smith
As the first tee time approaches Thursday, we break down each of the Australians who will take their place in the field at Oakmont.
Official World Golf Ranking: 132
Previous appearances: 1 (2015 Chambers Bay)
Best finish: T4
It was almost a year ago to the day that Smith launched himself into the golf spotlight with that amazing 72nd hole 3-wood at Chambers Bay and it was a shot, and a performance, that set his career on track.
Smith parlayed the more than $400,000 cheque for his T4 finish into a PGA TOUR exemption for 2016 and will be motivated for his second tilt at the title.
The 22-year-old Queenslander tends to play his best golf on difficult golf courses and they don't come much tougher than Oakmont.
The only concern for the former Australian Amateur champion will be his last competitive round when he shot an 11-over 82 in the second round in Memphis to miss the cut.
Likely just a blip, Smith will no doubt have been working hard to iron out any issues and will be ready to play come Thursday
Story courtesy of PGA Australia
Men’s Sand Greens tests the best
Moura’s Daryl Myles has secured his second Qld Men’s Sand Greens Championship after a dramatic final day which ended in playoffs for all three grades.
An impressive course-record equalling 65 had 2011 Champion Cameron Powell (Brisbane) comfortably atop the leaderboard by five shots. The chasing pack included no less than six former champions (Weldon, Myles, Timms, O’Dell, Barber and Miller) who were all keen to add their name again to the Bob Atfield Trophy.
Playing in the group preceding Powell, Myles was the only player to apply pressure with five birdies in the opening 11 holes. Nigel Weldon (City), Dillon West (Rockhampton) and Josh Lambert (Roma) were unable to bridge the gap as a spattering of bogeys across their cards ended their title aspirations.
Starting the day with the five shot cushion, it was however Powell’s to lose. Standing on the short par-3 18th, Powell held a two-shot lead, and seemingly needed only to negotiate the water hazard short of the green in order to capture his 2nd title. With a growing crowd gathered nearby, Powell inexplicably dumped his tee shot into the water, and when he was unable to get up and down for bogey, the Sand Greens Championship headed to a sudden death playoff.
Myles and Powell returned to the 18th hole, and despite his blunder only minutes earlier Powell was able to match Myles’ par. After narrowly missing his birdie attempt, Powell then stood, flag in hand as Myles lined up his 3m putt. Rapturous applause greeted the 2016 Champion as Myles’ putt fell gently into the cup.
In a first for many years, all three grades were decided in a playoff. Charleville friends Ian Nass and Russell Forbes were forced into extra holes to decide the B Grade Championship after both finished with second round total of 158. The tight tree-lined 10th was unable to split the pair and they headed to the par-3 11th. When Forbes found trouble off the tee and Nass safely in the hole for four, Nass was declared the B Grade Champion for 2016 and later commented “It’s tough playing a mate for a title, but one of us had to win so I’m glad it’s me!”
The C Grade Championship looked to be all over after the first round when Ben Sinclair (Texas) returned a superb 75 to space his rivals. Unfortunately Sinclair came unstuck on the infamous Quilpie turkey-bush and was unable to match the previous day’s heroics. To both players’ surprise, Geoff Fearby (Texas) and John Baxter (Clifton) found themselves facing off for the C Grade title with a total of 166. An amazing par-saving chip in on the 10th hole (1st playoff hole) kept Baxter’s hopes alive but Fearby proved too strong in the end, eventually winning the event on the 3rd playoff hole. It was a proud moment for Fearby as he became the first recipient of the Ray Anderson Plate, named in honour of the late Sand Greens stalwart and former C Grade Champion, Ray Anderson. Ray’s son Gavin presented the Plate on behalf of Ray and all the Anderson family.
The Fourball Championship was held on Friday with the Cunnamulla and Quilpie combination of Keith Stewart and Shane Wharton returning a score of 53 stableford points. History shows it’s always a close affair in the Fourball and 2016 was no different with Alan Wharton Snr and Jason Thomas (Cunnamulla) – 52 points, and Glenn Forsyth and Robert O’Brien (Jundah) – 51 points, rounding out the top 3 places.
Highlight of the day goes to Peter Francisco of St George for his first hole-in-one on the par-3 7th clubbing 126m.Quilpie Golf Club is to be applauded for the outstanding job in hosting the 2016 edition of Men's Sand Greens. The course was in great condition and the hospitality was first class.
As always, a sincere thank you to the event’s major sponsor City Golf Club, for their generous continued support, not only of the Sand Greens Championships but also Men’s Country Week which is held annually throughout Brisbane. The support provided by City Golf Club is invaluable when you consider what it takes for a small rural golf club to host an event of this magnitude.
With the previous two editions of the Men’s Sand Greens nearing a capacity field, players are already excited for Blackall in 2017.
For full results please visit http://bit.ly/1tv5gza
Photos from the championship http://bit.ly/1tpAWVK
B Grade winner Ian Nass, Champion Daryl Miles and C Grade winner Geoff Fearby
PGA Trainees work extremely hard both on and off the course to improve their chances of success in the golf industry. All PGA Trainees receive outstanding guidance throughout the three year PGA Trainee Program, but there's no doubt a little bit of extra support can go along way.
For Mark Alison (2014) and John Burrough (2015) – the leading national academic performers and Year 3 Titleist FootJoy Excellence in Education Award winners of the past two years – that additional support comes in the shape of PGA Professional Gary Booby, who has earned an outstanding reputation as a golf industry employer and mentor.
SECRETS TO SUCCESS
As the Head Professional at The Ridge Golf Course & Driving Range, Booby has done everything in his power to assist Alison and Burrough with their respective educations.
"Both Mark and John were exceptional Trainees and I tried to expose them to all facets of my own business during their Traineeship to enhance their learning opportunities. My primary focus with all PGA Trainees is to provide them with the practical skills and experience on the job so that there is plenty of opportunity to put into practice what they learn in their course work," says Booby.
"I also work closely with the Trainees to identify their strengths and areas of interest so that we can continue to grow those areas together."
Booby has been a long-term supporter of the PGA ACE Program, which he credits for a lot of his own golf career development.
"The ACE Program has given me a better understanding of the course expectations and what PGA Trainees go through from an academic perspective. Hopefully I have given them some of the skills that will see them forge successful golf industry careers in their own right," Booby says.
"I was fortunate enough to have some very good mentors both within and outside of the golf industry when I was younger. I've thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to pass on some of the skills and knowledge I have learned onto the PGA Trainees."
Booby's wish appears to be right on track, with Alison taking up the role as Director of Golf at Pacific Dunes Golf Club and Burrough landing a position as an Assistant Professional at Concord GolfClub.
It is hardly surprising to see a PGA Trainee the calibre of Alison do so well – especially considering he was crowned the 2014 NSW Trainee of the Year and 2014 Australian Trainee of the Year – but such a strong career move clearly represents a vote of confidence in the program as well as the graduate.
"The changing nature of the golfing industry has meant there is more emphasis on our Trainees needing strong business and management skills and experience to fully equip them to fulfil the job requirements of working in golf clubs," Booby says."It is satisfying to see staff achieve success in their roles. It is a real buzz for any employer to see their PGA Trainees graduate after working so closely together during the three years of the PGA Trainee Program, and for them to win such prestigious awards on top of that is very rewarding."
Register your interest to attend now.
Queensland: 20th June, 6pm, Sanctuary Cove Golf and Country Club, Hope Island
Content courtesy of the PGA of Australia
Day top earner among Aussie athletes
The Forbes 100 list today claimed Day earnt $US23.6 million, ranking him at equal 69th on the list alongside NBA superstar and MVP Steph Curry.
Day, 28, replaces another basketballer, Curry’s Golden State teammate Andrew Bogut, as Australia’s highest-paid athlete. The Queenslander is the only Aussie in the top 100.
But not even the world No.1 ranking could get him higher up the golf rankings.
Remarkably, Phil Mickelson holds top spot among golfers, raking in an estimated $US52.9 million in the past year to have him the eighth highest among all athletes.
But the biggest mover in the list is fellow American Jordan Spieth, who’s now ninth at $US52.8 million after his epic 2015 season vaulted him all the way from 85th.
Spieth, 22, also holds the distinction of being the youngest athlete in the top 100.
And while Tiger Woods might be still struggling physically, he’s not faring too badly in the financial stakes. Woods fell out of the top 10 for the first time in 20 years, but only as far as No.12 with $US45.3 million.
Rory McIlroy is the other of five golfers to make the list, the Northern Irishman at No. 17 with $US42.6 million.
Portuguese champion Ronaldo's $US88 million puts him in top spot ahead of fellow soccer superstar Lionel Messi, of Argentina, at $US81.4 million.
Lebron James (third), Kevin Durant (fifth) and Kobe Bryant (10th) make basketball the most prominent sport in the top 10.
Tennis stars Roger Federer (fourth) and Novak Djokovic (sixth) also figure, as does Carolina Panthers NFL quarterback Cam Newton in seventh.
The 2016 list marks the first time in 13 years that either Woods or retired boxer Floyd Mayweather has not been No.1.
Story courtesy of Golf Australia
"I ran out of gas" - Scott
Scott, who had won twice in succession earlier in the season, finished a lowly 55th in the Dean and Deluca Invitational, won by Jordan Spieth, who has indicated his best form is returning at precisely the right time.
The American former world No.1 will defend his US crown at Oakmont from June 16-19.
Anxious to scramble back into a competitive mode, Scott said he had simply played and practised too much and let his game gradually slip away.
"I think I just kind of played so much in the spring and ran out of gas at the Masters and have just been trying to rest up and get that fresh kind of feeling happening again," Scott said.
But he says he is heading back in the right direction."Even though I've been working at my game, of course it's been balanced with enough kind of recovery time and I kind of got that spring back in my step the last couple weeks.
"I was really close at Wells Fargo and The Players but I just didn't quite put it all together. I putted well a couple days and not the best the others."
Scott said because of his excellent form he simply forgot how much pressure he was putting on himself with his constant workload through the early part of the year.
"I think it just got away from me a little bit, and I just was playing so well, and I was feeling pretty good that I just kept playing and didn't realise how much of a toll the run through Florida and the Match Play took out of me going into the Masters, and it was a pretty big stretch to there in that week before the Masters.
"It was just tough to get through the practice sessions and stay on top of everything.
"I was just a bit flat, and that's my own fault for scheduling it that way, so I don't think it's going to be a big problem upcoming."
Scott has taken a close look at his schedule and says he has worked out how to avoid burnout with almost half a year of tournament play remaining.
"I think I've kind of taken the precautions that I've needed to and balanced my schedule out." he said.
"This summer is going to be tough for everybody, stop, start, week on, week off, and lots of golf.
"There are four of the biggest tournaments of the year in seven weeks for me. You know, you're going to have to really plan those weeks off to give yourself enough rest time but also enough time to be back in form for the next week."
While he maintains his swing is still good he plans to look a little closer at his other statistics.
"Generally this year I've swung the club really well. There were only a couple of weeks where I think it wasn't up to my usual standard. But through that Florida stretch and even the last couple weeks at TPC and Quail Hollow, I was swinging the club really well, so I think it's as good as ever," Scott said.
"I'm always trying to get better and better, and I don't study my stats, but occasionally I look, and there are a couple areas that I'd like to improve kind of in the mid-iron range where I feel there's a bit of room for improvement maybe.
"But overall it's feeling really good, and that's good for this week because if I can get it in the fairway off the tee and use my ball-striking to my advantage (I can) get a lot of looks at birdies."
Apart from the physical aspects, Scott also said he became a little flat mentally.
"It was a bit physical and a bit mental, I think. I played six weeks out of eight through the Masters, and that's probably a bit more than I normally do, and it caught up with me.
"You know, I gave myself a good break after the Masters and didn't play too much golf and tried to get back in the swing of it for Wells Fargo and The Players...and I even managed to get a surf in one day last week, and that's always a big mental recharge for me. I came away from that feeling really good.
"Like I said, I kind of have that spring back in my step again and ready to tackle this event and what's coming this summer."
Story courtesy of Robert Grant
GOLF MONTH: Get in early to plan early
October is Golf Month once again in 2016. With 265 facilities and over 18,000 participants in last year’s campaign, Golf Month waims to get more people playing golf at your facility.
Registrations will open on July 6th and now is a good time to start planning activities at your club in the month of October. Ideas include: open days, clinics, three, six and nine hole events, family days, community events, women’s clinics, twilight events, MyGolf school visits and Swing Fit sessions. We have awards for the most innovative events and a money-can’t-buy experience for one lucky Golf MOnth participant and a guest.
To maximise your opportunity to leverage exposure of the national campaign, gather your working group and start planning your ideas now. Ideally you should include your key committee members, manager, professional and members who can contribute. Click on the GOLF MONTH web site for ideas.
Qld junior pioneers honoured
By David Newbery, Inside Golf.
IT was 55 years ago, almost to the day, that eight young Queenslanders boarded an aeroplane for Adelaide to represent the state at the Australian Interstate Teams’ Series.
Well, last month the pioneering team of 1961 gathered at The Brisbane Golf Club where they were joined by teammates from the 1962 and ’63 teams at a luncheon hosted by Golf Queensland’s CEO Lindsay Ellis and chairman Peter Castrisos.
The get-together was attended by 10 players from the 1961-’62-’63 series and coincided with the 2016 Australian Interstate Teams’ Series.
Queensland team captain Garth Johnstone, who organised the reunion, was joined by former teammates Ron Hancock, Randall Vines, Graham Tippetts, Ross Petersen, Lance Pennington, Ken McLean, Joe Kiernan, Michael Fitzgerald, Garth Peters and Gary Wright who joined the team in 1964.
Three members of the 1961-’62-’63 teams – Barry Brown, Graham McCarthy and Brian Roebig – had other commitments while former team member Neil Humphries passed away prematurely many years ago.
“We wanted to recognise the tradition established by these teams and celebrate what has been a lifetime involvement for many of the players,’’ Golf Queensland chairman Peter Castrisos said.
Johnstone, now 73 and a member at Carbrook Golf Club, enjoyed returning to The Brisbane Golf Club where, as a barefoot youngster, he jumped the fence and play a few holes with former teammate Barry Brown.
“I helped organise the reunion because I am getting long in the tooth and wanted to get together with some of the guys I haven’t seen for 50 years,” Johnstone said.
“It’s been fantastic to catch up with the guys, who have hardly changed in appearance. I’m amazed we got so many here.”
There was plenty of laughter and reminiscing about good times representing Queensland and also stories of hip and knee replacements.
“For many of us, a highlight was dressing up (blazer, tie, grey trousers and black shoes) and going on a plane for the first time,” Johnstone said. “We had no idea what to expect.
“I was 18 when selected in the Queensland team and the age limit for junior play back then was 21,’’ he recalled.
“It was exciting and it’s been a good ride. I certainly don’t have any regrets.”
Of the 1961-’62-’63 teams only Randall Vines turned professional.
Asked if he’d consider turning professional had he had his time over, Johnstone was quick to say “no never”.
“Aside from Randall (Vines) we weren’t good enough,” he said. “We all had home-made swings compared to the kids today.
“They have different physiques to us, they go to the gym and work out and they hit the ball miles. They are professionally coached and most of the modern day players all have the same way of swinging the club.”
Following the luncheon, some of the 1961-963 teams walked the fairways in support of the Queensland team who played and defeated Western Australian.
FOOTNOTE: Garth Johnstone is in the process of organising a November reunion of players who represented Queensland between 1961 and 1969.
Caption: Members of the Queensland 1961-’62-’63 teams gathered at The Brisbane Golf Club where they were joined by four current members of the State team – Charlie Dann, Blake Proverbs, Charles Pilon and Steven Cox.
Qld Mixed Foursomes success for Edgar and Russell
Twenty-five pairs teed up on Sunday for the state title with the McLeod Golf Club providing a cracking day for 36-holes of golf.
The Russell and Edgar partnership took an early lead at the conclusion of the morning’s round with a score of 73. Fresh off the plane from college golf in the United States was last year’s returning runner-up duo of Nick Barney (Windaroo) and Nadine White (Pacific). The duo finished their first round two shots back, but were troubled by a two doubles on the back nine.
Russell and Edgar seemed to find trouble in the afternoon with two doubles and four bogey’s, however returning three birdies to fire a three-over second round giving them a thirty-six hole score of 73-76 (149) and claim a three shot victory for this year’s championship.
The Barney and White partnership were unable to bridge the gap in the afternoon recording scores of 75-77 (152) to earn their second-runner up title after last year’s defeat over sister Stacey White and Blake Proverbs by one shot.
The partnership of Roxann Blake and Craig Blake of Oxley took out the Nett event with a total of 151 followed by Sunshine Coast visitors Rory Turner and Danika Coyne one shot back with 152.
Golf Queensland would like to thank the McLeod Country Golf Club for presenting the course in fantastic condition once again.
For complete gross and nett scores please click here.
The next event on the Golf Queensland Calendar is the Men’s Sand Green Championships held at Quilpie Golf Club in June. More information here.
Wools-Cobb adds to Interstate victories
A dominate Shae Wools-Cobb (Maroochy River) has claimed back-to-back victories over the weekend to win the 2016 Men’s NT Amateur and Foursomes event at Darwin Golf Club in the Northern Territory.After holding a two-shot advantage over Victoria’s Jack Murdoch after 18 holes, Wools-Cobb entered the final fourth round one-shot behind the leading Murdoch.
After rounds of 68-68-73 to sit 7-under, Wools-Cobb was in top form all week and went one better for the final stretch delivering a 5-under round of 67 to claim the win by six strokes.
Finishing second was hot contender Jack Murdoch, after final round 74, and Kevin Yuan of NSW falling just short and one shot back of Murdoch with 283.
Queenslander’s Lochie Coleborn, Lawry Flynn, Blake Proverbs and Zachary Maxwell ensured they were on the leaderboard finishing fourth, tied fifth and sixth respectively. Coleburn took out the Junior Title with scores of 69-71-72-72 and Steve Toyne took out the Senior Championship with 72-76-78-76.
Flynn defied a new course record for a final round 7-under 65, consisting of eight birdies and only one bogey blemish on the par-3 11th hole.
It is the second National Rankings win for Wools-Cobb after claiming the 2015 Mandurah Amateur in Western Australia last year.
Earlier on Wednesday, Wools-Cobb teamed up with New South Welshman Frazer Droop to claim the NT Amateur Foursomes Championship by a single shot over the partnership of Aiden Didone and Edward Donoghue.
Queensland was well represented by 41 players in the strong 216 field contesting for the state open, junior and senior titles. Fellow Queenslanders include: Shae Wools-Cobb 276, Lochie Coleborn 284, Lawry Flynn 286, Blake Proverbs 286, Zachary Maxwell 287, James Macklin 288, Jordan Mcdonald 291, James Mee 292, Chris Jimenez 295, Louis Dobbelaar 298, Ryan Gaske 299, Jediah Morgan 300, Josh Capes 302, Steve Toyne 302, Samuel Blackshaw 303, Matthew Samen-Curtis 304, Mitchell Varley 304, Jayden Bayliss 307, Joshua Pedder 308, Bailey Ittensohn 310, Peter Hannah 311, Jacob Freeman 313, Mark Collins 313, Ben Perkins 314, Cameron McFarlane 317, Chase Mccue 317, Johan Aram Pierre 317, Mark Dalmazzo 321, Caleb Purdey 323, Ben Stieler 329, Timothy Deakin 330, Paranjit Singh 331, William Martell 333, David Hannah 337, Craig Oneill 340, Mark Stieler 346, Bruce Weston 349, Tony Winter 350 and Andrew Diggens 352.
Final scores here.
Shae Wools-Cobb and Lawry Flynn. Credit Twitter.
Main Photo: Lochie Coleborn and Shae Wools-Cobb. Credit: Allison Dobbelaar
Moreton Bay Region prepares for Birdies, Eagles and Albatrosses
The Moreton Bay Region will become a second home to some of Australia’s top ranked amateur golfers this year, with five major State golf championships to be held in the region.
Parks, Recreation and Sport Spokesman, Councillor Darren Grimwade, said Moreton Bay Regional Council would provide $8,000 to help Golf Queensland bring the five prestigious championship tournaments to some of the region’s best golf courses.
“We have some outstanding golf courses in the Moreton Bay Region and there’s great potential for growth in the golf-tourism sector,” Councillor Grimwade said.
“These championship tournaments will really showcase our region and what it has to offer to golfers from all over Australia.”
“A great example of this is the Queensland Country Stroke Play Championship, which will bring golfers from regional parts of the state to the beautiful bayside course at the Redcliffe Golf Club. It will most certainly be a really different setting to the country-side golf courses some of them are used to.”
“The Bribie Island Golf Club and the Pacific Harbour Golf Club at Banksia Beach will also feature in the Championship calendar.”
“Once these first class golfers have played in our region, I am certain they will want to come back for more.”
Golf Queensland’s Golf Operation Manager, Luke Bates, said the golf courses in the Moreton Bay Region were a perfect fit with the championships.
“We are thrilled to have the support of Moreton Bay Regional Council in delivering five key golf Championships,” Mr Bates said.
“The Bribie Island, Pacific Harbour and Redcliffe golf courses offer great variety to our competitors and each club takes great pride in presenting their courses in optimal condition.”
The following Golf Queensland Championship events will be held in the Moreton Bay Region in 2016:
- 25-27 July - PresCare Queensland Men’s Senior Amateur Championship (Bribie Island Golf Course)
- 8-9 August - Men’s Queensland Country Stroke Play Championship (Redcliffe)
- 28-30 August - Queensland Men’s Stroke Play Championship (Pacific Harbour Golf Course)
- 28-30 August - Queensland Women’s Stroke Play Championship (Bribie Island Golf Course)
- 1-2 September - Queensland Men’s and Women’s Amateur Championship (Pacific Harbour Golf Course)
British adventure just the ticket
For 14 of Australia’s brightest young prospects, Scotland and Wales is home for a month of invaluable on-the-fly golfing lessons.
Queenslanders Charlie Dann, Anthony Quayle and Steven Cox, New South Welshmen Cam Davis, Blake Windred, Harrison Endycott and Travis Smyth, West Australian Kiran Day, South Australian Matt Lisk and Victorians David Micheluzzi, Cameron John, Brett Coletta, Zach Murray and Blake Collyer are all part of what Golf Australia high performance director Brad James describes as an “incredible golf and lifetime investment”.
“These athletes have the chance to compete in several outstandingly run tournaments and an international challenge of which we’re a part – it’s a tremendous learning opportunity,” James said.
“It’s a chance for them to gain enormous international experience, not only of some great British courses which many of them have never seen, but also to test themselves against the best in the world.
“It’s just a brilliant investment in their future development if they decide to take golf on as a career down the road.”
Under the guidance of a rotating series of Golf Australia national coaches, various combinations of the 14 young men will play in a series of events beginning this week at the Scottish Stroke Play Championship at Gullane, near Edinburgh.
After a practice round at nearby Renaissance Club next Monday, the troupe heads to the “home of golf” for next week’s St Andrews Links Trophy.
South-west through Glasgow, the Aussie contingent then gathers in Kilmarnock for a growing tradition, a two-day match against Scotland, with England and South Africa also possible opponents.
Following that, the group heads south into Wales for the British Amateur Championship to be played at the Royal Porthcawl and Pyle & Kenfig courses west of Cardiff from June 13-18.
“It’s a brilliant itinerary for any young golfer,” James said.
“They’ll learn a lot both from their opponents and the courses. We put great stock in our relationships with Scottish Golf and England Golf – and the relationships we’ve struck with them really benefit everyone.”
“In particular, that match against Scotland really shows how tight our relationship is and that’s a ripping couple of days of really competitive and instructive golf – we can’t wait.”
Story courtesy of Golf Australia
Webb, Oh locked in Olympic race
Melbourne’s Su Oh, who turned 20 on Monday, got her fair share of birthday bonuses after her best career LPGA Tour finish, a second place at the Kingsmill Championship in Virginia.
Along with the near $US120,000 cheque and effective guarantees of playing rights through 2016 and 2017, Oh’s world ranking took a quantum leap after her closing 65 left her just one stroke shy of Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn.
Oh had been hoping the result would be enough to qualify her for the four-strong Australian team for the upcoming International Crown team event in Chicago, where she might be able to play with Webb, the idol of her youth.
But when the Rolex Rankings were updated, the Victorian had leapt 104 places to 61st – now just 13 rungs beneath seven-time major champion Webb at 48th.
It is now a very real proposition that Oh could unseat Webb – for so long the poster girl of Olympic golf – in the race to Rio and join world No.12 Minjee Lee in the green and gold.
Bar one week, Oh has a full schedule of events up to and including the Women’s US Open which ends on July 10 (American time), the day before Olympic teams are finalised. Webb is not in the field for this week’s Volvik Championship in Michigan.
Another factor working in Oh’s favour is that, as a rookie on the LPGA Tour, she’s not defending any points in the world rankings with every cut made working in her favour.
The men's Games race is equally intriguing with Marcus Fraser (ranked 68) just 13 spots ahead of Australian Open champion Matt Jones (81) for the second berth behind Jason Day, with veteran Scott Hend on 85 right in the mix, too.
Others in contention are John Senden (103), Steve Bowditch (115) and Cameron Smith (124).
Click here for current Australian rankings.
Story courtesy of Golf Australia
QAS players shift base to Brisbane GC
The Queensland Academy of Sport golf squad's move came as a result of the Brookwater Golf and Country Club redevelopment, but Golf Queensland national coach Tony Meyer said the change was well received by the squad.
“With the majority of the nine-person squad competing in the Isuzu Queensland Open from October 20-23, the players are very appreciative of the opportunity to have access to The Brisbane Golf Club,” Meyer said.
“The golf course (which recently hosted the Australian Interstate Championships) is ranked in the top 100 in the country and its unique Champion greens are of the highest quality for practice and play.”
The players will continue to use the facilities at the Queensland Sport and Athletics Centre which include a fully equipped gym, sport science laboratory and access to a nutritionist and psychologist.
The Brisbane Golf Club president John Kelly welcomed the move.
“The Brisbane Golf Club is extremely excited to be home of the Isuzu Queensland Open and the Queensland Academy of Sport's golf squad,” Kelly said.
“Growing golf participation levels and membership is one of our priorities and we expect this new partnership to not only further develop the skills of these elite golfers, but encourage the golfers in our very own junior academy.”
The QAS Golf Program, which commenced in July 2001, is designed to assist Queensland's most talented amateur players in reaching their full potential within the amateur golf ranks.
QAS golf athletes are provided assistance with coaching, access to facilities, equipment, sports medicine and science, fitness training, apparel, and travel to major tournaments.
Laws takes honours at 2016 Women’s Country Championships
Vicki Laws (Surfers Paradise) has secured the 2016 Queensland Women’s Country Championships over defending champion Sheree Hasson (Mackay).Surfers Paradise and Southport Golf Club played host to this year’s championship from Sunday 15 May – Tuesday 17 May 2016 with both courses presenting themselves in immaculate conditions.
This year’s numbers exceeded expectations with a capacity field of 352 ladies competing in the singles event and 177 pairs contesting the Foursomes with players from 59 Queensland clubs making the trip from as far as Cairns to Coolangatta-Tweed. The week of golf started with the Foursomes Championship on Sunday concluding with the individual Championships on alternating courses on Monday and Tuesday.Surfers Paradise hosted Divisions 1 and 2 on Monday with two-time Australian Women’s Senior Amateur Champion Josie Ryan (Headland) firing an opening round of 76 (+4) to hold a two-stroke lead over Vicki Laws and defending champion Sheree Hasson.
Over at Southport, Carmel Hendrie (Gympie GC) finished with a two-shot lead (102) in Division 3 and Aileen Morton (Cooroy GC) led Division 4 recording 33 points in the Stableford format.
Perfect conditions greeted the players for the second round alternating courses with Division 1 and 2 heading to Southport, and Divisions 3 and 4 returning to Surfers Paradise.Laws got off to a great start on her front nine and maintained the good play to eventually run away with the 2016 Women’s Country victory with a final 4-over par round 77 followed by Hasson earning runner-up after completing a second round of 82.
Valma Cossar (Boomerang Farm) improved on her first round which was enough to take out Division 2 by returning scores of 97-92 followed by Diana West with 98-95.
On the demanding and slightly chilly second morning delivered at Surfers Paradise, another solid performance by overnight leader Hendrie safeguarded her win (102-104) with a four-way tie between Noelene Spurway, Diane Gilmour, Coral Walton and Sandra Hyde to take out runner-up honours (207). Morton continued her successful streak returning 31 points to claim two-point victory over Cairn’s Susan Pabst.
Josie Ryan partnered with Annabel Harris on Sunday to take out the Foursomes event shooting 83. In a tie for second place was the partnership of Susan Price and Anne Morpeth, and Carmel Macdermott and Margaret Richards trailing by only two-shots. Foursomes at Surfers Paradise was won by Fay Watts and Lesley Foran in division two with a score of 97.
Golf Queensland would like to extend a sincere thanks to host courses Surfers Paradise Golf Club and Southport Golf Club for staging this year’s event and this year’s partner City of Gold Coast for their support of the state championship. Each club’s administration, bar staff and ground staff are to be commended on their superb hospitality. Special mention to both clubs’ ladies committees and volunteers who put in hours of work to coordinate the smooth running of another successful Women’s Country Championship.
In 2017, the Women's Country Championships will head north to Rockhampton Golf Club and Yeppoon Golf Club.Full results available here.
All photos from the tournament are available on the Golf Queensland Facebook page.
Division 2 Champion Valma Cossar
Foursomes Champions Josie Ryan
and Annabel Harrison
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Day wins first Players title
Jason Day has gone wire-to-wire at The Players in Florida to secure one of the biggest wins of his career.
The world No. 1 endured a tough day at Sawgrass today but prevailed, carding a 71 to win by four shots at 15-under overall.
Australia's top player has now won seven of his past 17 tournaments around the world, including a major (the US PGA last year), a World Golf Championship event (the Dell Matchplay) and the so-called fifth major (The Players). It is a stretch that compares with Tiger Woods at his very peak.
Day becomes the fourth Australian to win The Players behind Greg Norman, Steve Elkington and Adam Scott, who was the most recent in 2004.
Starting out at 14-under with a lead of four, Day made two bogeys on the front nine and saw the buffer reduced to two through the turn, before a birdie at the par-four 10th steadied him. Another birdie at the 12th, then a further birdie at the par-five 16th gave him all the buffer he needed, and no one could make a run from behind.
At the treacherous island green 17th he only just carried the water, but made a steady, two-putt par, then walked to the 18th with the four-shot break over Kevin Chappell, and took an iron from the tee, splitting the fairway. A wedge to the green and two putts completed the task.
His wife Ellie and children Dash and Lucy were there to greet him. His winner's cheque is around $US1.8 million, a victory that he set up with a course record-equalling 63 on Thursday.
It is his 10th PGA Tour win and he takes over the lead in the season-long Fedex Cup from Adam Scott as Australians continue to hole the top two places.
Queensland Men claim runner-up honours
The Queensland Men’s team have claimed runner-up at the 2016 Australian Men’s Interstate Series after facing New South Wales in the grand final.
After facing an early defeat by the New South Welshman and a bye on the first day, the team came back as strong as ever going on to defeat defending champions Victoria 4.5-2.5 and West Australia 6-1. After taking down South Australia 4.5-2.5, the odds were in Queensland’s favour as they faced Tasmania and the Northern Territory.
The men barracked together to came home strong, winning both of their remaining clashes and cementing their spot in final decider.
Kevin Yuan and Blake Windred put the Blues into top gear early with wins in the No.8 and No.6 matches respectively against Steven Cox and Charlie Dann.
Klein held his fighting spirit till the end however he could not overcome Perry’s charge home to win the last two holes in the No. 7 match and halved the match.
Queensland then hit back with three consecutive wins to pull clear momentarily with successes to Shae Wools-Cobb, Mitch Smith and Charles Pilon.
Travis Smyth then drew NSW back level with a 2&1 win over Blake Proverbs in a quality clash at No.2, leaving the top match to determine history.
When Quayle put his approach to 17 within 4m, it looked as though the hosts would thrill the generous home gallery.
But Davis simply wouldn’t be denied.
It was probably the third great escape the 2015 Australian Amateur champion had made in a week full of Houdini moments for the unbeaten New South Wales squad who played with a purpose throughout.
Davis, 21, rolled in a curling 7m putt on the 17th hole in the final match to give New South Wales the men’s Interstate Series championship for the first time since 2012.
Davis carried on with another conceded birdie up the last, his 2-up triumph over a gallant Anthony Quayle giving NSW a 4.5-3.5 win over Queensland in an epic final at The Brisbane Golf Club.
While emerging Queenslander Charlie Dann was the only player to win a medal for being unbeaten through the series, the New South Wales men always seemed to be able to rise when the moment demanded it.
Congratulations to New South Wales on the win and all states for a great competition.
The Queensland Women’s team won the championship at Royal Queensland on Thursday over Victoria.
MEN: Set for epic #IntSeries showdown
Queensland fought off an early scare today at The Brisbane Golf Club, eventually overpowering the Northern Territory 6-5.0.5 after the underdogs looked a chance at halfway.
That win booked the hosts into the afternoon decider against their arch enemy, who have the advantage of both winning the round-robin phase and a bye this morning to leave them as fresh as possible.
With eight matches in the final, the undefeated Blues need only to win four points to be crowned champion.
Queensland’s win made the other contests moot, but it didn’t appear that way to the plucky West Australian team who fought back from deficits in all seven matches to topple defending champion Victoria.
WA had been disappointed with patches of its earlier form, but made amends today with some superb golf up and down the order in the closing holes to grab a 4.5-2.5 win over the Vics.
Victoria finished third overall, on match differential over WA, after each team finished with three wins and three losses.
Tasmania stunned South Australia 4.5-2.5 with great wins in the first four matches out, but couldn’t quite overhaul SA on the final table.
It was a flat finish for the SA men after a promising start to the week, with only match differential keeping them fifth.
Northern Territory finished seventh without a contest win, but in just its second year of competition, showed a far greater degree of competitiveness throughout many matches.
Story courtesy of Golf Australia
WOMEN: Super sweet hometown victory
Women's live scores
They’re a proud bunch, Queenslanders, but none more so tonight than Gennai Goodwin.The 21-year-old from Mossman via Indooroopilly Golf Club was clearly moved in accepting, as captain, the Gladys Hay Memorial Cup as Queensland scooped the Interstate Series final 4-2 over Victoria.
Goodwin, in her fourth year on the state team, said the wait for the Maroons’ first title since 2010 had been frustrating but ultimately worth every second as her young teammates partied around her.
“We’ve missed out on making the final on the cut a couple of times … so to finally get there, and on home soil at Royal Queensland, feels really special – especially with all the people out here supporting us,” Goodwin said.
“I’m almost speechless … it feels really good.”
Queensland began the final knowing a 3-3 tie in the six-match contest would be enough based on entering the final undefeated and losing just four points of 25 during the preliminary rounds.
And with a mid-round avalanche of hole wins at the bottom of the order, the lingering threat of the defending champions was quickly dispelled.
US college-bound Kirsty Hodgkins, of Redcliffe, lit up Alizza Hetherington around the turn and a par on the 13th was enough for a resounding 6&5 victory to set the ball rolling for the hosts at No.4.
Moments later, Goodwin put an end to Zara Woodbridge’s challenge in the No.5 match with a 5&4 victory.
And almost in the blink of an eye, a quality tee shot by No.6 Dee Dee Taylah Russell on the short 17th ensured a 2&1 win over Gabi Ruffels and the final was effectively over.
Robyn Choi, who, alongside teammate Becky Kay and West Australian skipper Hannah Green, won a medal for being unbeaten through the week, eventually wore down Victorian skipper Jo Charlton on the 18th green for a 1-up win.
Victoria’s top pair battled willingly all day and were rewarded with deserved – albeit slightly hollow – victories. Olivia Kline did exceptionally well to outduel Kay 2&1, while the rapidly improving Stephanie Bunque took down Queensland No.1 Karis Davidson 3&2 after dominating the top match.
Goodwin, who was also unbeaten but ineligible for a medal having sat out a match earlier in the week, said the team’s planning, fight and depth had been vital.
“We came out last week and mapped the course and determined a few holes where we thought pars would be really important and it turned out exactly that way,” she beamed.
“It shows what you can do when you’re well prepared and in the right frame of mind for the team.
“We were really strong down the bottom of the order all week, and our top players were impressive when we needed them against the top two or three from the other states.
“Robyn was so consistent for us and Becky was in trouble a couple of times late, but managed to fight back with a couple of wins in the last few holes when it mattered.
“It was just a really solid week from a team and full credit to everyone from Golf Queensland who helped us achieve this – I can’t tell you how nice it sounds (to be Australian champions).”
Story courtesy of Golf Australia
MEN: Qld take #IntSeries thriller, NSW roll on
Women's live scores
Queensland and NSW have continued on a collision course to meet in the men's Interstate Series final after both states emerged victorious in an exciting morning at Brisbane Golf Club.The 4.5 - 2.5 margin between Queensland and South Australia does not convey how easily it could have gone the other way, with four matches going the full 18 holes and three of those finishing square.
Queenslander Blake Proverbs’ 2&1 winning margin was comfortable by comparison, but he said he knew his match was going to count when coach Tony Myer started following him down the 17th hole.
“Through the first seven holes I was asking Tony what was going on and he sort of smirked at me,” said Proverbs.
“I know there was a couple [close matches] as I kept asking my Grandad and told me a few were one up and square. It was really close and I was one up at the time, so I had to keep my head down and at least get my match up.
“I prefer to know what’s going on, it gives me a drive to keep pushing forward.”
Queensland’s other wins came from Douglas Klien (5&4) and Anthony Quayle (3&2), while Charlie Dann, Shae Wools-Cobb and Mitchell Smith halved with Liam Georgiadis, Ben Layton and Sam Earl respectively. South Australia’s lone win was through a 2-up victory to William Somerfield.
There’s no rest for the Maroons as they take on Tasmania this afternoon, with the Tasmanians looking to push on from their 5-2 victory over the Northern Territory.
The unbeaten NSW side will take on Victoria who share a 3-1 record with Queensland. A win for NSW will do a huge favour to their closest rivals who are hoping to get past Victoria and qualify for the final.
Cameron Davis headed the NSW side that defeated WA, and he was clearly pleased to prevail 2&1 over Curtis Luck in windy conditions.
“It was tough out there today, and both of us were very good around the greens, our short games got us out of a lot of tricky situations," said Davis.
“Down the stretch I had a couple of good holes and that was what got me across the line.”
After dropping the 15th to fall back to square, Davis secured his win with a eagle on 16 and a great up and down on 17.
“I hit the tee shot [on 16] really hard as I left a putt short in the jaws on 15 to lose the hole, but I got a hold of the drive and gave myself 235 to the flag,” said Davis.
“It was the perfect number to get to the front edge of the green with a 4-iron, and I hit it exactly the way I planned -- it rolled up nice and close to eight feet or so. It was good to finally get a putt to drop in the hole to get me one up with two to play.”
Davis was joined by Travis Smyth, Harrison Endycott, Daniel Gale and Austin Bautista in the winners column while Haydn Barron and Fred Lee earned wins for WA.
Tasmania dropped only one match in their 5-2 defeat of the Northern Territory, with Andrew Phillips, Nat Gatehouse, Mitch Van Noord and Sam Rawlings all victorious.
Story courtesy of Golf Australia
WOMEN: Vics face Qld in #IntSeries final
Women's live scores
The Victorian women saved their best until last – and very late – to keep their Interstate Series title defence alive.Down in a majority of matches early against old rival New South Wales, the Vics had to dig deep knowing only a victory in the final round-robin match would be enough.
And on the back of some last-hole heroics from Zara Woodbridge and Olivia Kline, the Vics clambered to a memorable 4-1 victory and into the afternoon final against Queensland.
The hosts continued their unbeaten streak with a comprehensive 4.5-0.5 win over Tasmania to hit the final on a roll, while Western Australia downed South Australia 3-2, but couldn’t catch Victoria or NSW on match differential and finished fourth.
Victoria’s win lifted it to +7, with NSW +1 and WA square in terms of match differential to split the tie for second place at three wins.
The women’s final is now under way at Royal Queensland Golf Club.
MEN: Blues roll, but Maroons big winners
Women's live scores
New South Wales remained unbeaten, but Queensland was the big winner on day two of the men’s Interstate Series at The Brisbane Golf Club.Top-of-the-table NSW downed Tasmania 5.5-1.5 in the morning, then backed up with a 6-1 over a plucky South Australia in a contest that was far closer than the scoreline indicates.
But it was the hosts who outgunned two key rivals to put themselves right back in the mix to make Friday’s final after yesterday’s gut-wrenching loss to the Blues.
Queensland outduelled Victoria in a tight morning contest, then scythed through a talented Western Australia in the afternoon to restate their title ambitions emphatically.
Victoria, at 3-1, remains in second place, but still faces tough matches against WA and NSW after tomorrow morning’s bye.
Queensland, conversely, finishes the round-robin phase with contests against South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory – the latter pair of which effectively eliminated from contention.
New South Wales faces WA and Victoria tomorrow before Friday’s morning bye, with one point from either of those two big contests all but ensuring a berth in the Friday afternoon final.
Queensland and Victoria were neck and neck in their morning match before the Maroons gathered momentum in the closing stages.
The hosts then carried that surge into the afternoon and almost immediately put WA to the sword.
Rising star Charlie Pilon, the Australian Amateur medallist, put Queensland up with a bullet by stunning Ben Ferguson 7&6 in the No.3 match, unofficially six under through 12 holes after landing some huge putts.
Steven Cox continued the trend with a big 4&2 win at No.7 and Charlie Dann took out WA captain Ben Curnow at No.6.
The other matches were closer, but only Min Woo Lee – a 3&2 winner over Blake Proverbs – got the chocolates for the Sandgropers, with Queensland captain Anthony Quayle icing a great personal day with a 2&1 win over Curtis Luck in the top match.
The Victorians hammered the Northern Territory 7-0, clearly with fire in their bellies after their morning loss.
Which left the impressive young South Australian team to take it up to the heavily favoured NSW squad – a feat largely achieved until the closing few holes of most matches.
Daniel Gale was the exception with a commanding 5&3 win over Scott Ready, nursing home the lead after establishing that break by halfway.
Kevin Yuan then made a series of great par saves before a birdie up the last sealed a 1-up win over a plucky Heath Riches at No.7.
In one of the most entertaining – and quality – matches of the week to date, Blake Windred took until the last putt to subdue ultra-talented SA junior Ben Layton, who’d made some world-class scrambling pars to take the match up the last hole.
The match was played in perfect spirit between two good mates, highlighted by great sportsmanship by the young New South Welshman who called a penalty on himself that cost him any chance on the fourth-last hole at a crucial stage when he dislodged a leaf on a practice swing.
Dylan Perry continued his emergence with a 2&1 win over Sam Earl at No.5, then Cam Davis sealed the overall win with a 4&3 win at No.2.
But the showstopper – and sign of a high-quality clash – came when national squad member Harrison Endycott walked in an eagle putt on the last to halve the hole but win 1-up over William Somerfield who’d seconds earlier drained his own eagle chance.
The in-form Matt Lisk stunned NSW captain Travis Smyth in the No.1 match to give South Australia its lone point – and some justice for a great team effort that went largely unrewarded.
“We have been talking about being `world class’ all week – and I think we showed that again tonight,” a proud Endycott said afterwards.
“The boys are doing well when it matters and that’s what match play is all about.”
Story courtesy of Golf Australia
WOMEN: NSW, Vics set up #IntSeries prelim
Women's live scores
Queensland will face the winners of a pseudo Preliminary Final between NSW and Victoria with a blockbuster final day predicted at Royal Queensland Golf Club.The Maroons are yet to lose a match and are looking very ominous for tomorrow afternoon’s final after dispatching of the contending Victorians this evening with a 4-1 margin.
The second placed NSW team has the advantage in third thanks to a 3-1 win-loss record compared to Victoria’s 2-2. NSW will make the final with a half or better against Victoria tomorrow, but thanks to both team’s 12-8 for & against record, Victoria will tie with NSW on wins and take second spot from any winning margin.
Victoria’s lone match win against Queensland came from Stefanie Bunque in the number 1 spot against Karis Davidson. It would be decisive and more than consolation point as it eliminated any chances of Western Australia snatching a finals spot if results went their way tomorrow.
“I‘m feeling confident in my own game at the moment,” said Bunque.
“I’m hitting it pretty well and putting solid – the ball is rolling well and some are going in the hole so that’s getting me up there.
“[To win] was awesome. I actually played her last year at the junior series and won 2&1, so I’m two from two matches and they’ve been pretty close -- I’m rapt to get over the line today. It was a really tough match so it’s good to have the win.”
Bunque’s win was set up by an approach to inches after Davidson set the bar high with her approach, allowing Bunque and the Victorian team to end the day on a high note.
“After Karis’ shot hit the pin I thought I better zone in a bit here, so my caddy Todd took me back a little bit,” said Bunque.
“I went through the pre-shot again and looked at all the numbers. I had a nice solid pitching wedge in at about 106m, and I hit the number and it turned out alright.”
After starting the series with a tough loss to Western Australia, Victoria has fought back to be in an excellent position to make the final -- and Bunque expects her team to bounce back tomorrow.
“I’m pretty happy with the team, they’re all pretty solid and if we can focus a little bit more I think we’ll be right,” said Bunque.
“I think at the moment we might be a little bit rocky coming off a defeat, but we’ll regroup tonight and sit down and have a chat and discuss what we need to do to win tomorrow.”
On the other hand, NSW are flying heading into tomorrow’s big day with back to back 4-1 victories over Tasmania and South Australia, and team member Doey Choi feels that run can continue into Thursday.
“We’re pretty confident only needing a square tomorrow to meet Queensland in the finals,” said Choi.
“Hopefully we can have a great win and play in the afternoon, everyone’s playing really solid golf, and we had two big wins today which should boost our confidence and hopefully we can go out there and play some great golf.”
Choi won her opening match convincingly with a 6&5 margin over Sahara Lemon, but felt her performance with the flat stick waned in her 3&2 loss to Ella Adams of South Australia.
“I played pretty solid out there, but struggled a little bit with my putting,” said Choi.
“I putted well yesterday which gives me confidence, I just mis-read a few putts which I left out there but hopefully tomorrow I can have few go my way.”
Tomorrow’s remaining matches between WA and SA, and Queensland and Tasmania may be dead rubbers, but their results could shape the finals standings.
Queensland could lose top spot of they drop the ball against Tasmania and NSW surge against Victoria, while WA can still take third spot.
Tasmania are also fighting to keep their slim 1 match advantage over SA in the battle to avoid the wooden spoon.
The Tasmanian’s may have struggled with their depth in some matches but their best has matched the best of the mainland states.
Three of their 5.5 points coming at the hands of their #1 seed Sarah Johnstone who has defeated the number 1 seeds from New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria this week.
Story courtesy of Tom Fee
WOMEN: Finals no bridge too far
Women's live scores
With only two rounds remaining all six states have a chance of making the Women’s Interstate Series Final at Royal Queensland Golf Club.There’s also a mathematical chance of any team missing out on the final, making this afternoon’s fourth round even more crucial.
Queensland will feel the most comfortable about their future at today’s lunch beak, recording their their third win of the competition 4-1 over Western Australia to remain the only unbeaten side.
The loss makes the Western Australia’s task ever harder, with the team now reliant on other results with just one win from their three matches so far.
Victoria will be buzzing after their 5-0 whitewash of South Australia. After dropping a heartbreaker to WA in the opening round, the team has steadied by dropping only one individual match and winning nine over rounds two and three.
Victoria’s winning margin helped extend their for and against column, with an 11-4 record.
Tied with Victoria on two wins is NSW after they defeated Tasmania 4-1. With an 8-7 match record, NSW sit three individual matches back of the second placed Victorians, but they will have a chance to make that up when the two meet this afternoon.
Speaking moments after walking off the 18th green with a 2up win over WA’s Kathryn Norris, Kay said the excitement was building in the Queensland camp.
“My match today was really fun. Kathryn played really well and we had some good holes, but it was pretty tight all the way through,” said Kay.
“We’re pretty pumped. We have a really solid team all the way from one through six so I think we’re pretty confident, but also anything could happen as there’s some really good players here.”
Queensland face Victoria this afternoon and will lock in a finals spot with a half or better in that match.
“We’re really excited to take on Victoria,” said Kay.
“They’re a great side and we really enjoy playing against them. I’m sure it’ll be a lot of fun.”
PATH TO THE FINALS
QUEENSLAND (3-0, 12.5-2.5). To come - Victoria and Tasmania
VICTORIA (2-1, 11-4). To come – Queensland and NSW
NSW (2-1, 8-7). To come – South Australia and Victoria
WA (1-2, 5.5-9.5). To come – Tasmania and South Australia
TASMANIA (0.5-2.5, 4.5-10.5). To come – WA and Queensland
SOUTH AUSTRALIA (0.5-2.5, 3.5-11.5). To come – NSW and Queensland
For Queensland to make the finals…
A half or win against Victoria this afternoon will guarantee Queensland a finals berth. Queensland can still make the finals if they lose both of their coming matches with favourable results elsewhere, but the hosts will be sure to do everything they can to keep chances in their own hands.
For Victoria to make the finals…
Victoria will be under pressure this afternoon against Queensland with NSW facing the bottom placed South Australia. If Victoria can’t get the points against Queensland this afternoon it will likely set up a must-win encounter against NSW tomorrow morning.
For NSW to make the finals…
NSW may trail Victoria in the For & Against column, but they have arguably the easier draw from here. If Victoria fall to Queensland a big win against South Australia this afternoon it would see them overtake Victoria in points and possibly in matches For & Against. If they can manage that, it will mean they can afford to halve their final round contest against Victoria and still qualify.
For WA to make the finals…
WA have the easiest run home based on the standings, facing the 5th placed Tasmania this afternoon and the 6th placed South Australia tomorrow. If they can bank big victories there they have the best chance to qualify for the final if Victoria beat NSW tomorrow but also lose this afternoon to Queensland by a big margin.
For Tasmania or South Australia to make the finals…
Tasmania or SA can still get make the final but it would require;
1. Big wins in both of their matches
2. Big losses for Victoria and NSW in their matches this afternoon
3. Victoria and NSW to halve their final round match.
This would put SA or Tasmania on 2.5 points alongside Victoria and NSW, meaning the final spot will be decided on the For & Against record of those teams.
MEN: Maroons turn it on for trailblazers
Women's live scores
Queensland has powered the home state back into the men’s Interstate Series title reckoning with a crucial win over Victoria this morning.The hosts regathered after a potentially sapping last-minute loss to New South Wales yesterday to down the defending champions 4.5-2.5 with some key results at both ends of the order at The Brisbane Golf Club.
New South Wales eventually fought off a gallant Tasmania 5.5-1.5 to remain unbeaten at 3-0, while Western Australia played without No.1 Curtis Luck, but was still too strong for Northern Territory by the same margin.
Luck was one of two key injuries in that contest with the WA Open champion rested with tight muscles in his forearm, although he will play in the afternoon match against Queensland.
The other injury was to promising Alice Springs youngster Mitch Gridley, who will miss the NT’s afternoon match with a sore back he suffered in a 7&6 loss to WA’s Fred Lee.
But the key result was for Queensland, which would have too big a hill to climb had it lost to Victoria.
Playing in front of a gallery including the original Queensland Interstate teams from 1961-63, the home team just wouldn’t be denied.
The improving Doug Klein overcame a sluggish start to power past Victorian Lukas Michel to set the ball rolling with a 5&4 win, a trend that continued with a 2&1 win for Charlie Dann over Kyle Michel.
The Vics then rallied with a point to Andrew Schonewille over Shae Wools-Cobb, then sent a scare through the home camp when talented youngster Cameron John eagled the last with a 15m bomb to win 1-up over Mitch Smith and square the contest.
And David Micheluzzi squandered a golden chance to ramp up the pressure when he carved his drive up the last out of bounds to lose the hole and halve his match with Charlie Pilon.
But the Queensland big guns behind them were not to be denied.
In an entertaining No.2 match, Blake Proverbs was conceded his birdie on the 8th (their 17th hole) by Zach Murray, who shook hands to give the Queenslander a 3&1 win.
And in the top match and battle of the skippers, Anthony Quayle held his nerve a couple of times as national squad member Brett Coletta came at him, eventually running out a comfortable 5&3 winner.
“It meant a lot to us to put on a show for the original Queensland teams that came out,” Quayle said.
“We wanted them to know it meant a lot to us that they were here and the boys have turned it around nicely for them after yesterday’s disappointment.
“We’re back in it now … that was a critical match for us.”
Story courtesy of Golf Australia
WOMEN: Hosts take early #IntSeries control
Women's live scores
Queensland has put itself in pole position in the race for the women’s Interstate Series title after a tense day one.
After rolling arch rival New South Wales 4.5-0.5 in the opener, the hosts stitched up South Australia 4-1 this afternoon to be the only unbeaten team at Royal Queensland.
New South Wales bounced back well against Western Australia, with Celina Yuan’s powerhouse 5&3 win over Jess Whitting the backbone of a 3.5-1.5 victory.
That loss left those teams knotted at 1-1 where they were later joined by Victoria which hit back from its morning loss to WA with a 4-1 win over Tasmania.
South Australia is ahead of last-placed Tasmania on a countback at 0.5 points, but that probably hides arguably the standout personal performance of the day from Tassie captain Sarah Johnstone.
Johnstone, a young veteran at 24, anchored Tassie’s late charge to snare half a point from SA in the morning, then stunned Victorian ace Olivia Kline in the afternoon to remain unbeaten.
And while Johnstone readily admitted she’d rather her team was closer to the front of the pack, she was delighted with her own form.
“I’m pretty happy with that. It’s a team game, but it is individual as well … and I’m just trying to do the best I can do for my team,” said the Ulverstone ace whose achievement was even more special given she’s playing at No.1.
“Yeah, I guess that’s a pretty good achievement – it makes me feel pretty good.
“It would be great to win (all five matches) … that would be a stellar year – I’ve always wanted to do that.
“But we just need to get back on track tomorrow, we have a couple of our juniors who are improving nicely, so let’s see if we can some more points then.”
Queensland faces pivotal contests tomorrow against WA in the morning, then against Victoria in the afternoon. Should the favoured hosts win both, the likely scenario is the Thursday morning contest between Victoria and NSW will determined the fate of those states – and Western Australia.
The home team wasn’t dominant in either match today, but flexed muscle when it was needed.
The clearest case in point of that was Golf Australia national squad member Becky Kay, who was 2-down to South Australian Cassidy Evreniadis with three to play, but peeled off three straight birdies to close out a remarkable 1-up victory.
Karis Davidson, at No.1, and Kirsty Hodgkins, at No.4, also remained unbeaten for the powerhouse Queensland team.
WA gave NSW all it could handle for much of their clash, but the Blues stood tall when it counted on the back nine with Yuan, Hannah Park and the impressive Sophie Cusack all notching important victories.
Yuan was stung by her earlier loss to Kay.
“After that smashdown by Queensland, it was good to win the next round,” The Australian Golf Club member said.
“I had a pretty stupid loss in the morning – everything didn’t go well. But I knew what I had to do in the afternoon and just did it.”
Victoria was ruthless against Tassie with none of the four victorious matches going past the 15th green, putting the defending champs second on match differential.
The third round starts at 7.30am tomorrow at Royal Queensland.
Story courtesy of Golf Australia
Pioneering Queensland Junior Teams of 1961-62-63 honoured
It was an exciting time when the eight members of Queensland’s inaugural junior interstate golf team and manager George Maddern gathered at Brisbane Airport just before Easter, 1961.
The team, captained by 18-years old Garth Johnstone of Oxley, was headed to South Australia where the annual series would be contested at Royal Adelaide Golf Club.
Golf Queensland will formally recognise the players of the pioneering 1961 team, as well as the teams of the following two years, at a luncheon on Wednesday, May 11, during the 2016 Australian Interstate Teams Series at The Brisbane Golf Club.
“We want to recognise the tradition established by these teams and celebrate what has been a lifetime involvement for many of the players,’’ said Golf Queensland chairman, Peter Castrisos.
Prior to the luncheon, members of the teams will be invited to watch play during the morning matches at The Brisbane Golf Club.
Garth Johnstone, now 73 and still enjoying a weekly game at Carbrook, described the first team 55 years ago as “babes in the wood”.
“We had no idea what to expect,’’ he said. “I’d never been on a plane and in those days everyone dressed up to travel.
“We had to wear our uniform ... blazer, tie, grey trousers and black shoes.’’
Members of Oxley golf Club, where Johnstone had joined as a 14-year-old and won the open club championship aged 16, chipped-in for the cost of his blazer.
“I was 18 when selected in the Queensland team and the age limit for junior play back then was 21,’’ he recalled.
“Our manager was George Maddern and he had virtually been in charge of running trials and practice matches before the team was selected. George was from Virginia and a very good golfer himself ...”
Other members of the first Queensland team were Barry Brown (Brisbane), Ron Hancock (Bundaberg Golf Club), Graham Tippett (Royal Queensland), Brian Roebig (Pacific), Ross Petersen (Atherton GC), Lance Pennington (Toowoomba GC) and Neil Humphries (Gailes) who is deceased.
A member of the second and third teams was Randall Vines, who had set a record by winning the club championship at Wynnum as a 15-year-old but was not eligible for the first state team as he was deemed too young.
Vines, an outstanding golfer, turned professional at 21 and won two Australian PGA titles and the Open championships of Germany, Switzerland, Thailand and Hong Kong.
The 1962 series was played at The Australian in Sydney and the ’63 series at Claremont in Tasmania.
The 1962 team was: Garth Johnston (capt), Brian Roebig, Randall Vines (Brisbane GC), Lance Pennington, Ron Hancock, Neil Humphries, Ken McLean (Virginia), Joe Kiernan (Keperra).
The 1963 line-up was: Garth Johnstone (capt), Brian Roebig, Randall Vines, Lance Pennington, Graham McCarthy (Bundaberg GC), Ken McLean, Michael Fitzgerald (Keperra), Garth Peters (Gympie GC).
The 2016 Australian Men’s Interstate Teams event will be played at The Brisbane Golf Club from May 10-13. The Queensland team consists of; Anthony Quayle, Charlie Dann, Shae Wools-Cobb, Blake Proverbs, Steven Cox, Charlie Pilon, Doug Klein and Mitchell Smith.
The 2016 Australian Women’s Interstate Teams event will be played at Royal Queensland Golf Club from May 10-12. The Queensland team consists of; Karis Davidson, Robyn Choi, Kirsty Hodgkins, Gennai Goodwin, Becky Kay and DeeDee-Taylah Russell.
Story by Bernie Pramberg
Interstate Series Aussie golf's amateur hour
As a PGA Tour of Australasia winner, Luck can claim playing rights for the next two years if he turns professional – but there’s only four events scheduled between now and the first big carrot of the coming summer in November’s Emirates Australian Open.
By staying amateur and solidifying his place in the WAGR top 50, Luck will see himself eligible for a slew of events that offer Major incentives including U.S. Open sectional qualifying, the U.S. Amateur and the Asia Pacific Amateur.
And there’s plenty to keep the Cottesloe golfer busy on home soil, with the Australian Interstate Series kicking off in Queensland in just five days’ time.
The Interstate Series will be hotly contested featuring one of the strongest fields in recent memory. Behind Luck and Royal Fremantle's Min Woo Lee, it represents WA’s best chance to break a 16 year drought since the likes of Brett Rumford and Scott Strange saw WA victorious on home soil.
In one of his many post-win interviews, Luck paid homage to those who will be his teammates and rivals in the coming weeks.
“I’m not going to put any promises on when I’m turning pro, as I’m really happy [as an amateur],” said Luck.
“I think all of the underpinning programs, like GolfWA’s for example…I think they’re doing a great job at producing what Golf Australia are calling ‘professional Amateurs’, and I think that’s why we’re capable at competing at these events.”
And competing is an understatement.
Of the 14 events played on the PGA Tour of Australasia since last November, two have been won an amateur including Ben Eccles’ victory at the 2015 NSW Open.
A further three have seen an amateur runner-up through Luck at the 2015 WA Open, Queensland’s Anthony Quale featuring in a playoff at the PNG Open, and Travis Smyth making it an amateur 1-2 at the 2016 WA Open.
Jarryd Felton’s win at the 2015 NSW PGA just two months after turning professional also highlights how blurred the lines are between the amateurs and professionals on tour.
After sharing the WA Open Round 1 lead with amateur Haydn Barron, Felton enjoyed his second best professional finish in fifth place, but he seemed even more delighted to see his former WA teammate win, tweeting;
There may have also been some comfort from the fact that Luck and runner-up Smyth weren’t eating into his winnings. Instead Felton finished just two shots back of lead professional honours, with fellow rookie pro Antonio Murdaca taking home the cheque in third.
Even if Felton dropped a couple more shots to fall out of the top five, it wouldn’t have cost him a cent. Just one back of Felton in sixth was WA junior Ben Ferguson -- an incredible achievement in itself, but even more so when you consider that the Vines golfer suffered a disastrous start to the event.
Through six holes, Ferguson was 3-over the card, while Luck was 3-under. Those six holes made the eventual difference between the pair, as they went 16-under for their remaining 66 holes.
In short, whether they were professional or amateur, youth dominated at WA Golf Club.
In terms of age, the top 6 came in at 19, 21, 20, 30, 21 and 17 years respectively.
Outside of WA’s Rick Kulacz who placed fourth, five of the top six at the competed at last year’s Interstate Series -- and five golfers from the top ten will play this year.
Scrolling down the entire leaderboard, you’ll find thirteen names in total that will front at next week’s series, and all thirteen made the cut -- including all eight members of the WA state team.
Despite the weight behind these impressive results, it would be more than a stretch to say that the upcoming Interstate Series is the equivalent of a professional event.
But is that necessarily a bad thing?
What these amateurs lack in star pulling power they’ll make up in their camaraderie as a team and their drive to bring glory for their home state.
Just yesterday Golf Victoria posted videos of their State Team braving a frigid Melbourne morning, performing a series of excruciating exercises that included climbing sand dunes on their backs, with the players resembling a sea of crabs and falling all over each other in the process.
The motivation behind these golfers getting up hours before sunrise goes far beyond money and individual glory, yet the standard of their play will be closer to professional golf than it’s ever been. If the Interstate Series was to hypothetically include professional golfers, you could easily argue the case for more than a handful of these amateurs to earn selection.
While breaking WA’s men’s title drought will be the top of Luck’s agenda, Luck says the bond between the WA team is special and he’s looking forward to making the most of the time he has left in that environment.
“It’s really really great how well everyone played. I think we’re going to have a good time at the series no matter the result, but it always helps with how you play,” said Luck.
“We’ve got such a tight little group, we’re all good mates -- or great mates really, and I think a good time off the course will hopefully turn into a good time on the course.”
Photo: PNG Open runner-up Anthony Quayle (QLD) and WA Open Champion Curtis Luck (WA) are just two of Australia's many high flying amateurs.
Story courtesy of Tom Fee, Golf WA
PREVIEW: Stage set for epic Interstate battles
Top-flite amateur golf is cyclical almost by definition and there’s little doubt Victoria’s unprecedented 2015 domination – across all junior and open divisions – sparked several states into redemption mode.
Throw in the drama and tension of the recent junior series in Tasmania, and the stage is set for a memorable battle as Australia’s best amateur men and women do battle at The Brisbane and Royal Queensland Golf Clubs, respectively.
The might of New South Wales has already come to the fore with victory in the girls and a shared triumph with South Australia in the boys three weeks ago.
But it’s the Blues’ senior teams that, arguably, were hit hardest by Victoria’s 2015 domination and are desperate to make amends without a win in the women’s since 2009 or men’s since 2012.
NSW national coach Dean Kinney has left no stone unturned in the state’s quest to bounce back, adding highly regarded pro turned coach John Serhan to oversee the men’s team.
“Our focus has been on emulating the `Big V’ from last year and we are using it for fuel in our lead-up training,” Kinney said.
“John has brought many fresh ideas and has been great for me to be able to focus on the women’s team specifically.
“We have done some interesting team-bonding exercises to get the players out of their comfort zones, work as a team and hopefully gain some new skills in dealing with fear and adversity.
“We even went to a tree-top adventure park with both teams in Wyong, just north of Sydney, which was awesome and, indeed, achieved those things.”
Kinney is confident of both teams’ chances, but says the women face their acid test straight up against the hosts.
“Queensland has the strongest team on paper by a long way and, on their home turf, will be a challenge, especially first game up for us,” Kinney said.
“WA will also be strong, but the course will be very different to what they are used to. If we can get past Queensland, we will have a good chance.”
Either way, Kinney is confident his women will leave the Interstate better for the experience.
“I’d like them to feel more confident and develop as people and golfers,” he said.
“I expect them to do a good job of being the best they can be at all times; I hope this relates to them winning some matches and that is good enough for the series.”
The NSW men, however, justifiably enter full of confidence and with the favourite tag firmly in place.
“I have made sure the guys are not complacent being the favourites and we have clearly the strongest team on paper,” Kinney said.
“Match play can be fickle, but I expect the guys to perform at their best and if they do that, we will be very hard to beat.”
The biggest thing working for the NSW men’s team is depth, with all eight men capable of playing in any position.
“Our preparation has been terrific and our players are all firing. We really could play the team in any order and they would be equally as strong.”
So just how far has NSW gone to ensure they’re ready?
“We have been practising on 328 greens (grass surface) the past month, but it is still always a little unfamiliar for the guys … that will be our challenge.”
And it’s that home-turf advantage that Queensland national coach Tony Meyer says will be a major asset for his young Maroons.
“It's always a big advantage being able to compete on your home courses,” Meyer said.
“With the majority of both teams having played the courses a number of times and being familiar with the Queensland conditions, our teams feel confident they can finish on top.
“Both men's and women's teams have good depth which is important at the Interstate Series.”
This depth, however, is not only to be found up the eastern seaboard, as clearly evidenced by the staggering achievement of the West Australian men’s team with, remarkably, all eight of its team members making the cut at the weekend’s WA Open.
“Amateur golf is extremely strong at the moment and the results last week in Perth showed this,” Meyer said.
“A number of the WA and NSW players are playing great and the Victorian teams are always strong at the Interstate Series.
“So every match-up this year is going to be tough and our teams will need to have their minds on the job throughout the week.”
Both WA teams are on distinct rolls, although the women’s team takes on a different look without long-time state player Hayley Bettencourt who has turned pro.
But with Australian No.1 Hannah Green and the rapidly emerging Kathryn Norris, they should not be overlooked.
The WA men’s team, however, is another star-studded at every turn. WA Open champion Curtis Luck heads a squad with great flexibility for manager Barry Price.
It has a great mix of youth and experience, but even the younger players, national squad member Min Woo Lee, 17, WA Amateur champion Fred Lee, 16, and the ultra-promising Ben Ferguson, 17, are capable of mixing it in any company.
Highlighting the overall depth of amateur golf around the country, no fewer than six of the top 16 at the West Australian Golf Club weren’t playing for money.
“It shows where Australian golf is at the moment and that the programs are producing the goods with all these amateurs coming through who are able to perform at a professional level,” said Luck, who’s prepared to put his great relationships with his peers on hold next week, particularly the reigning champions.
“I think the WA boys are ready to take the title and I couldn’t think of anything better than to take it out of Victoria’s grasp,” he said with a smile.
The Victorian teams look vastly different to those that won at Huntingdale and Royal Melbourne last year with no fewer than four of the men’s squad having taken the pro plunge.
Three of the Victorian women’s team are aged 16 or younger, but the steely focus of Olivia Kline and Stephanie Bunque will complement Interstate Series veteran and captain Joanna Charlton.
South Australia and Tasmania have each fielded women’s teams with great mixes of youth and experience, but will need things to go right to mix it with the more populous states.
The same could probably be said for the men’s teams of Tasmania and the Northern Territory which, while capable of beating anyone on their day, just don’t appear to have the depth of players to realistically threaten the title.
However, the South Australian men shape as a wildcard of much interest.
The state’s golfers continue to punch above their weight on a regular basis and the boys’ recent title triumph in Tasmania was proof of something special brewing.
A great team bond exists among the SA men and with rising Glenelg duo Lachlan Barker and Ben Layton full of confidence, it would be foolish to underestimate a team also containing Matthew Lisk, Williams Somerfield and Sam Earl.
Story courtesy of Golf Australia
Senior Amateur Championships draw naming rights partners
Tuesday 3rd MayThis year's Men's and Women's Senior Amateur Championship will receive a boost thanks to new partnerships.
Age care provider PresCare strengthened its connection with Golf Queensland this year adding to the partnership with the Queensland Senior Order of Merit and are now the naming rights sponsors for the Senior Amateur Championships.
Golf Queensland's golf operation manager Luke Bates said it is pleasing to have the additional support for the senior calendar of events.
"When combined, the senior amateur, both men's and women's, is one of our biggest Championships for the year," Mr Bates said.
"PresCare's support of both Championships is tremendous and we thank them for partnering with Golf Queensland to deliver these events.
PresCare Chief Executive Greg Skelton said the not for profit organisation is proud to sponsor an event which keeps seniors both mentally and physically active.
"PresCare was established more than 85 years ago to help look after the health and wellbeing of Queensland seniors," he said.
"Seeing a group of socially active golfers out on the course is a reminder that helping seniors maintain healthy lives is a vital part of our mission to keep people more connected: to family, friends, their community and the social activities that have been important to them throughout their lives."
"With loneliness and social isolation becoming more prevalent as our society ages, we are finding clients aren't looking for just domestic and personal assistance - it's the social contact they value most, so programs like these play a key part in ensuring seniors remain socially connected."
The Men's Senior Amateur Championship will be played at Bribie Island Golf Club from July 25 to 27 is also supported by the Moreton Bay Regional Council.
The Women's Senior Championship will be played at the newest Queensland golf course, Maroochy River Golf Club from July 24 to 28.
Silver lining to Aussie Sirikit charge
The powerhouse host nation finished an incredible 22-under-par 410 after the third and final round at Ora Country Club on Jeju Island to run out victorious by 23 strokes in the Asian teams’ championship.
But the Aussie women, buoyed by a brilliant closing 69 from international newcomer Robyn Choi, completed a great turnaround to edge out the Philippines on countback at 433.
The Australian women had been sixth after the first round, but proud coach Virginia Irwin said the young team had shown tremendous grit to surge through the field.
“Robyn’s 69 created some great energy on course that filtered through the team,” Irwin said.
“It was a fantastic team effort all round. I was extremely proud of their commitment and how they handled every aspect of this event.”
Choi inspired the Aussie women with her second consecutive sub-par round after a wobbly opening on Wednesday.
The 18-year-old from Royal Pines was exemplary in firing a three-under-par 69 to finish a commendable 21st overall at six over after being 11 over through the opening round and ranked 38th.
Fellow Gold Coaster Karis Davidson finished one stroke better overall at five over after rounds of 77-71-73 to finish T17 – a position that could have been even better if not for a putter that just wouldn’t co-operate.
“Karis showed patience on course playing well throughout, although she was just unable to hole anything,” Irwin said.
Perth’s Hannah Green continued her consistency, but a 73 meant she couldn’t push higher than T7 at two over after starting the day tied sixth.
“Hannah fought back well after finding herself three over after 10 holes,” Irwin said.
Taiwan (434) was fourth, Thailand and Malaysia (437) were tied fifth and China (438) was seventh.
The Korean women were exemplary throughout the tournament en route to their ninth victory in the past 10 Queen Sirikit Cups.
First-round leader Hyun-kyung Park took the individual crown at eight under from second-round leader Hye-jin Choi (-7), with today’s best round of 66 coming from their teammate Gayoung Lee (-6) to complete the trifecta.
Story courtesy of Golf Australia
District Challenge added to junior Amateur
The Challenge will be run over the first two rounds of the Queensland Boy’s and Girl’s Amateur at Bargara Golf Club on the 28th and 29th June.
Golf Queensland’s golf operation manager Luke Bates said the junior Amateur was shaping up to be a terrific Championship, now with the added bonus of the District Challenge.
“Golf Queensland is excited to add this representative concept to the junior Amateur and hope that Districts can use it to assist in the promotion of their junior pathway.
“Without the support of Fayde this initiative would not be possible and we are truly thankful for their sponsorship of this new event.”
One boy and one girl will represent a district with each player to receive a refund on their entry and two Fayde polos with district representation noted on the shirt.
The winners will be the best gross score over the two days in both categories. The district/s with the winning boy and girl will receive a $500 Fayde voucher (one for each winner) which can be used by the district on junior initiatives.
Districts will be emailed at the close of entries (1st June) with a request to send through their selected player and shirt size, if Golf Queensland has not heard back within 48 hours the player with the lowest handicap will be selected, contacted to confirm shirt size and have their entry fee refunded.
In addition to the district shirts all players entering the Boy’s and Girl’s Amateur will have the opportunity to purchase a Fayde tournament polo. Read more
Aussies primed for Queen Sirikit challenge
Australia's women's team -- Hannah Green, Karis Davidson and Robyn Choi -- are at Ora Country Club on South Korea's Jeju Island this week for the Queen Sirikit Cup.
Beating the Korean women in any golf competition is a tall order -- they have won eight of past nine Sirikit trophies -- at the best of times; doing so at the course on which they train and compete is a monumental challenge.
But for Green, a focal point of the combined Asian team's recent win in the Hankins Trophy, a lesson she learnt in Portugal will come in handy.
“They are great players and we'll have to play really well to beat them at home,” Green said from Korea yesterday.
“But people think they're robots and they're not. I saw them make mistakes -- they make them, too.
“Maybe not as many as us, but they do make them,” she said with a giggle.
“I expect us to go reall well this week and be right up there with them.”
Green, of Mt Lawley Golf Club in Perth, along with Gold Coast duo Davidson (Sanctuary Cove) and Choi (Royal Pines), have shared the lion's share of amateur events around Australia in the past year and coach Virginia Irwin says they've arrived on Jeju in good form and full of the confidence those victories should generate.
More importantly, Irwin said, is that they've already bonded wonderfully as a team for the prestigious event which has this year dropped its “invitational” status to be a fully-fledged Asia-Pacific Golf Federation sanctioned event in its 38th staging.
The competition begins today and is played over three rounds with an individual prize and the best two of the three scores counting to each country's team total.
“The girls have done all the right things to be selected to be here and watching them train here now, they're all playing well at the right time,” Irwin said.
“The camaraderie among them is great ... they are helping each other out, playing their roles, giving each other great feedback and that creates a really comfortable environment -- and that's when you play your best golf.
“I think it's going to be hard to beat the Korean team this week, they're such a dominant force. But the way things are going, I'm very hopeful we can be very competitive.”
Australia -- through Minjee Lee, Su Oh and Grace Lennon in 2013 -- is the only team to defeat the Koreans in the past nine years of Sirikit battle.
“And that absolutely is important to us ... the girls all know that it can be done, that we've done it. If they play smart and hole their putts, we can definitely compete.”
Davidson, fresh from her Australian Junior Championship triumph in Tasmania a fortnight ago, took nine holes off a practice round yesterday “just to relax a little”, but rejoined her teammates as they completed their round and said she was feeling good again after a “bit of a rest”.
That left first-time Australian representative Choi and Green to battle it out for the honour of raising the Australian flag at last night's opening ceremony.
And it took a chip-off after a tight battle for Green to finally subdue Choi's spirited challenge.
“It's been great already,” said Choi, whose family's Korean heritage is helping all team members with ordering from local menus.
“I'm nervous a little; I just really want to do something for the team. But it's such an honour to play for Australia and be here ... I can't wait to get going.”
Story courtesy of Golf Australia
Queensland teams prevail to second
Drama to the end as SA, NSW share title
Australian Girls' Interstate Teams
Australian Boys' Interstate Teams
South Australia and New South Wales are the joint boys’ Junior Interstate Series champions after a pulsating final round at Ulverstone, Tasmania.
Only a series of clutch one-putts from the young New South Welshmen prevented the SA boys from winning alone after a day in which three states thought the trophy was going their way.
Queensland began with the ball in its court, knowing it needed only to halve its match against Victoria to seal overall victory.
But when the defending champion Vics stormed home for a 3-2 win, the drama went up another notch.
South Australia and New South Wales had already fought to a tense halved match on Tuesday, but that was nothing compared to what unfolded after the SA boys romped past Northern Territory 5-0 to ensure that calculators were needed.
The Blues, playing against Western Australia, firstly needed to win, but to do so by a score of 4-1 would ensure the title alone.
A 3-2 NSW victory would mean SA won the title and a 3.5-1.5 result would provide joint winners for the first time since 2000 when NSW and WA shared the honours in Brisbane.
When Joshua Gadd (2&1) and Corey Jones (7&6), both of whom were unbeaten all week, triumphed in the No.5 and No.4 matches respectively, NSW looked a solid chance for solo glory.
Mandurah’s Cooper Geddes then threw a spanner in the NSW works when he won the No.3 match 1-up over Jordan Garner, with captain Jason Hong 1-down in the No.2 match to Fred Lee with two holes to play.
Hong, based at Concord, went the aggressive route off the 2nd tee (his 17th hole) but only pitched to 4m with Lee – also unbeaten through the week – half that distance from the cup.
But Hong was equal to the pressure and rolled in his birdie putt dead centre before Lee missed and their match was squared.
After driving into the trees and being forced to pitch out on the third (his last hole), Hong calmly played his third to 2m and rolled in another perfect putt, this time for par to halve the match and leave No.1 Jay McKenzie needing a full point to share the title.
“It was like a dream come true. That’s definitely up there with the greatest moments I’ve had in golf,” Hong said.
“Probably the putt on the last hole, you can’t get much more pressure than that.”
But the drama was far from finished.
West Australian ace Ben Ferguson, trailing 1-down on the last tee, turned up the heat with an approach to 3m, then must have fancied his chances when McKenzie’s approach rolled to 6m right of the pin, but on the fringe.
Remarkably, though, the Ballina gun sent his team into raptures with a curling, downhill putt that dropped for birdie, meaning he couldn’t be beaten and the title was shared.
“Everything fell our way, the putts dropped when they needed to,” Hong said.
“The putt Jay made up the last I just can’t describe – I just wanted to run towards him, give him a big hug.
“We were just in awe , everything fell out way perfectly and it was due to happen, we haven’t won for quite a while, so it was good for Golf New South Wales,” said Hong, who also paid tribute to his South Australian rivals.
It’s South Australia’s third win in 11 years and NSW’s fifth in that time span.
It also gives the Blues a great double after the girls’ team triumphed at Devonport on Tuesday.
NSW national coach Dean Kinney said the tale had been almost from a storybook.
“What an unbelievable week,” Kinney beamed.
“You can believe in what you like about god and universe, but it was meant to happen for everything to be so close, it was quite incredible.”
“The finish was amazing – for the captain to step up and hit a big driver up the tight second last hole when he’s one down and make birdie was brilliant.
“We’d asked Jason to not be as conservative earlier in the week, but what a time to do it – he just stepped up at the crucial time and he’s done it.
“And then that last putt (by McKenzie) … just incredible.”
South Australian manager Christian Puccini was equally gobsmacked by the turn of events, but was exceedingly proud of his team that fought back after an opening 4-1 hammering by Queensland to play the rest of the week unbeaten.
“Last year we started with two losses and didn’t lose again after day one, so this year we were keen to get a good start but came up short again,” he said.
“But the guys regrouped and did really well after that – they never got down about their chances … and I’ve never seen a tighter group.
“Watching Lachie Barker and Jackson Kalz go so well in the (Australian Junior Championship) last week, it really gave the boys confidence they could mix it and that we had the players who could do the job.
“We had some solid players, but anyone who was down one day played well the next day, so we managed to have three or four in form each match and the guys all picked up straight after they had a bad one.
Barker, Ben Layton and Liam Georgiadis will all play for SA’s senior team in next month’s Interstate Championship in Brisbane, but Puccini also praised Michael Coleman whom he said “dominated” in his three matches after a flat result in last week’s individual championship.
“Him and all the guys just really did what needed to be done – it was a great team effort,” Puccini said.
“It’s a fantastic result for the state – an awesome achievement for these fellas, they’ve been training hard and they’re a top bunch of kids. To see them winning is a proud moment.”
Earlier, Queensland had the fate of the trophy in its hand and looked good when Chris Jimenez and Lochie Coleborn won matches at No.5 and No.4, respectively, to ensure that pair played the tournament undefeated, too.
But in what turned out to be the pivotal match, Victorian Toby Walker steadied after giving up an early lead at No.3 and eventually beat Louis Dobbelaar 3&2 to set the reigning champs away.
Matias Sanchez and Cameron John then completed the job for Victoria with 3&2 and 4&3 wins at No.2 and No.1 respectively, leaving Queensland an agonising half-point short of victory.
Victoria finished a creditable fourth, equal on points with Queensland but behind on matches won, while WA finished fifth with a 4-3 record.
The ACT downed Tasmania 3-2 in a tight encounter to finish sixth ahead of the hosts, while the Northern Territory was valiant throughout the week, but couldn’t quite get over the line.
Scott unavailable for Olympic selection
The world No.7 says scheduling and family commitments will prevent him from giving his utmost to Australia’s Games tilt as golf returns to the Olympics for the first time since 1904.
“My decision has been taken as a result of an extremely busy playing schedule around the time of the Olympics and other commitments, both personal and professional,” Scott said today.
“I have informed the Australian team captain (Ian Baker-Finch) and relevant authorities, who are understanding of my position and I wish the Australian Olympic team the very best of luck in Rio.”
Golf Australia chief executive Stephen Pitt said the early decision would enable another medal contender to take his place.
“We’re obviously disappointed Adam will not play because he’s one of the best players in the world, but we understand his position,” Pitt said.
“This means one of our other elite players will get the chance and we’re more than happy that we will field a very strong team in Rio.
“We will have at least four great golfers compete for Australia in Brazil and we’re very excited for what that means to golf in this country and more broadly around the world.”
Story courtesy of Golf Australia
Cards fall Queensland's way after tense battle
A tension-filled halved match between New South Wales and surprise packet South Australia left the states tied second with 4.5 points, only half a point behind the young Maroons.
But both states are far enough back in terms of individual matches won that Queensland will win overall should it halve its critical final-round match against Victoria tomorrow.
The Queenslanders (5-1) overpowered Tasmania 5-0 in the afternoon following a 3.5-1.5 win over old rival New South Wales in the morning.
Victoria looms as the wildcard after fighting back on day three with wins over Western Australia and the ACT today to draw level with WA at 4-2.
Both Victoria and WA could mathematically win, but would need to win 5-0 tomorrow and have a series of other results fall their way, with South Australia’s great form making that particularly unlikely.
Tasmania and ACT face each other tomorrow and are tied sixth with 1-5 records, one game clear of the winless Northern Territory, SA’s final-round opponent.
South Australia and NSW played a tremendous match that ebbed and flowed throughout a tense afternoon.
It wasn’t until the No.1 match between in-form pair Jay McKenzie (NSW) and Lachlan Barker (SA) was halved on the final green that the marbles really fell Queenlsand’s way with the combatants unable to be split at 2.5 matches each.
The final round will be played on Friday morning.
Australian Girls' Interstate Teams
Australian Boys' Interstate Teams
Story courtesy of Golf Australia
Old rivals brace for title showdown
The young Maroons set up a head-to-head shootout with long-time rival New South Wales for the title tomorrow morning with a 4-1 triumph over the Vics at Devonport.
The Blues put themselves in that position with a resounding 4.5-0.5 win over the Composite Team today, sufficient to make the Tuesday match a winner-take-all encounter.
Queensland (4-0) remains undefeated and will win the title should it win or halve the match against NSW (3-1).
But even a 3-2 win by the young Blues will push them past their northern rivals and into top spot with Victoria (also 3-1) unable to catch the winner.
Lisa Edgar gave the young Maroons a great start with a 3&2 win over Linley Ooi, but Victoria hit back when Alex Hilliard toppled Darcy Hobgood 1-up in the No.4 match.
But Queensland’s young veterans – Stacey White, Becky Kay and Karis Davidson, who’ve now played 10 Interstate Series between them – stood tall, toppling Zara Woodbridge, Gabi Ruffels and Alizza Hetherington, respectively.
A series of dramatic matches has left the boys’ competition in a far greater state of flux.
Only Cameron John’s win prevented NSW from completing a clean sweep of Victoria this afternoon, leaving the Blues clear atop an incredibly congested chasing pack.
The reigning champion Vics, now 2-2, are only mathematically alive with no fewer than four states having rushed past them.
New South Wales have gone unbeaten to date, but face the hardest road home of all the contenders with three consecutive matches against the teams with a 3-1 record to come.
One of those, South Australia, has swept all before it since an opening loss to Queensland on Monday morning. The young Croweaters stunned Victoria on Monday afternoon, then took down Western Australia this morning before securing their lofty spot with a 4-1 win over the ACT this afternoon.
But far from rolling over, the WA boys showed real bottle in the afternoon with a pulsating 3-2 win over Queensland, leaving both states locked with SA at 3-1 overall.
Chris Jimenez, at No.5, and Lochie Coleborn, at No.3, gave Queensland a 2-1 lead after WA’s Hayden Hopewell took the No.4 match.
But with their title aspirations on the line, WA’s Freddy Lee dispatched Louis Dobbelaar 5&4 at No.2, then watched as Ben Ferguson played some pressure golf to topple top-ranked Queenslander Charlie Pilon 3&1 in the top match.
In another important match, host Tasmania took down Northern Territory 3-2 to earn its first point.
The girls’ competition ends tomorrow after the morning matches, while the boys finish on Wednesday morning.
Story courtesy of Golf Australia
QLD Boys' & Girls' Interstate Matches updates
|Boys Final Placing: 2nd
|Round 7: QLD v VIC. Lost 2-3.
|Round 6: QLD v TAS. Win 5-0.
| Round 5: QLD v NSW. Win 3-2.
|Round 4: QLD v WA. Lost 3-2.
| Round 3: QLD v ACT. Win 4-1.
|Round 2: QLD v NT. Win 4.5-0.5
|Round 1: QLD v SA. Win 4-1.
Boys Individual Results
|Girls Final Placing: 2nd
Davidson holds nerve, shakes bridesmaid tag
Even when she tapped in the winning par putt on the 18th today, she wasn’t sure the girls’ Australian Junior Championship was hers.
But when applause rang out around the Devonport Golf Club, the quietly spoken Queenslander knew her days as a bridesmaid were over.
“I wasn’t too sure I’d won, but everyone clapped and then I obviously knew,” Davidson said after a five-under-par round of 67 left her at 22 under and a one-shot victor over New Zealand’s Momoka Kobori.
“It feels really good because I’d come runner-up twice and I thought maybe third time lucky, so that was good.
“It’s obviously been my goal all week … it feels really good to get it this time.”
Davidson, 17, was beaten by a shot by Melbourne’s Konomi Matsumoto at Yering Meadows in 2014, then watched Celina Yuan birdie the last at Tea Tree Gully last year before the Sydneysider prevailed in a three-hole playoff.
But the Queenslander wouldn’t be denied this time around.
After Kobori and fellow Gold Coaster Becky Kay fired several early challenges, Davidson held tough down the final stretch, playing a blemish free back nine in four under the card as her opponents blinked momentarily.
“I kept playing the course and just wanted to make the best score I could instead of playing against the other girls,” said Davidson, also the winner of the recent West Australian Amateur Championship.
“I was a little bit nervous, (especially after) the previous years were so close, but I held it together and finished well.”
Davidson, who will soon join Hannah Green at the US Women’s Open as co-winners of the Karrie Webb Series scholarship, also wins a berth in next year’s ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open field at Royal Adelaide where she’ll play against a fully fledged LPGA Tour field.
Story courtesy of Golf Australia
Kay, Davidson lead maroon charge
Golf Australia national squad member Becky Kay leads at -12 after a second consecutive round of six-under-par 68 at Devonport Golf Club.
But it wasn’t enough to break her own teammates, let alone the field, with four of the top seven spots held down by Queenslanders with 36 holes to play tomorrow.
The day’s best round belonged to Kay’s fellow Gold Coaster Karis Davidson, who fired a personal best score to par, a seven-under 67.
Davidson leapfrogged four places to sit one shot behind Kay and New Zealand’s Momoka Kobori at 11 under.
Toowomba’s Darcy Habgood impressed again with a 70 to sit at nine under, while Surfers Paradise youngster Lisa Edgar fired a superb 69 to jump to outright seventh at seven under.
Also firmly in the mix at nine under are Wollongong’s Stef Hall (71) and Mandurah’s Kathryn Norris (70) after another day of low scoring.
“There were some good scores again today, so it’s nice to shoot one (myself),” said Davidson, who was recently confirmed alongside Hannah Green as a Karrie Webb Series scholarship winner.
Davidson said she “didn’t do anything special” despite canning eight birdies against just one bogey.
“I was a bit unlucky with a few putts yesterday, but today they all seemed to go in, which was nice.”
Davidson, 17, based at Sanctuary Cove, said the feeling among the Queensland team was strong.
“Tony (coach Tony Meyer) was really happy with the scores and the way we played,” she said.
“I’m not sure if there’s a reason, just that we all practise hard and push each other along – we’re a good team.”
The field was cut to 60 with another Queenslander, Eloise Taylor, the final girl to advance at +12.
The tournament wraps up tomorrow (Friday) with 36 holes, again at Devonport.
Story courtesy of Golf Australia
Hall, Kay strike early blows
New Zealand’s Momoka Kobori leads after a day of low scores, her seven-under-par 67 the culmination of some precision iron play on a lovely day in northern Tasmania.
But Hall and Kay, both of whom have experience representing Australia, sit handily just one back after 68s that left each delighted with their progress.
Hall, 16, came out of the blocks in dazzling form, canning “pretty much everything I looked at” with her red-hot putter.
The Year 11 student at Shellharbour Anglican College near Wollongong said her game had improved greatly since playing for Australia in the Asia-Pacific Golf Confederation Junior Championship in Taiwan in August.
“With my coach Steve McRae (from Russell Vale Golf Club near Bulli), I’ve really put a lot more work into course preparation and planning and it’s probably taken a couple of shots off (per round),” said Hall, who opened with four consecutive birdies and six in her first seven holes.
“It gives me confidence that I know what I’m going to (confront) before each round.”
Hall’s six-under round was her best score ever to par and featured an 11m bomb for a birdie two on the 14th, but surprisingly no further inroads on the back-nine par-5s.
Conversely, Gold Coaster Kay made light work of the late long holes, with eagles on the 11th and 13th holes to charge through the field.
That was a far cry from the early part of the Golf Australia national squad member’s round when she “couldn’t make a putt”.
“I was a couple over (after six) but I just made a birdie putt or two and then things started going in,” said the Coolangatta-Tweed member who has put behind her some indifferent results earlier in the summer.
“I’ve definitely improved since then and I’m getting stronger with all the work we are doing. It’s much better now that I actually know what’s happening on the course when I go out there again.,” she said with a laugh.
Toowoomba’s Darcy Hobgood and Mandurah’s Kathryn Norris sit tied fourth at five under, while top-ranked Karis Davidson, of Sanctuary Cove, is among a group of four at four under.
Defending champ Celina Yuan, of Sydney, finished at one under, as did Victorian Kono Matsumoto who rattled off four late birdies after her chances looked to be waning early.
The top 60 and ties after tomorrow’s second round will advance to the final 36 holes on Friday.
Story courtesy of Golf Australia
Greatness just around the corner
But if ever there was a point to illustrate just how close the grand stages of world golf can be, the reigning Australian boys’ champion will be in the American getaway this week testing his game against the world’s best on the US PGA Tour.
Ryan Ruffels, who would still be eligible to play this week had he not turned professional in December, won the boys’ title in fine style last year with two record rounds to close his successful title defence.
Conversely, the reigning girls’ champion is back and Celina Yuan will start among the favourites to become just the third player since 1990 to defend her crown.
Victorian Mi Sun Cho achieved the feat in 2004 and 2005, following New South Wales star Gloria Park, who won three consecutive titles from 1996-98.
Sydneysider Yuan, 17, who represents The Australian Golf Club, was a semi-finalist in the Australian Amateur Championship at Metropolitan in January and has continued to churn out good results since.
But on the well-kept surrounds of the Devonport Golf Club this week, she will likely renew a rivalry that reached its zenith at this time last year when she beat Queenslander Karis Davidson on the third hole of a playoff at Tea Tree Gully in South Australia.
Davidson, 17, who represents Sanctuary Cove Golf Club, has taken her game to a new level recently and currently tops the Australian junior girls’ rankings after beating Australian No.1 Hannah Green in the West Australian Amateur title last month.
The power-packed New South Wales contingent features four players in the top 20 of the national rankings, including Doey Choi (12) and the emerging Hannah Park (14).
Other top contenders for the girls’ title include Queensland’s Becky Kay (13), a member of the Golf Australia national squad, West Australian Kathryn Norris (9) and Victorian duo Alizza Hetherington (11) and Gabriela Ruffels (28), who is eager to continue her rapid improvement.
The boys’ competition, at nearby Ulverstone Golf Club, promises to be fiercely contested with Queenslander Charlie Pillon the top-ranked contender.
Pillon, 17, was the medallist at the Australian Amateur Championship in January and packs a game that’s being steadily honed by the QAS and at his Hills International School base.
But he will face a battle royale to live up to the billing with a strong West Australian attack sure to come from Freddy Lee and Ben Ferguson, second and fourth in the rankings, respectively.
Another West Australian Min Woo Lee (7) and his GA national squadmate, Victorian Cameron John (3) are also primed for the event, while Sydney’s Jason Hong (5), Melbourne’s Matias Sanchez (6) and exciting Canberra prospect Joshua Armstrong (10) each have designs on following Ruffels’ footsteps.
Both events are played over 72 holes – 18 on Wednesday and Thursday before a cut to the top 60 and ties, then 36 holes to determine the champion on Friday.
The Boys’ and Girls’ Interstate Championships are then played separately for three days from Sunday, with Victoria defending both titles.
Story courtesy of Golf Australia
'Fried' Smith completes first Masters
Smith, 22, closed with a 74 to finish tied-55th but confessed to being exhausted from four days of grinding.
"I just sort of soaked it all in today,'' he said. "There wasn't really a goal in place or anything. The goal was to go out there and just have fun and soak it all in. I did that pretty good. Again, didn't probably play the way I wanted to, but that's golf.''
The former Australian amateur champion said his only surprise was how tough the course played in the conditions. "It's definitely harder than I thought. Not generally the course, just the conditions. I mean, rarely do you see winds like we had the first three days on TV. I mean, I was coming in expecting it to be tough, but the conditions itself to be relatively easily and it definitely wasn't that.''Adam Scott was another Australian who struggled to make an impact, finishing with a 76 to finish just outside the top 40. "Today was just a continuation of the week, really,'' he said. "I'm a little disappointed with today's round. It started well, but I had about three three-putts, I think, and kind of from nowhere, and just a bit sloppy. I got to the point somewhere in the round where the reality set in that I'm not going to do anything special and just that intensity dropped and this course bites you, which was a little bit disappointing."
Story courtesy of Golf Australia
Willett's Masters after Spieth meltdown
The American appeared to be cruising as he went to the back nine five ahead, having led at the end of all three previous rounds, and on his way to back-to-back wins at Augusta National. He had made his run with four consecutive birdies from the sixth, concluding with a brilliant, curling putt on the par-four ninth.
But Spieth, just 22, revealed a human side when he was bitten by the famous par-three 12th, in the heart of Amen Corner, hitting his tee shot and then another ball into Rae's Creek and taking a quadruple bogey seven. Walking to the tee a shot ahead of Willett, he was suddenly three behind. "I just put a bad swing on it at the wrong time,'' an emotional Spieth said later.
Spieth's back-nine implosion -- he shot 41 -- will go into the legion of Masters meltdowns with Greg Norman (1996) and Rory McIlroy (2011). In the end, he tied for second with England's Lee Westwood after closing with a 73, including seven birdies.
It was not to be an Australian challenge this year, with Jason Day (73) never threatening.
The Queenslander began the final day just three behind Spieth, but could not make anything happen. Day's only birdies were on par-fives as he struggled today, and he finished tied-10th.
It was Willett who made the play with a brilliant 67 to post five-under par, and he waited in the clubhouse as Spieth tried to pull his game back around on the last few holes. The American made two birdies and hit it close at the 16th, giving himself a chance. But his run ended at the 17th, where his approach found the front trap and he took bogey.
Willett, 28, embraced his caddie knowing that he had won his first major having led the tournament for just three holes, and as was quickly observed, the son of a vicar had won the a Masters that was decided at Amen Corner.
"It was a very surreal day when you look back at the ebbs and flows,'' he said afterward, receiving the winner's green jacket. "We're just fortunate the shots we hit were correct at the time and we holed a few putts when we needed to.''
The Englishman will leap into the world's top 10 players and while he has escaped notice previously, he is an outstanding player. He was already ranked No. 12 in the world before today, and he was the No. 2 player in Europe behind Rory McIlroy last year.
It was a day when the scoring was a little better, helped by hole-in-ones from Davis Love and Louis Oosthuizen at the 16th. Oosthuizen's shot will go into the annals because it ricocheted off the ball of his playing partner, JB Holmes, and trickled into the cup, surely a first.
Sadly, Spieth threw it away, but there will be many more chances for him ahead. "I just think it was really it was a very tough 30 minutes for me that hopefully I never have to experience again,'' he said.
Story courtesy of Golf Australia
Golf’s not just for grey nomads
Featured in Bmag April 8th, by Resa Zekants
Looking for a new hobby, ladies? Join some of South East Queensland’s best golf clubs for a free introduction to Ladies, Let’s Golf.
Ladies, Let’s Golf is an innovative new golf program designed exclusively for women, encouraging new golfers and returning ones to develop and refresh their golfing skills.
As an introduction to the course keen golfers can enjoy a free 60 minute session incorporating two golf skill aspects, with all equipment like golf balls and clubs as well as coaching and afternoon refreshments included.
If you’ve never played golf before, you probably have this idea in your head that it’s a sport for older men and women – but that couldn’t be more from the truth!
You wouldn’t think it, but golf’s actually a great way to get fit! In fact, a low-impact 18-hole game of golf burns around 900 calories! That’s quite a lot!
It’s also a great way to de-stress! Why not get away from work and the kids and have a round of golf with the girls? All whilst being outside in the sunshine surrounded by beautiful lakes and gardens! Yes, please!
But it’s not just the exercise and stress-less aspect of the game that’ll have you hooked, it’s also a great way to meet new friends and get a bit of socialising in! And, we all love to do that!
The Ladies, Let’s Golf course will help you meet like-minded women in a fun, relaxed and non-competitive environment, as well as learn more about golf and the skills involved. And, it doesn’t matter if you’re a regular golfer or not, anyone can join the course no matter what your skill level is.
So get out there and try something different this year! Ladies, Let’s Golf free introduction courses will be held at numerous golf clubs around Brisbane. For clubs involved or for more information visit www.golfqueensland.org.au
Aussies make sluggish start
World No.1 Jason Day looked set to buck the trend, but a nasty closing stretch cost him five shots and an even-par 72, six shots off the pace of defending champion Jordan Spieth.
It meant not one of the five-strong Aussie contingent could find red numbers on a trying day.
In gusting winds around Augusta National, Cameron Smith and Marc Leishman were the next best of the Aussies with two-over-par 74s.
Pre-tournament fancy Adam Scott was unusually wayward in carding a flat 76, while fellow Queenslander Steve Bowditch shot a 79 as his battle with a nasty wrist injury raged.
Smith began with a bogey on the first, then added a double-bogey on the third to leave himself in early strife.
But the Masters rookie hit back with birdies on all the par fives after that point and only a late stumble with a three-putt on the par-3 16th knocking him back down the leaderboard.
Leishman, too, was a couple over through five holes, but hung tough and by the time he played a superb approach inside 2m on the 17th, he was able to move towards day two with a hint of momentum.
“To hit a good tee shot, good second shot and have a nice short putt (on 17) … then a nice little up-and-down on 18 was nice … so a good one tomorrow and hopefully get back in it,” Leishman said.
“I hit some really good shots that finished in terrible positions.
“The way the wind was switching and it swirls a lot … all of a sudden you’re in a spot when a (bogey) is a good score.
“On a day like today, it’s important to let things not get out of hand. It’s really tough out there, especially with the greens so fast.
“It’s interesting, but it’s fun. I grew up in the wind and I enjoy this stuff and it’s not just windy for me.”
But the story wasn’t the same for Scott who just couldn’t find his rhythm.
The 2013 champion took six bogeys and, amazingly, found birdies on the tough 6th and 11th holes to prevent shooting himself out of contention.
Remarkably, Scott could not make a birdie on any of the par-5s that he normally gobbles up.
Sadly, Bowditch just hasn’t had the time for the preparations he’d have loved for his second trip to Augusta. Battling a painful wrist injury and other recent dental issues, he just couldn’t find his groove.
Bowditch opened with bogey, then took a penalty drop en route to a double-bogey on the par-5 second hole.
He managed a birdie on the eighth, but couldn’t take advantage of a couple of late opportunities to finish at seven over the card and needing a huge second round to make the cut.
Story courtesy of Golf Australia.
Day: Four bad holes among terrific golf
He wasn’t smiling half an hour later.
The Queenslander had been coasting along at five under with a swirling Augusta wind seemingly in his sails when, just one behind leader Jordan Spieth, he chose the seemingly prudent path of laying up on the par-5 15th.
His approach still left him with a birdie chance, but critically well above the hole.
Three putts later, a bogey meant his sails were no longer fluttering.
An errant tee shot on 16 soon had them, like his ball, well and truly wet and going backwards.
The world No.1 took a penalty drop, but then made another blocked pitch for his third to the famous par three green – again to a penal perch well above the hole.
Three more putts later, this time with a triple-bogey aboard, he had fallen off the leaderboard in 10 troubling minutes.
A tugged drive up 17 meant a second to another disaster zone behind the exposed green and facing a large bank – another hurdle he couldn’t overcome and another bogey dropped him back to even par.
A lucky break on his final drive – Day’s ball jumped out of the first bunker left and sat on the grass before the second trap – eased the pressure and led to a regulation par.
But by then, the gloss had been stripped from what had appeared a superb round from which to launch Australia’s assault on a second green jacket.
Day began with a spectacular long approach shot to set up eagle at the second, then by the time he’d nearly holed out his second on the par-four ninth, he’d gone out in an imperious 31.
A bogey on 10 was quickly forgotten by a great par save on 11 and a two-putt birdie on 13, with the drama ahead not even remotely on the radar.
But a back-nine 41 shows that there’s no corner on this classic course where you can hide for a few minutes if things look wobbly – even if Day later said he wasn’t fazed.
“I'm not too frustrated with how everything went. Yeah, it's not the way I planned it out today, but I felt like I played some really good golf up until then,” he said.
“But if you get yourself out of position here at this course it's very difficult to salvage par – unfortunately starting on 15, I got myself out of position pretty good.”
Day said he didn’t want to miss right on with a left-to-right breeze on the 16th tee, but then double-crossed himself.
“You don't want to miss the green right or miss it up at the top there right, so you try and be a little bit more aggressive. And I (had) good swing, I just pulled it a little and it went in the water.
“Then you don’t want to go there again, so you hit it right. From there, you just can't get it near the hole. It's so hard, no matter how soft or how hard you hit it or the perfect position, it's just really difficult to get it near the hole.
“But there were only four bad holes, really, in amongst some really terrific golf.
“To be honest, I played great golf. If I went 41 on the front side and 31 on the back side I'd be just celebrating. Obviously it's just a number.
“I've just got to slowly try to inch my way back into this tournament if I can and be patient with myself and hopefully I'm there by Sunday.
Story courtesy of Golf Australia.
Day will win Masters - Player, Strange
Day is guaranteed to be top of the rankings when he arrives at Augusta National following back-to-back victories in the Arnold Palmer Invitational and WGC-Dell Match Play.
Former Ryder Cup captain Strange feels the US PGA champion can become just the third player after Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods to claim a green jacket after winning their previous two tournaments.
"Absolutely I think he can do it," said the 1988 and 1989 US Open champion, who is now an analyst for ESPN. "I think it's a great position to be in.
"You wonder how long it will last. He's not thinking like that. He's doing everything he can possibly do to keep this going through next week, and I'd much rather be in a position where people are saying can it last, versus trying to find something. I'd rather be in Jason Day's position than (defending champion) Jordan Spieth's position right now.
"Jason is incredibly streaky. We saw that last year. But really it's a streak continuing from last year to this year. He seems to have figured it out.
"Remember, we wondered when we first saw Jason about five years ago at Augusta (he finished joint second on his debut in 2011) and then he didn't quite play to what we thought he might the next couple of years, due to injuries and whatnot.
"He's doing now what I've always thought he would be able to do. He's an incredible swinger of the golf club, a free swinger, which means he's going to play some streaky golf, up and down a little bit, much like Rory (McIlroy)," Strange said.
"And when a standard has been set by Tiger playing well every single week, sometimes it's a bit unfair to hold all these guys to that. But Jason is having a streak of his own, and it's good stuff, and I don't see any reason why he won't be playing well next week."
Player, a career grand slam winner and triple Masters champion, agrees with Strange after Day triumphed last week in the World Match Play against the top 64 players in the world.
Following the win, Day moved back to the top of the world rankings, dropping Spieth to second.
“There are a host of players that can win (The Masters), but I loved Jason Day's swing long before he won (the USPGA) and I've always loved Jason Day's game," Player said.
"At the moment, I would say Jason Day,” said the 80-year-old Player.
His believes the major obstacle to Day's success this week will be the uncanny putting ability of the defending champion, Jordan Spieth.
Story courtesy of Golf Australia
Davidson and Choi off to Korea for big Asia-Pacific women’s amateur event
The pair are to be joined by West Australian Hannah Green for the event in South Korea, where the host nation is chasing a ninth title from the past 10 years.
It will be an ironic experience for Choi, who was born in Sydney but whose parents come from Korea.
“It is a big thrill to be picked for Australia,” 18-year-old Choi said.
“As an amateur being able to represent your country is a big thing and one of my goals is to turn professional and be able to play for Australia in an Olympic Games.”
Australia last won the trophy in 2013 in Taiwan with Minjee Lee, Su Oh and Grace Lennon in the green and gold.
For Davidson and Green there is a double bonus because they are also heading off to California for the US Women’s Open in July.
And for Davidson it will be an extra special trip because she turns 18 on July 7, the first day of the Open at CordeValle resort near San Jose.
She and Green won $10,000 packages for finishing first and second in the Karrie Webb Series, sponsored by Australia’s greatest female player. And Choi finished third. The pair will be guests of Webb during their stay in California and will get to soak up all the atmosphere at one of women’s golf majors.
“It’s really cool and it should be a great opportunity to meet such a great player as she is,” Davidson said.
The Coast pair went head-to-head in the Queensland Amateur stroke and match play titles late last year.
Davidson won the stroke series at Palm Meadows then faced Choi in the final of the match play when the latter came from behind to win.
Davidson then followed up by winning the West Australian stroke title last month.
Story courtesy of Gold Coast Bulletin: Terry Wilson
Isuzu Queensland Open - Regional Amateur Qualifiers Announced
Tuesday 5th April
Golf Queensland is pleased to announce the addition of two regional amateur qualifying events for this year's Isuzu Queensland Open.
The gross winner of Golf North Queensland Men's Open and the gross winner of the City of Rockhampton Men's Open will both be given an exemption into the main field of this year's Isuzu Queensland Open. Entries are still open for both events:
Golf North Queensland Men's Open - Saturday 30th April and Sunday 1st May 2016
Venue: Rowes Bay Golf Club
To enter visit http://www.golfnq.org.au/
City of Rockhampton Men's Open - Saturday 30th April and Sunday 1st May 2016
Venue: Rockhampton Golf Club
To enter call 07 4927 3311
After consultation with the Districts it was decided that these two 36 hole stroke play opens would serve as excellent amateur qualifying events for the Isuzu Queensland Open.
"To have the addition of two regional qualifying events is a win for both the players competing in the regional areas and the Isuzu Queensland Open," Tournament Director, Isuzu Queensland Open Luke Bates said.
"It is hoped that the allocation of an exemption to each winner will spark further interest in these regional events and also the Isuzu Queensland Open."
"We must thank the Far North Queensland Golf Association, Golf NQ and Golf CQ for their assistance in organising these regional qualifiers for 2016."
In 2015, over 330 competitors entered the Isuzu Queensland Open which after pre-qualifying saw 120 players tee it up at Brookwater Golf and Country Club.
In addition to the regional qualifying events the following State Championships will also provide winners with an exemption into the 2016 Isuzu Queensland Open.
• 2015 Greg Norman Junior Masters
• 2016 Queensland Boy's Amateur Championship
o Bargara Golf Club - June 28 to July 1 - Entries are now open - Click here
• 2016 Men's Stroke Play Championship
o Pacific Harbour Golf Club - 28 to 30 August
• 2016 Men's Queensland Amateur Championship
o Pacific Harbour Golf Club - 28 to 30 August
• 2016 Keperra Bowl
o Keperra Golf Club - 11 to 14 October
The Isuzu Queensland Open will be contested at The Brisbane Golf Club from Thursday 20th October to Sunday 23 October 2016. For more information on the Isuzu Queensland Open please click here.
Smith set for Augusta debut
Cameron Smith could hardly have had a better warm-up for his debut appearance at Augusta National, a blistering 4-under back nine at Golf Club of Houston lifting him inside the top-20 for just the second time this year.
Smith played steady golf at the Shell Houston Open with rounds of 69-72-72-69 but it was his final round, and last nine holes in particular, which will give him the most confidence heading to Georgia.
After a poor start and making the turn 1-over with two bogeys and a birdie, Smith showed the sort of intestinal fortitude which saw him finish T4 at last year's US Open at Chambers Bay.
He opened his back nine with three straight birdies and added a fourth at the difficult par-3 16th to tour the final nine holes in 32 in his final competitive hit out before The Masters.
Above average greens in regulation figures and a positive Strokes Gained Putting statistic bode well for the tricky slopes at Augusta National and Smith will be heading down Magnolia Lane with positive thoughts in his mind.
Of the nine Australians to tee up in Houston only Smith and Steven Bowditch were assured starts at The Masters at the start of the week and without an Australian victory it remained that way.
Bowditch missed the cut and has work to do if he is to have a chance next week but there were encouraging signs for some of the other Australians who've found the going tough this year.
2006 US Open winner Geoff Ogilvy and PGA TOUR rookie Rhein Gibson both made their second cuts for the season, both finishing in red figures for the week for just the second time since January.
Ogilvy played his best golf in the opening round where he posted three birdies against a lone bogey but trod water for the rest of the week with two birdies and two bogies each day to remain 2-under after 72 holes.
Gibson was a little more erratic making five more birdies for the week than Ogilvy but also dropping more shots, including a double bogey at the 18th in the first round.
Stuart Appleby also made a double at the final hole though his mistake, unfortunately, came in the final round after some fighting play had got him to 3-under for the day and a chance to finish in the top-25.
While not the finish he was looking for his performance for the week was encouraging as he battles to earn the roughly $600,000 required to keep his card as he plays the year on a medical exemption.
John Senden was the final Australian to make the cut and after three solid rounds had a disappointing back nine Sunday to drop down the standings.
A triple bogey six at the par-3 14thwas the lowlight of the week but in a season where he has missed as many cuts as he has made to date, playing the weekend is a positive.
The surprise of the week was the play of Aaron Baddeley who has shown good form much of the year as he tries to win back his full card.
Despite a good record at the Golf Club of Houston Baddeley limped to a second round 75 to miss the cut for just the fourth time in 12 starts since the season began last October.
Former winner Matt Jones and Robert Allenby were the final two Australians in the field and they joined Baddeley in missing the cut by a single stroke.
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Story courtesy of PGA Australia
2016 Qld Men's and Women's Foursomes Championships
The Queensland Men’s and Women’s Foursomes Championships was once again strongly supported with a large field of nearly 170 competitors teeing off at Wynnum Golf Club on Sunday.
Scott Draper (Keperra) and Ashley Grosvenor (Keperra) won the 2016 Queensland Men’s Foursomes Championship by a commanding three strokes with scores of 70-67 for a total of 137.
The QAS squad pairing of Shae Wools-Cobb (Maroochy River) and Charlie Dann (Pelican Waters) closed out their afternoon round with 67 to join their morning score of 73 (total 140) to finish runners up and three shots behind the winners.
The Brisbane duo of Timothy Lukin and Cameron Powell combined well to shoot the day’s best round of 66 and take the first round lead, but their afternoon score of 74 (total 140) wasn’t enough to keep them on top, finishing in third place on a count back.
The Women’s Foursomes was won by the State Team pairing of Robyn Choi (Royal Pines) and Kirsty Hodgkins (Redcliffe). Despite trailing by two shots heading into the afternoon, the pair’s consistency of rounds of 73-74 (Total 147) was enough to win by one shot.
It was the State Junior Girls pairing of Darcy Habgood (Toowoomba) and Lisa Edgar (Surfers Paradise) that set the hot pace in the morning with a promising score of 71, however this could not be maintained with the pair signing for an afternoon round of 77 (Total 148) falling just short.
This was the fourth year in a row that Wynnum Golf Club has hosted this State Championship and was once again presented in great condition. The player’s obviously enjoying the venue and format with stronger than ever numbers consisting of 23 women partners and 61 male partners entered.
Photos are now available on the Golf Queensland Facebook Page.
for full list of results.
Entries for the Mixed Foursomes Championships to be held at McLeod Golf Club, Sunday 29th May are now open. Enter here.
Queen Sirikit Cup team selected
Australia has selected an in-form team to tackle next month’s prestigious Queen Sirikit Cup in Korea.
Perth’s Hannah Green and Gold Coast duo Karis Davidson and Robyn Choi will head to Jeju Island from April 27-29 vying for the mantle of Asia-Pacific’s top women’s team.
The 38th staging will be the first as an affiliated event under the Asia-Pacific Golf Federation’s banner, leaving behind its “invitational” status and opening up the tournament to entries from across the region.
The team will be coached by Virginia Irwin and managed by Matt Cutler, who said beating the host nation would be a tall order given they’ve won eight of the past nine championships.
“It will be exciting to take an in-form team to Korea and pit ourselves against the best in our region,” Cutler said.
“The APGC team recently beat Europe in the Patsy Hankins Trophy, so we know how strong golf is in Asia.
“And it is a World Amateur year, so all players will be looking to make an impression given the formats are identical.”
The best two stroke scores daily for each team count towards the prestigious team event, while an individual prize is also up for grabs.
Australia last won the trophy in 2013 in Taiwan with Minjee Lee, Su Oh and Grace Lennon in the green and gold.
Green, Davidson and Choi are hoping to emulate that squad with each in impressive form.
Green, of Mt Lawley Golf Club, has been Australia’s top amateur throughout the past year and was a key part of the Asia-Pacific triumph at the Hankins Trophy in Portugal two weeks ago.
The West Australian is also tournament hardened having returned a string of top results in professional events throughout the summer.
Davidson, of Sanctuary Cove, won the Queensland Strokeplay Championship last year and followed up last week with victory over Green in the WA Strokeplay, ensuring that duo won the Karrie Webb Series scholarships for 2016.
Choi, of Royal Pines, will make her Australian debut having been runner-up in the Golf SA Classic last week and victorious at the Greg Norman Junior Classic last year.
Story courtesy of Golf Australia
Trainees and Pros reap glory in QLD
The PGA Trainee Team battled it out against the Queensland Junior Team on a quest to secure the PJ Davies Plate for the first time in 13 years.
It was a sweet victory for the PGA Trainees who defeated Golf Queensland 4.5 to 1.5 in an event that has been staged since 1985.
Being played simultaneously was the Caddies Cup, which saw a number of Professionals tee it up against the Queensland State Team. First staged in 1927, the Caddies Cup Trophy was first played in its current format in 1986.
Queensland PGA Championship runner up Tim Hart was joined by a number of PGA Tour of Australasia Professionals including Michael Wright, Steven Jones, Brett Rankin and Aaron Pike as they went head-to-head in pursuit of the Caddies Cup title and eventually upstaging the Queensland State Team 5 points to 3.
Full results can be found below
PJ DAVIES PLATE
Martin wins Sunshine Coast Open
Local knowledge proved decisive over the Easter weekend when 18-year-old Ryley Martin scorched around the Headland layout at Buderim to win the Tate Professional Engineers 2016 Sunshine Coast Men’s Open amateur golf championship.
Martin, the reigning Headland Golf Club junior and open champion, shot four under par rounds of 68 on successive days to become the youngest winner in the 56-year history of the prestigious tournament. He won by three shots from Queensland State squad member Shae Wools-Cobb of Maroochy River, with defending champion Charlie Dann (Pelican Waters) a further three shots back.
But Martin (136) wasn’t the only Headland member among the 220 starters to stand on the winner’s stage at the annual tournament.
Sean McGill (74-74, 148) returned the best gross score in division two and Nathan Osborn (86,79, 165) won division three gross, while Adam Rydwanski (142) and club president Jon Welch (also 142) were the division one and division three nett winners, respectively. Tim McIntosh (from 1770) was division two nett winner, with Lochie Coleborn (Mt Coolum) and Keith Horne (Maroochy River) the respective junior and senior title winners.
After warming up with three sub-par rounds – including a six-under 66 - at his home course during club competitions the previous week, Martin returned two contrasting rounds in the Easter tournament.
On Saturday he had an unblemished card with two birdies on each nine. But on Sunday his score included four bogeys complemented by eight birdies, five of which came on the back nine.
“I was in the final group on Sunday and started nervously with the putter, bogeying holes four, five and six,” he said.
“But I holed a bomb for a birdie on eight and that started things rolling for me on the back nine where I rolled in five birdies.”
Martin said playing with QAS and Queensland State team members Dann and Wools-Cobb during the weekend had been challenging, but extremely enjoyable.
“I always enjoy playing with those guys, and testing myself against the better players,” he said.
“To play well both days was really encouraging and to win was a big thrill. I had fun.”
Day storms to world matchplay crown
Jason Day blew away Louis Oosthuizen in the final of the Dell Matchplay in Texas today to continue his rip-roaring stretch in the United States.
Day, who will leap back to No. 1 in the world when the rankings are released tomorrow, has matched Adam Scott's feat of winning back-to-back tournaments on the US PGA Tour, remarkably giving Australia four wins in five weeks.
It is emerging as a red-letter year for Australian golf, with this country already breaking its record of wins on the European Tour.
Day was remarkable again today, beating world No. 2 Rory McIlroy in the semi-final 1-up in the morning, then taking the South African Oosthuizen apart in the afternoon, to complete an unbeaten week.
The Queenslander rolled in a 4m par putt to beat McIlroy on the 18th green after a tight semi-final tussle, gathered himself, then played superbly in the final so that it was over after just 14 holes.
Champ returns to Buderim with Queensland team mate
Defending champion Charlie Dann of Pelican Waters will be joined in the star-studded field by fellow local Shae Wools-Cobb of Maroochy River and Doug Klein (Redcliffe). Only last Monday the three were notified of their selection in the Queensland team.
The 56th staging of the Easter tournament, sponsored by Tate Professional Engineers for the 17th successive year, has attracted another classy field. Of the 220 starters, 72 have a handicap of four or less.
And while the three state team members are justifiably expected to be among the leaders come Sunday evening, five-time champion David Grenfell is the lowest handicapper in the field.
The former Headland member now plays out of Maroochy River and is off plus three, the same handicap as Wools-Cobb. Grenfell, who was the champion in 2014, had first victory back in 1992 aged 19.
Dann, the defending champion who was forced to withdraw from last weekend's Queensland PGA championship in Toowoomba because of a back issue, will play off plus two, as will fellow state team member Klein. Graham Hourn (Kingaroy) and Adam Gemmell (Ipswich) are others in the field playing off plus two.
Despite missing the Queensland PGA, Dann said there will be no excuses going into the weekend.
"My game is in very good shape," he said.
"I really like the Headland layout and enjoy playing this tournament. And with so many top-rated players in the field, defending my title will be a real challenge."
All Sunshine Coast-based clubs will be represented in the tournament plus seven Gold Coast clubs, but the greatest representation will be from Brisbane. Thirteen Brisbane clubs, including Royal Queensland, Brisbane Golf Club and Indooroopilly, will have players in the field. Other visitors heading to Buderim are from Royal Sydney, Toowoomba, Dalby, Goomeri, Ipswich, Kingaroy, 1770, Moranbah and Gladstone.
Despite a weekend drenching the Buderim course will be in superb condition for the tournament with the 328 couch greens expected to be running at between 10 and 10 ½.
Players will tee off in from both tees from 6.30am on Saturday, while the top seeded 12 for the second round (Sunday) will tee off from noon.
Story: Tony Durkin
Green, Davidson seal Webb Series prizes
Perth’s Hannah Green and Gold Coaster Karis Davidson have won the chance to live out a dream.
Green, 19, and Davidson, 17, are the winners of the 2016 Karrie Webb Series as the two leading players in national rankings events for the past year.
Thanks to the generosity of Australia’s greatest female golfer, each player will receive $10,000 to put towards their tournament and training expenses this year.
But it’s the prize that money can’t buy that both players are already “extremely excited” about – the chance to spend a week with Webb during the 2016 US Open at CordeValle, south of San Francisco, in early July.
Green, of Mt Lawley Golf Club, topped the series table with 613 points including a win in the Victorian Amateur and a string of top-five finishes, also won the prize last year alongside Julienne Soo.
And the Golf Australia national squad member, who also enjoyed a great summer in professional events around Australia and New Zealand, said she couldn’t wait to catch up with her idol Webb for a repeat of last year’s adventure.
“We had an awesome experience, it was my first time meeting Karrie and going to a major,” Green said.
“Getting to know her and she how she does it – and how others do it – it’s an awesome experience.”
Davidson sealed her scholarship with a gutsy win over Green in this week’s Bowra & O’Dea Women’s Classic at Lake Karrinyup Country Club near Perth.
That, combined with victory in the Queensland Amateur, was enough for 609 total points, well clear of fellow Gold Coaster Robyn Choi in third place.
The Sanctuary Cove-based teenager was thrilled with the cash aspect of the scholarship, but was even more taken by the chance to meet one of her fellow Queensland heroes.
"She was one of my idols growing up,” the quietly spoken Davidson said.
“It’s a great thing to look up to … and Karrie is definitely a great player, so it should be a great week in the US with her.”
Green, who effectively began the Bowra & O’Dea with no sleep having flown home from representing Asia-Pacific in the Patsy Hankins Trophy triumph over Europe in Portugal, said the scholarship was a key factor in that decision.
“Yes, it was a big motivator. I wanted to play this week to get as many points and win (because) it’s such a great opportunity and I don’t think you realise it until you get to do it.”
Golf Australia high performance director Brad James was thrilled for both young women.
“To have the opportunity to spend a week learning from Australia’s most accomplished golfer is something they’ll remember for a lifetime and hopefully take that experience and use it to further their careers,” James said.
“It’s a good reward for the consistency they’ve shown through the year and we wholeheartedly thank Karrie for the time she puts into developing the future stars of our game.”
Click here for Karrie Webb Series final standings.
Story courtesy of Golf Australia
Photo courtesy of Golf WA
Queensland Interstate Series teams picked
Golf Queensland has named its representative teams to compete in the Australian Men's and Women's Interstate Teams Matches from 9 – 13 May to be played on home soil.
Queensland will host this year's event with the Men's to be played at the Brisbane Golf Club and the Women's at Royal Queensland Golf Club.
Queensland Head Coach, Tony Meyer said it is a fantastic opportunity for the Queensland teams to play in their home state.
“They will have multiple opportunities to play the courses before the event providing them with an ideal preparation for the Series,” Meyer said.
This year’s team includes many new members following a number of the senior amateurs joining the professional ranks last year.
“Whether it is the first or fourth time a player has been recognised on the team, it is an honour to represent your state,” he said.
“I get excited to travel away with these players every year and I’m sure the teams will enjoy the experience.”
Both the Queensland Men's and Women's Teams will be hoping to improve on last year's second and third placing respectively.
Anthony Quayle (Sanctuary Cove)
Charlie Dann (Pelican Waters)
Shae Wools-Cobb (Maroochy River)
Blake Proverbs (Royal Queensland)
Steven Cox (Wantima)
Charlie Pilon (Hills)
Doug Klein (Redcliffe)
Mitchell Smith (Oxley)
Coach: Tony Meyer
Karis Davidson (Sanctuary Cove)
Robyn Choi (Royal Pines)
Kirsty Hodgkins (Redcliffe)
Gennai Goodwin (Indooroopilly)
Becky Kay (Coolangatta-Tweed)
DeeDee-Taylah Russell (Emerald Lakes)
Coach: Richard Woodhouse
Golf Queensland also recently announced the junior teams which will be played in Tasmania at Ulverstone Golf Club and the Devonport Golf Club next month.
Read the full release here
Charles Pilon (Hills)
Joel Stahlhut (Goondiwindi)Lochlan Coleborn (Mount Coolum)
Louis Dobbelaar (Brookwater)
Mitchell Varley (Sanctuary Cove)Zach Maxwell (Virginia)
Becky Kay (Coolangatta-Tweed)
Stacey White (Pacific)
Rhianna-Maree Lewis (Maroochy River)
Development:Isabelle Taylor (Sanctuary Cove)
Sarah Wilson (Pelican Waters)
Back injury takes gloss off Day victory
Jason Day won the battle, but has he lost the war?
Day played some occasionally brilliant golf early to beat Graeme McDowell 3&2 in the opening match of the WGC World Match Play Championship in Texas.
But with the Masters just two weeks away, Day suffered a painful back injury while hitting a driver on the 15th hole.
The Queenslander battled hard for the next 15 minutes and shook hands when McDowell missed a chance to extend the match on the 16th green.
But whether or not the world No.2 plays any further part in this week’s tournament remains unclear.
Day told AAP correspondent Ben Everill he was “really struggling” before he left the course to seek treatment after being in obvious discomfort and battling to even walk properly.
"It's really hard to play with searing pain in both sides of your lower back," Day told AAP.
“Just my back has seized up and I need to get inside right away for treatment and see what's wrong.”
His second match against Thongchai Jaidee isn't scheduled until later tomorrow.
With the Masters just two weeks away the injury couldn't come at a worse time for the 28-year-old, who has battled injury and illness throughout his career.
Day came back from two down after the first four holes to win his match against the former US Open champion from Northern Ireland.
He made birdies on the 5th, 6th, 8th, 9th and 12th holes to re-establish a lead, then hung on with pars after that run established a 3-up lead.
Marc Leishman blew a golden chance to take out Ryan Moore when the Victorian couldn’t scramble a par on the closing hole and the American’s four proved enough for a halved match.
Matt Jones led early against Louis Oosthuizen, but the South African made some key birdies on the second nine and eventually held sway 2&1.
Story courtesy of Golf Australia
Davidson endures wild ride to win Bowra & O’Dea
Davidson (-12) and Green (-10) held a significant advantage over the rest of the field to start the day giving the final round the air of a matchplay final. Despite both coming in at even par, the leaders shot contrasting rounds — trading big leads only to finish where they started.
With three straight birdies to open her round, Green quickly erased Davidson’s two shot advantage and turned it into a one shot lead.
Green then pushed onwards with a birdie on the seventh while Davidson bogeyed after having troubles in the trees to the left. It would be a five shot turnaround in just seven holes, but Davidson held her nerve to engineer a similar swing back in her favour.
After Davidson birdied the 11th hole to get within a shot of Green, the pair traded pars until the fateful par-5 16th. Sitting in adjacent bunkers, Davidson made a masterful out to get within three feet and set up a certain birdie.
Green was much less fortunate — falling short, chipping on and three putting for a disastrous double bogey. Davidson’s eventual birdie would be the nail in the coffin as she went from one back to two shots up over the closing holes.
On the 18th Davidson held her nerve to make a tricky two putt from behind the green, securing a triumphant third national rankings title.
Davidson was obviously delighted in her victory, bouncing back from her slow start by going 2-under and bogey free on the back nine – all while suffering from a stomach bug.
“Yeah this is really great. I haven’t really been feeling well the last two days but I just stuck in there this afternoon,” said Davidson.
“I feel I played consistent and I finished strongly and it all turned out well.”
Davidson didn’t buy into the matchplay feel of today’s round, helping her stay level headed and consistent as she turned the screws late in the day.
“I didn’t really think about [falling three behind] to be honest,” said Davidson.
“You know anything can happen on the golf course and I just kept saying to myself to keep playing the course and not my opponents.”
Lake Karrinyup’s bunkers wreaked havoc for many in the field, with their hard base making it difficult to get under the ball — yet Davidson felt she excelled when she fell into a trap, and this was embodied by her escape on 16.
“My bunker shots have been pretty good this week considering the bunkers here have been quite hard,” said Davidson.
“I just felt really confident on that shot. I knew that if I got it close it would give me a good chance to get even with Hannah – on that downhill putt I felt really nervous but I got it, and I knew I just had to keep it consistent over the last two holes.”
Finishing 9 shots behind Davidson, and the only other golfer under par, was Lake Karrinyup local Hannah Thompson. A further three shots back in fourth was 2015 champion Elizabeth Elmassian of NSW while Amanda Tan of Singapore was fifth on 7-over par thanks to an impressive 4-under final round.
In the Mid-Amateur, Melissa Luk bounced back from a difficult second round to win by six shots over Peta Roberts, while Lake Karrinyup’s Sharon Dawson added the Senior’s title to her growing list of achievements thanks to her five stroke victory over Shirley Van Der Brugghen.
Choi extends lead at Rene Erichsen Salver
After 36 holes, Robyn Choi from RACV Royal Pines in Queensland, leads the Rene Erichsen Salver by two strokes, after rounds of 71,72 to be 3-under the card.
Choi who turned 18 last week, fired four birdies again in the second round, on holes two, four, nine and 15, but struggled on the 18th, again making bogey.
Choi said she will have one eye on her opposition in round three, but also try and focus on the play ahead.
Shina Kanazawa (Japan) and Olivia Kline (Vic), the later firing the low round of the day, a four-under 69 and South Australian Elysia Yap (Glenelg) are in a three-way tie for second at one-under.
Yap was surprised with her form, which included four birdies today, three on the back nine.
“It’s the first time I have been under par at a major tournament” Yap said.
Fourteen-year-old South Australian Jin-young Yun is in outright fifth at one-over, after rounds of 75, 72.
Kristalle Blum from The Grange is in a tie for sixth at 2-over after rounds of 76, 72.
“I hit it really well, left a few out there with a couple of three putts for par, but all in all, I was pretty happy with how I played and how I hit it, so can’t be too unhappy with one-under,” Blum said.
24 players progress through to the third round on Wednesday.
Story courtesy of Golf SA
Walking wounded lead the way
Karis Davidson and Hannah Green are feeling anything but 100% fit, yet they sit streets ahead of the field after three rounds of the Bowra & O’Dea Women’s Classic at Lake Karrinyup.
Battling a stomach bug, Queensland’s Davidson managed her third straight round of 4-under par to lead by two shots over a jet-lagged Hannah Green.
Lake Karrinyup’s Hannah Thomson is a further eight shots back on 2-under par with the rest of the field over the card -- defending champion Elizabeth Elmassian is+1 in fourth and Victoria’s Zara Woodbridge is +6 and fifth.
The soaring Davidson managed to match her previous two trips around Karrinyup by simply trying to keep the focus on her golf and away from her physical condition.
“I am playing pretty solid, although today I’ve felt really sick,” said Davidson.
“I woke up with a bug so I’ll try and get rid of that before tomorrow. I tried not to think about it today as there’s nothing you can really do – except to make sure I kept drinking water.”
Despite Green saying she noticed Davidson walking slowly all day, is was Davidson who pulled away to lead by two shots after Green double bogeyed the 8th hole.
Green bounced back with birdies on 9 and 10, but Davidson was able to match the West Australian, coming home with birdies on 10, 14, 16 and 17.
“I feel I putted well and hit a few good shots into the greens,” said Davidson.
“I had two birdies in a row and 16 and 17, they were both good approaches and good putts – and I think I did that in the second round as well.”
Davidson is two years the junior to Green, although the pair have gone head to head many times in the past 18 months of amateur golf with both winning numerous National Ranking events in this time. With a Queensland and NSW Amateur crown under her belt, Davidson knows how to get in the right headspace to defend her lead.
“I’m not really thinking about what [Green] is going to do tomorrow,” said Davidson.
“All I’m focusing on is going out and playing against the course because, I know how good Hannah is. I’m sure we’ll have a bit of fun out there and just see what happens.”
Green, who birdied the final hole to get within two shots of Davidson, echoed similar sentiments -- although Green said the importance of her 20 foot birdie putt on the 18th hole wasn't lost on her.
“I knew what the situation was – I just wanted to have as small of a margin as possible to the leader as tomorrow,” said Green, who was facing a similar putt to Davidson who slid short and left of the cup.
“I felt pretty good over the ball. I saw [Karis’ putt] and it broke a lot more than I expected, so I thought that I must be under-reading it and I gave it a bit more.
“It was probably the most solid putt I had all day. If I didn’t see hers I don’t think I would have taken as much so it was helpful.”
While Davidson can only hope to wake up in a better state tomorrow, Green is confident she can get her body-clock back to Perth time by the time she reached the first tee.
“I actually felt worse today than I did yesterday,” said Green.
“I slept for about 10 hours last night, it was so heavy so I think when I woke up this morning I was still in a sleep, but hopefully tomorrow I’ll be set.”
Story courtesy of Golf WA
Dodd doubles up
Continuing his affinity with the Murgon Golf Club, 2013 champion Rickie Dodd (Windaroo) has doubled his Indigenous Championship tally with a commanding 8-shot victory over Virginian visitor Jaryd Grant. Rickie has now finished 1st, 2nd and 1st in his last three Championships.
As players found their feet in the first round, Grant led by 1-shot from Craig Dodd (Blackwater), Shane Bird (Wondai), Peter Bligh (Murgon) and Daniel Blades (St George).
After admitting to a disappointing opening round of 73, Rickie made his charge with a tournament low round of 65 (5-under) to establish a 2-shot buffer over brother Craig and 6-shots ahead of Grant.
A stunning opening of birdie, birdie and eagle (on the par-4 3rd ) by Grant applied pressure to the Dodd, but momentum was lost when a poor approach shot on the 7th resulted in a bogey. Rickie maintained his composure to play the final 9 holes in two-under and claim the 2016 Indigenous Championship.
In the Nett division, Bribie Island member Jacob Anderson’s scores of 68-64-68 were good enough to emerge victorious.
Both Rickie Dodd and Jacob Anderson have secured a start in the 2016 Isuzu Queensland Open Pro-Am to be held during tournament week at Brisbane.
The Senior’s Division saw locals Max Conlon and Warren Collins win the Gross and Nett sections respectively.
The most popular victory was that of the only female participant Chloe Letts (Pacific) who took out the Junior Nett.
Congratulations must go to the volunteers and staff of Murgon Golf Club for their hospitality and efforts in the operation of the 2016 Indigenous Championship. Thank you must also go to the Murgon and Cherbourg communities for their continued support throughout the event.
For full results please see the Indigenous Championship event page
Choi leads Rene Erichsen by 1
Robyn Choi from RACV Royal Pines in Queensland leads the Rene Erichsen Salver after firing an impressive 2-under round of 71 at Royal Adelaide.
Choi, ranked fourth nationally, started superbly, moving to four-under after six holes, before posting two bogeys on the back nine holes.
“I played well today and started well which was good. I unfortunately made bogey on the last but I’m happy with that score this afternoon’. Choi said.
Choi leads Japanese duo Shina Kanazawa and Riri Sadoyama who each posted rounds of 72 (1-under). Kanazawa made two birdies for the day while Sadoyama posted four.
Elysia Yap from the Glenelg Golf Club is the leading South Australian in a tie for fourth with Hannele Mikkola. Yap is at 1-over after a round of 74.
Ella Adams from The Grange Golf Club is at 2-over in a tie for sixth.
Story courtesy of Golf SA
Exhausted Green tied with Davidson
Hannah Green and Queensland’s Karis Davidson are tied on top of the Bowra & O’Dea Women’s Classic leaderboard after the opening 36 holes at Lake Karrinyup Country Club.
With an 8-under total, Green and Davidson hold a three shot advantage of Lake Karinyup’s Hannah Thomson, with a sizeable gap between the leading trio and the rest of the field — fronted by defending champion Elizabeth Elmassian of NSW on 4-over par.
Green teed off for her marathon 36 hole day just hours after an intercontinental flight from Portugal, playing last week as a part of the victorious Asia-Pacific team at the Patsy Hankins Trophy.
“I was just hoping for under par,” said Green after sleeping for just an hour and a half after her flight landed at 1:30am.
“I did not expect 5-under this morning, but I’ve always liked Karrinyup and I’ve had a pretty good record here. Knowing what I’ve done on the course especially helped me, as it was so hard to focus today, I’m just so tired today and I can’t wait to go home!”
Green credited playing partner Davidson for keeping her focused and on her game, as the pair remained within close distance throughout their opening two rounds.
“Karis played really well today and I think we lifted each other up,” said Green.
“We made a lot of birdies out there and it was really good to have her there going well. It kind of helped me along as I was just trying to keep up and stay focused out there.”
It’s been four years since Davidson last played the Bowra & O’Dea at Lake Karrinyup, but during that time the Gold Coast junior has emerged as one of the brightest talents in Australian golf, qualifying for the 2014 Australian Amateur final at 15 years old — only to fall to the experienced Minjee Lee.
Green held a one shot advantage over Davidson after the opening 18 holes on 5-under par, but Davidson clawed back the advantage with a bogey free second round – shooting three birdies over her final six holes to tie with Green.
Only Lake Karrinyup’s Hannah Thomson seems a reasonable threat to unseat the pair, shooting rounds of 2-under and 3-under on her home course. A former WA state representative, Thomson has shown that she still has the game to compete, firing six birdies in her opening 11 holes of the second round.
While Green is exhausted, Davidson said she has a lot left in the tank after a long day, taking on the rolling hills of Lake Karrinyup with the help of her battery operated power-caddy.
“I couldn’t’ remember much about Lake Karrinyup so it feels like it’s my first time again. I like it, it’s really nice – especially the greens. The course is in great condition,” said Davidson.
Despite going 8-under for the day, Davidson said she couldn’t think of any memorable shots out on course, crediting her putter for getting her to the top of the leaderboard.
“I played pretty well. I was putting quite well today and I didn’t have any three putts which really helped,” said Davidson.
“Tomorrow I’ll just go out and relax and have fun like I have today. I enjoyed it, the course and the company were great and I had a good group.”
The Bowra & O’Dea Women’s Classic also inclused a mid-amateur and seniors divisions.
Reigning Australian and New Zealand Senior Amateur champion Sharon Dawson holds a 1 stroke advantage in the seniors division over Shirley Van Der Brugghen, after Dawson fired a solid opening round of 2-over par.
Gosnells’ Melissa Luk leads the mid-amateur by two shots, sitting on 3-over par from her opening round. Lake Karrinyup’s Peta Roberts is second on 5-over.
Story courtesy of Tom Fee, Golf WA
Hart close second at QLD PGA
German David Klein has secured his maiden victory on the PGA Tour of Australasia winning the Coca-Cola Queensland PGA Championship in a thrilling one-hole playoff at City Golf Club in Toowoomba.
David KleinFlying under the radar for much of the week, Klein started the final round 10-under the card and trailing overnight leader Kristopher Mueck by three shots.
Klein opened his final round campaign quickly firing back-to-back birdies to make his ascension up the leaderboard, his only blemish came on the par-4 9th hole.
Tied for the lead with Queenslander Tim Hart by the end of regulation play, it was back to the 18th for the pair to determine a winner. Hart's tee shot went wayward ending in the trees requiring him to chip out to then get up and down for par.
Klein, who struck a beautiful tee shot, landed his ball on the left hand side of the 18th fairway with a perfect line to the pin setting him up to make a winning birdie.
With this win, Klein receives $18,750 and Official World Golf Ranking Points, plus full exemption on to the PGA Tour of Australasia for the remainder of this season plus a further two years.
Rounding out the top-10 on 14-under the card were Christopher Wood (QLD), Darren Beck (nsw) and Kristopher Mueck (VIC). A further shot back on 13-under the card were Michael Sim (WA) and Steven Jeffress (WA), followed by Daniel Pearce (NZ), Taylor Cooper (QLD), Tom Power Horan (VIC), Daniel Valente (VIC) and Cory Crawford (QLD) who ended their week on 12-under the card.
Queensland amateur Anthony Quayle won the low amateur plate after firing a final round of 7-over 77 to end his week on 1-over the card.
From Toowoomba the PGA Tour of Australasia will take a month break before heading to Royal Port Moresby Golf Club in Papua New Guinea for the South Pacific Export Radler PNG Open from the 21-24 March.
For all final scores from the Coca-Cola Queensland PGA Championship please visit pga.org.au.
For the PGA Tour of Australasia Order of Merit please visit pga.org.au.
For the PGA Tour of Australasia schedule please visit pga.org.au.
Story courtesy of PGA
Day magic keeps Aussies on a roll
It's official, Australia is now dominating the US PGA Tour.
Jason Day won his eighth career title on the world’s biggest tour this morning, pulling off a stupendous sand save for par and a one-stroke victory over American Kevin Chappell.
Day had been far from his electrifying best throughout a rollercoaster final round, but a sensational birdie on the 17th and clutch hands up the last proved enough at Bay Hill in Orlando, Florida.
Remarkably, it was Day’s fifth wins in his past 12 starts on US PGA Tour, dating back to the Canadian Open in July last year.
The victory also took him back within 0.3 points of Jordan Spieth in the race for No.1 world ranking.
It was also the third Aussie victory in four weeks after fellow Queenslander Adam Scott peeled off the Honda Classic and WGC Cadillac Championship.
Scott again finished well, a closing 69 marred only by a double-bogey on the last hole as he finished T12 at nine under, while Marc Leishman also had a 69 to finish T17 at eight under.
But the round belonged to Day, whose front nine included three uncharacteristic bogeys, but whose back nine was enough for a closing 70 to finish at 17 under.
Day, who received a text message from good mate Tiger Woods before his round, said it had been very pleasing to win while not playing his best golf.
“I just ground it out today and it wasn’t the best day I’ve had, but to be able to get it done when I wasn’t quite on (was great),” he said.
Day began with a chip-in birdie on the second and looked on as his lead blew out to three. But errant long approach shots on the second and fourth were compounded by a pulled second into the water on the par-five sixth hole and he looked in trouble.
Chappell, Henrik Stenson and playing partner Troy Merritt all held or shared the lead during a tumultuous back nine, but all fell away in the closing minutes.
Chappell, still seeking his first PGA Tour victory, stood on the last tee with a one-stroke lead over Day, but carved his drive right and was forced to lay up on the tough par four.
The American, who heard Day’s birdie roar on the 17th behind him, couldn’t catch up and his eventual bogey cost him the lead.
Stenson drowned his approach to the 16th, then Merritt, who’d twice chipped in for birdies on the back nine, followed suit on the last to make it a two-horse race.
Day then blocked his drive right, but had a good enough lie to take on the water in front of the green and blasted his approach into the back bunker.
From 30m, the ice-cool Queenslander knocked his third from the sand to just over 1m and calmly rolled in the par putt to trigger celebrations with caddie Col Swatton, wife Ellie and children Dash and Lucy on the 18th green.
Story courtesy of Golf Australia
Queenslanders collide in America
Three ex-Queensland juniors pursuing golf scholarships in America are set to collide at the Briar’s Creek Invitational next week. The tournament will see Nadine White, Lauren Mason, and Kate Law cross paths in South Carolina.
Mason is a junior currently representing Texas Tech which is ranked 26th in college rankings. White has been playing for Campbell University for three years, also a junior. Law is new to the field as an incoming freshman in fall 2015 representing East Carolina University.
This is the second year that Mason and White are teeing up with T14 and T58 finishes last year respectively. Texas Tech earned third place with Campbell fourth, separated by thirteen shots. Former Queensland teammate Emily McLennan is a member of Chattanooga women’s team earning a T45 finish last year however not playing in this year’s competition.
girls pursed the American golf college life after achieving outstanding amateur
success as a junior. Each were a member of the Queensland state team’s leading
their teams to victory. Emily was a part of the 2009 and 2011 series which also
boasted Lauren in 2011 and 2012 as the winning teams. White joined the winning
team in 2012 followed by Kate Law in 2013 and 2014 taking her place, going on to boast consecutive wins. Of the past 10 years of the interstate series, the girls have
been a part of six wins for the state.
Opting for college in 2013, Nadine is a junior on the Campbell women’s golf team with constant high results to show. She has earned the Big South Conference Women’s Golfer of the Week honour twice this season alone, most recently earlier this month (March).
At 21 years of age, Lauren and her team have achieved great success qualifying for nationals. Her best finish was T5 at the web.com intercollegiate also achieving personal best score of 68.
Young gun Kate Law recently joined the ECU Pirate’s golf team with a bang after claiming the 2015 Bargara Classic weeks before leaving for the states.
currently the highest ranked Amateur in the WGR rankings on 132, followed by
Nadine 176, Lauren 342 and Kate 688.
Scores will be available here: http://www.golfstatresults.com/public/leaderboards/gsnav.cfm?pg=participants&tid=8918
Photo credit of Nadine White: Golf Stats
Lauren and Nadine at the Interstate series
Rookies lead QLD PGA
Macdonald, a former low amateur at City Golf Club, fired a flawless round of 8-under 64. Opening with a birdie on the par-5 10th Macdonald fired eight birdies, six of them on the back-9, and launched himself up the leaderboard.
"It was a good day to play golf. I'm in pretty good form at the moment with my driver so that came out of the bag a lot and where I'm hitting it is perfect position to score. If I'm pitching well, like it did today, I can capitalise on a few birdies out there," said MacDonald.
"A few years ago I played this event as an amateur and won the award for lowest amateur and I like the place, I think it suits me."
"There are another three rounds to go and if I keep playing the way I am I'll be happy."
Power Horan matched Macdonald's opening birdie until an unfortunate bogey on the par-3 4th caused a slight set back. Bouncing back with two eagles on the back-9, including one on the 17th, Power Horan saw himself join Macdonald at the top on the leaderboard after flying home.
"It was a good day, I played pretty well and I managed to have a good score," said Power Horan.
"I got off to an ok start, I birdied the first but then I bogeyed the fourth and then played pretty well with two eagles on the back nine which was nice. It's nice when you play well, I found it really good."
"It's good being at the top rather than the bottom for sure, but a long way to go, obviously three more rounds. This sort of course you can play well and make the most of it, but if you hit a few poor tee shots it can really go the other way."
Both in their rookie seasons on the PGA Tour of Australasia they hold a one shot advantage over morning leader, Kris Mueck, and Adam Stephens signing for 7-under 63.
Rounding out the top-10 on 5-under the card are Lindsay Wilson, Aaron Townsend, Mitchell A. Brown and Tom Bond, while Darren Beck, Peter Cooke, David Klein, Jake Higginbottom and Lucas Herbert are a further shot back on 4-under the card.
Round two of the Coca-Cola QLD PGA Championship will get underway tomorrow at 6:45am
Story courtesy of PGA
Hodgkins' heroics overcomes huge Cup deficit
The power of “nice” – and the impact of a champion’s voice – is far stronger than you’d imagine.
Just ask Kirsty Hodgkins, the young Queenslander who added the Women’s Riversdale Cup to her growing list of tournament victories on Sunday.
Hodgkins, who celebrated her 18th birthday last week with a remarkable come-from-behind victory charge, paid tribute to a brief meeting with former LPGA Tour star Lindsey Wright for her growing belief and success.
“Dad took me to the Women’s Australian Open (at Kingston Heath) one year and I had the chance to watch and then meet and talk with Lindsey … she was just so nice and was such a good player, it was such a great moment for me (in hindsight),” Hodgkins said.
“I got to watch her and (English star) Melissa Reid, but to talk to Lindsey just made me really want to focus on my golf. I’ll never forget that.”
The Albury-based Wright, effectively retired from the tour now but also a great fighter, would have been exceptionally proud on Sunday as Hodgkins ran down a seemingly unassailable target to win by a stroke.
The Queensland state team representative began the final day seven shots behind runaway leader Yumi Kodo, never really giving herself a chance at victory that she ultimately achieved with a sparkling five-under-par 68 en route to a nine under total.
But a withering mid-round run gave Hodgkins that sniff of an upset – and the pressure ultimately became too much for the Japanese to bear.
“I made four birdies in a row from the fourth hole and then made another couple around the turn at the ninth and 10th to, I suppose, turn the pressure up a little bit,” she said.
“But I think the keys were actually a couple of good par saves on 12 and 13 when I was in a bit of trouble, then she made bogey on 14 and suddenly we were all square.
“I hit my downhill first putt 12 feet (4m) past on the 15th, but made the one back to keep me square, then she went over the back on 16 and took a double that gave me the edge.
“But then I had a split-second loss of concentration and three-putted myself there for a bogey and the lead was one.
“I thought to myself, `Just don’t do anything stupid – make pars and play to the middle of the greens and put the pressure on her to come up with a birdie’.
“I hit a 7-wood (for safety) off the 18th tee, then hit a 50-degree wedge a bit right of where I was aiming but safely on the green, then just put it down to tap-in distance and she couldn’t make a birdie and that was it.
“I couldn’t believe it, really. I’m still trying to figure it out.
“That just doesn’t happen – to be in the final group on the final day and come from seven back … it just shows you that anything can happen in golf and you should never give up.”
Hodgkins, whose family moved from Victoria to Queensland three years ago, has set up a happy base at Redcliffe Golf Club, but is coached by Chris Gibson at Victoria Park in inner northern Brisbane.
And the teen, who’s off to the University of Colorado on a golfing scholarship in July, said she’d made steady progress under Gibson.
“He’s been really good for me, not only on the golf side, but also the mental side of the game, too,” Hodgkins said.
“It’s a big difference from last year … (when) I just made the (Riversdale) cut but went on and finished last.
“I’ve been playing really well for the last couple of months and I think it just came together at Riversdale.”
That, however, might be selling herself a little short.
Hodgkins also played stellar golf on a Tasmanian tournament trip in late January, not only winning the state’s Junior Masters, but also the open-age Tamar Valley Cup.
“It’s nice to play some consistent golf,” she said with one eye already on her impending collegiate career.
“I just really want to give it a good crack now and see how I measure up against the other girls over there before hopefully turning pro … one day.
“I’d love to represent Queensland and Australia if given the chance, but that’s out of my hands for now.”
You can’t help but think how proud Wright would be to hear those words.
Story: Mark Hayes
Smith finding his feet
PGA TOUR rookie Cameron Smith seems to be finding his feet in the US, the 22-year-old the lone Australian to make the cut at one of the circuit's most difficult tournaments this week.
Smith opened with an impressive round of 1-under 70 at the Valspar Championship's tough Copperhead course to be inside the top-10 and, despite not maintaining that momentum all week, it was further proof the Queenslander has the game to compete at the highest level.
Since playing his way onto the TOUR with some exceptional performances last year, Smith has struggled to find consistency with his best finish to date a T11 at the Pebble Beach event last month.
That performance signalled somewhat of a turnaround for the former Australian Amateur champion after four missed cuts in his previous seven starts, this week's T42 another move in the right direction.
The encouraging signs come at just the right time for Smith who will tee up in his first US Masters in less than a month.
Fellow Queenslander John Senden continued his on again-off again relationship with the Innisbrook course, the 2014 champion missing the cut by a single stroke.
Senden made a brave run at playing the weekend after a disastrous start to his second round, a double bogey at the 11th, his second hole of the day, and four other dropped shots on his first nine looking to have ended his week.
But the two time PGA TOUR winner showed resolve to fight back, an eagle at the course's first hole and two more birdies on the second nine offset by a single bogey, his eventual 4-over total one too many.
For Stuart Appleby, Robert Allenby, Geoff Ogilvy and Steven Bowditch it will be harder to find the positives, all struggling from the outset and missing the cut by multiple shots.
Appleby will be hoping this result is just a blip after showing glimpses of form in recent weeks, the Victorian still having 12 events remaining on a medical extension as he battles to get back his card following back surgery early last year.
Story courtesy of PGA Australia
Hodgkins triumphs at Riversdale Cup
Golf QLD state member Kirsty Hodgkins (Redcliffe) has added the 2016 Riversdale Cup to her list of interstate wins after an impressive four-day display at Riversdale Golf Club in Victoria.
Hodgkins posted four superb rounds of 74-71-70-68 to finish 9-under par 292 to claim a one shot victory over Japan’s Yumi Kudo.
Seven shots off the pace going into the final day, Hodgkin’s brilliant display of consistency and drive saw her catapult to the top of the leader board with a final five-under round, while Kudo struggled to hold her 54-hole lead finishing 3-over.
Hodgkins posted an unbelievable nineteen birdies during the tournament rounded out with nine bogies adding Riversdale Cup as her second interstate win after the Tasmanian Junior Masters last month.
Munchin Ken (New Zealand) was the only other women finishing under-par in the 22 player field with fellow Queenslander and recently named 2015 Junior Female Golfer of the Year Karis Davidson posting fourth position.
Harrison Endycott took out the Men’s tournament with rounds of 71-67-67-69 to
finish with a one shot victory over Henry Spring.
QAS member Steven Cox was off to a firing start leading after round one with an excellent 5-under round, and two shots of the pace heading into round three.
Douglas Klein scored an ace on par-3 14th hole during opening day also finishing highest ranked Queenslander at seven-under.
QLD Women’s scores: Kirsty Hodgkins 283 (-9), Karis Davidson 294 (+2), Robyn Choi 296 (+4), Gennai Goodwin 302 (+11), Ji Won Keon 303 (+12), Alice Kweon 308 (+16) and Stacey White 314 (+22).
QLD Men’s scores: Douglas Klein 281 (-7), Chris Park 287 (-1), Tony Lee 289 (+1), Charlie Dann 289 (+1), Mitchell Smith 289 (+1), Charles Pilon 291 (+3), Steven Cox 293 (+5) and Blake Proverbs 295 (+7).
2016 Riversdale Cup Champions Harrison Endycott and Kirsty Hodgkins
Photo credit: Anthony Powter
Full scores available here
Watch the interview with Women’s Champion Kirsty Hodgkins and other Queenslanders below.
2016 Golf Australia National Squad: Get to know our Queenslanders
Meet the two Queensland Juniors part of the Golf Australia National Squad Rebecca Kay and Louis Dobbelaar.
Name: Becky Kay
Club: Coolangatta-Tweed Heads GC
Most memorable golfing moment: Chipping in at the 18th at the Australian Ladies Masters to finish 6th and low amateur.
Coach's name: David Nable
Career low round and where: 68 @ 13th Beach GC
Favourite sporting team: Newcastle United, Richmond
Favourite player: Rory Mcilroy
2015 Australian Ladies Masters – 6th
2015 Port Phillip Open winner
2015 Quarters Vic Am
2015 T20 IMG World Junior
2015 2nd APGC teams event - Taiwan
2015 3rd APGC individual - Taiwan
Name: Louis Dobbelaar
DOB: 31 August 2001
Home Club: Brookwater Golf and Country Club
Coach: Grant Field
Most Memerable moment: Winning the QLD Junior from 7 shots behind after 36 holes.
Favorite Player: Rickie Fowler
Favorite Sport: Soccer
Past Result Highlights
2015 Queensland Boys Amateur (1st)
2015 Aaron Baddeley Australian Junior, 15 and under (1st, 3rd overall u18)
2015 Srixon International Sub Junior Classic (1st)
2015 Victorian Junior Masters, U14 (1st)
2014 Queensland Boys Amateur, 14 and under (1st, 11th overall)
See the full Golf Australia National Squad Profiles here
Australian captain IBF talks Olympics
Listen to Ian chat on SEN
Australian captain Ian Baker-Finch is extremely buoyant about the new Olympic golf course – and has hinted Adam Scott is keener than many think.
After a handful of aspiring Brazilians took to the newly laid course in beachside suburban Rio for its first full test this week, Baker-Finch said it had “come up nicely”.
And in encouraging news for Aussie fans, he said every time he spoke to the leading contenders to play for Australia as golf returns to the Olympics for the first time in 112 years, they were as eager as possible.
That included Adam Scott, who’s coming off back-to-back US PGA Tour victories, including the WGC Cadillac Championship in Miami last weekend.
The Queenslander, now ranked sixth in the world, will be an automatic selection if he remains in the top 15, but has maintained for the past two years that he will only play if his calendar and season goals and requirements align.
But Baker-Finch said both Scott and world No.3 Jason Day have the national spirit and are looking forward to August.
“Every time I see Jason Day, he says, `Finchy, I’m pumped, I’m pumped, I can’t wait’,” the 1991 Open champion told Melbourne’s SEN radio.
“I know there’s been a lot of talk about Adam, the way he started off this year, but he says, `Finchy, I play in the green and gold every week, you know that’ … and he’ll be playing his butt of when the time comes.”
Baker-Finch, who also said Minjee Lee and Karrie Webb – the likely women’s team – were “champing at the bit” for their Olympic chance, said he’d only heard good reviews from the course’s first test event, attended by Australian Olympic Chef de Mission Kitty Chiller, who had downplayed earlier concerns over its condition.
“It was more about 18 months ago when they were unsure how it was going to grow in and finish up, but it’s all come up really nicely,” Baker-Finch said.
“But now … the course looks good, I’ve seen lots of photos and videos – the clubhouse is done (and) practice facilities look good.
“The course has grown in well. The last six months, that was their main concern – and it certainly looks pretty nice, right now.”
Baker-Finch said architect Gil Hanse had tried to incorporate some Alister MacKenzie-style bunkering into the new course which adds a “little Royal Melbourne” feel.
“The course will stand up. It’ll be new and the greens won’t be as good as we’re used to on the Sandbelt because of its age, but the course itself will be really good.
“It has a little links style, an open look to the course, some wetlands and lovely looking bunkering.”
Baker-Finch, who’s based in Florida for his TV commitments with CBS, said he’d make an interim visit to Rio, then arrive in Brazil on August 1 with the Games golf to start in the second week of competition.
He said fellow Queenslander Scott’s spectacular form was great reward after a couple of years of great change, including going back to the short putter after golf’s rules outlawed anchoring.
“He got married, had a baby, then he had this talk for a whole year about the long putter and Olympics – a whole mantra the whole year,” Baker-Finch said of Scott.
“So he bit the bullet, went to the short putter around (US) PGA last year, told us he felt comfortable with it here in Australia in November, and now he’s had to go to it and had a year to get over it, he’s starting to feel more comfortable, has a direction and it’s showing.
“He could easily have won three in a row – he nearly won at Riviera.
“He said he felt good with what he was doing and now the necessity of having to do it, it just got his mind around it at the end of last year and he’s jumped well (this year).
“He had to practise a lot with it, (but) you just have to knuckle down, practise and get comfortable.
“It’s all about trust. When you start trusting that change in your swing, you build on it and you have a couple of results and boy, he’s really turned the corner.”
Story courtesy of Golf Australia
Hend win gives Aussies a record
Ausralian golfers have set a new record for wins on the European Tour just a few months into the season, after Scott Hend held sway at the True Thailand Classic at Black Mountain Golf Club. For Hend, an Asian specialist with eight wins on that continent, the victory is a huge bonus, giving him two-years worth of playing time on the European Tour. He has previously focussed on Asia, most recently winning the 2015 Macau Open. His world ranking -- 122nd before this week -- also is soaring. But the big-hitting Queenslander rallied from a shot back, rejoining the lead when he rolled in a long birdie putt from the fringe at the par-four 14th hole. At the short par-four 17th, he bombed his drive on to the green and two-putted from long range for the birdie that gave him the outright lead again, with the par-five 18th to play. A par was all he needed, and he was secure once he hit a brilliant three wood second shot on to the green, taking three putts from 15-metres to get down for a 68. "There wasn't too much pressure there,'' he said. "You just have to three-putt it for a win, anyway you can.'' At 18-under overall, he beat Swangarunporn by the slimmest of margins, going one better than his second-place finish in the same event last year. Ironically Hend was poor at the WGC event in Florida last week, finishing 63rd in the 66-player field with an 80 and a 79 on the weekend. I just stayed patient,'' he said. "Last week I didn't really have much patience in Miami and this week I hung in there, and if I made a mistake, I didn't get upset about it. I just rolled with the punches.''
The 43-year-old Hend, who won by a shot in the joint European-Asian Tour event, is the fifth different Australian to win on the European Tour in 2015-16, the most ever.
The run began with Marc Leishman's triumph in South Africa last December, followed by Nathan Holman's win in the co-sanctioned Australian PGA Championship on the Gold Coast. In the past three weeks Adam Scott (WGC), Marcus Fraser (Maybank Championship) and Hend have all secured wins.
Hend began the final day with the lead but was overtaken at one point by an astonishing 63 from Thailand's Piya Swangarunporn.
Hend's win followed the triumph of Melbourne's Matthew Griffin at the ISPS Handa BMW New Zealand Open at The Hills today, a rare double victory for Aussies.
Story courtesy of Golf Australia
For Hend, an Asian specialist with eight wins on that continent, the victory is a huge bonus, giving him two-years worth of playing time on the European Tour. He has previously focussed on Asia, most recently winning the 2015 Macau Open. His world ranking -- 122nd before this week -- also is soaring.
But the big-hitting Queenslander rallied from a shot back, rejoining the lead when he rolled in a long birdie putt from the fringe at the par-four 14th hole. At the short par-four 17th, he bombed his drive on to the green and two-putted from long range for the birdie that gave him the outright lead again, with the par-five 18th to play.
A par was all he needed, and he was secure once he hit a brilliant three wood second shot on to the green, taking three putts from 15-metres to get down for a 68. "There wasn't too much pressure there,'' he said. "You just have to three-putt it for a win, anyway you can.''
At 18-under overall, he beat Swangarunporn by the slimmest of margins, going one better than his second-place finish in the same event last year. Ironically Hend was poor at the WGC event in Florida last week, finishing 63rd in the 66-player field with an 80 and a 79 on the weekend.
I just stayed patient,'' he said. "Last week I didn't really have much patience in Miami and this week I hung in there, and if I made a mistake, I didn't get upset about it. I just rolled with the punches.''
Scott's magical run continues
Adam Scott’s magical early-season form continued today with a spectacular victory in the World Golf Championship Cadillac Championship in Miami.
Scott banked his second successive PGA Tour win after last week’s Honda Classic triumph, holding off Bubba Watson to win by a shot at Trump National Doral with a memorable up-and-down for par on the closing hole.
Scott’s win will likely move him to No.6 in the world again and leapfrog the Queenslander to the head of the FedEx Cup standings.
But it wasn’t smooth sailing – right until the bitter end.
Scott blocked his drive into the first cut of rough up the savage closing hole where he was partially blocked by surrounding palm trees, then held his breath as his approach flirted with water left as the slice he played for didn’t eventuate.
The ball had plenty of momentum when it careered long and left, but held up in the thick rough of the hazard, leaving him 12m from the hole.
Coolly, though, Scott flopped his lob wedge approach to 2m and nailed a knee-knocking putt to great joy and relief.
Earlier, Scott opened brightly with a birdie, but twin double-bogeys on the third and fifth holes dropped him as far as six shots behind overnight leader Rory McIlroy.
But Scott remarkably maintained his composure with six birdies from that point to steamroll the field with a final-round 69 to finish at 12 under.
McIlroy couldn’t find a birdie in the final round until an up-and-down from the greenside bunker on the short par-four 16th.
Watson became a three-time runner-up at Doral despite a great closing 68 and holding the lead outright early on the back nine before Scott made his winning run.
The 2013 Masters champion was simply superb with his mid-irons.
He made spectacular approach shots to several tough par-fours on the back nine, including to tap-in range on the 11th and 14th where several other contenders dropped the ball.
The 2013 Masters champion almost fell out of the top 20 a month ago, but a runner-up finish at Riviera and two consecutive victories have him back in discussions about top major contenders.
He is the first person since Tiger Woods to win back-to-back- tournaments on the PGA Tour’s “Florida Swing” in 2001.
Paul Pisasale awarded ambassador for QLD Open
Golf Queensland has announced the City of Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale as an official Queensland Open ambassador.
Golf Queensland chair Peter Castrisos said it was necessary to acknowledge Paul as one of the Queensland Open ambassadors.
"On behalf of the Board I would like to recognise the Mayor for his support of the Queensland Open," Mr Castrisos said.
"This recognition is a small way to show our thanks for your role in bringing the Queensland Open back to the PGA Tour of Australasia in 2013 and for continuing your support of this great Championship since it was held at Ipswich Golf Club.
"Paul, thank you and please accept our recognition by making you one of the first official Queensland Open ambassadors."
The 2016 Isuzu Queensland Open will be played from 20 - 23 October at The Brisbane Golf Club.
Peter Castrisos presenting Paul Pisasale with his award
Dates announced for 2016 Isuzu Queensland Open
Ladies Masters: Amateur wrap
Karis Davidson was Queensland’s highest ranked Amateur finishing T18 (E) for the tournament with rounds of 75-72-74-71 (292). Davidson received an invitation from her win at The Invincible’s Ian Baker-Finch Classic last year. Highlights include an eagle on 18 during her third round.
Defending Amateur Champion Rebecca Kay opened the tournament with her best round of two-under (71), keen to defend her amateur title. Despite following with rounds of 75-77-73 to finish four-over, Kay remained positive quoting “I try to focus on me. I mean the girl (Nicole Broch Larsen) I was playing with during my first rounds was leading but I wasn’t trying to catch up to her or anything, just play my own golf, hit my spots and hopefully sink some putts.”
2015 Greg Norman Junior Masters champion had a lot to show when she stepped up to the Ladies Masters for the first time, proving not to disappoint with an opening one-under round of 71. A following two-under score saw Choi climb the leader board and one shot back from then leading amateur Hye Jin Choi. Choi seemed to struggle on the weekend with a bogey-birdie-bogey consistency resulting in final scores of 79-76 (+6) and T35 to close the tournament.
Kirsty Hodgkins was excited to start her first Ladies Masters venture after qualifying during the RACV Junior Masters held on the Monday. Despite struggling in her opening round to shoot 77, Hodgkins fired back with a two-under score to make the weekend cut. Kirsty finished T67 with scores of 77-71-80-77.
Invitational guest Gennai Goodwin struggled under the new Royal Pines conditions with rounds of 81-83 missing the cut.
Other Queensland scores include: Katherine Kirk -1 (17), Sarah-Jane Smith +2 (25), Ellen Davies-Graham +6 (T35), Anna Stanton +12 (T64) and Bree Arthur + 18 (75).
Congratulations Jiyai Shin who was crowned the 2016 Ladies Masters Champion with Hye Jin Choi Leading Amateur.
|Karis Davidson||Rebecca Kay|
|Robyn Choi||Kirsty Hodgkins|
Emirates Australian Open Dates Set
The 2016 Emirates Australian Open will be played from November 17-20.
Golf Australia chief executive Stephen Pitt confirmed the dates today, saying the 101st staging of the national championship would be hosted by the iconic Royal Sydney Golf Club for the 15th time.
“Along with our staging partner Lagardere Sports, we have built in recent years a tradition of attracting strong international fields at the Emirates Australian Open and we are certainly in a position to continue that come November,” Pitt said.
“In the last few years we’ve had many of the world’s greatest players playing our championship including Adam (Scott) and Jason (Day), along with international superstars such as Tiger (Woods), Rory (McIlroy), Jordan (Spieth) and Bubba (Watson).
“The 2016 schedule is going to be a fascinating one, with opportunities to have a large number of the superstars of golf coming down under.
“With a new World Cup format this year, it will be a unique process for all the tournaments in terms of signing players and setting up their fields.
“Ultimately it’s a great opportunity to have a series of really successful tournaments in the November and December period that then have a positive impact on the profile and vibrancy of Australian golf."
Sydneysider Matt Jones fended off the hard-charging Spieth at The Australian in November as the world No.1 sought a second consecutive Stonehaven Cup in a field featuring 12 past champions and four major championship winners playing before record crowds.
“In showcasing world-class fields, the Emirates Australian Open’s global reputation continues to grow and we’re hopeful this trend will continue in November,” Pitt said.
Echoing Pitt’s sentiments, Brian Thorburn, CEO of the PGA of Australia which oversees the PGA Tour of Australasia, looks forward to witnessing another successful national championship.
“The Emirates Australian Open is a pinnacle tournament on the PGA Tour of Australasia which all Australian tour professionals and many of the world’s best dream of winning,” Thorburn said.
“The quality of the fields assembled to contest the Emirates Australian Open is a testament to the lure of the Stonehaven Cup as well as the quality of the golf courses which host our national Open.”
For more tournament information and conversation, please check out:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AusOpenGolf and #AusOpenGolf
Scott wins gunfight with Sergio
Australia's Adam Scott has secured a groundbreaking win, the first since his return to a regulation-length putter, in a thrilling Florida gunfight with Sergio Garcia.
Scott won the Honda Classic at the penal, watery PGA National course after going into the final round tied for the lead with Spain's Garcia.
It is his first victory since mid-2014, when he was the No.1 player in the world, and he has been in a period of transition with the ban on anchoring as well as the birth of his first child.
Most importantly it shows the world that he can still win without the long putter, a fact that was obvious but still a point of debate since the anchoring ban came into effect at the end of last year. He was No. 3 in the world before he ever picked up a long putter, but today is some kind of vindication.
A month out from the Masters, it is a perfect tonic for 35-year-old Scott, who won the fabled tournament in 2013 to become Augusta's first Australian champion.
Scott's win was all the more remarkable for the fact he made a quadruple bogey seven on the par-three 15th on Saturday when he first took control of the tournament. Only three players in three decades won a PGA Tour event after taking a quadruple at any stage.
The Queenslander was solid down the stretch today. Starting out in a shootout with Garcia, he birdied the first and fifth to take control. Through eight holes, he led by two shots, but then missed fairways at the ninth and 10th saw him give back shots and hand Garcia a share of the lead.
A bogey by Garcia at the 11th saw Scott back in the lead and he would not surrender it, although he had to make his way through the infamous Bear Trap, the stretch of three holes from the 15th to 17th so-called because Jack Nicklaus was the designer.
At the par-four 12th, Scott hit one of the shots of his career, and it was a game-changer. From 140 metres out and in a fairway trap, the Australian carved his iron shot over trees and up to within kick-in distance for birdie. He moved back to a two-shot lead there, before the Spaniard's great birdie at the 14th brought it back to one and the Bear Trap loomed.
At the 15th, Scott three-putted for bogey, but Garcia also dropped a shot, tugging his tee shot left of the green. Then Garcia blinked; at the 17th he missed the green left again and took bogey. By the time they reached the 18th tee, Scott was two shots ahead.
Scott made a safe par at the par-five 18th, finishing with a tap-in for the victory and a closing even-par 70, one better than Garcia's 71. It was his 12th official victory on the PGA Tour and he has moved to third on the Fedex Cup rankings after finishing tied-second last week at the Northern Trust Open.
The former world No. 1 said his game was improving after a disappointing 2015 season. "My game's come into a really good spot at the end of last year and now starting out this year,'' he said. "We've been working hard because it was a little bit loose, it was slipping last year, the consistency wasn't there. I've made some nice progress especially obviously, noticeably on the greens, and it paid off this week.''
Garcia was philosophical. "He played better than me, at the end of the day,'' said the Spaniard. "It's as simple as that.''
Another Australian, John Senden, finished tied-10th as the players prepare to move on to the lucrative World Golf Championship Cadillac Championship next week.
Story courtesy of Golf Australia
Day wins AIS Male Athlete of the Year
Jason Day capped off a remarkable year by being named the 2015 AIS Sport Performance Awards (ASPAs) Male Athlete of the Year at a gala awards event at Star City in Sydney Wednesday night.
The boy from Beaudesert’s extraordinary 2015 peaked with his first Major win at the 2015 USPGA Championship making him world No. 1.
Day said he was “honoured” to receive the award.
“2015 was a dream come true for me. Winning a major championship had been a dream of mine since I was 12. So taking out the PGA brought me to tears.”
Day’s 20-under in the PGA was the lowest score in a major and he was only the fifth Australian to win the prestigious tournament.
It was one of five USPGA wins for the year, and he finished in the top 10 in three of the four Majors.
He memorably finished ninth in the U.S. Open having collapsed on the course with vertigo on the second day.
The (ASPAs) recognise Australia’s leading athletes, teams, coaches and administrators by celebrating their outstanding achievements.
About 300 of Australia’s sporting personalities gathered for the second annual ASPAs.
Story and photo courtesy of Golf Australia
Nomura's 65 blows them away
For final scores, see www.womensausopen.com/scores
For videos from the final round:
Haru Nomura’s post-round presser: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4A1dR7XPj8
Lydia Ko speaks after her round: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6c5VfQvU7NU
Hannah Green seals low amateur honours: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDAsUDYHq1E
Story courtesy of Golf Australia
Golfers to help fund next generation
Australia’s new wave of elite professional golfers will help fund the future of Australian golf under a groundbreaking new program.
Golf Australia chief executive Stephen Pitt today announced the “Give Back” program, a revolutionary plan agreed by the body’s high performance staff and athletes.
“In essence, when graduates of our high performance squads reach a certain threshold in professional world rankings each year on the world’s top tours, they will put some of their earnings back into the GA high performance pot for the next generation,” Pitt said.
“We could not be prouder that our brightest young talent are effectively putting their hands into their pockets to say thanks to all those who’ve helped them achieve their professional goals.
“It says everything about them as people, not just athletes, that they’re prepared to help the next wave push through by giving them the same opportunities they received to reach their potential.”
Each player since 2015 to have been in the Golf Australia national or rookie squads has signed a commitment to be part of “Give Back”.
Once athletes reach a world rankings threshold – top 125 for men and top 50 for women – a small percentage of their prizemoney will be returned to high performance programs throughout Australia.
This money will be reinvested into helping develop the future stars of the game.
No athlete will be asked to give back for more than five years, nor more than the funds they received through the program when they were participants. There is no compulsion for players who don’t reach those benchmarks to contribute and endorsement deals aren’t taken into account.
Money will only be given back once an athlete reaches his or her sixth year as a professional. This allows athletes time to establish themselves before the commitment begins.
Of those participants since 2015, Minjee Lee has already reached the benchmark, but she won’t return any money until 2020, her sixth year as a pro.
Australian PGA champion Nathan Holman turned professional in 2014, so is eligible to give back in 2019 and, at No.176 in the world rankings, is approaching the men’s threshold.
As part of the “Give Back” culture GA is trying to create, Cameron Smith has shown his commitment by setting up a separate scholarship in his name.
The 22-year-old, tied for fourth at last year’s US Open, will give an annual $12,500 sponsorship to a player he and Golf Australia’s high performance team jointly select.
The inaugural Cameron Smith Scholarship has been given to Golf Australia national squad junior member Louis Dobbelaar.
For full coverage of the ISPS Handa Women's Australian Open, click www.WomensAusOpen.com
Story and photo courtesy of Golf Australia
Karrie Webb excited to represent her country
Karrie Webb is excited to be back in her home country this week at the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open where she will be going for an unprecedented sixth win at the event.
“Well I think you know it’s our Open, it’s our Australian Open and I think that carries a lot more prestige for Australians than it does for anybody else,” Webb said. “I think everyone wants to play well, every Australian wants to play well in the Australian Open and sometimes the added pressure, the added focus that they might not get when they’re anything else in the world. Sometimes it’s hard to get used to and to deal with.”
The Open this week will be the first of several opportunities for Webb to represent Australia in 2016 as she is on pace to represent her home country at both the Olympics and UL International Crown.
“I just checked the points the other day and we’re eighth, so we’ve all got to help our rankings a little bit to make sure that we qualify,” Webb said of the UL International Crown. “So first I think it’s important that we make it and then you know it’s important that we come together as a team. I think Aussies over in the States or even Europe you see it as well, we all sort of stick together so it’s fun you know when we played it two years ago it was fun to hang out just as a team and we don’t get to do that very often in golf so you know for me I’d like to, like for us to qualify and you know once we qualify have fun and hopefully we’ll have a chance to win.”
While those events are important to Webb they are down the line as she looks to add a 42nd title to her impressive LPGA Tour resume in front of a raucous home crowd.
“You know if I play in Australia once or twice a year it’s the only time that you know the majority of the crowed are for me,” Webb explained. “You know whenever we’re anywhere else in the world, you know if we’re in the States the crowd has their favorites but if you’re playing against an American you know they’re cheering for the American which rightly so they should be but so it’s a nice change to have that when I come home.”
Story courtesy of LPGA
Evergreen golfer Peter Senior ready for a big week at the Perth International
The 56-year-old stunned the golf world with his victory at Huntingdale in November and, while he was inundated with media requests in the hours and days following, there's been little suggestion he will be considered a genuine contender this week.
But only the foolhardy would completely write off the chances of a man who is the epitome of a professional golfer. If Peter Senior is teeing up, you can be sure it's because he believes he can win.
“I don't feel old,” he says when recounting the reaction to his win at Huntingdale.
“I still feel like I can compete. At the US Masters two years ago Bernhard Langer finished top 10 and Jimenez finished third so it's not like 50 is the end of the world.
“Davis Love won on the main Tour last year and there are a couple of tournaments every year where the courses allow the older guys to contend.
“The young guys have a perception that we can't play any more but if they went to the Champions Tour they'd see different. We're over 50 but we're not down and out.”
Senior says the Lake Karrinyup course is his pick as one of the best in Western Australia and is one he is familiar with as some local friends are members.
“I've played it quite a bit in the last 10 years because we have some friends in Perth who are members there,” he says.
“I feel it sets up well for me because most of the dog legs go right to left and that suits my natural shot shape.
“It's a course where if you drive it well you can score well and I've been driving it nicely lately so I'm looking forward to playing.”
Of course, good driving will only be rewarded if the putter behaves and the flatstick is the one unknown for Senior.
Having put aside the broomstick he used for more than two decades in the wake of January's anchoring ban, he says he has no idea how he will go on the greens.
PUTTING TIP WITH MITCHELL SPEARMAN:
“I've gone to a short putter with a pencil grip and I've been working really hard with it at home” he says.
“It's been an hour to two hours every day working mostly on short putts and I'm happy with how it's been going but I won't really know until tournament time.
“You can't recreate the pressure of a real tournament when you're at home no matter what you do so the true test will come Thursday of tournament week.”
He said he watched the performance of Bernhard Langer with great interest the first two weeks of the new US Champions Tour season, the German winning the second tournament of the year using a non-anchored broomstick putter.
“He shot 62-66 the first two rounds of that tournament with the long putter not anchored which is amazing golf and gives me another option to consider if needs be,” he says.
Senior would have been part of those two American tournaments but contracted a virus just before leaving Australia and opted to stay home instead.
The missed opportunity means the week at Lake Karrinyup will be even more important to his preparations for his final year on the senior circuit.
“I was going to go for two weeks then come back for four but decided just to stay for the six weeks when I got ill,” he said.
“So playing this week is really important for me. It's the first tournament of the year and it will tell me where my game is really at so I'm keen to get going.”
The field at Lake Karrinyup will be stronger than the one assembled at Huntingdale but Senior isn't out of his depth at any level.
And the confidence from November's heroics won't work against him if if he does find himself with a chance come Sunday in Perth.
“It's good to know you can still do it,” he says.
Photo: Joey Ratcliffe
Story: Golf Link
Smith, Day and Jones find California form
Smith, who has struggled since playing his way onto the Tour with some brilliant golf in 2015, had a forgettable second round but will otherwise be pleased with his best finish on the world's biggest circuit since his T4 at last year's US Open.
Having missed four cuts in his previous seven starts, and producing a best finish of T37, it was no surprise to close observers to see the Queenslander's turnaround in form at Pebble Beach.
A final round of 2-under-par 70 at the difficult Pebble Beach layout put him in the top third of scoring in the final round, testament to his grinding style of play on tough courses.
His final total of 9-under for the week was matched by both Matt Jones and Jason Day, the trio finishing T11 in one of the stronger fields assembled this year.
While both Day and Jones found the going tough Sunday, producing matching 1-over 73's, both will be pleased with some consistent golf during a week filled with distractions because of the pro-am format.
Jones' best was a third round 67 at Monterey Peninsula Country Club while Day's second round 66 at the same course was his highlight for the week, a scintillating 6-under back nine suggesting his best is not far away.
Of the 12 Australians who began the week seven made the cut including rookie Ryan Ruffels who was T10 after 36 holes in what has been an impressive US debut.
After making the cut at Torrey Pines two weeks ago the talented 17-year-old was the leading Australian with two rounds to go and despite not producing his best over the weekend has proved he has the game to compete at the top level.
A 6-over 78 in the final round was far from his best and while T60 will feel like a disappointment it is a worthy effort for both a teenager and a rookie.
Steven Bowditch (T41), Aaron Baddeley (T50) and Rhein Gibson (68th) were the other Australians to make the 54-hole cut while Geoff Ogilvy, Jarrod Lyle, Rod Pampling, Greg Chalmers and Cameron Percy all missed the final round.
Story courtesy of Golf Australia
Smith, Ruffels lead Aussie charge at Pebble
Cam Smith’s birdie barrage heads an inspired Aussie charge in the first round of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
Smith, who played on the Monterey Peninsula course, carded seven superb birdies in his opening 13 holes on the par-71 layout, made two important one-putt pars on the closing two holes to sign for a sizzling seven-under-par 64.
The score left him just one behind American leader Chez Reavie, another to have played at Monterey, who carved out five birdies and an eagle on the back nine to finish at eight under the card.
But there was plenty of green and gold support on the leaderboard for Smith, with no fewer than seven Aussies in the top 29 and, amazingly, five in the top 16.
That support cast was led by Rhein Gibson and Ryan Ruffels in just his second tournament as a professional.
Gibson showed no signs of what lay ahead when he turned at Spyglass Hill in one under. But four blemish-free back-nine birdies paved the way for a T15 finish at -5.
Ruffels, 17, was in the last group out at Pebble Beach, but remained patient throughout a long afternoon.
He started hot and was four under through five holes until a double-bogey on the ninth threatened to derail his round.
But the Golf Australia rookie squad member, playing on invitation, made three birdies on the back nine including one after a spectacular bunker shot to 40cm on the last hole.
Ruffels also played a superb approach to the ocean-side 10th green to a tough pin cut far right from where he calmly slotted a 1.5m birdie to settle his nerves after his only blemish.
Emirates Australian Open champion Matt Jones peeled off six straight birdies at one point in his round, but mixed in two bogeys and a double en route to a -4 finish at Pebble Beach.
He was joined on that scored by Texas-based Steve Bowditch who was equally entertaining with seven birdies, including four in five holes around the turn and two in a row to finish his round at Pebble.
The rejuvenated Aaron Baddeley fired -3 at Spyglass Hill, while evergreen Greg Chalmers matched that mark at Monterey, giving the Aussie contingent plenty to cheer at all three courses of the fabled event.
Jason Day was not fantastic early, going out one over at Spyglass after starting on the back nine, but he carded two inward birdies to finish one under.
Jarrod Lyle had a bit of everything in an even-par 72 at Spyglass, his round containing an eagle, four birdies, four bogeys and a double. Importantly, though, he was three under in his final eight holes.
Geoff Ogilvy (+2), Rod Pampling (+3) and Cam Percy (+4) all left themselves with work to do after playing their opening rounds at Spyglass Hill.
Follow the scores here
Courtesy of Golf Australia
RACV Junior Masters the ideal curtain-raiser
Bob Tuohy, Chairman of the RACV Ladies Masters, announced today that the sixth RACV Junior Masters tournament would be played at RACV Royal Pines Resort on Monday, February 22 – three days prior to the RACV Ladies Masters.
Since the inaugural Junior Masters in 2011, the curtain-raiser to the “main event” has grown in stature and now attracts more than 50 players from Australia and overseas.
This year players from Taiwan, Korea, Singapore, Malaysia and New Zealand will join a strong contingent of Australian players.
The tournament winner will receive an invitation to play in the 2016 RACV Ladies Masters.
Golf fans who appreciate following the next wave of young stars will be certain to have their appetites whet ahead of the RACV Ladies Masters.
Last year, Coolangatta and Tweed Heads Golf Club’s rising junior star Rebecca Kay qualified to play in the RACV Ladies Masters and performed extremely well.
The 17-year-old finished in a tie for sixth place – just five shots behind champion Su Oh.
“Rebecca (Kay) was the leading amateur and even had her own cheer squad from her home club,” said Fay Campbell, who helps run the tournament with Denise Engwirda.
A clear indication of the tournament’s growth and success is the fact that this year more than 35 players are on single figure handicaps.
“I’m a big fan of promoting and introducing new young talent, which I have done ever since the inaugural Ladies Masters in 1990 and it’s why we introduced the Junior Masters to engage with the wider golfing community and promote the game at grass roots level,” Mr Tuohy said.
The Ladies Masters is proudly supported by the Queensland Government though Tourism and Events Queensland, recognising the important role events play in driving visitation and generating jobs.
The tournament is where Karrie Webb, Lydia Ko, Minjee Lee, Yani Tseng, Lorena Ochoa and others received their start.
Now, through his company and with the support of RACV Royal Pines Resort, junior girls have the chance to test their skills against their peers in a competitive 18-hole shootout.
For the winner, it’s an opportunity to play alongside professionals where they can observe and learn how some of the best players in the world go about their work.
For the past six years, the RACV Junior Masters has been well supported by the local community, who have the knack of spotting talent from afar.
This year should be no different.
Media Release: Golf Tasmania
GA partners with fashion icon Daniel Hechter
Golf Australia has forged a partnership with world-renowned fashion label Daniel Hechter.
GA’s high performance squad members and staff will be decked out in suits and other lifestyle fashion apparel when they’re representing Australia domestically and around the world.
The label, which bears the name of its French creator, is revered globally as the first and still leading fashion house for “ready-to-wear” designer clothing.
Peter Thompson, chief executive officer of the brand’s Australian licensee Expedition Apparel, said the partnership would continue Daniel Hechter’s already strong sporting links.
“I am really excited to be associated with Golf Australia and, in particular, the young development squads,” Mr Thompson said.
“The Daniel Hechter organisation has a long history of association with sports having designed the first Paris St. Germain football jersey.”
Those ties, based originally on young designer Daniel Hechter’s love of soccer and other sports, have spanned around the world, from tennis to skiing and even to AFL club, the Fremantle Dockers.
Golf Australia chief executive Stephen Pitt was thrilled to unite with a company that has espoused the concept of “affordable luxury” for more than 50 years.
“Our young athletes represent every Australian golfer when they are at tournaments around the world, and I can’t think of a better message for them to send to those they encounter,” Mr Pitt said.
“In Daniel Hechter, they will be both fashionable and sporty and look the part off the course as much as they are on it.”
Daniel Hechter will also throw its support behind next week’s ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open, further strengthening its ties with elite golf and its global branding.
It is intended that Daniel Hechter staff will conduct a deportment session at an upcoming GA high performance camp, working with athletes to help them progress along the pathway to professional golf from an off-course perspective.
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Story and photos courtesy of Golf Australia
Golf Queensland announces Junior Interstate Teams
Golf Queensland has today announced the 2016 Queensland Junior Interstate Boys' and Girls' Teams to compete 17 April – 20 April 2016.
Tasmania will host this year's event, with the Boys’ event to be held at the Ulverstone Golf Club and the Girls’ at Devonport Golf Club.
Golf Queensland's Head Coach, Tony Meyer said all selected players thoroughly deserve their places on the teams.
"It is always exciting for those young players to have an opportunity to represent their state at National level.
"It is great reward for those players who have been playing well over the last six months.
"I have no doubt that these players will perform well and represent the state of Queensland with pride and passion" he said.
The girls’ team have been victorious in four series in the past five years, with the boys’ last win in 2013.
Two male and female development players have also been selected to travel with their respective Junior State Teams to compete in the Australian Junior Amateur Championship.
Charles Pilon (Hills)
Jed Morgan (Hattonvale)
Joel Stahlhut (Goondiwindi)
Lochlan Coleborn (Mount Coolum)
Becky Kay (Coolangatta-Tweed)
Darcy Habgood (Toowoomba)
Karis Davidson (Sanctuary Cove)
Lisa Edgar (Surfers Paradise)
Rhianna-Maree Lewis (Maroochy River)
Mitchell Varley (Sanctuary Cove)
Zach Maxwell (Virginia)
Isabelle Taylor (Sanctuary Cove)
A 2016 team photo will be taken shortly.
Photo: 2015 Girls & Boys State Team
Long day but Kiwi veteran prevails in play-off
New Zealander Michael Long has claimed the 2016 Men’s Oates Vic Open after producing an amazing recovery shot from a hazard to beat Canberra’s Matthew Millar in a dramatic play-off.
The pair tied on 13-under at the end of the regulation 72 holes at Barwon Heads’ Thirteenth Beach Golf Links after Millar birdied the final three holes to force the tournament into a play-off.
With huge crowds following the pair back up the par-five 18th hole, Long hooked his second shot about 40m left of the pin and into deep rough inside the hazard on the first play-off hole.
But Long not only knocked the ball onto the green, he put it within five feet. After Millar left his birdie attempt just short of the cup, the Kiwi rolled in his putt to claim the title.
The 47-year-old is the third New Zealander to win the Oates Vic Open and first since Gareth Paddison in 2004.
It was the third consecutive year the men's Oates Vic Open has been decided in a play-off.
Long, who hadn’t won since the 2008 WA PGA Championship, said he was amazed someone found his ball and was fortunate it was sitting nicely for him to attack the pin.
“It was sitting up high so it was a little baseball shot and I said to my caddy `here we go, it's a wing and a prayer' and it came out perfect,” Long said.
“What can you say? Don't want to say it was a pure fluke because I had some idea what I was going to do. But I could not do that again in probably 100 attempts.
“I was walking in there and I was worried the ball might actually fall down to the bottom of the reeds. One of the marshals was saying to be careful when you walk in there.
“Didn't want to think about it too much and trusted my hand-eye coordination that I could hit a ball about three feet off the ground.
“That was pretty special - that one will live for a long time. I feel a little bit sad for Matthew because I had no right to make four from there.”
Long, who has a full-time job as a general manager of a golf course in Perth and is a director of the PGA Tour of Australasia, said he was thrilled to add his name to the Oates Vic Open honour roll.
“It means a lot. (Vic Open) has got a lot of wonderful names, Australian golf has got a rich and proud history and tradition and to get your name on some of these trophies is nice,” Long said.
Millar, who has now posted five runner-up finishes in his last 16 tournaments, admitted he thought the pair were heading back up the 18th for the third time when he saw where Long had played his approach.
“You don’t assume anything in golf because you can always hole it from anywhere,” Millar said.
“But to honest, walking on the green I thought to myself `we’re a red hot chance to at least go one more hole here’ because I certainly wouldn’t have backed him to get it up and down from out of there (hazard).
“But well done to Longy. He played well today and he’s obviously played well through the week and didn’t make too many errors.”
Aron Price, who led the tournament at the half-way mark, and day one leader Scott Strange both finished tied for third on 11-under with six players a further shot back.
That included New Zealand’s Josh Geary, who had the best round of the final day a six-under par 66, and local hope Ben Eccles.
It was Eccles second consecutive top 10 Oates Vic Open finish. The 21-year-old was disappointed at his finish after bogeying the final hole.
“I had a few chances out there and couldn’t get them to drop,” Eccles said after his round. “It’s been a good week, I played pretty solidly and it’s a good way to start the year.
“It would have been nice this week to finish it off because of the home crowd but the game is there. I’ve just got to keep putting myself there and one will come.”
Third round leader Adam Blyth had a final round to forget, carding a six-over par 78 to finish tied for 19th at seven-under par.
That group also included the leading amateur, Victorian Brett Coletta, who shot a final round of four-under par 68.
Level-headed Blyth takes reigns
Adam Blyth has taken the outright top position of the men’s Oates Vic Open tournament after the Queenslander finished 13-under-par this afternoon.
The 34-year-old enters the final day three strokes ahead of Matthew Millar (ACT), Michael Long (NZ) and Stephen Dartnall (WA) despite conceding his first double bogey of the week.
“It played really nicely, I ran away to a very nice start and made four birdies on the first six holes and then struggled a little and got caught on the seventh hole with a double,” said Blyth.
"But I’m still thankful I putted really well on the back nine today.”
Blyth, who returned to the PGA Tour of Australasia in 2014 after a two year break, emphasised the importance of “staying level” throughout the tournament to date.
“I keep saying to myself whatever happens then happens; the birdies will come but so might the bogeys or double,” Blyth added.
“That took place today but hopefully I can cut that out tomorrow; I’m still happy that I stayed level and kept playing well.”
If successful, Blyth would be the first Queenslander to win the tournament since Kenny Druce’s 1999 men’s title at the Victoria Golf Club.
“It would be fantastic to win not only for the practice that’s been put in but also because it really does feel like a really big event with the crowds, the sponsors and what the two are able to put into the event.”
However Michael Long is also in a healthy position to become the first International to claim the tournament’s ultimate prize since fellow New Zealander Gareth Paddison’s 2004 feat.
Long captured a temporary lead when landing an eagle on his final hole to the pleasure of all those watching by the green and those tuned into the live stream.
“Those holes are not too easy particularly on the 17th because you’re hitting the par-3 with the wind on that tee shot and managing to get one reasonably close,” said Long.
“Then on the 18th I find that if you get your drive away it becomes a very gettable par-5 but to then make an eagle I was really happy because it was a very long putt.”
Long, who captured last year’s Cottesloe Open title, admitted he was happy to draw level with his long time opponent Matthew Millar.
“I don’t want to count how old I am but it is good to see guys like Matthew who supported the tour for a long time finally sort of break through and get on a bit of form.”
Millar’s opening round score sheet was very colourful with an eagle, a birdie, three bogeys and a double bogey featured on the first nine.
Nevertheless the reigning New Zealand PGA champion has since recovered with precision and has returned to the top four.
“I’m very happy to be there again, all the feelings are coming back again and I’m looking forward to tomorrow,” said Millar.
“Today I held some putts but, having said that, I left a lot of putts short again in the middle of the hole.”
He continued, “I’m not saying that you should always make them but I’ve had the ball on line on the green all week so that’s encouraging.”
“If it’s not too windy anything is possible because the greens are excellent.”
Meanwhile Wodonga teenager Zach Murray is the outright leading amateur of the tournament and equal fifth overall after registering 9-under-par with Scott Strange (WA) and Aaron Price (NSW).
“I was very happy, I rolled in a few bombs early which resulted in birdies which got the day started and I played pretty solid on the back nine so it was a good game overall,” said Murray.
“My mindset is that there’s pretty much nothing left to lose tomorrow; I’ve got to go out there like I have been.”
Earlier in the morning, local Curlewis Golf Club member Deyen Lawson captured an impressive day score of 6-under-par.
And what was the local star’s humorous larrikins response to the press?
“Yep, I just wanted a bit of a sleep-in tomorrow,” joked Lawson.
Courtesy of Golf Victoria
Maroochy River girls to play Pennants
For the first time in the 33-year history of Pennant Golf on the Sunshine Coast, girls have been included in junior teams for the 2016 series.
And, according to Brisbane District Golf Association vice-president Steve King, it has never happened before anywhere in Queensland.
The Sunshine Coast’s newest golf club, Maroochy River, has instigated the landmark breakthrough that has resulted in four of the competing 10 junior teams this weekend fielding at least one girl.
“It’s fantastic. Wonderful news for the girls and certainly a milestone for golf,” said Maroochy River junior pennant team manager Peter Owen.
“Hopefully this decision opens a pathway for girls on the Sunshine Coast to compete against the best in their age group, male or female. It certainly gives them an opportunity they previously have not had and I’m proud to say our club helped instigate the change in attitude among our delegates.”
Sunshine Coast Golf Zone director of golf, Scott Mayes, said waning numbers among junior boys had been one of the reasons for the admission of girls in pennant teams.
“The pennant delegates from each of the clubs in the zone felt an ‘all-inclusive’ competition was the way to go,” he said.
Maroochy River is fielding three teams in the 2016 junior competition, and five girls will make their debut. Each team consists of three players, with the boys playing from the white tees and the girls from the red.
The strength of the junior girl talent at Maroochy River is indicated by the fact that in each of their three teams, the No.1 player – the golfer with the lowest handicap – is female. The girls are Rhianna Lewis (handicap 3), Danika Coyne (4) and Sarah Wilson (5).
Mr Owen says the boys at Maroochy River have readily embraced the ground-breaking decision.
“We have some very talented boys as well, and they are looking forward to playing pennants for the club under this change in format,” he said.
They are well aware of how well the girls play, and how competitive they are on the golf course. No doubt there will be some intra-team rivalry, and if expressed in the right spirit that can only be good for our teams.”
Story: Tony Durkin
Photo: Rihanna Lewis & Danika Coyne
Golf Queensland announces 2016 QAS Squad
The selection of squad members is based on recent state, national and international tournament performances as well as their commitment to continuing development in all aspects of their games, including technical, physical and mental.
Golf Queensland Head Coach Tony Meyer said the QAS Squad forms the pinnacle of the Golf Queensland High Performance Program.
"All players selected this year have earned their spots on the squad," Mr Meyer said.
"We are also extremely lucky to have a great team of coaches and sports science providers which the elite athletes will have access to."
"It is an excellent opportunity for the athletes to improve their skills and work towards their goals of becoming elite professionals."
Interstate golfers dominate to win Tasmanian Junior Masters
A COURSE record was set as two interstate
golfers took out the 2016 Tasmanian Junior Masters tournament on Friday.
Queensland's Kirsty Hodgkins dominated the female field to beat the old course record set at the Ulverstone Golf Club by three shots.
The 17-year-old finished the event 10 under the card and three strokes clear of Tasmania's Zahara Lemon on seven-under.
Chloe Thornton, from the New South Wales Golf Club, finished third on four-under-par.
Victoria's Matias Sanchez won the boys division as the 17-year-old Royal Melbourne member finished on three-under-par and captured the title by two strokes from New South Wales' Christopher Fan and Western Australia's Fred Lee, both on one-under.
The leading Tasmanian was Launceston Golf Club's Thomas Rehrmann on 11-over-par and in 18th position.
Following her win on Friday Hodgkins said 10 under par was one of her best results and she really enjoyed playing at the Ulverstone Golf Club.
"It would be one of my best results and I really enjoyed playing here at Ulverstone," Hodgkins said.
"I thought it would be really tough and the competition from Zahara and Chloe was pretty close so I'm really happy with the win."
Sanchez said he was pleased the weather was kind on Friday as he was worried about the challenged of a shortened competition.
"I was very happy in the end because it's difficult only having the two rounds," Sanchez said.
"It was a really strong field this year so I'd say this is one of my best wins and I quite like the course here in Ulverstone.
"It's very similar to the courses I play back in Victoria which helped me today."
Story credit: The Advocate
WINNERS: Kirsty Hodgkins, of Queensland, and Matias Sanchez, of Victoria, were winners of the Tasmanian Junior Masters tournament. Picture: Brodie Weeding.
Ruffels makes cut, Day misses
An ''under the weather'' Jason Day suffered a rare missed cut at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines in California today, but rookie professional Ryan Ruffels continued to impress by getting through to the weekend.
Day, who began the week with a virus, carded 72-74 to finish two-over par and outside the cutline for the first time in a US PGA Tour tournament since July, 2015. He missed just two cuts all last season, his breakthrough year in which he won five times, but Day's whole family has been impacted by illness in the past week and he said he did not pick up a golf club until Thursday's opening round in California.
"It's just one week. You can't live and die by one week,'' said Day. "It's not the last cut I'm going to miss. Hopefully it is the last cut I miss this year.''
Ruffels, the 17-year-old Melbournian who turned professional a few weeks ago, is playing on invitation and hoping to make enough money in a few starts this season to secure a playing card for 2017.
He reached four-under at one point today playing on Torrey's south course, the same course that he won the Callaway world junior championship, but he gave back shots with bogeys at the 11th and 12th holes and another from the greenside bunker at the 17th.
The Victorian Institute of Sport graduate and member of Golf Australia's rookie squad of young professionals carded a one-over par 73 for the day and is one-under overall through two rounds.
Day was not the only big name to miss the cut; world No. 3 Rickie Fowler also suffered the same fate and so did Phil Mickelson. Gary Woodland of the United States and KJ Choi of South Korea lead the Open at nine-under par through two rounds.
Meanwhile Perth's Minjee Lee is three-under par, five shots from the lead, after two rounds of the LPGA's season-opening event in the Bahamas. Lee is tied-20th.
Story courtesy of Golf Australia
2015 Queensland Hickory Shaft Championship
On Friday 23 October 2015 eighteen Australian Golf Heritage Society members and guests assembled on the links at Royal Queensland Golf Club to contest the inaugural Queensland Hickory Shaft Championship.
AGHS (Queensland Chapter) was pleased to welcome interstate AGHS members Rob Downie and Michael Sheret who made special efforts to attend. We were also delighted to welcome non-AGHS members Joe Janison (Brisbane Golf Club), Chris Webster, Chris Dower and Geoff Fairweather (all from Wynnum Golf Club), who helped make up a healthy field for the first running of the event.
The Championship, an eighteen hole stroke-play event, was won by Alan Grieve with a score of 79 strokes. Considering the windy conditions, difficult bunkers, and speedy greens and surrounds, this was a wondrous round of golf. Being a previous winner of the U.S. Hickory Open Championship and double winner of the Australian Hickory Shaft Championship, it was a rock-solid performance by the firm favourite. In second place, with an equally impressive round of 83 strokes, was former Royal Queensland Golf Club Captain Ralph Heading. In third place, with a fine round of 85 strokes, was PGA member and Director of Golf at Brisbane Golf Club Joe Janison.
The Captain’s Trophy
The Captain’s Trophy, an eighteen hole handicap stroke-play event held in conjunction with the Championship, was also won by Alan Grieve with a nett score of 71 (off a handicap of 8). Alan was five strokes clear of his nearest rival, Ross Haslam, who had a nett score of 76 (off a handicap of 11). Third place was shared by Ross Bishop (off a handicap of 10) and Chris Webster (off a handicap of 13) with nett scores of 80.
Nearest The Pins
Ensuring an almost clean-sweep for the day, the winner of the nearest-the-pin prize on the 4th hole was Alan Grieve. The nearest-the-pin winner on the difficult 11th hole was ever-reliable Ross Haslam.
Presentations and Dinner
A very enjoyable day was had by all and we were extremely pleased to be joined at dinner by the Chapter’s Patron, Charlie Earp. After presentations, Michael Sheret gave a brief description of the historical displays installed for the day around the clubhouse and the ‘special’ putters he had supplied for the enjoyment of all.
Drinks, a nourishing dinner and stories of the day’s events were then shared. They were preceded by a secular grace recited in perfect Scots brogue by Dr Sheret—it went as follows:
Some hae meat and cannae eat
And some wad eat that want it
But we've been on the links taeday
An' aw oor troubles blown away
An' here we sit
We hae oor drink
An' afore ye think
O' aw the putts that didnae sink
Think o' the wan that sank it
An be gled ye didnae shank it
Noo we hae meat
An we cin eat
So yays yir paws
An open yir jaws
An let yir gods be thankit...
with apologies to Robert Burns
AGHS Queensland Chapter would like to thank the Members and Committee of Royal Queensland Golf Club for making their marvellous links, practice facilities and clubhouse available for the running of this event.
In particular, would like to express our gratitude to the RQGC Match and Greens Committee and especially the Club’s President Andrew Corrigan, Captain Suddy MacKechnie and Vice-president Rob King-Scott for their ongoing support of AHGS and hickory golf in Queensland.
We would also like to thank RQGC Golf Operations Manager Steve Rhind for his exceptional management of the event (and the nine others we have held so far this year), General Manager Tim McGahon, Executive Assistant and Event Manager Cathy Keighley, and the house staff for providing such a well organised and delicious dinner.
Andrew Baker (Captain - AGHS Queensland Chapter)
In-form Dann has an eye on Europe
Pelican Waters golfer Charlie Dann is proving to be one of the best amateur players in the country after securing second place in the esteemed Lake Macquarie Amateur event.
Dann finished the tournament 10-under par, shooting rounds of 70, 68, 73 and 67 respectively.
The top two finishes capped off an impressive run for the ex-Gympie-based golfer, whose fourth place in the Keperra Bowl and third place in the Australia Master of the Amateurs at the notorious Royal Melbourne golf course have seen his national ranking cemented well inside the top 20.
Given his latest achievements, a professional career looks likely.
But Dann insists there is still a lot of golf to play before then.
"Just contending in these major amateur events is an important stepping stone to a professional career," Dann said.
"My goal for 2016 is to try and play internationally in Europe; I want to be a contender in the biggest events."
And according to former coach Patrick Jones, that could happen sooner rather than later.
"Charlie has the temperament of a great golfer and that was evident early on," Jones said.
"It is not easy but I can see him being very successful down the track."
Dann will now set his sights on the Queensland men's team that will compete in the interstate series in coming months.
Story courtesy of Sunshine Coast Daily
Queenslander Dobbelaar added to national squad
Three of Australia’s most prodigious young talents have been added to Golf Australia’s national squad.
Queenslander Louis Dobbelaar, West Australian Min Woo Lee and Victorian Cameron John have been added as junior members.
Aside from rewarding recent outstanding performances, Golf Australia high performance director Brad James said their selection would enable them to have access to more international tournaments, along with increased resources and expertise to help them take the next step.
“All the national coaches agree that Louis, Min Woo and Cam have not only started to put some great results on the board, but that they each have demonstrated great development processes and the drive to push harder again,” James said.
“By earning berths in the national squad, we reward them, but also encourage them to take advantage of all the teams and programs they now have at their disposal.”
Dobbelaar, mentored by Cam Smith’s coach Grant Field, already has an impressive resume at just 14 years old.
The Brookwater and Royal Queensland member was runner-up in the San Diego Junior Masters and US Kids World Golf Championship in 2014 when aged 12.
He won the Queensland Junior title last month and represented Australia at the Asia Pacific Confederation Junior Championship in Taiwan in August, finishing a creditable 11th in the teams’ event against competitors up to five years his senior.
Lee, 17, has made great progress in the past year.
Coached by his older sister and LPGA Tour star Minjee’s mentor Ritchie Smith, Lee won the recent Aaron Baddeley Junior International Championship in San Diego, sealing his entry to this year’s Emirates Australian Open at Royal Sydney.
He fired a course-record 64 against the pros to lead after the first round off the WA PGA in Kalgoorlie in October, then backed up at his home Royal Fremantle course a week later with a T10 finish in the WA Open after being right in contention with five holes to play.
Earlier in the year, he was joint low amateur at the Spirit International in Texas.
He was the West Australian Amateur champion at Hartfield last March, then aged 16, and represented Australia in the Argentine Amateur and Copa Tailhade in Buenos Aires in November having played for WA in boys’ and men’s teams for the past three years.
John, 16, is coached by Tim Wendell and is part of the Rowville Secondary College high performance program.
He won the Victorian Junior Masters to start a 2015 campaign that featured success around the world and back. He was second alongside fellow national squad member Becky Kay in the Asia Pacific Confederation Junior Championship teams’ event in Taiwan in August.
The Waverley and Commonwealth golf club member then went one better with victory in the 120th Argentine Amateur Championship in Buenos Aires in November and capped a stellar year with victory in the Victorian Amateur Championship.
“All three athletes have produced results at national and international levels, which is impressive at their respective ages,” James said.
“They now have the opportunity to further their development with increased access to resources through the national program and we’re confident they have the dedication to take advantage of that chance.”
The trio joins Gold Coast teen Kay as junior national squad athletes, with Sydney’s Cam Davis, Melbourne’s Brett Coletta, Perth’s Hannah Green and Wodonga’s Zach Murray the “senior” members.
Former tier one squad member Ryan Ruffels has turned professional, making his debut this week on the US PGA Tour’s Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines near San Diego and added to the Golf Australia rookie pro squad for 2016.
Story courtesy of Golf Australia
Queenslander Cox goes low in NSW AM
A surprise packet from Queensland has finished the opening day of the Golf NSW Amateur Championship with the low round at Riverside Oaks Golf Resort.
Steven Cox from Wantima Country Club north of Brisbane scorched around the Gangurru course with a 6-under par 65 with a round that contained 5 birdies, an eagle and a solitary bogey.
“I played solid. I knew the conditions were good for scoring before I teed off today. I tried to hit as many greens as I could, put myself in good position to hole some good putts and it worked.”
Cox felt his good score today came down to keeping his emotions in check, something he hasn’t been too good at before.
“It was all about keeping my excitement down a bit. I know everyone can get excited when they’re having a good round. I’ve done that a lot myself, got excited, and then made a few bogeys.”
“I was just trying to keep my head in the game and do what I have to do. Keep the routine the same. It worked.”
Cox, who has just turned 18, finished high school last November. He’s hoping to get a part time job so he can earn some cash and commit a lot more time to his game.
“I want to travel and play and get my ranking up as high as I can. I’m aiming to be number one in Australia in the men’s ranking. That’s my goal.”
He’s been getting a bit of golf in working towards his goal too. He played the Aussie Amateur Champs in Melbourne a fortnight ago, and the Lake Macquarie amateur last week.
Things really started to click for the teenager late last year, and the dedication seems to be beginning to pay off. His talent and dedication have been noticed by Golf Queensland along the way, with selection in the QLD State Junior Team last year. He has just been selected in the QAS Program as well.
“I was really stoked to get in to the QAS. That was a big goal of mine. I hoped to get into it by then end of this year but to get into it at the end of last year, it's given me a big confidence boost.”
Cox is ready to find out how far he can go in the game, and to do it in his own way along the way. doing it yourself is a trait he admires in one of his idols, Bubba Watson.
I’m a huge fan of Bubba. He does stuff his own way. I like that. I like doing stuff my own way and I really like that about him too,” he smiled.
Story Courtesy of Golf NSW. Read the full story here >
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Canadian star Brooke Henderson to light up RACV Ladies Masters
One of the world’s most exciting new talents in women’s golf, Brooke Henderson, will make her first appearance at the RACV Ladies Masters at the RACV Royal Pines Resort from February 25-28.
RACV Ladies Masters tournament chairman Bob Tuohy said the 18-year-old Canadian, ranked 17th in the world golf rankings, would light up the tournament.
“Brooke Henderson is a sensational player,” he said. “She has already won on the LPGA Tour and is going to be golf’s next megastar and we are delighted she is playing at RACV Royal Pines Resort.”
Over the past 27 years, Tuohy Associates has made a habit of introducing bright, new talent to the tournament.
“The Ladies Masters has long been a stepping-stone for golf’s future stars,” Tuohy said. “We have a reputation for unearthing new faces that have plenty of golfing ability.
“Karrie Webb played her first professional event at Royal Pines and went on to become the world’s best player.
“Then there was Annika Sorenstam, who won here in 1995 and again in 2002 and 2004.
“We introduced Yani Tseng in 2010 as an amateur and a year later she won the tournament. Lorena Ochoa was another who played in the event before becoming the world’s top ranked player.
“New Zealand’s Lydia Ko played in the event before she became the best player in the world and Minjee Lee finished runner-up as an amateur in 2014.”
The RACV Ladies Masters is supported by the Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland and promoted as part of the It’s Live! in Queensland calendar of events.
Henderson said she was thrilled to be playing in the event.
“This will be my first time visiting Australia and seeing the Gold Coast,” she said. “I have heard wonderful things about the event, golf course and the resort.”
Last year, Henderson burst onto the scene when she won the LPGA Tour’s Cambia Portland Classic by eight shots and finished in the top-five at the Women’s US Open and Women’s PGA Championship.
She was an amateur at the time and her victory was the first by a Canadian since Lorie Kane in 2001.
Henderson is only the third player under the age of 18 to win on the LPGA Tour after New Zealand’s Lydia Ko and American Lexi Thompson.
A happy go-lucky person, Henderson is a creative player who has the ability to adapt her game to any golf course – especially long and challenging golf courses.
That’s because she hits the ball long and can comfortably draw and fade the ball when required.
Henderson, who made the Canadian national golf team at age 14, had a stellar amateur career winning the Women’s Canadian Amateur in 2013 and was runner-up at the 2014 Women’s US Amateur Championship.
As an amateur, she won three tournaments on the Canadian Women’s Tour and tied for 10th in the 2014 Women’s US Open at the age of 16.
Henderson was the top-ranked woman amateur in the world before turning professional at the end of 2014.
Canada’s female athlete of the year in 2015, Henderson carries a 47-inch driver, which helps her generate plenty of power.
She is in the top-25 in driving accuracy (79.91 per cent) and greens hit in regulation (78.13 per cent) and ranked in the top-50 in putting average.
“I have big dreams, big goals ahead of me and I’m chasing after those,” she told LPGA.com. “Hopefully, I’ll have a long career on the LPGA Tour.”
Day defends as Ruffels makes pro debut
With Jason Day defending and Ryan Ruffels making his Professional debut, the PGA TOUR's Farmers Insurance Open will have a heavy Australian focus this week in California.
The pair are part of a 14 strong Australian contingent and while Day, in particular, will be under the spotlight Marc Leishman might be the Australian to surprise this week.
Day's thrilling play-off victory last year was the continuation of a string of high finishes at Torrey Pines but Leishman, too, has proved somewhat a specialist on the Southern California layout.
In seven appearances he has missed the cut only once but has two runners-up finishes and another top-10 on his resume as well.
He missed the cut by a stroke at last week's Careerbuilder tournament despite being 8-under for the three rounds played and in his seven rounds so far in 2016 has shot worse than 70 just once, indicating his game is in good shape.
The full list of Australians playing this week is: Robert Allenby, Stuart Appleby, Aaron Baddeley, Jason Day, Rhein Gibson, Matt Jones, Marc Leishman, Jarrod Lyle, Geoff Ogilvy, Rod Pampling, Cameron Percy, Ryan Ruffels, John Senden and Cameron Smith.
Every week on Tour is an important one but particularly so this week for Jarrod Lyle, Rhein Gibson and Ruffels though all for different reasons.
Lyle's quest to get back his PGA TOUR card continues but with the clock ticking after a missed cut last week the pressure continues to mount.
Lyle needs to amass $209,111 to earn back his status but now has only seven tournaments left to achieve that goal.
He played decent golf at last week's Careerbuilder tournament but with the cut coming at 9-under after three rounds it was a tough school where you needed to be better than decent to play all four days.
His previous form at Torrey Pines offers little encouragement with a best of T42 in five appearances but he will be highly motivated this week and after a five birdie back nine to shoot 66 in the third round last week he is clearly hitting the ball well enough to score.
For Gibson the week is an important one as he is yet to play his best since graduating from the Web.com Tour in 2015.
In six starts he has made just one cut and with a reshuffle of priority rankings looming at the end of February he needs to move up the list to have some security for the rest of the year.
Gibson is currently 37th on the priority list which dictates tournament eligibility and needs some good performances in the next three weeks to move higher in the standings.
Having not played the tournament previously, Gibson begins the week with a clean slate though would like to make some good memories by Sunday.
While the rest of this week's Australian contingent are well into their careers for 17-year-old Ryan Ruffels the first tee Thursday morning represents a huge moment.
The teen announced a fortnight ago that he had left the amateur ranks and despite his tender years he understands what an enormous opportunity it is to make his Professional debut at one of the biggest events on the world's biggest Tour.
Expectations are high for Ruffels' future and he will feel the pressure at Torrey Pines but he is in somewhat familiar surrounds having won a World Junior tournament here in 2014.
It will be different conditions and vastly different circumstances that greet him this week but it's an exciting way to launch what many believe will be a long and successful career.
Houston takes top honours at Q-School
Entering the final day three shots behind overnight leader, Callan O'Reilly, Houston fired an impressive 8-under 64 to finish on 17-under to record a four shot victory over fellow Victorian and second round leader, Jack Wilson, and Queenslander, Taylor Macdonald.
Houston opened his round steady making par on his opening hole before a hot run with the putter saw the Victorian add five birdies in six holes to his card in a round that produced seven birdies, one eagle and a lone bogey on the 11th par three.
"It's the first event I've won as a Pro, even though it's Q-School it's still a good feeling."
"I went to China Q-School last week and missed out and came home feeling pretty down on myself.
"Jack and Callan had been playing really well all week and I'd assumed they'd be three or four under, so I just kept trying to push and push and not stall. They are tough holes coming in an I just had to hit good shots."
"I think it helped not having any expectations, I just went out and played as good as I could."
With this first place finish Houston receives Tournament Exemption Category 7 (a) on the PGA Tour of Australasia for the duration of the 2016 season. His first tournament for the season will be the Oates Vic Open at 13th Beach Golf Links next month.
A playoff determined positions second to fifth, with Jack Wilson (13-under) Taylor Macdonald (13-under), Matthew Giles (11-under) and Chris Gaunt (11-under) rounding out the top five.
Players ranked two to five will be placed in Exemption Category 10 for the duration of the 2016 season. Those in this category are expected to gain a start in all State Based Championships as well as having a strong chance in gaining a start in a number of the tier one tournaments.
Those players ranked six to 40 will be placed in Exemption Category 13 for the duration of the 2016 season.
In addition to a Tour card, the three top performing players earn an equipment and monetary contract from Cobra Puma Golf, joining the likes of Rickie Fowler, Jonas Blixt and Graham Delaet as Cobra Puma Golf ambassadors.
Top 40 include: Taylor Macdonald, Jake McLeod, Aaron Wilkin, Kota Kagasaki, Cory Crawford, Christopher Wood, Tim Hart and Damien Jordan.
Story: PGA Australia
Dann holds on at Lake Macquarie
Despite rainy conditions throughout the tournament, twenty-five Queenslanders teed up in the Lake Macquarie Amateur with twelve players advancing after the 54-hole cut.
Queensland’s Charlie Dann carded rounds of 70-68-73-67 (278) to finish two shots back from men’s champion Harrison Endycott (NSW). Dann’s bogey free round consisted of five birdies with a solid finish to the tournament.
Early leader Shae Wools-Cobb shot consistent rounds of 70-73-72-68 (283) with 2015 Keperra Bowl winner Anthony Quayle one shot behind.
The women’s event was dominated by international visitors with Hye-Jin Choi “smashing” the Ladies course record with a bogie free round 65 (279).
Leading Australian and Queenslander Robyn Choi struggled with round three conditions carding 82 otherwise playing solid golf all week following her previous rounds of 70-70 and final round 70 (292)
Sarah Yamaki was QLD’s next best placed in a tie for T10th with rounds of 75-71-76-76 and one shot ahead of fellow Queenslander Karis Davidson.
Final Queensland scores
Lake Macquarie tested by the best
Players have made the most of perfect conditions for the opening round of the Lake Macquarie Amateur held at Belmont Golf Club, NSW.
Last year’s women’s hot shot Robyn Choi is the leading Australian firing five birdies and two bogies to sit independently in 5th position carding a 2-under round 70. The women’s event is being dominated by a strong international contingent with reigning Australian Ladies Amateur Champion Min-Ji Park leading the field at 5-under.
WA’s Hannah Green is the only other Australian in the top 10 shooting one-under and tied for 8th. Fellow Queenslanders aren’t far behind with Sarah Yamaki shooting 75 for T8 and Gennai Goodwin T9 with Karis Davidson, Kimberley Crawley and Dee-Dee Russell.
WA’s Ben Ferguson posted the men’s leading score of 65 with seven birdies and an eagle for an impressive 7-under round.
Leading Queensland males Anthony Quayle, Douglas Klein and Lawry Flynn sit in the top 5 after each carding opening rounds of 3-under 69. Australian Amateur top 8 qualifier Shae Wools-Cobb sits one shot back on 70 with fellow Queenslanders Charlie Dann, and Mitchell Smith.
With over a third of the field sitting on par or better, today’s second round promises to be exciting as players jostle to make the cut of the top 66 players.
Queensland has 25 other players in the Men’s and Women’s field.
Men’s Women’s Anthony Quayle 69 Robyn Choi 71 Douglas Klein 69 Sarah Yamaki 75 Lawry Flynn 69 Gennai Goodwin 76 Shae Wools-Cobb 70 Karis Davidson 76 Charlie Dann 70 Kimberley Crawley 76 Mitchell Smith 70 Dee-Dee Russell 76 James Macklin 71 Victoria Fricot 79 Kade McBride 71 Georgia Clarke 82 Hyunsik Kong 71 Margarita Zakareyshvili 82 Dylan Gardner 72 Karen Kim 83 Steven Cox 73 Jarrod Stirling 76 Blake Proverbs 76 Drew Herbet 77 Parky Park 78
Stay up to
date with the scores here bit.ly/1KrZWht
Buchanan joins Australian Golf Schools
Such has been the evolution of Gold Coast-based Australian Golf Schools in recent years that its principal, Tom Linskey, has brought on board a professional to manage the day-to-day running of the coaching school.
And, with fate playing a role, AGS has secured a golfing guru. United States golf professional Paul Buchanan who, among his other talents is rated a Master Club Fitter, has recently joined the organisation as Dean of Instruction.
“This is an absolute coup for us,” says Tom, whose Australian Golf Schools operation is in its 37th year.
“Paul brings an outstanding USA pedigree with him and has a history of producing elite golfers. He is also the best club fitter I have ever seen.”
But, according to Tom, another significant attribute Buchanan delivers to Australian Golf Schools is a continuation of the solidarity of a business which has attained repeated success for almost 40 years.
“I have worked with Paul numerous times over the past four years and when he instructs it is like listening to myself,” he said.
“Admittedly, that sounds like I am blowing my own trumpet. But what it actually means is that Paul will be providing more of the same that has made us successful, but from a different perspective.
“As our longevity in this business suggests, we have operated with a very effective formula. And while Paul will bring with him new ideas and a wealth of knowledge and experience, we won’t be straying from what we know works best.”
Buchanan and his family moved to Australia from Utah four years ago for Paul to take up a senior position with Global Sports International as an educator on clubfitting and coaching for PGA professionals in Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Indonesia and South Africa. Melbourne had been the family’s base since moving to Australia.
“But great weather, combined with the many fine golf courses here, has been the enticement for Paul coming to the Gold Coast ,” Tom explained.
“For us it was a case of the right place at the right time, and we are absolutely thrilled to have Paul now teaching at our school.”
But while it is a coup for Australian Golf Schools, Tom says it is even better news for the students.
His stable of pupils reads like a who’s who of world golf – Lorena Ochoa, Natalie Gulbis, Spencer Levin, Peter Fowler, Ryan Fox and Anthony Brown have all advanced their game under the tutelage of Paul Buchanan.
Buchanan has been coaching professionally since 1988, but says he has had a lifelong love affair with golf and started playing when he was five.
“My dad, who is an avid golfer, was my mentor and role model. My first job, at age 15, was in the golfing industry, but my passion is coaching,” he said.
Story: TONY DURKIN
Three Aussies earn full China Card
The first week of the PGA Tour China's Q-School ahead of the 2016 season was a largely successful one for the Australian contingent involved at OCT Kunming Wind Valley Club.
final round of 3-under 69 was enough to see him finish second for the week and wrap up a full year on the PGA Tour China, while countryman
was one stroke further back at 1-under in a share of fifth.Queenslander
locked up one of the final two fully-exempt spots by finishing in a share of 14th at 2-over the card, despite a 1-over 73 in the final round on Sunday.Earning conditional status were Sydney-siders
and in a share of 19th, while one shot further back at T23 was fellow Aussie was the final Australian to earn a place on the tour, coming in at T33, with compatriot not so lucky, the Victorian missing out on conditional status by a single stroke.
Story: PGA China
Aus Am: Queensland results
Our Queenslanders held on tight at this year’s Australian Amateur played at Metropolitan with commendable results. Eleven players made the match play event with three advancing to the next round.
Medallist winner and top-seed Charles Pilon was stand out of the week after qualifying for the 32 player match play after finishing the 36 Hole Stroke event 66- 72 taking out medallist honours. Pilon continued his streak winning all his matches confidently to reach the quarter final and top 8. Pilon’s run unfortunately came to an end against Wales’ Evan Griffith going down 6&4.
Shae Wools-Cobb also qualified for the quarter final after a T14 stroke play finish, taking out Victoria’s Matias Sanchez with a spectacular finish to make the top 8. Wools-Cobb made it an entertaining match however was defeated by last year’s Australian Open pre-qualifier Austin Bautista by one.
Queensland State player Karis Davidson was our last women’s hope after finishing T5 in the stroke play to advance to the match play tournaments. After successfully making the final last year, Davidson competed against current Australian Girls number 1 Hannah Green in an epic battle unfortunately suffering a penalty on the 17th hole after being square with two to play which resulted in the WA Champion winning by one.
Congratulations Scotland’s Connor Syme and Korea’s Min-ji Park who played stunning golf to win their respective Australian Amateur Championships, presented by Swinging Skirts.
Well done to all our Queensland Amateurs who participated in Golf Australia’s Australian Amateur #AusAm
For final results visit Golf Australia
Syme, Park win high quality Australian Amateur Championship finals
Scotland’s Connor Syme and Korea’s Min-ji Park played stunning golf today to win their respective Australian Amateur Championships, presented by Swinging Skirts.
Syme, 20, will return later this year to play the Emirates Australian Open at Royal Sydney after winning an epic two-round final 3&2 over New South Welshman Travis Smyth at Metropolitan Golf Club.
Park, 18, similarly, won the right to play next month’s ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open at The Grange in Adelaide, but said later that she would need her mum’s permission to make another overseas trip.
Syme was outstanding in making just two bogeys through 34 holes of a back-and-forth tussle with Smyth. The Scotsman was three under through his morning round and was again three under through 16 when Smyth’s birdie try ran by, ending the match to rapturous applause from an appreciative gallery.
“I can’t wait to get back here and play the Open. It’s my first time playing in Australia and I think it’s great, clearly,” Syme beamed.
Park was equally impressive. The shy Korean ran in 10 birdies across the 31 holes it took her to better fellow Korean Ayean Cho 6&5 in a high-quality women’s final.
“I’m really looking forward to participating (in the Women’s Australian Open) … but I’ll have to ask Mum first,” she said.
“But I hope to be back, definitely.”
Park was unofficially eight under – a number Cho, who also played well, was simply unable to match.
“I was happy to make that many birdies. My putting was good and I think that was the difference,” Park said.
Korea won the international teams event, while New South Wales won the national teams title, both playing for a trophy honouring Ross Herbert.
Super Syme: www.golf.org.au/newsdisplay/91916
Park needs mum’s nod: www.golf.org.au/newsdisplay/91918
Smyth still a winner: www.golf.org.au/newsdisplay/91919
For videos and additional information with Syme, Park and Smyth, please see our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/golfaust
Story: Golf Australia
Photos: Golf Australia
Cheyenne Woods returns for RACV Ladies Masters
Cheyenne Woods returns to Royal Pines Resort on the Gold Coast as a former champion of the RACV Ladies Masters and should she reproduce the form that saw her sweep to victory in 2014, she will have a great chance of lifting the crystal trophy for the second time.
The popular American, well-known as Tiger Woods’ niece, is making her third successive appearance in the tournament to be played from February 25-28.
Born in 1990, ironically the same year as the inaugural Australian Ladies Masters, Woods has always looked the part on the golf course – stylish and oozing charisma.
As a rookie in the field in 2014, Woods soon worked out a strategy that fitted perfectly with her ability to play to her strengths and finished two shots clear of Australian sensation Minjee Lee, an amateur at the time.
She made light work of the unfamiliar golf course and became one of only a handful of players to break par in every round when she carded 69-67-71-69 for a 276 total – 16-under par.
Woods, who joined the Ladies European Tour in 2013 and currently plays on the US LPGA Tour, was denied last year when she finished in a tie for 26th.
RACV Ladies Masters tournament chairman Bob Tuohy said Woods was “an absolute asset to the event”.
“Cheyenne will add spark to the event,” he said. “Apart from being a past champion, Cheyenne is a very good player.
“She also has a nice presence, a lot of charisma and goes about her job on the golf course in a professional manner.
“In the US, she has a huge following via Twitter, Facebook and on television, which is important when it comes to the RACV Ladies Masters.”
Minister for Tourism and Major Events, Kate Jones, said securing the talented Woods was a win for the tournament and Queensland tourism.
“It’s fantastic to have Cheyenne back in Queensland where she scored her very first tour victory at the 2014 RACV Ladies Masters,” Minister Jones said.
“The name Woods is synonymous with world golf and Cheyenne will be a big drawcard at the RACV Ladies Masters which will bring thousands of visitors to the Gold Coast.
“Securing marquee players such as Cheyenne helps Tourism and Events Queensland achieve the objective of inspiring more visitors to experience the best destination on earth, Queensland.”
From Phoenix in Arizona, Woods is the daughter of Earl Woods Jnr, Tiger’s half brother.
She turned professional in 2012 after an All-American career at Wake Forest University. Her only previous professional victory came in 2012 in the SunCoast Series in the US.
Media Release: RACV Ladies Masters
Aus Am Queensland update
conditions for Round 1 of the Australian Amateur match play played at
Metropolitan Golf Club saw four women’s round of 32 matches resumed early
Eleven Queenslanders battled it out with top seed Charles Pilon, Kade McBride, Shae Wools-Cobb and Karis Davidson progressing to todays’ match play.
Medallist and top seed Charles Pilon continued his good form with a 3&2 victory over fellow Australian Haydn Barron.
Kade McBride defeated South Australia’s Matthew Lisk one-up.
2015 Mandurah Amateur winner Shae Wools-Cobb battled to take out NSW’s Darcy Joe two-up after turning through nine four-up.
Sung-ho Yung, the 2015 Korean Amateur champ took out Dylan Gardner one-up.
Great battle by Lochie Coleborn after nabbing one of the last four spots to make the match play, however going down to New Zealand’s Ryan Chisnall one-down.
Taiwan’s Lawerence Ting took out Queenslander Jarrod Stirling 3&1.
Collyer utilised local knowledge to beat second seed Anthony Quayle two-up in a high-class first round duel that continued right to Metropolitan's 18th green.
After opening round low score of 67 followed by 76 to make the match play, James Macklin was defeated by ACT’s Josh Armstrong 3&2.
Mitchell Smith was taken out by Scotland’s Syme Connor 4&3.
Karis Davidson had Sydney’s Chizuru Ueda dormie four-up when they resumed on the 15th tee Friday morning with Davidson returning to triumph 5&3.
The epic clash between 2015 Queensland women’s success star Robyn Choi and Hyun-kyung Park was called off for the night when they were unable to be split through 19 holes. The pair continued to the 20th tee this morning with the Korean world No.94 defeating Choi one-up.
Best of luck to our four Queenslanders progress to Round 2 of match play today
Follow Queensland updates on twitter http://bit.ly/1RNNVsZ
Men’s match play progress scores http://www.golfbox.dk/livescoring/tour/#/competition/558595
Women’s match play progress scores http://www.golfbox.dk/livescoring/tour/#/competition/557318/matchplay
Pilon nabs medallist honours
In the foosteps of Jason Day, Wagga Wagga’s Charles Pilon is the men’s Australian Amateur Championship medallist.
Pilon, 17, fired an even-par 72 at tough Kingswood yesterday morning, then watched the six-under-par 66 he shot at Metropolitan stand up in a delayed round marred by wild weather
Overnight leader Kevin Yuan, among those caught in the delay, returned this morning and faltered with four bogeys in his closing six holes to slide to three under a day after his amateur course record 64 at nearby Metropolitan.
Pilon, who like world No.2 before him, attends the Hills International School in Queensland. He has qualified for his second straight matchplay phase of the #AusAm after finishing 12th in strokeplay last year.
He will take the No.1 seed into the matchplay, with his opponent Haydn Barron after the big West Australian was one of four men through a cliffhanger 15-man playoff.
Pilon was thrilled with the “awesome” result.
“It’s a great confidence booster going into matchplay. I went out at Kingswood yesterday and just tried to get it around in square and I did exactly that,” the Golf Queensland state team member said.
“I’m very happy … it’s very good for my world rankings and give me a bit more status (towards future tournaments). That’s another really big advantage of the result.”
The affable Pilon said he was fortunate to have played in the calmer part of Wednesday’s wild weather and finish his round before play was suspended.
“It was good to get that off in the morning before the wind and heat of the afternoon – it definitely helped me a lot. It picked up the last couple of holes, so I can sympathise with the afternoon guys.”
The round of the day belonged to emerging Queenslander Anthony Quayle, whose 67 at Metropolitan franked the form he showed at last weeks’ Master of the Amateurs without any tangible success.
“That’s been coming, for sure,” Quayle said.
“I feel last week at Royal Melbourne I was pretty close and the scores didn’t reflect how I played.
Then I played solid in the first round (at Kingswood) and couldn’t quite get it done, so it was nice today to have a few under and have a score that reflects how I’m playing.”
Quayle, who won the Pacific Northwest Amateur last year in Oregon, likes his chances in the matchplay, too.
“I’m a very confident match player. The tournament I won in the US last year was a top 64 matchplay event against a pretty strong field, too, so I feel like I can do it again,” he said.
“I like matchplay – I feel like I’ve got a pretty good game plan going into it and a good mindset of how I need to approach it and get on top of my opponent, so … if I believe I can win every match, there’s no reason I can’t get it done.”
Remarkably, a 15-way tie for the 61st-64th slots into the matchplay was resolved in just one hole when Victorians David Micheluzzi and Blake Collyer, Perth’s Barron and young Queenslander Lochie Coleborn who were the only players to make par on the tough par-four 10th hole.
A four-way women’s playoff for three berths took two holes to resolve with Queenslander Lauren Mason eliminated with a bogey on the par-three 11th.
New Zealand’s Alanna Campbell made a par to advance after both made bogeys on the 10th, with birdie and par good enough on that hole for Hannele Mikkola, of Finland, and Victorian Lisa Teo, respectively.
Story: Golf Australia
From long way back, Dann chasing hard
There’s a picture of a young Charlie Dann caddying for John Daly on his website that, if you could caption it, would surely say “golf’s odd couple”.
Aside from golfing ability, the two are about as disparate as you could possibly manage.
Daly is the brash, loud American; Dann the impeccably polite young Queenslander who until a couple of years ago was quietly working in the Peregian Springs pro shop.
But that’s all changing – except for the parts about manners and volume.
Dann, 23, is charging; rapidly making up for what he’d tell you was a slow start along a different path that many at this week’s Australian Amateur Championship have trodden.
There are 30 Australian amateurs higher than Dann on the world rankings.
But only a small number, if any, are more dedicated.
Dann is travelling with the Queensland Academy of Sport squad this week even though he’s not yet a member.
He arrives at Metropolitan and Kingswood on the back of an outstanding run to third position – and leading Aussie – at last week’s Master of the Amateurs at Royal Melbourne.
Both are factors that all point to what could be the most important aspect of Dann’s game, this week and beyond – he’s starting to feel like he belongs.
“Absolutely, I’m starting to believe it for sure, now. It has taken a year, but it’s been very promising,” Dann said.
“Obviously being an amateur it’s all about getting experience and being able to put yourself into that position where you can perform at the high level.
“I’m starting to do that more and more now and to get into that position (last) week was what I wanted to do.
“It wasn’t really about winning or losing … it was about being here and making the most of the opportunity … and I think I did that.”
And that typifies Dann’s understated manner.
The Sunshine Coaster, who trains with QAS assistant coach Grant Field at Pelican Waters, started his final round at Royal Melbourne six shots adrift of world No.8 and eventual winner Aaron Wise.
But after an eagle on the West Course’s 12th, then birdies on the 14th and 15th, Dann was suddenly within a shot of the lead at six under for his round as most of the field went into reverse.
A hint of understandable nerves and one of Australia’s toughest closing stretches combined for three closing bogeys, but it didn’t diminish the achievement.
“It was a very enjoyable round, playing really nicely and I’ve probably never putted better in my life, so that was very exciting,” he said.
“I had a couple of birdies in the middle stretch of the back nine, so it was good to get that feeling (of contesting the lead).
“The greens were immaculate and it’s a privilege to play here.”
And that typifies the outstanding – and information-hungry – attitude Dann brings to the table this week.
Golf Australia national coach and QAS program boss Tony Meyer said Dann’s rapid improvement had been because he’d finally been able to dedicate himself.
“From 18-21 he was working at Peregian, so he couldn’t really focus on his game,” Meyer said.
“But he’s going hard at it now working with Grant and really coming into his own.
“Charlie’s a really good guy and a really hard worker. He’s the sort of guy who’ll hang around to see better players when he’s finished his round and learn something new.
“I suppose you could say he’s a late bloomer … his game has really developed and he’s shown some good results which is great considering how hard he works on his game.”
For his part, Dann is just thriving on lessons he’s filing away on some of Australia’s greatest courses – with Metropolitan and Kingswood adding to his education.
“The condition of these courses is amazing and I can’t wait to roll some more putts in on such beautiful greens.”
Sounds just like John Daly, right? Not.
Story: Golf Australia
World Cup of Golf returns to team format at Kingston Heath Golf Club, November 21-27, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 6, 2016
Melbourne, Victoria, AUS – Tournament officials announced today that the 58th edition of the World Cup of Golf will be played at Kingston Heath Golf Club, with the format returning to team play (two-man teams) from 28 different countries squaring off on November 21-27, 2016, in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
One of the most historic global events in the game, the World Cup of Golf has been played 57 times in 25 countries and will carry an $8 million (US) purse with the first-place team splitting $2.56 million. The event boasts an impressive and prestigious list of winners that includes the likes of Jack Nicklaus, Davis Love III, Fred Couples, Nick Faldo, Seve Ballesteros, Arnold Palmer, Bernhard Langer, Sam Snead, Peter Thomson, Ben Hogan, Tiger Woods, Ernie Els and Jason Day, among many others.
Kingston Heath is one of Australia’s best golf courses and consistently ranked among the top 50 courses in the world. The course is renowned for its natural charm and strategies created by its superbly crafted greens and bunkers. The signature par-3 15th hole is one of the classic short holes in Australia, if not the world.
Kingston Heath has hosted numerous prestigious events over its history including the men’s Australian Open, (1948, 1957, 1970, 1983, 1989, 1995, 2000), Women’s Australian Open (2008), Australian Matchplay Championship (1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992) and the Australian Masters (2009, 2012). Winners of these events include names like Tiger Woods, Adam Scott, Ian Baker-Finch, Greg Norman, Peter Senior, Karrie Webb and Gary Player.
“The World Cup of Golf has a long and storied history as one of the true international events in our sport,” said PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem. “On behalf of the International Federation of PGA Tours, we are thrilled that a course with the reputation and standing such as Kingston Heath will serve as the tournament’s host venue in 2016. The fans in the Sandbelt region of Australia are some of the best in the world and our players consider themselves extremely fortunate every time they are able to play in an event of this stature in the Melbourne area. Our thanks go out to the Victorian Government for their partnership in both the past and future events.”
Acting Minister for Tourism and Major Events for the State of Victoria, Philip Dalidakis said "We are thrilled to welcome the World Cup of Golf back to Melbourne's magnificent Sandbelt. It's another great addition to our outstanding major events calendar, which already contributes so much to Victoria's economy. We look forward to welcoming the world's best golfers and fans from around the globe to Melbourne in November."
“We’re looking forward to the World Cup of Golf this November. We are thrilled that one of Australia’s truly great golf courses will host some of the world’s great players, showcasing our great game to Australia and the world,” said Brian Thorburn, Chief Executive Officer of PGA Tour of Australasia.
“We at Kingston Heath are delighted that the International Federation of PGA Tours and the International Golf Association are bringing the 2016 World Cup of Golf back to the Melbourne Sandbelt,” said Club Captain Peter Clark. “Our Club has a rich history of hosting major golfing events and we look forward to welcoming the world’s best players and modern day champions to The Heath in November.”
“The World Cup of Golf was started back in 1953 for the Goodwill of the sport,” said Jon Linen, Chairman of the International Golf Association. “It has become an iconic international event, carrying the torch for golf on a global scale. The event has had a long history of being contested in Melbourne, Australia, as the world’s best players rave about the courses, the atmosphere and the great fans in the Sandbelt region.”
The 2016 World Cup of Golf will mark the fifth time in the tournament’s history that it will be played in Australia and the first at any course other than Royal Melbourne.
Previous World Cup of Golf events in Australia;
Year Winning Country/Players
1959 Australia (Peter Thomson/Kel Nagle)
1972 Chinese Taipei (Hsieh Min-Nan/Lu Liang-Huan)
1988 United States (Ben Crenshaw/Mark McCumber)
2013 Australia (Jason Day/Adam Scott)
The 2016 tournament will return to a 72-hole, stroke play, two-man team event format. The first and third days of competition will be the foursomes (alternate shot) format and the second and final days are fourball (best ball) play.
The top 28 available players of different countries from the Official World Golf Ranking as of Monday, August 1, 2016 (Monday after the PGA Championship) will choose their teammates for the competition. As the defending Individual Champion of the 2013 World Cup of Golf, Jason Day will qualify automatically as the top-ranked player for Australia. Day will be allowed to choose his partner. All other of the top 28 players have until Thursday, August 12, 2016, to commit to play in the tournament. The deadline for each exempt player to select his partner is August 26, 2016.
“It’s great that the World Cup of Golf is going to Kingston Heath,” said defending champion and No. 2-ranked player in the world, Jason Day. “The course has tremendous tradition and it is one of the reasons that Melbourne's Sandbelt is considered home to several of the world's great golf courses.”
The World Cup of Golf Information –
Web-site – http://www.pgatour.com/tournaments/world-cup-of-golf.html
In 1953 when the inaugural Canada Cup and International Golf Championship—as the World Cup of Golf was then called—took place in Montreal, Canada, it was a relatively low-key event with just seven nations taking part. Since then it has grown into the greatest world team event in the game of golf, where teams of two players representing 28 countries compete for the prestigious title on some of the finest courses around the globe.
The tournament has been graced by the greatest names in the history of the game. Some winners: Peter Thomson and Kel Nagle (winners for Australia in 1954); Ben Hogan and Sam Snead (winners for the U.S. in 1956); four-time winners Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer (for the U.S. in 1963-64 and 1966-67); four-time winners Davis Love III and Fred Couples (for the U.S. in 1992-95); Gary Player and Harold Henning (winners for South Africa in 1965); Tiger Woods and David Duval (U.S. winners in 2000) and Jason Day and Adam Scott in the last playing of the event in 2013.
It was no coincidence that the first event was held in Montreal, for the Canada Cup and International Golf Championship was the brainchild of industrialist John Jay Hopkins, founder of Canadair. The trophy that will be presented to the winning team bears his name. Hopkins could justifiably be called the Founding Father of international golf. He believed deeply in golf’s potential to promote goodwill among all the nations in the world.
“Golf is a civilized and a civilizing game,” he once said. “It’s a game for good neighbors. It has the spice of good competition, while imposing the highest moral restraints.”
Hopkins’ devotion to golf led him to establish the International Golf Association in New York in 1952 with the mission of promoting, “International Goodwill Through Golf.”
“It is my hope that the International Tournament will serve through the spirit of the game to bind people together. The thousands, and hopefully, ultimately millions who watch these sportsmen must inevitably recognize the common bond that links all nations.”
The tournament became known as the World Cup of Golf in 1967.
Quotes about Kingston Heath Golf Club
Tiger Woods - "Unbelievable golf course, I've always been a huge fan of Sandbelt golf courses. The bunkering is just phenomenal. You don't get to see bunkering like this in any other place in the world. I've always loved coming down here and playing these golf courses… it' a treat. You don't need a golf course to be 7,700 yards for it to be hard. You can build it just like this.”
Ian Baker-Finch - “My favourite golf course in Australia and one of the World's best.”
Geoff Ogilvy - "We play a lot of unbelievable courses on the PGA TOUR, but Kingston Heath would be far and away the best of the regular tournament courses - that's not including the Majors. The US Open has stunning courses, but overall, most of the American courses are nowhere near as good as Kingston Heath.”
Ian Poulter – “Kingston Heath is totally awesome. Someone please tell modern day architects we don't need 8000 yard tracks they're not enjoyable. Best yet.”
More information will soon be made available with relation to ticket and hospitality sales. Those interested for sponsorship related questions should e-mail WorldCupOfGolf@PGATOURHQ.COM.
The World Cup of Golf is the fifth worldwide event sanctioned by the International Federation of PGA Tours, joining the four World Golf Championships – Dell Match Play (Austin, Texas, USA); Cadillac Championship (Florida, USA); Bridgestone Invitational (Ohio, USA); and HSBC Champions (Shanghai, China).
About Melbourne, Victoria
Voted the world's most liveable city for the past five years, Melbourne is a leader in staging international sporting and cultural events, with its super-friendly people ready to welcome World Cup of Golf visitors. The city is famed for its laneways and cafe culture, known as Australia's coffee capital, and is home to vibrant arts, music and fashion scenes. Melbourne's food credentials are attracting global attention and the city is the gateway to Victoria, including 21 wine regions, the stunning Great Ocean Road scenic drive and abundant native Australian wildlife.
Victoria's landscapes offer everything from international surf beaches, islands and coastal experiences to Alpine mountain ranges and inland lakes. Victoria is also a popular destination for domestic and international golfing tourism, famed for its sandbelts and home to picturesque, challenging courses that suit every ability.
Media assistance is available for World Cup media wishing to develop destination related content, research locations for outside broadcasts, interview local personalities and access rights free footage. Please contact email@example.com with any requests. Destination information is also available at www.visitmelbourne.com
About the International Federation of PGA Tours
The International Federation of PGA Tours was formed in 1996 by golf’s five world governing bodies – the European Tour, Japan Golf Tour Organization, PGA TOUR, PGA Tour of Australasia and Sunshine Tour (South Africa PGA Tour) with the purpose of providing a forum for the world’s professional golf organizations to discuss issues of mutual importance and, together, develop and promote the game of golf on a global basis. As part of its mission, the Federation initiated the World Golf Championships in 1999. The Asian Tour joined the International Federation of PGA Tours in November 1999.
In step with global growth of professional golf, the International Federation of PGA Tours announced an expansion and restructuring of its membership in 2009, adding the International Golf Association and additional professional golf tours, including – for the first time – women’s golf tours: China Golf Association; Korea Professional Golfers’ Association; Professional Golf Tour of India; LPGA Tour; Ladies European Tour; Australian Ladies Professional Golf Tour; Japan LPGA; Korean LPGA; and Ladies Asian Golf Tour.
About the International Golf Association
The International Golf Association (IGA) is a not-for-profit corporation, chartered in the State of New York in 1956. IGA is governed by its six-member Board of Directors. Jonathan Linen is the IGA Board Chairman. Through its association with the International Federation of PGA Tours, IGA continues its international goodwill through golf mission and looks forward to the 2016 return of the World Cup of Golf to Melbourne and a new Sandbelt region course in historic Kingston Heath Golf Club.
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Day, Spieth square off in Hawaii
Golf fans did not have to wait long for the duel that is causing so much anticipation in 2016. Jason Day versus Jordan Spieth is on from Thursday in Hawaii, and it is a world heavyweight championship rematch.
Spieth, the world No. 1 and Day, the world No. 2, are teeing it up in the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, a 32-player event for tournament winners from the previous season, at the beautiful Plantation Course at Kapalua on the island of Maui.
Day has not played anywhere since the Presidents Cup in South Korea in October, declining Tiger Woods' tournament in the Bahamas and the Emirates Australian Open late in the year so that he could spend time with his wife Ellie, and their new-born daughter Lucy.
But the 28-year-old Australian will be well-rested and keen to pick up from the 2015 form where he won five times, including four of his past six starts, secured his first major -- the US PGA Championship -- and climbed to world No. 1 for the first time.
Spieth, who conjured an even better year, overhauled Day to win the Fedex Cup, the season-long points race on the US PGA Tour, at Atlanta in September, and along with Rory McIlroy (who is not playing this week) and American Rickie Fowler (who is) they represent the exciting bunch of younger men who have taken the mantle held for so long by the ailing Tiger Woods.
Day finished tied-third at Kapalua last year, flying home with a course record-equalling 61 on the final day.
Steven Bowditch is the other Australian in a field that is strong, including Fowler, Dustin Johnson and Bubba Watson from the top 10 on the world rankings.
Story: Golf Australia
Choi and Lyon crowned 2015 Greg Norman Junior Masters Champions
(Southport) and Robyn Choi (Royal Pines) have claimed victory in spectacular style
at the 2015 Greg Norman Junior Masters celebrating 25 years of the prestigious Queensland
junior event. Lyon and Choi overcame their opponents during four intense days
at Palmer Gold Coast and Palmer Colonial this week.
The 72-hole event commenced on Monday at Palmer Colonial with Tuesday’s round played at Palmer Gold Coast. Wednesday was a rest day with the final two days at Palmer Gold Coast and Friday’s final 18 holes played at Palmer Colonial.
Over 224 eager and aspiring junior golfers from around Queensland participated in the 25th commemorative year of event with each of the six divisions reduced by 60% after 54 holes on Thursday, leaving the leading 40% of players in each division plus ties.
Peter Lyon has finally had his break-through win claiming the boys’ championship title over Charles Pilon (Hills) after a gruelling six-hole playoff.
Carding rounds of 70-70-72, Lyon headed into the final round as the overnight leader with Pilon trailing by one shot. A double-bogey on the first hole was quickly forgotten as Lyon followed up with three birdies and two bogeys to finish on 73. Pilon’s burning desire to take home a title after finishing runner-up to Louis Dobbelaar during last week’s QLD Boy’s Amateur was ignited making four birdies, two bogeys, and a double bogey to put both players and playing partner Lachlan Barker (Glenelg) in a three-way tie heading down the 18th.
All three players hit fantastic drives with short approaches and birdie opportunities lying in wait, however each missing the green resulted in a scramble to secure putts to be in contention for the playoff. Lyon recovered from the bunker to make par with Pilon’s safe chip earning him a spot in the playoff, however a bogey on the last for Barker cost him his chance for a playoff and the title.
What happened next in the playoff could only be described as ‘nail-bitting and enthralling’ as Lyon and Pilon battled over six gruelling holes for the championship. Friends, family and fellow players came out in force to support the boys, both worthy contenders. Square, after square, after square hole, it was only on the 18th for the third time that day that we found a winner.
Lyon’s troubled drive in the left trees and chip-out narrowly missing the water saw his chances start to fade leaving Pilon with an easy approach to the green. Not giving up hope yet, Lyon chipped-in his 3m approach from the fringe, fist-bumping in joy to make par and put pressure on Pilon to make his par putt after putting his approach in the back bunker. Pilon’s saving grace putt narrowly missed and saw Peter Lyon take out his first championship title. Both players are to be congratulated on their excellent display of sportsmanship, noted by Director Charlie Earp.
Charles congratulated Peter during his runner-up acceptance speech jokingly quoting “you could tell neither of us wanted to win” referring to the excruciating six hole playoff which was definitely a crowd pleaser.
Louis Dobbelaar (Brookwater) continued his successful streak taking out the 15 Years & Under Boys division after last week becoming the QLD Boys’ Amateur champion at Indooroopilly. At just 14 years of age, Dobbelaar’s rounds of 75-77-70-70 was highly commended by Tony Rollins, seven shots clear of City GC’s Sam Blackshaw.
Junior star Elvis Smylie (Southport) won the 13 Years & Under boys division carding rounds of 77-71-80-74 (302) with Sanctuary Cove’s Jae Young Han finishing two shots behind on 304.
Aces of the week belong to Peter Lyon who had a hole-in-one on the 135m 4th hole at Palmer Gold Coast, with Jack Pountney following in style with an ace on the 17th.
Robyn Choi capped off a stellar year winning the girls’ championship after already claiming three prestigious titles within the past months including the Katherine Kirk Classic, Queensland Amateur (Matchplay), and Queensland Girls’ Amateur.
Robyn has been the commanding force in Queensland Women’s golf this year with a score of 9-under and rounds of 67-71-76-68 (282) to take out the title, a single shot ahead of fellow friend and state team member Kirsty Hodgkins (Redcliffe) displaying consistent rounds of 70-68-75-70.
Choi said she was “nervous but confident” with Hodgkins leading by one shot heading into the final round at Palmer Colonial. Choi’s exceptional five-under round included an eagle, four birdies and a bogey; a round much to be desired by all golfers. An eagle on the final nine further ignited Choi’s confidence with a chip-in on twelve putting the pressure on Hodgkins to deliver. Hodgkins returned with a consistent round which included four birdies and a bogey finishing 8-under for the tournament, and one shot away from the championship.
CEO Rae Clark also extended an invitation for Robyn to play at the 2016 RACV Ladies Masters played at her home course Royal Pines 25-28th February, competing with the likes of Karrie Webb, Katherine Kirk and defending Australian Champion Su Oh.
Min Kweon (Sanctuary Cove) returned to take out the 15 Years & Under Girls title with a score of 293 (75-76-73-69) after winning the 13 Years & Under division last year. Kweon was six shots clear from NSW’s runner-up Hannah Park (77-75-71-76).
Emerald Lakes member Lion Higo defied her incredible eight-handicap winning the 13 Years & Under division with rounds of 77-80-80-78 (315), with Eloise Taylor (Sanctuary Cove) outright runner-up on 324.
Special thanks to sponsors Palmer Golf Australia, Titleist, and Golf Queensland for their ongoing support during the tournament. Thank you to all the districts, delegates, and partners who assisted with the tournament as well as Adam Scott, Cameron Smith and Maverick Antcliff who visited the juniors on Sunday during the opening ceremony to provide inspiration which all juniors and parents thoroughly enjoyed.
Sincere thanks must go to CEO Rae Clark, Director Charlie Earp, committee member Tony Rollins and the Junior Golf Queensland Foundation team Scott Simons, Tanya and Doug for their ongoing efforts to deliver a fantastic and renowned Queensland junior event. 2016 will see the consolidation of the Golf Queensland and the Junior Golf Foundation of Queensland junior operations to form one united body for junior golf in Queensland with exciting developments to come in the New Year.
Enjoy the summer of golf!
Overall Boys Champion – Peter Lyon (285)
Overall Girls Champion – Robyn Choi (282)
Boys Runner-Up – Charles Pilon (285)
Girls Runner-Up – Kirsty Hodgkins (283)
15 Years & Under Boys winner – Louis Dobbelaar (292)
15 Years & Under Girls winner – Min Kewon (293)
13 Years & Under Boys winner – Elvis Smylie (302)
13 Years & Under Girls winner – Lion Higo (315)
Final round photos will be available later today on the Golf Queensland Facebook page
For all final scores please visit http://www.golfqueensland.org.au/gq-events/greg-norman-junior-masters-2
Senior the master of Sunshine Coast Legends
Australian Masters champion Peter Senior has continued a successful summer back home taking out the inaugural
with a final round score of 5-under par to finish on 14-under par over the four rounds.
The unique event saw PGA Legend Professionals compete at three separate E-Z-GO PGA Legends Tour pro-ams throughout the week where the players with the best three aggregate score contested the final round at Twin Waters Golf Club, where their score would then be added to result in a four round combined score.
Hosting the Legends over the week have been the Sunshine Coast courses Noosa Golf Club, Peregian Springs Golf Club and Twin Waters.
Starting the day already at 9-under par Senior was five shots clear of his nearest rival Tim Elliot who fired a 3-under round at the Cricks Twin Waters Pro-Am to move up the overall series leaderboard. Also in the lead group was Richard Backwell who was the outright winner at the same event and one shot behind Elliot on the overall standings.
Already a winner this week at the Noosa Legends Pro-Am and narrowly missing out in a playoff at the Australian Legends Championship at Byron Bay, Senior was at his consistent best.
"This has been a great week for me and I can only congratulate all the players on the performances this week in making it a wonderful series of events," said Senior.
"It's great to have golf on the map in the area again and thanks has to go to Ian Baker-Finch for his efforts in getting this off the ground with the host golf clubs."
Senior will now look to take a break over the Christmas period before returning to the US at the end of January to compete on the Champions Tour for the 2016 season.
Story: PGA Australia
Senior wins at Noosa
Carding a 5-under 67 Senior finished two shots clear of his nearest rivals Mike Zilko and Michael Barry.
A stellar field of over 70 Professionals competed including Ian Baker-Finch, who enjoys playing on the E-Z-GO Legends Tour when back in Australia, along with many other high calibre Professionals such as Mike Harwood, Terry Price and David Merriman.
The Sunshine Coast lived up to its namesake and Professionals enjoying favourable weather conditions all day with only mild easterly breezes to contend with.
One of the three golf course being played this week, the Noosa Golf Club has hosted the E-Z-GO Legends PGA tour for over three years.
Local Professional and tour regular Mark Tickle was buoyed by the support given to the event by such recognised players.
"To have the likes of Baker-Finch and Senior wishing to come and play has really caused the club and local community a great deal of excitement," said Tickle.
"The club and its members love having these players come each year and I hope that we can continue to see such talent come and compete."
Senior started his round with two birdies and after a bogey on the par 3 7th hole was able to pick up a shot on the 9th to turn at 2-under par. His form continued on the back nine with birdies on 13, 16 and 18th holes.
"I can't remember when I was here last but I enjoyed being back," said Senior.
"I'm thankful that Ian Baker-Finch invited me to get up here this week and I'm looking forward to the next few days."
Players will now head to Peregian Springs Golf Club on Wednesday for the second of three rounds before the leading players will compete for the Sunshine Coast Masters come Friday. For all event details click here.
Story: PGA Australia
Legends look to master the Sunshine Coast
The best PGA Legends Professionals will converge on the Sunshine Coast this week to compete on three of the most recognised golf courses the area has on offer to wrap up the 2015 E-Z-GO PGA Legends Tour season.
Players will kick off the week of events at Noosa Golf Club tomorrow, then to Peregian Springs and Twin Waters Golf Club's in the days following.
The three individual pro-ams totalling $60,000 in prizemoney will culminate with the inaugural Sunshine Coast Masters tournament on Friday where the leading 29 Professionals from the three previous tournaments will share in a bonus $20,000 to also be played at Twin Waters.
The driving force behind the week and the unique format is Australian golfing legend Ian Baker-Finch who dedicates much of his time when back in Australia to not only his commentary commitments, but also supporting the E-Z-GO PGA Legends Tour.
Baker-Finch will be competing in each event during the week and no doubt will want to be at the top of the leaderboard by week's end.
"I enjoy coming home and playing in Australia and I'm sure we will see some of the best that our Legend Professionals can offer this week," said Baker-Finch.
"The Sunshine Coast is a fantastic destination to finish the season for the players and we are looking forward to having so many of our greatest names supporting the week."
Also making an appearance this week is Peter Senior who is in great form after his win at the Australian Masters but also coming off a narrow loss on the weekend at the Australian Legends Tour Championship held at Byron Bay.
Senior lost to fellow Queenslander Tod Power in a playoff so will be looking for redemption in the coming days.
Other players to compliment the strong field of Professionals include Rodger Davis, Mike Harwood, David Merriman and Terry Price, not to mention the next generation of Legends looking to make a mark on the tour.
Credit: Golf Australia
Wins will come for young ace Smith
Smith took the outright lead during the final round at Royal Pines on Sunday, after a birdie on the 12th hole, but bogeyed the 13th, 16th and 17th to finish fifth.
The 22-year-old said it was another valuable experience in what had been a career-building year.
“It’s always good to be in contention on a Sunday, that’s for sure. In the last nine holes, a few things didn’t go my way, but that’s golf,” Smith said.
“I’ve always been good at controlling my ball flight, so when it’s windy ... I tend to go quite well.”
The Australian summer of golf Cameron Smith “couldn’t speak highly enough” of Jordan Spieth, but is working on his game to ensure he can match it with the world No.1 when they inevitably cross paths. Both are 22 years old, meaning Smith can expect to see Spieth towards the top of the leaderboard for many years to come. But there’s no shortage of belief from the Brendale golfer. “That’s the goal,” Smith said. “He’s unbelievable. But definitely all the young guys playing professionally believe they can do it.” was a welcome excuse to return home for an extended period after spending most of the year abroad.
After going into the year with invitations to seven tournaments in the US, Smith said he was “pretty happy” with his efforts.
“We just thought we’d have a crack and I wasn’t really expecting too much going into it, and I got a tour card out of it,” he said.
But Smith still can’t comprehend his fourth-place finish at the US Open. “It was just a good week and my game was on,” he said.
Smith said he didn’t feel under pressure to deliver a win. “Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to win, but I just need to keep doing the right things ... and the time will come,” he said.
Smith returns to the US in January for the start of the 2016 tour.
Story & Photo: Quest News
Felton launches career with NSW PGA victory
West Australian Jarryd Felton has won his first Professional title in just his fifth start at a Pro.
Firing a final round 4-under 68, Felton secured a two shot win at the NSW PGA Championship with a tournament total 13-under 275.
It's an impressive victory for the 20-year-old who had to pre-qualify for the tournament but has now set up his career at home with exemption onto the PGA Tour of Australasia for the next two years.
Feeling comfortable throughout the round, Felton was unaware of his position at the top of the leaderboard until the 18th green by which time, thanks to a birdie on the 17th, he had a two shot lead.
Finishing in share of runner-up on 11-under 277 are PGA TOUR player Rhein Gibson, PGA Tour of Australasia player of the Year Matthew Millar, James Nitties, Anthony Summers and Geoff Drakeford.
A shot further back finishing outright 7th was Max McCardle, while rounding out the top-10 on 8-under the card were David McKenzie, Peter Cooke and Christopher Wood.
For all final scores please visit
As the final event on the 2015 PGA Tour of Australasia schedule, there was a lot on the line with some players in the field looking to maintain their cards for 2016. For a full summary of what players needed to do please visit pga.org.au.
For the final PGA Tour of Australasia Order of Merit please visit
Jarryd Felton, 65, 74, 68, 68, 13-under 275, champion
"I'm over the moon, walking down the last I didn't really know what the situation was but I saw the leaderboard and it was quite overwhelming."
"I was really impressed with myself; I stuck to what was best for me. I started with a birdie and normally I kind of get a little ahead of myself and think hear I go, I can win this tournament. But it was definitely too early to think that and I just kept going along making some birdies and some nice par saves. The birdie on 17 made me feel really good, then walking down 18 was great."
"The highlight was the 20 footer that I holed on 17 for birdie. I knew I had to coast it down to make par to keep in it, not realising what was going on, to hole it was a bonus."
"It takes a lot of pressure off, a trip to Q-School was on the cards obviously so it's taken that extra pressure off, I can plan out my year now so we will go from there."
Gregory Foo and Rebecca Kay take out 2015 Port Phillip Amateur Titles
Gregory Foo from Singapore has won the 2015 Men’s Port Phillip Amateur while Coolangatta’s Rebecca Kay has taken out the Women’s Port Phillip Amateur following the final 36-holes played at the Kingston Heath Golf Club on Sunday 13 December.
A member of the Singaporean National Squad, Foo came home with a final round of 71 for a four round total of 286 to win the men’s title by a solitary stroke from Sandhurst’s Brett Coletta. Trailing overnight leader Coletta by a stroke after the opening 36-holes, Foo gained the ascendancy with a superb three-under par morning round of 69.
In a high quality battle during the afternoon, matching one-under par closing rounds saw 22-year-old Foo hold on to outlast the Australian National Squad member for his first major foreign title.
The Women’s title saw Australian Junior Squad member, Kay play superb golf over the final day. After rounds of 79 and 77 at Commonwealth, the 16-year-old from Queensland followed a morning even-par round of 73 with a one-under 72 to finish on a four round total of 301.
Leading amateur at this year’s Australian Ladies Masters, Kay won the women’s title by two-strokes from Amanda Tan from Singapore who closed with a 75 for a 72-hole total of 303. Kingston Heath’s Dayle Marshall finished in third position on 306 after closing with an even-par 73.
After the cool and windy conditions over the opening two rounds of the Championship, a perfect Melbourne summer’s day greeted players for the final 36-holes at Kingston Heath, creating good scoring opportunities for the 59 men and 23 women who qualified from the opening two rounds played at Commonwealth on Friday and Saturday.
While a moderate southerly breeze came up during the afternoon, clear skies and warm temperatures made for ideal playing conditions.
Following the appreciated support of the Commonwealth and Kingston Heath Golf Clubs, the qualifying rounds of the Victorian Amateur have been held in conjunction with the Port Phillip Amateur from 2008 for the men and from 2012 for the women.
The leading 32 men with 72-hole scores of 303 or better and the leading 16 women with 72-hole scores of 319 or better following the completion of the Port Phillip Amateur now progress to the match play rounds of the Victorian Amateur Championship which will also be played at Kingston Heath and Commonwealth.
A play-off was needed to decide the final three qualifying positions for the men between four players tied on 303. Tim Hardham, Mark Boulton and Tony Lee were the successful player following a sudden-death play-off with Markopolo Fullep. The match play rounds will begin at the Commonwealth Golf Club from 7.30am on Monday 14 December culminating in the 36-hole Men’s and Women’s finals on Wednesday 16 December.
The Men’s Port Phillip Amateur commenced in 1976 and has been played annually over that time at Kingston Heath and Commonwealth within Melbourne’s Sand Belt. The 72-hole Championship boasts former winners such as Mike Clayton (1977 & 1980), Brad Hughes (1987 & 1988), Craig Spence (1994), Stephen Allan (1995) and Scott Gardiner (1999).
The Women’s Port Phillip Amateur commenced in 2012 with Metropolitan’s Su-Hyun Oh winning in both 2012 and 2013 with talented youngster Shelly Shin from NSW victorious in 2014.
Final results for the 2015 Port Phillip Open Amateur can be found via the following links:
Story: Golf Victoria
Dobbelaar and Choi cap stellar year with Qld Boys and Girls Amateur Titles
Louis Dobbelaar (Brookwater) and Robyn Choi (Emerald Lakes) have claimed victory in their respective Qld Junior amateur championships after overcoming their rivals during three intense and taxing days at Indooroopilly Golf Club.
Trailing overnight leader and houseguest, Matias Sanchez (Royal Melbourne) by 7 shots heading into the 36 hole marathon third day, Dobbelaar rocketed up the leaderboard with an, at then, tournament low round of 68 (-4). Not to be outdone, Charles Pilon (Hills International), playing in the final group with Sanchez and fellow state-team member Steven Cox (North Lakes), took the 54-hole lead with a fine 69.
and Cox fell away over the final 18 holes, it quickly emerged that it was a 2
horse race between Dobbelaar and Pilon.
News spread quickly across the course that Dobbelaar, playing 3 groups
ahead of Pilon, had played his penultimate 9-holes in 2-under to really apply
Both players birdied the drivable par-4 10th and split birdies over the 11th and 12th. With 5-holes to play, Pilon was confident he could close it out standing on the par-3 14th, having previously aced it during the second round. A regulation par was enough to maintain his lead however ultimately it was a par-3 which would prove his downfall, as a bogey on the 16th was bettered by a birdie from Dobbelaar.
The short par-5 18th would prove decisive. Dobbelaar had birdied the hole the previous three rounds and when he rolled in his putt for 4, he had made his 13th and arguably most important birdie of the final day to sign for 67 and a 72-hole score of 283 (-5). In contrast, Pilon had only managed one birdie on the 18th during the tournament and when he found the light rough off the tee, he knew he needed something special to snatch the title. Pilon’s approach flew long and faced with a difficult pitch shot down the green, he managed to leave an extremely testing 25-footer to force a playoff. As Pilon’s valiant attempt slid narrowly by, the result was confirmed with Dobbelaar becoming one of the tournament’s youngest champions at age 14.
Robyn Choi has been the commanding force in Queensland Women’s golf this year, having already claimed victories in the Katherine Kirk Classic and Qld Women’s Amateur, and it was business as usual as she opened with a 3-under round of 71 to share the first round lead with Kirsty Hodgkins (Redcliffe).
Toowoomba’s Darcy Habgood definitely shook the championship up with a tournament low 70 (-4) second round to enter the final day with a 2-shot lead over Choi. It promised to be an enthralling 36-hole shoot out with Hodgkins and Hazel Martin (Virginia) hovering.
A controlled opening 9-holes on day three had Habgood and Choi locked in a what appeared to be a head to head battle, however a haul of six birdies from Stacey White in the third round, put her squarely in contention heading into afternoon. Habgood, unable to take advantage of Choi’s troubles on 10,11 and 12, stumbled late on the back ni