/> Warren chipping onto the 18th green for his 3rd shot on last hole of the 54 Hole Championship
Article courtsey Gary Rowbottom – Port Augusta Golf Classic Committee
The 2014 Elders Insurance Golf Classic in Port Augusta held between the 4th and 10th of August saw near record participants compete in a brilliantly successful event.
The event showcased everything positive that the Port Augusta Golf Course and the City of Port Augusta has to offer to visitors and locals alike. The Port Augusta Golf Club is extremely proud to have been able to host such a clearly successful event, and promote our golf club and the city of Port Augusta in the process.
Visitor numbers were outstanding, with golfers travelling here from over 40 visiting golf clubs to attend the Classic, and even hosted golfers visiting form New Zealand. Strong support was received from many leading metropolitan Golf Clubs, and there was a strong contingent again from Esperance in Western Australia. This year the organisers were particularly pleased with the number of new faces amongst the visitors, and the number of ladies in the field. The 2014 Golf Classic undeniably delivered a brilliant result for both the Port Augusta Golf Club and the city of Port Augusta. Golf Week Committee Chairperson Ian Cocks had strong support for his statement in his closing address that it was “the best ever” Golf Classic, a claim that was not made lightly.
The most important element in the event’s success was the excellent course preparation, with the course presented for the week in brilliant condition. The fantastic course presentation is due to the hard work and preparation of the course maintenance team led by Corey Keanen and Jason Dickinson and supported by a hardworking band of volunteers. The weather for the event was absolutely gorgeous, with mostly clear blue skies and warm windless days finally giving way to a moderate breeze only on the final day of the event.
The most prestigious events of the week were the Elders Insurance 54 Hole Championship events held on the Wednesday to Friday of the week. The Classic attracted an excellent number of low figure handicap golfers in both the Men’s and Lady’s competitions, and as predicted, this made for some spectacular and closely fought golf. In the A Grade Men’s division, the pre-event favourite Lachlan Booth from Glenelg, could not overcome a rough start and mount a serious threat for his 3rd straight title. A fairy tale result for brilliant 14 year old local Marcus Kuys looked likely after he completed the first 36 holes square with the card, (off the stick), to establish a 5 shot lead. However the last round saw Marcus slip back and another fancied local, Mick Warren played some brilliant golf to snatch victory by a single stroke over Scott Benbow, also of Port Augusta. This win gave Mick Warren the “Port Augusta Grand Slam”, winning all of our three “majors” – the Classic, the Club Championship, and the Port Augusta 27 Hole Open, all in the same year. This feat has only ever been accomplished once before, by still active local golfer Paddy O’Keeffe.
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Elders Insurance 54 Hole Mens Champions, Chris Berry (left) B Grade, and A Grade Mens Champion Mick Warren (R), both locals, pictured with Paul Murphy from major sponsor Elders Insurance at the trophy Presentations on the Friday night of the Classic. Geoff Glen was the C Grade Mens 54 Hole Champion.
The Ladies Division One 54 Hole Championship also lived up to its billing as a fascinating battle amongst a trio of talented golfers, local Champion Ceri Nicholson, and SA State Ladies golfers Elysia Yap of Glenelg and Christine Beasley from the Murray Bridge Golf Club. Elysia played some great golf but struggled to post a competitive score, allowing Christine Beasley to establish a handy lead by the start of the final round. Local Champion and 20 time winner Ceri Nicholson wasn’t about to roll over easily however, and mounted a great effort in the final round to ultimately just fail to overhaul Christine’s 54 hole total of 237 by a single stroke.
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Elders Insurance 54 Hole Ladies Champions, Mary-Ann Koerner (left) Division 2, and Division 1 Ladies Champion Christine Beasley from Murray Bridge, pictured with Paul Murphy from Elders Insurance
In other grades of the Elders Insurance 54 Hole events, Chris Berry of Port Augusta played super consistent solid golf for his total of 251 to secure the B Grade Men’s Championship, with Ray Hardy of CTA finishing second on 258. Another local Geoff Glenn also played very steadily to secure the C Grade Men’s Championship with John Curnow of Flagstaff Hill finishing runner up.
The Ladies Division Two 54 Hole Championship was won by Mary-Ann Koerner on 304, over June Pope of Esperance just a few strokes back. Karen Teague (Highercombe) and local Judy Burt took out the Ladies Stableford Division 1 and 2 events respectively.
The presentation and operation of the event and the course was often praised by visitors at the daily trophy presentations, as was the fantastic generosity and support of the many Sponsors for the week long Classic. The Quiz Night held on the Wednesday was again a successful inclusion in the event. The daily event newsletter “In the Rough” kept players informed of the event’s progress and highlights as usual, and screening of event photos and videos were also entertaining. The golfer’s breakfast on Sunday morning prior to the final day’s Ambrose competition was also very well supported and appreciated.
The Port Augusta Golf Club would like to take this opportunity to thank the major sponsor Elders Insurance, and all other sponsors for the 2014 Classic, for their fantastic support again this year. The Club also extends a sincere thanks to all the local club members and friends who pull together with a multitude of contribution that all help to maintain the status of the Elders Insurance Classic as a leading regional sporting event.
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