Wet and wild conditions overnight saw the Australian Men’s Senior Match Play Championship off to a soggy start at Coolangatta & Tweed Heads Golf Club. Traces of the 65mm overnight rain were present on course but players were greeted by sunny skies and light winds as round 1 began on the west course.
2016 brings a new format to the Championship, with 32 players in the field ranked and seeded into eight pools of four players; three round robin matches will then determine the pool winners progressing to the knockout quarter finals where a winner will emerge.
Top seeds stamped their mark early in round 1 with highest ranked Gordon Claney (Vic) beating 32nd seed Peter Ferris (NSW) 6&4, 2nd seed Ian Frost (Vic) defeating 31st seed Tony Bailey (Tas) 4&3 and 2015 Champion Ian McPherson (WA) defeating Mike Peeck (Qld) 4&2, ranked 11th and 22nd respectively.
Early upsets included 5th seed Vince Clark (NSW) going down to 28th seed David Gleeson (NSW) 2&1, meanwhile 8th seed Mick Streit (Vic) needed 22 holes to overcome 25th seed David McClelland (NSW).
Stronger winds were a theme of round 2 as 3rd seed Peter Hannah (Qld) won his second straight match against 19th seed Terry Small (NSW) 3&1, with Frost stamping his authority in the pool stage, defeating 18th ranked Darryl Hearsch (NSW) 7&5.
Gleeson continued to dispatch his higher ranked counterparts with a 5&3 victory over 12th seed Chris Gordon (NSW), a similar theme for 23rd seed Lester Peterson (NSW) who caused another upset with his victory over 7th seed Graeme Howland (NSW) 2&1, backing up his 1up win in the morning round against 10th seed Trevor Hughes (WA).
Round 3 is to be played Tuesday morning which will determine pool winners advancing to the afternoon’s quarter finals.