Judy Kruger (Yarrawonga Mulwala) and Greg Rhodes (Coomealla) have been crowned the respective Women’s and Men’s Victorian Senior Amateur Champions for 2016.
The warmest day of the week so far welcomed players to the final round of Championships and more perfect playing conditions could not have been scripted. Both the men’s and the women’s fields returned to their first round venues today, their last opportunity to make a move towards victory.
The match play semis and finals of the Women’s championship took place back at Riverside GC as 12 players battled it out on course for their respective titles.
In the championship flight, Kruger took down number one seed Helen Pascoe of Buninyong while Anne Bowen of Coomealla battled with 2012 champion Jill Blenkey of Newcastle all the way to the 19th hole. Kruger came out of the gates strong in the final this afternoon against Bowen, claiming the first three holes and making the turn at 6 up. Bowen fought her way back, winning the 11th but solid play from Kruger secured her the championship title by a margin of 6 and 5. Kruger was thrilled to be etching her name onto the trophy for the 5th time today, after dominating the event with four straights wins in 2005 to 2008.
Interstate visitor Glenys Ferguson from Waneroo in Western Australia took out the 55-64 year flight, defeating Lyn Banks (Scone, NSW) in the semi-finals before overcoming Kooringal’s Heather Harley 5 and 3 in the final. Sue Walter of Hamilton enjoyed a win in the 65+ flight, defeating Betty McGuinness of Buninyong this morning and sealing the deal 2 and 1 over June Tickell (Trafalgar) in the final.
At Coomealla in the men’s event, it was a fairytale ending for local Greg Rhodes who had been feeling the pressure from many around him, but managed to keep his cool and move on to post a brilliant one-over par 73 and take the Championship win from the hands of Martin Minogue (Lakelands, WA). Trailing by 1 shot overnight it was still very much an open ball game as the men began their round in the notable “1B” grouping.
Rhodes has returned home from South Australia where he finished third in the Australian Senior Amateur that was held at Kooyonga Golf Club last week. He was also a member of the 4-person Victorian Senior Team, along with Gordon Claney (Kingston Heath) who finished the winner of the gross 60-64 years age bracket this week, that was victorious in the Senior Interstate Stroke Teams event, held concurrently within that Championship.
Steve Toyne (Indooroopilly, QLD) rounded out the top three place getters in the gross championship, also taking out 2 of the three “Golf Fore a Cause” NTP prizes. Chris Tatt (Buninyong) and Michael Jackson (Yarra Yarra) have earned themselves wins in the 65-69 and the 70+ years age gross category respectively.
For Minogue, it wasn’t all bad news, his week of very consistent golf was rewarded as he became the 54-hole nett champion for the event as well as the nett winner for the 55-59 years’ age category. A late charge from David Taylor (Commonwealth) who returned a nett 71 from a 6 handicap today, moved him to second place and within 2 of Minogue. As Martin could only win one trophy in the overall championship, Taylor took home the winner’s prize, ahead of John Reynolds (The Grange, SA) and left the New South Wales duo of Rod Fraser (Monash) and Darryl Hearsch (Manly) to go to a countback for third place, with Fraser who had a better final round score to take the honours.
Age group nett winners for the 54-holes include David Taylor (60-64 years), John Reynolds (65-69) and Geoffrey Fifer (70+).
A very warm thanks is to be extended to the Coomealla and Riverside Golf Clubs, for their hospitality and generosity to all of the players this week. Both clubs were delighted to welcome both fields and proud to showcase their courses in fantastic condition. The championship moves across the state to Bairnsdale and Lakes Entrance next year on Monday 16 to Wednesday 18 October, 2017.
Click here for full results & photos from the Women’s Championship.
Click here for full results & photos from the Men’s Championship.