The Australian Defence Forces has defeated the Golf Australia Victoria Team 13.5 matches to 10.5 match in its annual match at Sorrento Golf Club last week.
The ADF fielded a team comprising a host of young scratch pennant players from all over Australia, and were backed up by the experience of plus handicap former tour players and players with overseas tournament experience.
Team Victoria was honoured to have on board two former state players in Chris Tatt and Alan Bullas who played in the inaugural game 28 years ago in 1991, along side former Australian Amateur Champion John Kelly.
Team Vic got off to an early start winning the morning 4BBB matches 4-2 with five of the six matches being decided on the 18TH. One match started sensationally with the teams playing the first five holes, for five halves due to five birdies.
The Vic pair of Wallace / Valentine came from 2 down after 15 to finish with three birdies to win at 18.
But a dramatic turnaround by the ADF under the watchful eye of Brig. Andrew Freeman saw them recover and take the afternoon foursomes matches 6-0 with three of their teams finishing 3 & 4 under par.
Down 8-4 Team Vic came back in the singles to win the matches 6.5-5.5 and just fall short. Notable performances came from the No.1 & 2 players Geoff Charnley and Ian McCleary who both finished under the card to defeat their much younger opponents. Chris Tatt finished 3 under to defeat the most experienced ADF player and previously unbeaten Daryl Whitehead.
The women’s matches finished dead even with a win each in the 4BBB / foursomes and Helen Pascoe going down to Julie Lakotij and Sue Laird defeating Deb Baker.
Team Victoria won two of the three sessions but could not recover from the 6-0 drubbing in the foursomes.
The Paul Lulofs Medal for player of the series went to “Rear Admiral” Glen Roddy who was the only player to go through undefeated.
Captain John Kelly led his team from the front and has vowed to reverse the result next year.
By way of background, the VGA initiated the event in 1991, and took the form of an invitational teams event to play a team of players drawn from arm, navy and air force personnel.
Victorian players were drawn mostly from state and pennant players and leading country week players and the event was played along a Ryder Cup format consisting of 4BBB, foursomes and singles, with twelve players per team.
The 1991 match was won by the ADF 13/11 and the high standard of play from the ADF side can be gauged by the fact that the Victorian team consisted of such notables as former Australian Amateur Champions Randel Hicks and Ray Jenner, state representatives in Bob Castles, Chris Tatt, Alan Bullas, Doug Perry and top pennant players like Ray Presnell.
The event transitioned from a “friendly” VGA invitation match to a higher level when in 2009 the Victorian team comprised the top players from the Victorian Seniors Order of Merit. In the interests of broadening participation, this format has since changed to include women and mid-amateurs and now comprises the top 8 players from the men’s OOM, the leading senior woman player, the men’s and woman’s mid-amateur champions and a Captain’s pick.
The magnificently presented Sorrento GC is the permanent home for this event and for the 28th staging it was in its usual immaculate condition.
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