Date: April 04, 2016
Author: Dave Tease, Golf NSW

Bonnie Doon clinch Pennant in a thriller

Celebrations went long into the night back at Bonnie Doon Golf Club after the club picked its first Srixon Metropolitan Division 1 Pennant in 22 years after defeating Concord 4 ½ matches to 2 ½ in a thrilling final at Terry Hills Golf and Country Club yesterday.

“It’s a great result for the club,” beamed Team Manager Kevin Dart.

“One of our current players was in that team 22 years ago. Four of our members weren’t born, and two of them were only a year old.”

The ‘Doon had finally driven the monkey from their back after their second final appearance in three years. The memory of that and their loss in last year's semi-final now forgotten.

“It means a lot. These guys have really grown as players in the last 12 months since their loss in the semi final last year,” Dart said.

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Bonnie Doon began the final full of resolve and aware of the purpose of it’s mission. Plenty of supporters had made the trek up to support the team, anticipating a solid victory.

The young Concord team had other ideas and really took the match to their more experienced opponents late in the day.

“We probably should’ve won a lot easier, but it’s a final – and everyone gets nervous, and they brought it to us big time today,” Dart said.

The stand out performances of Kurt Burns and Jack McLeod laid the foundation for Bonnie Doon’s win, with comfortable 6&5 victories.

Concord were not going away and Nicholas Watts and Mitchell Norbis kept the match alive with stirring wins for the Inner West club. Norbis’ 3&2 win particularly impressive as he started the back nine 1 down.

It was the results of the matches of Bonnie Doon’s reigning NSW Amateur Champion Austin Bautista and the side’s elder statesman, Greg Bell, that sealed the deal for the Pagewood club. Dart was particular in his praise for Bell.

“The old guy (Greg Bell) coming back from 3 down late to win on the last was special, really special. The only time he got in front in the match was on 18. He just doesn’t know how to lose.”

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“Austin was down at number one all match till the last few holes too, so it was a great result,” Dart said.

Dart was full of praise for the defeated Concord side, and believes that good things will come following their gallant performance.

“Concord are a very good young side. They’re going to be there about in the next two or three years like we are today,” he said.

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Dart was proud of the level of support the club had shown his team and was looking forward to getting back to the club for the celebration.

“It's great to see all the support from members. It’s the biggest support from the club we’ve had for a long while. We had a lot of members come up. They put a bus on and a lot drove up as well.”

“The club is staying open tonight. I think the celebrations are going to be pretty special,” he smiled.