Date: June 22, 2017
Author: Liz White

Burke the best in the Hunter

Kim Burke has won her second Hunter River District Championship at Cessnock golf club.

The 2-marker from Shelly Beach shot a seven over 82 to defeat Waratah’s Robyn Watt by five shots.

“It feels great to win it again,” Burke said.

“I didn't start off well with a double on the first, but I eagled the fifth, so that got me back."

"I found the putting a little difficult as well, so I would probably give myself a seven out of ten for today.”

Hunter Valley Golf Club’s Dale Hamilton made it back-to-back victories in the Closed Championship, with a one-shot over Scone’s Lyn Banks. No-one was more surprised with the win more than Hamilton herself.

“I thought I had played that badly that I didn’t even bother looking at the scoreboard when I came in.”

“I was really surprised that I had won, as I didn’t play consistently at all," Hamilton said.

The nett winner of the Closed Event with a score of 78 was Magenta Shore’s Kath Ifield.

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On Day Two, last year’s singles Hunter River Champion, Merewether’s Dom Kelly, made sure she didn’t go home empty-handed from this year’s event.

She paired with Newcastle’s Jill Blenkey to win the foursomes, with an 11 over 81 at the testing Cypress Lakes Course.

The duo were too consistent, edging out local pair Sue Wilks from Muswellbrook and the Vintage’s Liz White, by four shots.

“We just decided to go out there and go for it as there were plenty of good players in the field,” a jubilant Jill Blenkey said. “We played very steady and didn't have any disastrous mishaps.”

“Jill said at the start, no apologies we are just going to go out there to have some fun and that attitude just worked well for us today.”

“It’s an interesting game isn't it?” Dom added.

The nett winners, with a score of 72 were Helena Garden and Rosie Moore, from Shelly Beach.

On Day three, a new format was introduced to the championships, a match play event where Hunter River representatives took on players from all other districts.

Dubbed “The Hunter v The Rest Of the World,” fourteen matches were contested at the Hunter Valley Golf Club. The Rest Of the World, led by captain Kim Burke, proving too strong for the locals, winning nine matches to 5.

“The idea was just to get ladies playing representative golf, because up here in the Hunter, this is the first time we have had a representative team,” District Captain, Melita Watson said.

“It’s important to keep the game alive and also to bring teams from outside the area to the Hunter. I think today was very well received and played in great spirit.”

Kim Burke agreed. “Today was a terrific event, bringing players from Sydney, The Central Coast and Newcastle districts together to take on the Hunter Ladies,”

“It was a success, and I hope we can build on this for next year because it is important to get as many women playing representative golf as possible _ it gives them something to aspire to other than just playing regular club golf.”

As for the 2018 Championships, Melita Watson has big plans.

“Each year we have increased our numbers, and next year it would be great to get 100 players in the Championships,” she said.

“We hope to attract more women from all areas, and hopefully the Hunter can win back the Match Play title,” she laughed.

*The 2018 Championships are likely to be held from June 18-20.