Date: May 04, 2007

Dale & Oliver delcared joint Senior Champs in wild day

Denis Dale and Rick Oliver were declared joint winners of the 2007 MFS Australian Senior Amateur Championship but weather won the day when storms battered the field and bad light halted the playoff. Fierce winds and rain swamped competitors at the Commonwealth Golf Club in Melbourne&aposs sand-belt and play was even suspended due to thunder storms in the area. Overnight leaders Neal Pitches (NZL) and countryman Rodney Barltrop (NZL) slipped down the leader board as local competitors seized the ascendancy on the final day. Dale, who heads the Australian Senior Order of Merit saw the opportunity to extend his lead at the top and came home with a competitive 77. Despite shooting an opening round of 80, Dale&aposs tournament-best second round 71 kept him in it and helped clinch a share of the lead at the end of play. He was joined by fellow New South Welshman Oliver who also shot a 77. The pair were two strokes clear of Tony Kennings (NSW) and Phil Wood (Vic). With darkness and more grey clouds closing in the lead pair quickly engaged in a playoff to decide the champion. The first was halved in par fours, the second was halved in par fives and midway down the 18th fairway the players were forced to mark their balls and advised they would be returning in the morning. Oliver then approached Tournament Director Trevor Herden and advised that he had a committment at Young Hospital on Friday morning and would be driving through the night to make that committment. As Golf Australia had exhausted all options during the day to get the championship completed, Herden felt it was appropriate under these extenuating circumstances to declare Dale and Oliver joint winners. Click here to go to tournament central