Date: January 23, 2013

Oliver claims victory at Royal Melbourne

Round 3 – Oliver claims victory in a playoff at the Royal Melbourne Seniors Classic

Following a trio of perfect summer’s days, Rick Oliver has claimed the inaugural Royal Melbourne Senior Classic after a nail biting playoff victory this afternoon.
The world renowned composite course played havoc for many, as players struggled through the cavernous bunkered – tee-tree lined fairways created by MacKenzie and Russell.
Hailing from Young, 60-year-old Oliver belied the challenging course design and confirmed his status as one of Australia’s leading senior golfers with a final round 82 for a three round total of 136 to tie fellow New South Wales compatriot Denis Dale (Twin Creeks) who fired the low round of the day with a two-over 74.

The sudden death playoff commenced on the 18th hole where Dale hit first and pushed his drive into rough on the right hand side while Oliver finished on the fairway in perfect position. Dale’s approach landed short of the green but Oliver wasn’t able to capitalize and pulled his iron shot left of the putting surface into the greenside bunker. Oliver stuck a sensational bunker shot to have a modest three foot putt to save par. After Dale failed to make up and down for par it was a test of nerve for Oliver who made the putt to have his name etched on the cup.       

Oliver was thrilled to win after narrowly losing last year’s Victorian Senior Amateur in a playoff to Peter King. King finished tied 9th on 242. 

After leading into the final round, Stephen Gibson closed with an 87 to finish at 240 and tied 5th. Spring Valley’s Gary Easte fired a
final round 83 to be tied 3rd with Brad Oliver, both finishing two shots behind the champion on 138.

Robert Burford from Devil Bend took the honors in the overall Nett after the 3 marker fired rounds of 81-75-75 for a 54-hole total of 231 nett. Second place was taken home by Gary Easte off a handicap of 2 while David Taylor of Commonwealth finished in third position two shots adrift. 
The best nett aged over 65 component was won by Dale following his three round total of 236. Steady play saw off his nearest competitor, Michael Jackson, by seven strokes.

Click here for final results

Round 2 – Gibson snatches the lead at Royal Melbourne

Players shifted to the East Course at the Royal Melbourne Golf Club in quest for the coveted

Royal Melbourne Senior Classic title. Players were presented with fine and sunny day with a gentle southerly breeze in the second round of the event. Although conditions were near perfect, players once again struggled on the firm greens – with the veritable marble surfaces claiming more than one prisoner. 

New south Welshman, Stephen Gibson, leads at the 36 hole mark of the 2013 Royal Melbourne Senior Classic. The St Michaels member followed his form from the opening round firing a solid four over-par 75 for a two round total of 153. His nearest challenger is fellow statesman Rick Oliver (Young) who shot a two-over 73 to be one-stroke behind at 154.
Gary Easte from Spring Valley is a further stroke adrift after a second day 77 left him at 155 with one round remaining. Still in the chase for the 2013 title is New Zealander Michael Barltrop sitting on 157, while Brad Oliver from Oxley managed 77 today to sit five shots behind the leader.
Round one leader Michael Peeck (pictured) struggled with 86 today to find himself 7 shots behind Gibson.
The nett component of the championship is tightly contested with the scratch leader, Gibson, tied with Gary Easte on 151 nett at the 36 hole mark of the tournament. Kingston Heath member Robert Murphy shares second with Rick Oliver on 152 nett.
The third and final round of the 54 hole championship will be contested tomorrow over the Composite Course.

Click here for round 2 results and the final round draw

Round 1 – Queenslander Michael Peeck takes the lead at Royal Melbourne

The inaugural Royal Melbourne Senior Classic teed of today in sunny yet extremely gusty conditions. 116 of the nation’s finest senior golfers, including three international players, assembled this afternoon to compete in one of the most anticipated senior golf events in Victoria’s history.

Three rounds of golf will be played over the West and East courses before the final round concludes on the Composite course at The Royal Melbourne Golf Club.  
Today’s opening round was contested of the West course and Michael Peeck (Dalby GC) shot an impressive 74 against a par of 72 to lead the way from Michael Barltrop in tough playing conditions. Many were challenged on tee tree-lined MacKenzie layout with only eight players breaking 80 this afternoon.

Peeck had an up and down outward nine, with three bogies and one double bogie but steadied with birdies at the 5th, 7th and 9th holes for an outward nine of two-over par 38. An early bogie on the par 4 11th hole was Peeck’s only blemish coming in but managed to balance with a birdie on the challenging 18th hole for a lever par 36.

Trailing close behind and in outright second sits New Zealander Michael Barltrop after a three-over 75, while Stuart  Hoare (Royal Perth) and Geoff Williamson (Beerwah) are a further stroke in arrears after returning rounds of 76 today. Also notable was Penrith member Denis Day and Victorian Gary Easte (Spring Valley) with rounds of 78.
Australia’s highest ranked senior amateur playing this week, Peter King (pictured), will need to make up some ground on the leaders after 83 today. Four time Doug Bachli champion, Ross Percy, is five shots adrift after 79 this afternoon.
Tomorrows round will commence from 8:00am on the East course at The Royal Melbourne Golf Club.

Click here for round 1 results