Date: May 24, 2014

Overnight Frontrunners Claim Maiden Gippsland Titles

The second and final round of the Gippsland Senior Amateur for 2014 was contested this morning at Warragul Golf Club. Players were presented with a calm, albeit brisk, morning with only a light shower early in the piece.  The final day of play shaped up perfectly with a number of players well within striking distance of the overnight leaders in most sections.
Ken O’Brien will be the first person to have his name engraved on the men’s title after closing with an 8 over-par 79 to sit alongside his round of 72 yesterday. Heading into today’s final round with a two shot lead, the Rossadale member was able to hold his nerve against the stiff competition to finish on a tournament total of 151. 
This is O’Brien’s second senior win for the year with the first coming at the Kooringal Senior Amateur in February. The 3 marker could have had another victory to his name for 2014 had he not been notched out of the Mornington Peninsula Senior Amateur on a count back by the seasoned veteran in Pat Giles.   
Ross Percy (Cobram-Barooga) applied the pressure to the eventual champion with his round of 79 today to fall only two shots short on 153. Alan Bullas (Commonwealth) carded 80 this morning to be placed a further two shots adrift and tied with Keith Wallace on 155. 
Starting the day with a substantial 10 stroke buffer, Kooringal’s Heather Harley closed with 90 to take inaugural women’s title by a barnstorming 19 shots. Her nearest competitor and Warragul local, Glenda Kelly, tallied 196 across the tournament following rounds of 97 and 99.    
Brian Spalding from the Kooringal Golf Club claimed top honours in the men’s nett section following the 6 markers round of 78 yesterday and a scintillating 67 this morning. After carding 75 at Leongatha, Heritage’s Keith Wallace closed with a more than respectable 70 nett from his 5 handicap to only be edged out of first place on a count back.   
Meanwhile Elizabeth Alston (Winchelsea) signed for 76 today to complement her round of 81 yesterday to haul 157 nett and win the women’s handicap component. With Heather Harley and Glenda Kelley ineligible to win another trophy it was Noelle Hartnett (Rossdale) who finished on 169 nett to take home the runner-up prize.    
Next on the senior calendar are the Heathcote, Shepparton and Tocumwal Senior Amateur titles starting from Sunday 15 June. 
Click here for final results 

Round 1 – O’Brien & Harley take the lead in Gippsland 

53 players took to the fairways of Leongatha Golf Club this afternoon is chase for the maiden men’s and women’s Gippsland Senior Amateur titles. In relatively cool conditions punctuated by the odd drizzly patch, players found the undulating native bushland, Vern Morcom designed layout quite the encounter.  

With accuracy from tee to green a non-negotiable around the par 70 layout, the opening round saw Rossdale member, Ken O’Brien, lead the way with 72. The 3 markers nines of one-over 36 mirrored each other and were worthy enough to see him at the top of the leader board by two shots over the four time Doug Bachli Trophy winner in Ross Percy. Trailing close behind the leader sits Alan Bullas after signing for 75 this afternoon.  
Heather Harley from Kooringal is poised at the top of the leader board in the women’s section after returning an 87 against the par 72 layout. The 5 marker will take a significant 10 stroke overnight lead with her nearest challenger Glenda Kelly (Warragul) carding 97 this afternoon. Noelle Hartnett (Rossdale) and Elizabeth Alston (Winchelsea) are tied for the lead in the nett section after firing rounds of 81 nett from 27 and 21 handicaps respectively.  
While O’Brien has his sights set mainly on the stoke section, he will also take the overnight lead in the handicap sector following his nett score of 69. Greg Orvis (Spring Valley) and Ross Percy (Cobram Barooga) are two shots adrift and well within striking distance of leader come tomorrow morning. Also noteworthy was the trio of Tony Kelly, Graham Bone and Trevor Wood who finished with 72 apiece.   
Players will make the one hour trek inland to Warragul Golf Club where the second and final round will be contested tomorrow morning at 9:00am.  
Click here for round 1 results and final round draw.