It was a case of third time lucky on Tuesday for Kevin Robinson, the 65-year-old producing some of his best golf to win the 2017 GV Heart Open at Yarra Yarra Golf Club.
Making his third consecutive appearance at one of the state’s most historic events, Robinson amassed an impressive 38 points on a testing day to top the field and be crowned the GV Heart Open’s overall winner by two points.
Yarra Valley Country Club’s Enze Cirone recorded an even 36 points off a handicap of 28 to be crowned the men’s winner on the day.
The unique stableford event is open to all men and women in Australia, both professionals and amateurs, who have undergone a heart procedure.
Robinson, playing off a handicap of ten, defied the morning’s rain and afternoon humidity to log 19 points on each of Yarra Yarra’s nines on his way to victory.
He suffered a stroke 13 years ago at the age of 52, the Buninyong Golf Club member thrilled to finally salute on the Melbourne Sandbelt.
“I love this event, I’ve played in it three times now and it’s just fantastic,” Robinson said.
Robinson admitted the opportunity to tee it up on one some of the state’s top layouts each year was too good to pass up.
“I’ve played Royal Melbourne first and then last year at Commonwealth,” said Robinson.
“That’s why I came and played here today. I’m involved in veterans golf and that’s got a tournament up in Euroa.
“But I thought ‘Nope, I’m not missing out on coming down here and playing Yarra Yarra’.”
The Don Lawrence Trophy – introduced in 2015 and contested by those in the field who have previously undergone open heart surgery – was claimed by Ron Williams.
The Portarlington Golf Club member fired 35 points after teeing off the layout’s 15th and was sitting pretty with 28 points and five holes still to play.
Williams’ performance off 36 ensures the Don Lawrence Trophy will return to Portarlington Golf Club, after fellow member Gordon Mainsbridge saluted in that category in both 2015 and 2016.
Meanwhile, Venora Smith’s sensational 33 points off a handicap of 18 handed her a comfortable four-point win and saw her earn the title of the leading lady in Tuesday’s field.
Smith defied a slow start on the front nine and managed to score on every hole.
Smith’s nearest competitor was Sandhurst Golf Club’s Katrina Gavaghan, her 29 points enough to earn her outright second on the standings.
Nine-handicapper Marilyn Neill of Federal Golf Club fired an impressive 28 points to lock down third on the women’s leaderboard.
Morning rain threatened to put a dampener on the occasion as the majority of the field took to Yarra Yarra’s practice putting green despite some drizzle pre-round.
The pristine greens were softened by overnight rain but the speed wasn’t compromised, a number of the field caught out by Yarra Yarra’s slick putting surfaces.
The event was founded in 1989 by Commonwealth Golf Club’s Con Davie and Victoria Golf Club member Don Lawrence.
The GV Heart Open will return in 2018, the venue to be announced by Golf Victoria in the coming weeks.
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