Michael Barltrop from the Royal Auckland Golf Club New Zealand has won the 2015 Royal Melbourne Senior Classic following the final round of the 54-hole Championship over the famed Composite Course at the Royal Melbourne Golf Club on Wednesday 21 January.
Under clear blue skies and with a gentle northerly breeze pushing temperatures into the high 20’s, Barltrop returned rounds of 73, 78 and 76 for a 54-hole total of 227 to win by seven strokes from Runner-up Greg Rhodes (Coomealla) on 234. Gordon Claney (Kingston Heath) and Bernie Bickerton (Yarra Yarra) were a further three strokes behind in third place on 237. Glenn Marr of Coomealla took out the handicap title with a three-round total of 225 from a GA Handicap of five.
It was a case of third time lucky for Barltrop, having held the lead in this event leading into the final round last year whilst also holding the early lead in the 2013 event.
The low round of the event a classy one over par 73 in testing conditions in round one layed the platform for Barltrop’s win. A solid outward nine of 37 early this morning on the difficult composite layout set the tone for the day after a tense start as Barltrop held the slimmest of leads overnight, a single stroke from Yarra Yarra’s Bernie Bickerton.
Barltrop paid tribute to the famed Royal Melbourne layout stating ‘it was an honour to have taken the title on one of the world’s finest & most difficult courses’. Barltrop now joins Royal Canberra’s Bill Banks & Young’s Rick Oliver as the third Royal Melbourne Senior Classic champion.
First played in 2013, the Royal Melbourne Senior Classic is one of three National Ranking Senior Events played in Victoria each year. The Championship offers players aged 55 and over with the unique opportunity to play the West Course, East Course and then Composite Course as part of the 54-hole format. In 2015, the 108 players in the starting field originated from 85 different clubs from all over Australia and overseas.
Golf Victoria extends sincere thanks to Royal Melbourne Golf Club for staging. All three courses were presented in superb condition with all players and officials greatly appreciating the commitment of the members, the committee and the club and ground staff.
Royal Melbourne’s commitment to senior golf sees the club hosting the Royal Melbourne Senior Amateur over 18-holes on Friday 14 August as part of the week-long Melbourne ‘Sandbelt Swing” of senior events. Entry forms will be available in June for 18-hole events at Yarra Yarra, Kingston Heath, Victoria, Royal Melbourne, Metropolitan and Commonwealth commencing on Monday 10 August.
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