Naracoorte golfer, James Norcock has won the Penola and District Bendigo Bank Autumn tournament with a par round of 72 off the stick. From the outset Norcock was on the money driving one up the middle then knocking in his birdie putt. He then had 10 pars straight before a bogey on the third bought him back to even par. Norcock continued to be consistent until a bogey on the 7th pushed him to one over. This was quickly rectified as he birdied the 8th to get back square with the card. A par on the 9th ensured he finished square and took out the title. He was two strokes clear of his nearest opponent, Mt Gambier’s Setio Shannahan.
A glorious Autumn day presented golfers with a great opportunity to tear apart the course, however, the pressure of over $1000 prizes and tough pin placements made scoring difficult. A solid field of 41 including 14 visitors ensured the Bendigo Bank event should survive into its second year.
The rest of the competition was determined by handicap. In the A-Grade, the locals showed the way with Leo Price taking out the prize. He had nett 69 to win the prize by two strokes. He was particularly damaging on the back nine where he had 35 off the stick. This included 8 pars and a birdie on the 14th.
Runner up was Nathan Williams who hadnett 71. Schnitzel was consistent as ever as he had two 39’s. He had 11 pars and a birdie on 17 to ensure he was a strong contender.
Setio Shannahan finished third with 74 off the stick for nett 72. He had 12 pars and two birdies in his round.
George Kidman made sure everyone in his group picked up a prize by finishing fourth in the A-Grade.
In the B-Grade, Mt Gambier golfer, Jason Mann had the best nett score of the day with nett 68. His back nine was a highlight with five pars and a birdie on the 11th. Only a triple bogey on the last hole blotted his copybook, but at that stage he had already done enough to seal the victory.
Runner up was Tony Gleeson who had a solid round of nett 70. Playing with Norcock clearly inspired him as he rattled home with a 41, including three pars and birdie on the 2nd.
In third place was Paul Harmer on countback with nett 74. A better back nine with three pars and no double bogeys cut back some of the deficit from the first nine.
Stephen Skeer finished fourth with his nett 74. After a strong first half, Skeer let himself down with a poor back nine, possibly costing him a better prize.
In the C-Grade, Ben Wood from Naracoorte celebrated his birthday with a win. He had nett 71 despite starting with two nines in the first three holes. An improvement of 10 shots on his back nine made sure he came home with a wet sail to take out the prize.
Runner up was Matt Stephenson, who had a solid nett 72. Highlights were the four pars, including one on the 18th, which he would have enjoyed before the half time scotch fillet.
Finishing third was Brett Foster, also from Naracoorte, who had nett 73. Aaron Osman capped off a good day for Naracoorte when he finished fourth.
The nearest the pin prizes were won by Setio Shanahan on the 9th and 13th, Greg Cook on the 7th and Nathan Williams on the 16th.
The longest drives were won by Nathan Williams, Geoff Denning and Matt Stephenson in each of the grades respectively.
It was a tight tussle for the chocolates with Shane McPherson winning the prize, although there were many contenders throughout the day. Nick Travar from Naracoorte gets an honorable mention for having some of the most creative shots of the day, usually involving trees.
At the end of the day, Peter Kitchingham from Bendigo Bank and Mark Edwards, Chair of the Penola and District Bendigo Bank presented the players with the prizes.
Full results to be found here.