Awesome Agnew cruises to sixth title
Jock Agnew put in another near flawless effort to capture his sixth Patrick of Coonawarra Penola Golf Club Open Club Championship. Despite three hip replacements, no tendons in his right shoulder, a dodgy knee and general old age, Agnew showed no signs of weakness to become Penola’s oldest Open Champion. In a match where the combatants has over 70 years of golf experience, Agnew proved too strong for his even more senior opponent, Don Ferguson.
Ferguson started the better with a par on the first to go one up. That bogey was one of the few blemishes on Agnew’s card as he reeled off four straight pars to go two up thru five. Things were not helped for Ferguson when he broke his 3-iron on the 10th after hitting more turf on his swing than anticipated.
He continued to apply the pressure with multiple pars and it took until the 14th before Ferguson won another hole, by that stage he was five down. Agnew responded with two pars and a birdie to go eight up before Ferguson birdied the 18th for another rare win.
Agnew didn’t let up after the break and started with four pars to go nine up after 22. After 25 holes Agnew was still eight up and in full command. To rub salt into the wounds, he looked like he was going to lose the 26th hole (8th) after hitting trees. After three shots he was still about 140m out on the 10th fairway with no view of the green. He managed to hit an incredible shot to within four feet. He sunk his par putt and Ferguson’s hopes as he went 10 up with 10 to play. He completed the win with a par on the 27th for a comprehensive 11&9 win. Agnew was four over the card for the day and another robotic performance, like Norwood’s defence, saw him squeeze the life out of his opponent.
It was another well-deserved victory for Agnew who has now beaten six different players in his six wins. His form was patchy up to the championships, but like all champion sportsman, he came to the party when it mattered most. Ferguson can be commended on making the final, but unfortunately he was outclassed on the day.
Stump gets the better of Holden
The B-Grade final was one for the underdog as David ‘Stump’ Murray pushed away some poor form to play well when it mattered and take out the title. His lead up preparation hadn’t been ideal, but there were signs of improvement during his round the day prior. Chris Holden was the favourite leading in, after almost qualifying for the Open finals. He had looked reasonable consistent, although a lack of golf was always going to be a factor when it came to the pressure of his short game.
Stump started the better going two up after two holes. Holden hit back in the next seven holes and went one up after eight. From then on the two traded wins, losses and halves without either taking advantage. The score remained the same at the half way point and it looked like an epic contest was on the cards.
Holden took the advantage after the break and after 24 holes he was two up. Murray turned on the afterburners and won the next five holes as he rattled off pars to be three up after 28 holes. They traded holes again for a while, but with three holes to go the deficit remained at three. Murray finished the job with a win to take out the title 4&2. He was only two over the card for the last ten holes; a scorecard Ferguson would have loved to have had. This was Murray’s first win in the B-Grade in a good result for Murray’s all round the world in 2013. Unfortunately, it was not such a great day for Holden supporters as they had to settle for second at Penola Golf Club as well.
Cheers Bill on the win
Bill Cheers has won his first championship at Penola Golf Club with a win in the C-Grade. He was up against Tarpeena’s great hope, John Wilkinson. In a close battle, Cheers seemed to always keep his nose in front without ever breaking away. Just when he thought he had the momentum, Wilkinson chipped and putted his way back into the game.
One of the determining moments came after the break where Cheers won three in a row to go four up after 21 holes. Wilkinson didn’t give up and after a birdie on the 25th, he was back within two. The margin stayed at this score right up to the 31st hole. Cheers stepped up again and won two in a row to take the title 4&3. Cheers was driving straight all day, whilst Wilkinson was true to form, and you never knew what you were going to get. Wilkinson was runner up for the second year in a row, but one thinks a win isn’t that far away.
Stephenson goes back to back
Matt Stephenson has gone back to back when he took out the D-Grade club championship. After just missing out on qualifying in C-Grade, Stephenson went in a strong favourite to retain his title. A sore back made the task more difficult; compounded early by Ant Mathys playing good golf. Mathys was one up after 7 holes and increased this lead to two after 12 holes. A bad patch for Mathys saw him surrender two holes and the lead and at the half way point, Stephenson has edged his way in front. Like his fellow Tarpenite, Mathys game seem to lose a bit of momentum after the break and Stephenson capitalised. He picked up wins on the 19th, 20th, 24th, 25th to be 5 up as they headed down the final nine holes. Two more wins put Mathys dormie seven and Stephenson finished the match in style on the 31st (13th) with a sensational chip to within a centimetre of the hole for a certain par. He finished a 7&5 winner and left the Tarpeena dream in tatters with Mathys going down. One thing is for sure, Mathys will be back next year for another crack at the elusive title.