Darren Bilney and Anthony Williams have taken out Golf South East’s Foursomes Championships for the third year in a row in an absorbing contest that went down to the last hole. It wasn’t a stroll in the park for the defending champions as they came up against the formidable Naracoorte top ranked duo of Richard Barnes and James Norcock. The title was only decided by one shot in the end, with Williams and Bilney finishing with 115 off the stick, only seven over par.
The agonising one shot defeat was the fourth time Norcock had been runner up in the past month, having recently finished behind Barnes in their own Club Championship. To add salt into the wounds, he also took home the runner up prize in the raffle. It was really a two horse race with the next pair a further ten shots back.
Third place was taken out by Joe Clements and Jeff Hodge, who were the best of the next lot.
A solid field of 18 teams took part in the annual foursome’s event, which Golf South East is hoping will pick up in popularity.
In the handicap division, locals Shane Anderson and Samuel Hill were the winners with their impressive score of 108 ½. They were clearly the best nett winners, two strokes in front of the Millicent pair of Andy Varcoe and Ben Goulding on 110 ½ .The current Penola foursomes champions, Johnny Wilkinson and Peter Walker were only ¼ shot further back, completing a good fortnight in third position.
The best of the nearest the pins was Mick Rookas on the 7th, who was only 2 inches away from scoring an ace. Fortunately, his team mate made the putt.
The event now in its third year is gathering momentum, with alternate stroke format difficult to score under par around the tight Penola layout. Bilney and Williams may have a monopoly on the title for the moment, but one thinks it might be a more difficult challenge in 2018.
Wintry conditions greeted players at the Penola Golf Course on Saturday for a stableford competition. With the cold minimising ball flight, scoring proved tough throughout the field with no player playing to their handicap.
Round of the day did go to Curt Evans in A-Grade with 34 points on countback from Leo Price and Shane Anderson in 2nd and 3rd respectively. David Murray finished a further point behind to take 4th spot.
In B-Grade, John Gregory took the honours with 33 points, one ahead of Ant Mathys in 2nd place. Club Patron Peter Walker placed 3rd with 31 points while the recent hot form of John Wilkinson ceased as he only managed 30 points.
Nearest the pin winners were Lofty on the 9th, Lindsay Storer on the 13th while Ant had the best 2nd on the 12th.
The NAGA went to the Monthly Medal specialist Allen Meyer, no doubt pushing his handicap out to the maximum limit for next week’s big event.
There was a special note on the results sheet reading 'Balls: 33'. Not quite sure if there was an incident on the course at this stage but hopefully all 17 players got home safely.
Next Saturday will feature the Rabobank Monthly Medal with tee-off from 11:30. All welcome.
Club Stalwart Peter Walker and club all-round good guy, John Wilkinson have been the popular winners of the Penola Golf Club Foursomes title. The event has long been held in prestige as a difficult game to win, and has been made even more so with larger fields thanks to the sponsorship of Kidman Wines, now in its second year.
It has been 23 years since Walker has won this event, having tried many partners in the past. Frustrated by their performance and the fact most were on a Senior’s Card, Walker sought out the much younger and long hitting John Wilkinson. In the back of his mind, he also knew if they won, he’s get to take home all the prizes as acquiring the taste of good wine hasn't filtered down to Tarpeena yet.
Whilst the course and greens played spectacularly, the heavy conditions made long ball striking and sometimes visibility somewhat tricky.
Walker’s down the middle approach worked well in combination with the long hitting Wilkinson. This was particularly so in the middle nine where they combined to have 41 off the stick after starting with a birdie and two pars. Their winning score of nett 108¾ for the 27 holes demonstrated how difficult the conditions were.
Runner’s up were the combination of Steven Skeer and Grant Stephenson who chipped and putted very well to finish less than two shots behind the winners with a nett score of 110 ½. The duo put each other in some interesting positions but always managed to find a way out of trouble thanks to their superior short game. A superb shot on the 27th hole by Stephenson set up an easy par to leap frog them onto the podium.
In their place were Paul Harmer and Greg Hutchesson, who combined well for their score of 111. The long hitting of Hutchesson set them up on several occasions, but neither managed to find one-putts easy to come by, which in the end was most likely the difference. That and finishing with a six which was the only real blemish on their card.
The Nearest the Pins were won by Peter Ey on the 5th, David Murray with a great shot on the 7th, Jeremy Briggs on the 8th and Grant Stephenson on the 9th.
The event is certainly building in prestige and the packed clubhouse at the end for the presentations and BBQ was a reflection on the importance of this event on the calendar.
An enthusiastic field took to the Penola Golf Course on Saturday for the Heyward’s Monthly Medal and despite nearly ideal conditions, scoring proved to be tough for the majority of the players.
Round of the day went to John Wilkinson in C-Grade with a nett 71 on countback from Sam Hill. The Sydney Swans having a bye obviously helped as Wilkinson could play with the knowledge that they couldn’t lose, something he is beginning to accept as the norm. In 3rd place was John Gregory with a nett 73 and Lee Bateman in 4th with a nett 75.
The B-Grade winner was David Boyd with a nett 73 over Club Patron Peter Walker who had a nett 75. In 3rd was Peter Lunnay who took the honours from David Murray on countback.
The A-Grade golfers struggled with a nett 75 from Jeremy Briggs taking the honours. Lindsay Storer took 2nd on countback from visitor Steven Gray with a nett 76 while Grant Stephenson rounded out the top 4 with a nett 78.
Long drives went to visitor Ross Bond, Shane Anderson and Peter Ey in A, B and C Grade respectively.
Nearest the pin winners were F. Nose on the 7th, Lunnay on the 9th while the 11th hole was apparently protected by some force field preventing anyone from hitting it.
The putting competition was taken out by the ever popular Ant Mathys. Bill Cheers turned in a respectable nett 88 for NAGA honours.
Next Saturday will feature a stableford round, doubling as the 1st Round of the Captains’s Trophy. Tee-off from 11:30am. All welcome.