Round 3 Report
Greg Rhodes - Australian Senior Champion
It probably wasn’t the way Greg Rhodes imagined it, but all that matters is that he’s the 2015 Senior Australian Amateur champion.
The popular Coomealla golfer took a seemingly comfortable three-shot lead into the final round at Manly Golf Club today.
But without a birdie on his card as the wind lifted a gear from the opening two rounds, Rhodes faced a series of challenges before winning the national title for the first time.
Rhodes, a prolific winner around the Sunraysia district, fired a 79 to finish four over and cling to victory by a shot from hard-charging Sydneysider Mark Pearson (73).
Perth’s Trevor Hughes was another whose final-round 78 wasn’t exactly as planned, but he finished third a further shot back.
Penrith’s David Limbach fired a fine even-par 71 to vault into the mix, but ran out of time and finished tied for fourth with outgoing champion Gordon Claney (78) at eight over.
And the biggest charge of a rollercoaster final round came from three-time former champ Stefan Albinski who shot the only sub-par round of the day with a 70 to highlight four in a tie for sixth at nine over, including Steve Toyne (75), Ian Frost (76) and Peter Hannah (79).
Capping a great week for Rhodes was that he piloted Victoria home in the concurrent interstate teams stroke event.
Rhodes’ Victorian team, into which he was a late inclusion when Barry Tippett withdrew, shone to fire 660 (best three rounds of four counted per day), with Frost, Claney and Guy Krall the other members of the winning team. Western Australia was second with a total of 675.
Next year’s event will be held at Kooyonga Golf Club in Adelaide from October 11-13, 2016.
Final Leading Scores
Greg Rhodes Coomealla VIC 69-69-79
Mark Pearson Mona Vale NSW 76-69-73
Trevor Hughes Hartfield WA 71-70-78
David Limbach Penrith NSW 72-78-72, Gordon Claney Kingston Heath VIC 74-69-78
Stefan Albinski Mona Vale NSW 775-77-70, Steve Toyne Nudgee QLD 74-73-75, Ian Frost Bendigo VIC 74-72-76
Peter Hannah Pelican Waters QLD 69-74-79
Phil Towle Coolangatta TH QLD 70-77
Michael Barltrop Royal Auckand NZ 79-73-73
Round 2 Report
Victorian senior Greg Rhodes (right) fired his second round of two under par 69 to take a three shot lead in the 2015 Australian Senior Amateur Championship played at Manly Golf Club in Sydney.
Rhodes had four birdies making a total of ten birdies in the opening two rounds. With a three stroke lead and playing so well he does look the winner but there are some very good golfers not too far away and they will be there ready if he does falter in the final round tomorrow.
All the round two progress scores, including hole by hole analysis, are available here - 2015 Australian Senior Amateur - Round 2 Scores
Second place belongs to West Australian Trevor Hughes (below left) who returned a round of 70 after his opening even par round of 71. A double bogey-bogey run on twelve and thirteen were the only errors on his card. The renowned straight hitter will be there abouts tomorrow and could go one better than his runner up position last year.
Experienced NSW senior Richard Greville (right) is in third place and has earnt his place in the final group tomorrow. Greville followed his round one 70 with a round of 72 that included five birdies and would have been another sub-par round except for the triple bogey seven on the twelfth.
Defending champion Gordon Claney (74-69) matched Rhodes' score with a two under par 69 and he shares fourth place with Queenslander Peter Hannah who followed his opening 69 with a round of 74. Making up the second last group is NSW senior Mark Pearson (76-69) who also fired a two under par 69 in the second round.
Joint round one leader Peter Thomas (69-83) failed to find his day one form and slipped back with a second round of 83. NSW senior Brian Sams also slipped back following his opening round of 71 with a second round of 81.
Leading 36-hole Scores
Greg Rhodes Coomealla VIC 69-69
Trevor Hughes Hartfield WA 71-70
Richard Greville Avondale NSW 70-72
Gordon Claney Kingston Heath VIC 74-69, Peter Hannah Pelican Waters QLD 69-74
Mark Pearson Mona Vale NSW 76-69
Ian Frost Bendigo VIC 74-72
Steve Toyne Nudgee QLD 74-73, Phil Towle Coolangatta TH QLD 70-77
Paul Maslen Moss Vale NSW 76-73
Round 1 Report
The top class field appreciated the excellent conditions for the opening round of the Australian Senior Amateur Championship played at Manly Golf Club in Sydney.
All the round one scores, including hole by hole analysis, are available here - 2015 Australian Senior Amateur - Round 1 Scores
The early leaders are Victorian Greg Rhodes (left) , local Manly member Peter Thomas (right) and Queensland visitor Peter Hannah, all recording rounds of two under par 69.
Rhodes has been in exceptional recent form and he entered this event as one of the favourites to win the national title. His round included six birdies but was marred by a double bogey on the first (his ninth hole after starting on the eleventh).
Manly member Thomas had four birdies in his round with his dropped shots coming on the eleventh and eighteenth holes. Thomas also began his round on the eleventh.
Hannah was the perfect example of consistent golf with just the one bogey on the first to go with his three birdies. Hannah was another to start his round on the eleventh tee.
This trio lead from NSW player Richard Greville and Queenslander Phil Towle who were impressive in breaking par with their rounds of one under 70. It is quite a while since five players have broken par in the first round of the national championship or any major senior event (probably it has never happened).
West Australian Trevor Hughes (runner up in this event in 2014) and NSW senior Brian Sams are next on even par 71.
The three international visitors did not fair too well. New Zealander Michael Barltrop opened with a round of 79. Fellow countryman Arthur Parkin returned a round of 83 while popular USA visitor Arthur Kania finished on 79.
Greg Rhodes Coomealla VIC, Peter Thomas Manly NSW, Peter Hannah Pelican Waters QLD
Richard Greville Avondale NSW, Phil Towle Coolangatta TH QLD
Trevor Hughes Hartfield WA, Brian Sams Port Macquarie NSW
Graeme Howland Dunheved NSW, David Limbach Penrith NSW, Michael Dunsmore Hartfield WA
Ken Brewer Concord NSW, Denis Dale Twin Creeks NSW, Steve Toyne Nudgee QLD, Harry Crosby Waneroo WA
Brent Hull Moruya NSW, Ian Frost Bendigo VIC, Gordon Claney Kingston Heath VIC, Rick Oliver Young NSW
Stefan Albinski Mona Vale NSW, John Costello Nudgee QLD, Darryl Whitehead Royal Canberra ACT
The Australian Senior Amateur Championship begins at Manly GC in Sydney on September 29. This is the most prestigious event for the year and as usual most of Australia's top level senior amateur golfers are expected to gather at the recently renovated Manly Golf Club.
Manly has always been a top quality course and the major renovation has certainly made it a thinking man's golf course. The winner will not only be the best golfer that week but also one who is prepared to think their way around this challenging layout.
The 2014 Australian Senior champion was Victorian Gordon Claney and he will be keen to make it back-to-back titles. As the reigning number one ranked senior he should go close again on a course that will suit his accurate play.
The Australian Men's Senior Amateur Championship is open to players aged 55 years and over and is contested over 54-holes stroke play. It is an Australian Men's Senior Ranking Event.
The first Australian Men’s Senior Amateur Championship was played in 1981, over 36-holes qualifying with the leading 32 players qualifying for elimination match play. From 2004 onwards, the event has been contested over 54-holes stroke play. This is the most prestigious event of the year and as usual most of Australia's top level senior amateur golfers will line up for a chance to take home the title.
This year the championship will be played in the last week of September in Sydney at Manly Golf Club.
Manly has recently completed a major re-development and the course is now a true test with an obvious emphasis on strategy as well as shot making.
The 2014 Australian Senior champion was Victorian Gordon Claney who capped a stellar year in senior golf with his victory in the championship. He will be the favourite to repeat his win but the field will be the best of the year.