2015 Round 3 Report
Local member John "Wheels" Wheeler (left) has won the coveted green jacket awarded to the winner of The National Senior Masters. A very popular local member, Wheeler had led after the opening round when he finished two under par 70 on the Moonah course. He was in second place after a round of 74 on the Old course but a determined final round of 77 on the challenging Ocean course saw him claim the title he wanted and deserved. His rounds of 70-74-77=221 also created a tournament record.
This is the first win for Wheeler in an Australian Senior Ranking event and he certainly picked a great event in which to break through. The courses are all world class and the field was the strongest possible and would not have been out of place in an Australian Senior Amateur Championship.
Second place went to a trio that included NSW senior Simon Bracegirdle (Killara) and two Victorians Ian Frost (Bendigo right) and Barry Tippett (Thirteenth Beach). Bracegirdle (74-75-75=224) is well known in Sydney where he has been a high quality golfer at the Killara club for many years. Frost (71-75-78=224) has performed very well in senior events in recent years and is not only one of Victoria's best seniors but also one of the best across the country.
Barry Tippett (below left) was the defending champion and led the field into the final round after two great par-breaking rounds of 71-71 on the Moonah and Old courses. His final round 82 saw him lose the lead but he still shared second place points and has now climbed into second position on the Australian Senior Ranking table behind fellow Victorian Gordon Claney.
Sharing fifth place were leading West Australian senior Ian McPherson (74-77-75=226) and another Victorian Greg Rhodes (73-74-79=226). McPherson has been an Australian representative for several years while Rhodes was the recnt runaway winner of the NSW Senior Amateur Championship and looks certain to make his debut for Australia later this year in the Sanctuary Cove series against New Zealand.
This year’s National Masters field was the strongest ever, with four of the past five champions competing along with the cream of Australian senior golf and several top level visitors from New Zealand. As always the organisation was at the highest possible level, all three courses were in beautiful condition and the hospitality of the club warm and generous. There will certainly be a high demand for a position in this event next year as it continues to grown in status on the senior amateur circuit.
From the Golf Victoria Website:
In what was said to be the hardest day of the tournament, there was some great scoring to draw the sixth National Senior Masters tournament. With both the Moonah and the Ocean courses being played today, the feelings towards the conditions were very similar across the board.
On the Moonah course, the daily scratch winner was Stephen Cann (Pambula Merimbula) with a round of 77, and Daryl Pobjoy (Thirteenth Beach) brought home the best nett score with 72 off a 7 handicap. For the players on the Ocean course, local member Simon Bracegirdle shot an excellent 75 to win on a countback from Ian McPherson (Joondalup) and Murray Brown (Russley, NZ).
In the main championship field, John Wheeler, who is a member at The National, becomes one of six to have won the ‘green jacket’ after finishing with a 77 on the Par 72 Ocean Course, overtaking yesterday’s leader Barry Tippett to win by 5 shots.
John played steady during his last round, carding a one-over first nine to position him as the leader. He broke away from his group members Ian Frost and Tippett on this nine and managed to keep them at bay while they made their charge over the last few holes. Three rounds of 70, 74 and 75 gave him a total of 219 to win by five shots from Tippett, Frost and Bracegirdle. Wheeler clearly had the support from the local crowd behind him, with 12 carts following their group down the last hole and an ever growing gallery on the balcony of the clubhouse.
In the nett championship, Andrew Hurwitz (New South Wales) was the champion with rounds of 72, 74 & 74. Hurwitz’s total net score of 220 managed to win by only one from a three way tie between Steven Wallace (The National), Darryl Hearsch (Manly) and Russell Simmons (Spring Valley).
The National golf courses and the varying weather from round to round were a true challenge for the 192 players who competed this week in the prestigious Golf Australia ranked National Senior Masters Championship. This tournament since its inception in 2010 has featured not only Victorian players, but also a number from interstate and overseas who have made the trip over to try their luck.
In terms of the venue, The National Golf Club could be Australia’s golf ‘mecca’ with all three courses Moonah, Ocean and Old rated #8, #10 & #30 respectively in Australia. The 54 stroke format makes it interesting for players who need to survive a cut after 36 holes to continue on into the main field. Finally, the competition was fierce with 19 of the top 25 Golf Australia’s ranked seniors competing for the title. This Championship was really a battle for the toughest! The hospitality the club provided for the players was second to none.
Final Leading Scores:
221 John Wheeler VIC 70 74 77
224 Ian Frost VIC 71 75 78, Simon Bracegirdle NSW 74 75 75 Barry Tippett VIC 71 71 82
226 Gregory Rhodes VIC 73 74 79, 226 Ian McPherson 74 77 75
227 Russell Simmons VIC 75 73 79, Steve Toyne QLD 73 75 79
229 John Rademakers NZ 71 76 82, Sal Ballard NSW 78 73 78
230 Paul Maslen NSW 71 76 83, Gordon Claney VIC 76 75 79 Tom Harold NT 78 73 79
231 Michael Barltrop NZ 71 77 83
In 2016 the event will take place from Tuesday 12 to Thursday 14 April with many players already looking forward to coming back to the event.
Round 2 Report
Defending champion Barry Tippett (left) has played some sensational golf in the 2015 National Senior Masters currently underway at The National Golf Club on Victoria's Mornington Peninsula. Today on the famous Old course Tippett had another sub par round of 71.
Tippett now has the very impressive statistic of eleven birdies and an eagle in his first 36 holes. His rounds of 71-71=142 have given him a 36-hole total of two under par total of 142.
As wonderful as his golf has been Tippett only has a two stroke lead over the overnight leader, local golfer John Wheeler (right). Wheeler followed his opening 70 with another good round, a two over par 74 for a 36-hole total of 144.
Third place belongs to Victorian Ian Frost (71-75=146) a stroke ahead of a group of golfers on a total of 147 - Greg Rhodes, Paul Maslen and John Rademakers. Six strokes from the leader are Russell Simmons, Steve Toyne and Michael Barltrop. It will be very difficult for a golfer to come from further behind in the final round tomorrow.
From the Golf Victoria Website:
Barry Tippett (Thirteenth Beach) will for the second year running take the lead into the final round of the National Senior Masters. Barry has played some fantastic golf over the opening two rounds shooting a pair of 71's to sit on a two round total of two under par 142.
Tippett will take a two shot lead over local favourite John Wheeler (The National) heading into the final round after Wheeler fired a solid second round 74 to sit on 144 with Ian Frost (Bendigo) a further two shots back in third place.
In the nett sector, John Wheeler features again, taking the lead by three shots with two nett rounds of 67 & 71 from a handicap of 3. Following closely is another National local Malcolm Anderson after nett rounds of 71 & 70 from a handicap of 6. Championship leader Tippett rounds out the nett standings with a two round total score of 142 playing off a scratch handicap.
Players got to experience the superb Old Course today in what was a perfect day for golf, with early thunderstorms clearing for the morning field and the wind dropping off for the afternoon contingent. The courses so far have been in exceptional condition, with players talking highly of the immaculate presentation of both the Moonah & Old Course layouts.
Players will conclude their Senior Masters tournament tomorrow with the leading players on the Ocean Course and the remaining on the Moonah Course. The final round shapes as a thrilling conclusion in both the gross and nett championship.
Tomorrow will see the sixth player in the tournaments history have the pleasure of donning the Green Jacket as the 2015 National Senior Masters Champion.
Leading Round 2 Scores:
142 Barry Tippett VIC 71 71
144 John Wheeler VIC 70 74
146 Ian Frost VIC 71 75
147 Gregory Rhodes VIC 73 74, Paul Maslen NSW 71 76
147 John Rademakers NZ 71 76
148 Russell Simmons VIC 75 73, Steve Toyne QLD 73 75
148 Michael Barltrop NZ 71 77
149 Darryl Whitehead ACT 78 71, Simon Bracegirdle NSW 74 75
149 Michael Jackson VIC 72 77
Round 1 Report
The 2015 National Senior Masters got underway this morning on the Moonah Course at the famed National Golf Club. Early morning drizzle cleared conveniently as the round one morning field headed out looking to post some fine scores for the afternoon field to chase
This year’s field is the strongest ever, with four of the past five champions competing along with the cream of Australian senior golf and a strong contingent from New Zealand including recent Royal Melbourne Senior Classic Champion Michael Barltrop.
Taking early honours this morning using his local knowledge to his advantage was John Wheeler (pictured left, The National) who fired a brilliant two under par round of 70. Wheeler set the front nine alight heading out with a score of 32 four under par before consolidating on the back nine with a two over par 38.
Not to be outdone were leaderboard regulars from Victoria Ian Frost (Bendigo) and defending champion Barry Tippett (Thirteenth Beach). They were joined by Moss Vale’s Paul Maslen and New Zealand visitors Michael Barltrop and John Rademakers who all fired rounds of one under par 71 to be snapping at Wheeler’s heels.
Special mention must be given to Yarra Yarra senior Michael Jackson who returned an even par round (and I suspect equalled or bettered his age). "Simply marvellous" seems an appropriate comment.
Although the morning players had wonderful conditions and recorded some great scores the later players were not really disadvantged with the trademark Cape Schanck winds remaining relatively benign for the afternoon round.
Leading Round 1 Scores:
70 Wheeler John - The National
71 Tippett Barry - Thirteenth Beach
71 Frost Ian - Bendigo
71 Rademakers John - Kaituna (NZ)
71 Barltrop Michael - Royal Auckland (NZ)
71 Maslen Paul - Moss Vale (NSW)
72 Birtwistle Bryce - Sandhurst
72 Palinkas Frank - Woodlands
72 Jackson Michael - Yarra Yarra
72 Chin Tham - The National
The 2015 The National Senior Masters Championship will again be played at The National Golf Club on the Victorian Mornington Peninsula. This is a great tournament on what most consider to be the best golfing complex in Australia.
Entries are always high so do get your entry in on time. The defending champion is Victorian Barry Tippett.
* In 2010 the National Senior Masters replaced the Cobram-Barooga Senior Championship as the " second" Victorian event on the Australian Senior Ranking System calendar.
The Cobram-Barooga tournament had been run from 2006 to 2009 and since then has continued as a major event in the Victorian Senior Order of Merit competition.