Round 3 Report - Avondale Golf Club
In an exciting final round in the 2016 NSW Senior Classic the eventual result was a tie for first place and joint winners being announced.
Victorian Gordon Claney (holding medal left) and NSW's Stefan Albinski (right) were drawn together today and they had a real battle with the lead swapping several times before the pair finished on the same 54-hole total. Albinski had rounds of 74-73-76=223 while Claney's rounds were 72-73-78=223. The sixteenth hole was critical as Claney double bogied when he "lost" his second shot to the right and the ball could not be found. Albinksi's par on this difficult hole gave him a one shot lead until he bogied the eighteenth to make the match all square.
As the group had begun the shotgun start on the second hole their round actually finished on the first hole - a short par four. Both drove safely and found the green with their second. Both missed their birdie chances and they remained level. During the day both players had numerous chances for the elusive winning birdie but could only watch as their putts failed to drop. The decision was made to declare joint winners and that did seem a fair result.
The final round was robbed of some of its drama when Lester Peterson was unable to play because of an urgent work commitment. Peterson had opening rounds of 73-74. His turn will certainly come soon.
Third place went to NSW senior Denis Dale who charged home with the day's best score of one under par 70. Dale's opening rounds at The Lakes and The Australian were 79 and 78. Playing in the same group as Claney, Albinski and Roy Vandersluis Dale's round at Avondale was highlighted by some accurate chipping and bunker play to go with several nice birdie putts.
Joint fourth place belonged to Ken Brewer (NSW) who finished the tournament very strongly with rounds of 81-74-74=229 and Roy Vandersluis who recorded scores of 75-76-78=229. Brewer regularly figures in the finish of senior ranking events and is one of the "new" seniors now enjoying the high level competition golf available across the state and also nationally. Vandersluis has been around for many years and will soon be 69 but he just keeps on shooting good scores on good courses.
Another ageless veteran Vince Clark was next with rounds of 80-76-75=231. Greg Matheson from Camden Golf Club also had an excellent tournament with good rounds of 79-74-79=231. In breaking 80 in every round on these testing courses Matheson's achievement was only matched by four other players - Albinski, Claney, Dale and Vandersluis.
Denis Dale (holding framed medal) received the Avondale Senior Medal for his round of 70 with Ken Brewer (right) finishing as the runner up. St Michael's Steve Gibson (left) received the third prize with his round of 76.
All the players had enjoyed the Avondale course and found it a fitting challenge to end a tournament that began with rounds at The Lakes and The Australian. The tournament will be on again in 2017 when competition for a place in the field will again be keen.
2016 NSW Senior Classic - Top 20 Scores
223 CLANEY Gordon 72 - 73 - 78 Kingston Heath VIC, ALBINSKI Stefan 74 - 73 - 76 Mona Vale
227 DALE Denis 79 - 78 - 70 Twin Creeks NSW
229 BREWER Ken 81 - 74 - 74 Concord NSW, VANDERSLUIS Roy 75 - 76 - 78 The Lakes NSW
231 CLARK Vincent 80 - 76 - 75 The Lakes NSW
232 MATHESON Greg 79 - 74 - 79 Camden NSW
235 WOOD Gary 78 - 82 - 75 Wakehurst NSW
237 PEARSON Mark 81 - 80 - 76 Mona Vale NSW, BARLTROP Michael 79 - 77 - 81 Royal Auckland
GORTON Warren 77 - 82 - 78 Hawks Nest NSW
238 TAPPER Dale 79 - 75 - 84 Bayview NSW, MALLETT David 83 - 77 - 78 The Sands VIC, HOWLAND Graeme 82 - 76 - 80 Dunheved NSW
239 GALLIE Craig 80 - 82 - 77 Terrey Hills NSW, MASLEN Paul 80 - 78 - 81 Moss Vale NSW, TOWLE Phil 86 - 71 - 82 Coolangatta TH QLD
240 PARKIN Arthur 77 - 84 - 79 Royal Maungakiekie NZ
242 FROST Ian 83 - 82 - 77 Bendigo VIC
243 WINSLADE Christopher 87 - 79 - 77 Yowani ACT, EDWARDS David 81 - 82 - 80 Pennant Hills NSW, THORNLEY Keith 85 - 81 - 77 The Lakes NSW
MCGREGOR Peter 83 - 77 - 83 Liverpool NSW, GREVILLE Richard 80 - 78 - 85 Avondale NSW
2016 Avondale Senior Medal - Leading Scores
70 DALE Denis Twin Creeks NSW
74 BREWER Ken Concord NSW
75 CLARK Vincent The Lakes NSW, WOOD Gary Wakehurst NSW
76 ALBINSKI Stefan Mona Vale NSW, PEARSON Mark Mona Vale NSW, BAYLEY Colin Port Kembla NSW, GIBSON Stephen St Michaels NSW
77 GALLIE Craig Terrey Hills NSW, FROST Ian Bendigo VIC, WINSLADE Christopher Yowani ACT, THORNLEY Keith The Lakes NSW
78 CLANEY Gordon Kingston Heath VIC, VANDERSLUIS Roy The Lakes NSW, GORTON Warren Hawks Nest NSW, MALLETT David The Sands VIC,
WALKER Peter Port Kembla NSW
79 MATHESON Greg Camden NSW, PARKIN Arthur Royal Maungakiekie NZ, KAEHLER Charlie Lynwood NSW, WARREN Neil Monash NSW
Round 2 Report - The Australian Golf Club
Queenslander Phil Towle (pictured right) has fired the only sub-par round of the tournament with a score of 71 at The Australian Golf Club. It was a round of what could have been with Towle positioned at 5 under par with just four holes to go (he had started on the tenth hole). To be 5 under par at any stage of a round on The Australian course is something special!
However, as all golfer know the game of golf has a way of levelling things out and Towle then closed with bogies on each of the last four holes for his overall outstanding round. Towle's 71 saw him win The Australian Senior Medal and also allowed him to leap into the top ten in the 54 hole NSW Senior Classic with one round remaining.
Second place at The Australian was shared by the round one leader Gordon Claney and the round one third placegetter Stefan Albinski. Both recorded rounds of one over par 73. Claney's round was very interesting - fifteen consecutive pars followed by two bogies and a closing birdie. Albinski struggled early but a back nine of two under par gave him yet another good round in a major event.
With one round remaining in the NSW senior Classic it does look like a battle between the three leaders - Claney, Albinski and Peterson with perhaps the veteran Roy Vandersluis a chance if he can produce something special at Avondale.
The Australian Senior Medal - Leading Scores
71 TOWLE Phil Coolangatta TH
73 ALBINSKI STEFAN Mona Vale, CLANEY Gordon Kingston Heath
74 MATHESON,Greg Camden, PETERSON Lester Bardwell Valley, BREWER KEN Concord
75 TAPPER DALE Bayview, DUNN Nicholas The Australian
76 CLARK VINCENT The Lakes, HOWLAND Graeme Dunheved, VANDERSLUIS ROY The Lakes
77 MCGREGOR PETER Liverpool, ADAMS STEVE Lynwood, BARLTROP Michael Royal Auckland, MALLETT David The Sands
78 MASLEN PAUL Moss Vale, GREVILLE RICHARD Avondale, EASTERBROOK ROWAN Ryde Parramatta, DALE Denis Twin Creeks
79 GORDON CHRISTOPHER New South Wales, WINSLADE Christopher Yowani, HEARSCH Darryl Manly
This round was the second round of the 54-hole NSW Senior Classic - a ranking event on the national senior calendar. The final round will be played tomorrow at Avondale Golf Club.
NSW Senior Classic - 36 hole scores
145 CLANEY Gordon 72-73
147 ALBINSKI Stefan 74-73, PETERSON Lester 73-74
151 VANDERSLUIS Roy 75-76
153 MATHESON Greg 79-74,
154 TAPPER Dale 79-75
155 BREWER Ken 81-74
156 BARLTROP Michael 79-77, CLARK Vince 80-76
157 DALE Denis 79-78, TOWLE Phil 86-71,
158 GREVILLE Richard 80-78, MASLEN Paul 80-78, HOWLAND Graeme 82-76
159 GORTON Warren 77-82
Round 1 Report - The Lakes Golf Club
on Heath senior Gordon Claney (pictured right) has won the prestigious The Lakes Senior Medal after an excellent round of 72 on the demanding championship layout.
Teeing off in the first group of the day Claney began slowly and was three over par after four holes. He then played beautiful golf recording four birdies and just the one dropped shot to finish at level par.
Last week Claney had a round of 67 on The Old course at The National and clearly he is returning to his best golf that had seen him as the top ranked senior golfer in Australia in 2014.
Second place went to the recently turned 55 year old Lester Peterson who had quite a different start birdieing the first two holes. He then played some exciting golf with a mix of birdies and bogies that had him one under par on the seventeenth tee. Dropped shots on the closing two holes saw him finish on one over par 73.
Third place went to the very well known senior Stefan Albinski who again played his usual controlled golf for a round of 74. This trio of golfers will be hard to catch in the 54 hole NSW Senior Classic.
Local member Roy Vandersluis used his course knowledge to good effect in recording a score of 75 to be alone in fourth place.
The Lakes course was a genuine test today and in a very strong field of low handicapped senior golfers only 12 players recorded scores under 80.
72 CLANEY Gordon - Kingston Heath GC
73 PETERSON Lester - Bardwell Valley GC
74 ALBINSKI STEFAN - Mona Vale GC
75 VANDERSLUIS ROY - The Lakes GC
77 GORTON Warren - Hawks Nest, PARKIN Arthur - Royal Maungakiekie
78 WOOD Gary - Wakehurst
79 DALE Denis - Twin Creeks, BARLTROP Michael -Royal Auckland, TAPPER DALE - Bayview, MATHESON Greg - Camden, KAEHLER Charlie - Lynwood CC
This round is also the first round of the 54-hole NSW Senior Classic that is a ranking event on the national senior calendar. The second round will be played tomorrow at The Australian Golf Club with the final round at Avondale Golf Club on Wednesday.
The NSW Senior Classic has been played at various venues since its beginning in 2007. In that year bad weather reduced the event to just 18 holes and Rick Oliver and Paul Day were joint winners. Beginning in 2013 the event has been played at The Lakes, The Australian and Avondale golf clubs.
The 2016 NSW Senior Classic began on Monday April 18 with 18 holes at The Lakes Golf Club. Tuesday was another 18 holes of stroke play at The Australian Golf Club before the final 18 at Avondale Golf Club on Wednesday.
Each round was also a separate event in the NSW Senior Order of Merit while the total 54 hole tournament is part of the 2016 Australian Senior Ranking System.
The Lakes Golf Club was the venue for the 2011 and 2012 Australian Opens.
The Australian Golf Club has recently been redesigned by Jack Nicklaus and has hosted the Australian Open in 2014 and 2015.
The beautiful tree lined Avondale is considered by many as the best on Sydney's north shore.