2016 REPORT - Greg Rhodes Dominates in the 2016 Royal Melbourne Senior Classic
Round 3 Report:
Victorian senior Greg Rhodes (73-75-74) demonstrated why he is clearly the top rated senior golfer in Australia with his convincing 9 strokes victory in the 2016 Royal Melbourne Senior Classic. The final round was played on Wednesday 20 January over the famed Composite Course and Rhodes was simply far too good for a very strong field. Not since the days when Stefan Albinski rode the wave at the top of senior golf has a player been so dominant. It's great for senior golf so keep going Greg!
NSW senior Roy Vandersluis (78-76-77) reminded everyone that he may be getting older and a little shorter off the tee but he is still very competitive in any event. His was a solid overall performance to edge out Darryl Whitehead (72-87-73) for the runner-up prize who must wonder what happened in round 2. Whitehead had the best rounds of the day in the opening and final rounds but sandwiched in the middle was an 87 that ultimately cost him a chance to challenge the very consistent Rhodes.
Only three senior golfers managed to break 80 in all three rounds - Rhodes, Vandersluis and John Kelly (79-77-77) from Metropolitan Golf Club. The open secret is finding a way to handle the firmness of the greens and with most senior golfers probably not getting a chance to play on this kind of surface until Royal Melbourne next year it is likely to be a "frustrating but enjoyable" challenge again. There will certainly be a capacity field lined up to take on this challenge.
Report from Golf Victoria Follows:
In stereotypical Melbourne weather conditions, the sunny and hot afternoon yesterday was almost all but gone today, in its place was a cool and wet morning that kept the temperature from reaching the mid 20’s, improving just as the players were making their way back to the clubhouse.
Rhodes, who was runner-up in this event last year, returned rounds of 73, 75 and 74 for a 54-hole total of 222 to win by nine strokes from Runner-up Roy Vandersluis (The Lakes, New South Wales). Daryl Whitehead (Royal Canberra, ACT) finished in third place, one stroke behind Vandersluis with a total of 232, and only one ahead of John Kelly from The Metropolitan. Kelly however had more luck in the nett event, taking out the overall handicap title with a three-round total of 224 from a GA Handicap of three.
Royal Melbourne’s own Alan Evans, who was one of the creators of the Royal Melbourne Classic, finished in second place overall in the nett category, posting rounds of 76-73-76, finishing on a total of 225, three shots clear of a familiar face to the Golf Victoria Senior Event Calendar, Graeme Altmann (The Sands Torquay).
First played in 2013, the Royal Melbourne Senior Classic is one of three National Ranking Senior Events played in Victoria each year. The Championship offers players aged 55 and over with the unique opportunity to play the West Course, East Course and then Composite Course as part of the 54-hole format. In 2016, the 108 players in the starting field originated from 68 different clubs from all over Australia and overseas.
Golf Victoria extends sincere thanks to Royal Melbourne Golf Club for staging. All three courses were presented in superb condition with all players and officials greatly appreciating the commitment of the members, the committee & the club & ground staff.
Royal Melbourne’s commitment to senior golf sees the club hosting the Royal Melbourne Senior Amateur over 18-holes on Friday 16 August as part of the week-long Melbourne ‘Sandbelt Swing” of senior events. Entry forms will be available in June for 18-hole events at Yarra Yarra, Kingston Heath, Victoria, Royal Melbourne, Metropolitan and Commonwealth commencing on Monday 8 August.
Round 2 Report:
Greg Rhodes (Coomealla) will take a 6-shot lead into tomorrow’s third and final round of the 2016 Royal Melbourne Seniors Classic. After a day of much more pleasant conditions, Rhodes overtook yesterday’s joint leaders with a steady 75 on the Par 71 East Course to finish the second round on a two round total of 148 ahead of Roy Vandersluis from The Lakes (NSW).
Rhodes, who started on the first hole, went out in 4 over par and returned with an even par back 9, managing to keep a double-bogey free card, something many others in the field couldn’t manage to do.
Royal Melbourne’s own Alan Evans leads the Nett section, his net 76 yesterday and 73 today (totaling 149) puts him one shot clear of neighboring Metropolitan member John Kelly. Kelly is a further 2 shots ahead of a 4-way tie between Rhodes, Vandersluis, Rick Harding (Wanganui, New Zealand) and Graeme Altmann (The Sands Torquay).
The scene is set for an exciting finish to this year’s event in tomorrow's final round. Players will tee off on the Composite Course at 8:00am.
Round 1 Report:
On a hot and breezy day in Cheltenham today, the eagerly awaited 2016 installment of the Royal Melbourne Senior Classic commenced. The event which is one of the most prestigious on the Victorian senior calendar is played over 54 holes on the West, East and Composite layouts.
The notoriously hard and fast greens didn’t fail to live up to their reputation, with many players finding that their putting let them down. At the conclusion of round one, it was a two-way tie between interstate players Paul Maslen (Moss Vale, NSW) and Daryl Whitehead (Royal Canberra, ACT) on 72, with Greg Rhodes (Coomealla) and Robert Harvie (Keysborough) chasing close behind after shooting 73.
The gross leaders are also having luck in the net component, Harvie is leading after his handicap of 3 gave him a great score of nett 70, leading Paul Maslen by one shot on 71 and Daryl Whitehead on 73.
The tournament continues tomorrow with a slight change to the schedule, due to inclement weather predicted the players will take to the The tournament continues tomorrow as the field will take to the East Course followed by the Composite Course on Wednesday.
It is one the most anticipated events of the year and 2016 will be no different with another very strong field ready to line up for the 2016 Royal Melbourne Senior Classic. Played over 54 holes using the East, West and Composite courses it will again be fascinating to see how well the field handles the testing greens of the iconic courses.
First played in 2013, the Royal Melbourne Senior Classic is one of three National Ranking Senior Events played in Victoria each year. The Championship offers players aged 55 and over with the unique opportunity to play the West Course, East Course and then Composite Course as part of the 54-hole format. In 2015, the 108 players in the starting field originated from 85 different clubs from all over Australia and overseas.
With the maximum field set at 108 starters it meant more than 50 senior golfers did not survive the handicap ballot in 2015 (4.9).