Round 3 Report
The 54-hole stroke format of the The National Senior Masters incorporates a 36 hole cut with the top 75 players from the stroke standings and top 25 from the nett standings after round two moving on into the championship field for the final round. The competition was again of the highest quality this year, with many of the current top twenty players from the Golf Australia senior rankings competing.
As anticipated, the final round of the 2016 National Senior Masters went right down to the wire. As it stood overnight, The National’s Simon Bracegirdle held a slim one shot lead over both Gordon Claney (Kingston Heath) and Ian Frost (Bendigo pictured in jacket) with both Bracegirdle and Frost looking to go one better in 2016 after they had finished tied runners-up in the 2015 event.
In the championship field, as the final round progressed it was clear the race for the ‘green jacket’ would come down to the final few holes. Bracegirdle began his final round strongly, heading out in one under par 35 over the front nine. Whilst Frost and Claney left themselves with plenty of work to do on the back nine with front nine’s of 39 and 41 respectively. Bracegirdle began the back nine poorly with two opening bogey’s which gave both Frost and Claney a sniff.
Frost seized the opportunity, finishing the back nine strong closing with a 36 to Bracegirdle’s 41 to leave the two tied at the conclusion of the 54th hole on a total score of 220. Claney finished in fourth position on 223 with Albinski sneaking into third place overall after his fine final round pf 74.
As both Bracegirdle and Frost headed to the first tee of the Ocean Course for the first sudden playoff in the events history, both were in a position to go ‘one better’ than their tied runner-up finish from 2015, whilst the other would be consigned to bride’s maid honors once again.
Both fired tee shots which found the fairway, but an indifferent second shot from Bracegirdle gave Frost the upper hand as he safely hit the green in regulation with Bracegirdle left with a tricky up and down from the front edge of the green to save par.
A poor chip left Bracegirdle still outside Frosts’ third shot and when Bracegirdle’s par putt slide by, Frost was left with a simple two putt from ten feet to take this year’s title which the Bendigo local negotiated successfully to be crowned the 2016 National Senior Masters Champion.
On the Moonah course, the daily scratch winner was South Australian visitor Craig Martin (The Grange) with a closing round of 76. The final rounds best nett score of the consolation field was Mark Meek with a nett score of 69 from a handicap of 12.
For the players on the Ocean course, the best daily scratch score was Mona Vale’s Stefan Albinski who fired a closing round of 74. Kooringal’s Brian Spalding took home the final rounds best nett score with a round of 70.
In the 54-hole nett championship, Peninsula Kingswood’s Peter Bence (pictured right) fired three consistent nett rounds of 73, 71 and 72 to finish atop the leaderboard with a two round nett total of 216. New South Wales visitor Peter Good (The Lakes) finished in second place via a countback from overnight nett leader Tony Briers (The National) with a two round nett total of 217.
All three National layouts provided a stern test for this year's field of 192 players who came from all over Victoria, interstate and New Zealand to take part this week. The tournament since its inception in 2010 has always produced golf of the highest quality and 2016 was no exception.
Golf Victoria would like to thank the National Golf Club for the hospitality the club provided to all players which was first class. The 2016 event will take place from Tuesday 4 to Thursday 6 April.
Final Top 20 Scores
220 Ian Frost Bendigo 75-70-75, Simon Bracegirdle The National 69-75-76
222 Stefan Albinski Mona Vale 72-76-74
223 Gordon Claney Kingston Heath 78-67-78, Tony Briers The National 74-72-80
227 John Wheeler The National 75-74-78, Greg Rhodes Coomealla 74-74-79
230 Chris Tatt Buninyong 78-72-80, Richard Greville Avondale 76-74-80
231 Paul Maslen Moss Vale 78-77-76, Mark Brasher Kew 76-76-79
232 Martin Minogue Lakelands 82-74-76, Peter Bence Kingswood 78-77-77, Peter Good The Lakes 81-73-78, Gary Wells Liverpool 78-74-80, Mark Abeyaratne Peninsula 76-72-84
233 Darryl Hearsch Manly 73-81-79, Phil Towle Coolangatta TH 77-76-80
234 Rick Oliver Young 80-75-79, David Limbach Penrith 80-74-80
235 Ian Mcpherson Joondalup 76-82-77, Ian Crichton Concord 81-75-79
National Senior Masters Champion: Ian Frost 220
National Senior Masters Runner-Up: Simon Bracegirdle 220 (playoff)
National Senior Masters Third: Stefan Albinski 222
National Senior Masters Handicap Champion: Peter Bence 21
National Senior Masters Handicap Runner-Up: Peter good 217 c/b
National Senior Masters Handicap Third: Tony Briers 217 c/b 6
Round 1 - Best Gross: Simon Bracegirdle-69
Round 1 - Best Nett: Bill Van Noordennen- 69 c/b
Round 2 - Best Gross: Gordon Claney - 67
Round 2 - Best Nett: Stephen Valentine 68 c/b
Round 3 - Best Gross: Stefan Albinski- 74 c/b
Round 3 - Best Nett: Brian Spalding 71 c/b
2016 Round 2 Report
Victorian Gordon Claney (far left) has recorded one of the lowest rounds ever by a senior golfer in an Australian Senior Ranking event with a brilliant 5 under par 67 on the famed Old Course at The National Golf Club. Claney had opened with a somewhat disappointing 78 on the Moonah course that saw him placed outside of the top twenty golfers. This has all changed with his 67 that included six birdies and just the one dropped shot.
Overnight leader Simon Bracegirdle (right) who opened with a score of 69 recorded a steady round of 75 (marred by a double bogey 7 on the fifth hole) on the Old course and his even par total of 144 was just good enough to maintain his lead. With the final round to be played tomorrow on the tougher Ocean Course Bracegirdle will tee off with a one stroke lead.
After his exciting round of 67 Claney now sits in equal second place with fellow Victorian Ian Frost (second from right) who also broke par with an excellent round of 70 (four birdies and two bogies). One stroke behind this pair is local member Tony Briers who has recorded rounds of 74-72 for a total of 146.
Stefan Albinski (far right) had a "Jordan Spieth" look to his round with scores of 7 on both the fifth and sixth holes in his total of 76. He is now level with Greg Rhodes and Mark Abeyaratne (Peninsula) on a two round total of 148. Defending 2015 champion John Wheeler is another stroke away after rounds of 75-74=149.
From the Golf Victoria Website:
The 2016 National Senior Masters Championship continued today, as round two commenced for both the morning & afternoon fields on the testing Old Course layout. Both fields once again enjoyed pleasant conditions, with the trademark Mornington Peninsula coastal winds remaining relatively calm for the duration of the second round.
The nett championship remains tight at the top, with local National member Tony Briers using his local knowledge to his advantage to take a two shot lead into the final round after recording a two round nett total of 140. Peninsula-Kingswood’s Mark Abeyaratne is Briers’ nearest challenger finishing with a two round nett total of 142.
Opening round leader Simon Bracegirdle (The National) remains the man to beat in the gross championship. Bracegirdle fired a steady second round of 75, to take the narrowest of leads into the final round, a single stroke. Making the day’s biggest charge was former Doug Bachli trophy winner Gordon Claney (Kingston Heath) who produced one of the finest individual rounds in the events history a superb five under par round of 67.
Bendigo’s Ian Frost also sits comfortably within striking distance, just one stroke out of the lead with two consistent rounds of 75 & 70 respectively to sit in a tie with Claney at one over par 145.
The final round shapes as an exciting finale in both the nett & gross championships, play will commence via two shotgun starts at 8:00am. The Peter Thomson designed Ocean Course will host the top 100 players who survived the second round cut, whilst the remaining 92 players will take to the host layout of the opening round, the Moonah course.
Current Leading 36 Hole Scores
144 Simon Bracegirdle The National 69-75
145 Gordon Claney Kingston Heath 78-67, Ian Frost Bendigo 75-70
146 Anthony Briers The National 74-72
148 Stefan Albinski Mona Vale 72-76, Gregory Rhodes Coomealla 74-74, Mark Abeyaratne Peninsula 76-72
149 John Wheeler The National 75-74
150 Richard Greville Avondale 76-74, Christopher Tatt Buninyong 78-72
152 Mark Brasher Kew 76-76, Tham Chin The National 75-77, Gary Wells Liverpool 78-74
153 Phillip Towle Coolangatta TH 77-76
154 Darryl Hearsch Manly 73-81, Peter Good The Lakes 81-73, David Limbach Penrith 80-74
155 Rick Oliver Young 80-75, Timothy Kirtley Thirteenth Beach 80-75, Paul Maslen Moss Vale 78-77, Peter Bence Kingswood 78-77, Paul Maslen Moss Vale 78-77
2016 Round 1 Report
The 2016 National Senior Masters Championship got underway this morning, as 192 of the finest senior golfers from Australia & New Zealand took to the Moonah layout hoping to get their respective campaigns off to a strong start.
Favorable conditions greeted both the morning & afternoon fields, with sunny breaks & moderate to light winds sweeping across the par 72 Greg Norman designed layout for the majority of the first round. The relatively benign conditions ensured good scoring in both the morning & afternoon fields.
Defending champion John Wheeler (The National), set the tone for the day with a crisply struck pitching wedge on the 8th hole finding the bottom of the cup for his fourth career hole-in-one in competition.
In the nett championship, a three way tie at the top of the leaderboard sees Bill Van Noordennen (Commercial Albury), Hilltop’s John Keller & interstate visitor Darryl Hearsch (Manly) sharing the round one honours with nett scores of 69.
In the race for the ‘green jacket’, The National local Simon Bracegirdle fired a blistering 3 under par round of 69 to take the early advantage by three strokes. It was a round that ‘could have been’ for last year’s championship runner-up, who sat -4 through 13 holes before a late bogey stalled Bracegirdle’s momentum.
In second place sits the recently crowned NSW senior amateur champion Stefan Albinski (Mona Vale) who fired a solid round of even par 72. Nett championship leader Hearsch is outright third after a round of 73.
Second round action moves to the famed Robert Trent Jones Jnr Old Course tomorrow, as the field moves through to the halfway point of this year’s championship.
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National Senior Masters - Gross
2016 The National Senior Masters - Final Results