2017 Round 3 Report
Doug Francis has defeated clubmate John Kelly by one stroke to claim the 2017 Victorian Senior Amateur Championship.
The Metropolitan members battled each other all day with Francis closing with 73 to Kelly's 75. Francis' scorecard was 79-71-73=223 against Kelly's 70-79-75=224.
Third place went to Gordon Clsney who tried hard to recover from an opening 82 but it proved a little to much. Clsney finished with 82-72-72.
Ideal scoring conditions welcomed players to the final round of the Victorian Senior Amateur Championship for 2017.
This year’s event had been blessed with favourable conditions for all the three rounds, which was reflected within the fantastic scoring during the 54-hole event. Both the men’s and the women’s fields returned to their first-round venues today, keen to improve upon their efforts of the opening round.
This year’s title was destined to go down to the wire & it did not disappoint. At the turn, it became a two-horse race between two Metropolitan members, tied overnight leader John Kelly & Doug Francis.
Tied overnight leader Ian McCleary slipped off the pace with an opening nine of 40 & it was Francis who seized the advantage after heading out in 36 to Kelly’s 38 to hold a one-shot lead with the back nine to play.
Back to back bogeys on the 10th & 11th halted the momentum of Francis, as the pendulum swung back in the favour of Kelly who opened with two par’s. The next six holes would prove to be a roller coaster ride for Kelly, recording three birdies, two bogey’s & a double bogey, whilst Francis maintained the consistency of one birdie, one bogey & four par’s to ensure the duo stood on the tee of the 54th hole tied at +10.
This year’s championship would come down to one miraculous recovery shot from the trees by Francis. The brilliant shot & ensuing birdie was enough for one of the newest members of the ‘senior circuit’ to secure his first major title & be crowned the Men’s Victorian Senior Amateur champion.
A par on the 54th hole saw Kelly finish outright second one shot shy of a wire to wire win with former champion Gordon Claney (Kingston Heath) finishing third on 228.
In the nett championship, The National’s Guy Krall took top honours by two shots with a three-round nett total of 216 from a daily handicap of 7. McCleary finished in the runner-up position with a nett total of 219 from a daily handicap of 4 with Yarram’s Ignatius Duivenvoorden finishing third on a countback with 220 from a daily handicap of 13.
Age category nett winners were, John Kelly (55-59), Guy Krall (60-64), Ignatius Duivenvoorden (65-69) & Wayne Aigner (70+). Age category gross winners were, Doug Francis (55-59), Gordon Claney (60-64), Russell Rogers (65-69) & Paul Welsford (70+).
Both Bairnsdale and Lakes Entrance are to be commended on their hospitality and generosity provided to all players this week, with both layouts presented in wonderful condition.
Round 2 Report
Round 2 - Tuesday 12 September (Lakes Entrance)
A change of venue brought new contenders to the top of the leaderboard with overnight leader John Kelly (Metropolitan) unable to continue his first-round heroics.
Fellow Metropolitan member Doug Francis threw down the challenge firing the day’s best round, a one under par 71 to equal the tournament low round of one under par.
Francis finished strongly with two birdies over the final four holes, but it wasn’t enough to reel in the lead from Kelly & the consistent Ian McCleary (Kooringal) who share the outright lead at 149 (+6) after McCleary returned two rounds of 74 & 75.
It shapes as an exciting finish in tomorrow’s final round, with Peninsula-Kingswood’s Mark Abeyaratne joining the trio in the final group with only three strokes separating 1st & 4th position.
In the nett championship, McCleary is setting the pace once again with a two round nett total of 141 from a daily handicap of 4.
Yarrawonga’s Barry Webb & West Australian Matt Ferguson sit in second position with two round nett totals of 144. With Webb playing from a daily handicap of 17 & Ferguson a daily handicap of 7.
The final round will commence at 8:00am tomorrow morning via a multi-tee start at Bairnsdale.
Round 1 Report
John Kelly is the first round leader after returning a great opening round of 70 at Bairnsdale Golf Course.
Kelly had one bogey and two birdies in a very controlled round.
Malcolm Barnes is alone in second place on 73. On 74 is Paul Welsford and Ian McCleary.
Tournament favourite Gordon Claney has a lot of ground to make up after a disappointing round of 82.
Round 1 - Monday 11 September (Bairnsdale)
Metropolitan’s John Kelly fired the low opening round of the day, a brilliant one under par round of 70 to lead the field by three strokes.
Kelly’s consistent round of fifteen pars, two birdies & a late bogey on the 17th was both the low gross & nett round of the day, with the two-marker recording a nett round of 68.
Neangar Park’s Malcolm Barnes leads the chasing pack in the gross event three off the lead after a round of 73. Paul Welsford (Pambula-Merimbula) sits in the third place after a round of 74 which included the shot of the day a hole-in-one on the 11th hole.
Western Australia visitor Matt Ferguson (Wanneroo) recorded an opening nett round of 69 from a daily handicap of 7 to be nicely placed one shot adrift from Kelly in second place in the nett event.
Barnes & Kooringal’s Ian McCleary are in third position after both recorded nett rounds of 70.
The Lakes Entrance Golf Club will host the Tournament Dinner tonight before the fields swap courses for the second rounds tomorrow morning.
Golf Victoria is pleased to announce that the 2017 Victorian Men's and Women's Senior Amateur Championships will be played at the Bairnsdale and Lakes Entrance Golf Clubs from Monday 11 to Wednesday 13 September.
Thanks to the appreciated and generous support from the East Gippsland Shire Council, approximately 200 players aged 55 and over will be competing in Victoria's premier event for senior players.
First played in 1995, the Victorian Men's Senior Amateur is played over 54-holes stroke play and is one of three Golf Australia National senior ranking events played within the State.
The Victorian Women's Senior Amateur was first played in 1931 and consists of 36-holes of stroke qualifying followed by match play rounds. Four players qualify for the overall Women's Senior Championship which is the decided by 18-hole semi-finals and final. An additional four women players will qualify for respective 18-hole semi-finals and finals in the 55-64 year and 65 and over age groups.
First established in 1926 and located at its current site since 1962, Lakes Entrance presents a picturesque, gently undulating "links" type course with spectacular ocean views. Natural lakes, sand dunes and an abundance of native trees and vegetation also characterise the impressive layout.
Looking out over the Gippsland Lakes, Bairnsdale Golf Club is located on the Paynesville road at Eagle Point. The layout is set on undulating bushland with the narrow fairways framed by native trees, particularly gums. Quality couch fairways, subtle ponds and excellent putting surfaces complete the genuinely attractive course.
Entries open July 17 for the Championships which are sure to attract strong interest from players within Victoria and Interstate.
Golf Victoria's Chief Operating Officer, David Greenhill commented "We're excited to be returning to Bairnsdale and Lakes Entrance with the 2017 Victorian Senior Amateur Championships and are extremely grateful for the wonderful assistance provided by the East Gippsland Shire.
“The area is a tourism haven with the beautiful lakes system and all manner of scenic attractions and activities. It’s sure to be popular with senior golfers from Victoria and interstate.
When the Men's championship was last played here in 2006, it attracted a near record entry from 170 players from 91 different golf clubs. Now with the Women's title played concurrently, Golf Victoria is expecting even higher participation."
East Gippsland Shire Council Mayor Cr Joe Rettino said he looked forward to the Victorian Men’s and Women’s Senior Amateur Championships returning to the region.
“East Gippsland lends itself well to a wide range of sports, including golf. Council is proud to be able to support this year’s Championships and I’m sure all competitors will enjoy their time here. Hopefully we can give the record for the number of entries another nudge,” Cr Rettino said.
The 2017 Victorian Senior Amateur is supported by the East Gippsland Shire Council.