Flagstaff Hill Golf Club - September 13-14, 2007

2006 South Australian Seniors Full Report
2006 Venue:   Mount Osmond Golf Club
Winner:   Bill Banks (ACT)
Runner Up:   Denis Dale (NSW)
Ian Read (Qld)
John Hill (SA)
2007 Venue:   Flagstaff Hill Golf Club
Winner:   Bill Wellington (Tas)
Runner Up:   Peter Terrace (Qld)
David MacDonald (Vic)

2007 SA Seniors Placegetters: Peter Terrace, Whippy Wellington, David MacDonald

David MacDonald holes a long birdie putt on 18 to grab a tie for second
Bill Wellington proudly holds the champions trophy
Victorian Phil Wood plays a delicate chip on the final hole

The difficult 12th hole at Flagstaff Hill Golf Course

Flagstaff Hill Golf Course

Long term friends - "Whippy" and "Thorpy"

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It is always good news when a golfer has his first major win and it was no different for Tasmanian senior golfer Bill "Whippy" Wellington. Firing the low score of the day Wellington came from 4 shots behind to claim his first victory on the Australian Senior Order of Merit circuit.

Just one shot behind were Peter Terrace (QLD) and David MacDonald (VIC). Terrace followed his opening 81 with a solid 75 to fail by a single shot. Terrace is always in the finish and has now climbed to 5th position on the Order of Merit table. MacDonald also improved on Day 2 to return a 76 highlighted by a birdie-par-birdie finish. This was the first event for the new season and therefore it was also the first chance to receive points for the 2007-08 Australian Senior Order of Merit.

The Flagstaff Hill course was the winner with only two players managing a score under 80. Paul DiMella (SA) had the day's best with a 77 and he held a 2 shot lead over Denis Dale (NSW) on 79.

Others in contention included two golfers on 80 - Rick Oliver (NSW) and David MacDonald (VIC). A large group on 81 meant many had chances on the final day - Peter Terrace (QLD), Phil Wood (VIC), Mark Paxton (SA), Paul Day (NSW), Bill Wellington (TAS) and Peter Slattery (VIC).

The hard and fast greens and some very challenging pin positions had certainly tested all players during the opening round. There were certainly many smiling golfers when a heavy storm hit the course as play finished for the day meaning a strong likelihood of easier paced greens for the final round.

Better scoring was predicted and it soon became evident that the winner would need to shoot something close to par to claim the title.

Early leader DiMella was 4 over after nine and knew that a number of experienced interstate players had closed the gap. Overnight second place holder Denis Dale was struggling with a recurring back injury and scoring poorly and had to watch on as players around him made their charges.

Local Flagstaff Hill member Mark Paxton hit the lead when he was level with par well into the closing 9 but a few errant shots on the closing holes dropped him to a 76 and eventual 4th place on 157.

Order of Merit stars Doug Thorp (84-75) and Tony Kennings (83-76) played well in the final round but the tricky greens on day one left them with too much ground to make up. They eventually finished in equal 7th position with Dimella (77-82) who dropped several shots late in the round for a closing 82.

Another Order of Merit regular and Australian team player Vern Scott equalled the day's best with a closing 74 to claim equal 5th with NSW golfer Paul Day. Day's recent good form has seen him march up the Order of Merit table and is now in 21st position and definitely a player to watch.

Playing a few groups ahead it was Bill Wellington that claimed the clubhouse lead with a 74 and a 36 hole total of 155. Having played in the same group as Peter Terrace (81-75) he knew he had a one shot lead and waited anxiously for the final group where David MacDonald was the only remaining threat to Wellington's maiden win.

As the crowd around 18 gathered MacDonald did all he could by birdieing the 16th, parring the difficult 17th and then birdieing the 18th (hardest hole on the course). When the scores were totalled he had to settle for second place just one stroke short of victory.

In his presentation speech Wellington thanked the Flagstaff Hill Club on behalf of all players and made a special thank you to his long term friend Doug Thorp. As Tasmanians some 40 years earlier they has paired to win the Australian Foursomes Championship and have remained close friends since. "Whippy" received 220 points for his win and is now in 12th position on the Order of Merit table and he looks forward to the Victorian Senior Championship at the end of October and a chance to make it into the Top 10 and join "Thorpy".