ROUND THREE REPORT
Murray Bridge once again turned on a beautiful day. It has been a week of great weather on a course that all competitors agreed grew in stature the more they played it. Murray Bridge is a very good inland course that rewards good shot making and decisive putting.
The course begins with three of their hardest holes in the first four played and it is important to make a good start and that is exactly what Victorian Ross Percy did. His start of 3-3-3-3 meant he was two under par with some easier holes to follow. A great round was there to be had. Playing in the same group Pat Giles almost matched Percy as he was one under par after the opening six holes. It looked like a two man battle.
Percy continued to play attacking golf and his fine iron play and immaculate putting put him four under par after the opening nine. Giles was hanging on but a couple of double bogies to close the front nine gave Percy a nice lead. On the back nine Percy moved further ahead with two more birdies and with three holes remaining he stood 6 under par and held a commanding lead. With victory assured and chasing his first ever win in an Order of Merit event it was perhaps understandable that he dropped a couple of shots over the final holes. His 64 was a magnificent achievement and is the lowest round in an Australian Senior Order of Merit event. His final total was 204 (74-66-64) for a seven stroke winning margin.
Percy had begun this championship in round one with some early missed putts and a few loose hits and was actually five over par after the opening five holes. He then played the remaining 49 holes in 5 under par. A wonderful effort and a worthy champion! The effort of runner-up Pat Giles should not go unnoticed - busy every day in making sure all the arrangements for the tournament were in hand he then found time to play some great golf. His second place finish (211 72-66-73) was his best in an Order of Merit event.
Third place went to Mr Consistency, Peter Terrace who had rounds of 70-71-71 for a total of 212. Also known as "Bulldog" for his determination to do well this was another top three placing for Terrace. Surely, a win is very close. Another to have a great tournament was Victorian Peter Bywaters. His rounds of 68-71-76 total of 215 gave him a tie for fourth place with defending champion Bill Wellington (72-70-73).
The tournament report would not be complete without recognition of NSW player Brian Baker who won the 54 hole nett event. Baker plays off a handicap of 8 and is a regular competitor in senior events across Australia. His gross scores of 74-74 and a fantastic closing 70 gave him a well deserved victory and the handicap trophy. Great effort Brian!
204 Ross Percy 74-66-64
211 Pat Giles 72-66-73
212 Peter Terrace 70-71-71
215 Peter Bywaters 68-71-76 Bill Wellington 72-70-73
216 Brian Sams 70-70-76, Graham Bowen 72-69-75
For all other scores click on the "2008 Results" button above
This was another very successful eevent. Special thanks to Murray Bridge Golf Club and to South Australia's popular champion golfer - Tony Mazzone. Many of the interstate players were welcomed to South Australia with a wonderful dinner and even better wines at Tony's home on the Monday night before the tournament began. Senior golf is great competition but it is also about great friendships and great nights like we had with Tony.
Another example of the friendship and generosity of senior golfers was the "car-pooling" effort made by Peter Terrace and Brian Baker. Both went out of their way to make their cars available when anyone needed a lift to golf, to the restaurant or back to the club for a drink. It was only fitting that Peter Terrace finished third overall and Brian Baker won the nett event - thanks guys!
ROUND TWO REPORT
Another great day matched by some great scores - Pat Giles and Ross Percy with two under par 66's took the honours for the day. Giles moved into the lead on a total of 138 - two over par for the 36 holes played so far.
In second place was Cranbourne's number one senior golfer, Peter Bywaters, who compiled a very neat 71 to match his opening 68. Bywaters is in the best form of his senior career and a high finish is expected.
Percy's 66 moved him into a tie with good friend and keen competitor Brian Sams on 4 over par totals of 140. A single stroke behind this pair was the trio of Victorian Alan Evans, Queenslander Peter Terrace and West Australian Graham Bowen. A hot round from any of this group would give them a chance on the last day.
The defending champion Bill Wellington improved on his opening 72 and his 70 gave him a total of 142 and a four shot deficit. Wellington is always capable of that something special he would need to successfully defend his title.
138 Pat Giles 72-66
139 Peter Bywaters 68-71
140 Ross Percy 74-66, Brian Sams 70-70
141 Peter Terrace 70-71, Graham Bowen 72-69, Alan Evans 68-73
142 Bill Wellington 72-70
143 Jack Parker 71-72
144 Denis Dale 72-72
145 Grahame McDonald 72-73
147 John Beaumont 70-77 Paul Day 73-74, Tony Hyde 74-73, Tony Mazzone73-74
148 Brian Baker 74-74, A. Small 78-71
149 Mark Paxton 74-75
150 Norm Way 78-72, Gerd Reidler 75-75, Geoff Burke 73-77
151 Tony Kennings 76-75
ROUND ONE REPORT
A cool morning turned into a warm Spring day and perfect conditions for good scoring. Alan Evans and fellow Victorian Peter Bywaters played excellent golf to return even par scores of 68. Evans is an experienced senior golfer with many good scores and tournamnets in recent years. He is the current holder of the Hong Kong Seniors Championship. For Cranbourne golfer Peter Bywaters this was his best round in an Order of Merit event and he will be eager to return another good round on day two.
Poised just two shots behind is an impressive trio - regular Order of Merit winner, Brian Sams; recent semi-finalist in the Australian Senior Matchplay, John Beaumont and the very consistent Queenslander Peter Terrace who is making a return to the senior circuit after missing several events in the latter part of 2007 and earlier this year. A feature of John Beaumont's round was a pair of eagles on the two par 5 holes.
Alone on 71 is the NSW veteran Jack Parker, a regular competitor in senior events across Australia and his good opening round was no surprise to all those who support this popular player.
A single stroke away on 72 is a group of five golfers representing five states - Queenslander Grahame MacDonald, Victorian Pat Giles, West Australian Graham Bowen, Tasmanian Bill "Whippy" Wellington and NSW player Denis Dale. This group rounds out the Top 10 and at this stage it does look like the winner will come from this group.
68 Alan Evans, Peter Bywaters
70 John Beaumont, Brian Sams, Peter Terrace
71 Jack Parker
72 Denis Dale, Bill Wellington, Graham Bowen, Pat Giles, Grahame McDonald
73 J. Scopcasa, Paul Day, Tony Mazzone, Geoff Burke
74 Brian Baker, Nigel Goodall, Tony Hyde, Mark Paxton, Ross Percy
75 Gerd Reidler
76 Bob Macafee, Tony Kennings, J. Deroos
77 Paul Bray, Lindsay Elliott, Michael Jackson, A. Small
78 Norm Way, John Hill
79 C. Claxton, B. Murphy
80 R. Smith, J. Reynolds
81 Graeme Altmann, J. Gilleade
82 Alan Snowdon
83 D. Beanes, A. Tinnins, R. Pearce