Whilst the rain was most welcome it could have held off until after 5 pm on Sunday April 10 when the 23rd Millennium Cup was held. Whilst the rain forced a short suspension of play it did not dampen the enthusiasm of the players.
The first “Mixed Major” of the year attracted a full field of 64 players (32 pairs) in the 4-ball par event and the defending Champions Rhonda Moore and Stuart Gicquel were looking to make it two in a row.
Once again this year the Furness and Botello Families sponsored the day, for the 17th consecutive year, and the appreciation of all players is extended to Gavin and Jorge for their ongoing support of the event.
Along with Rhonda and Stuart, past winning combinations in this year’s 4BBB Par event included Chris and Stewart Wharton (2017), Cath Bellemore and Paul Baster (2018), Vanessa and Bill Stephen (2020). Many other previous winners also played but with different partners. These included Honor Metcalf (2005), Susie Rich (2006, 2008 and 2010), Sue Kelly (2007), Rhonda Moore (2009 and 2015), Joe Alexander (2011), Veni Tang (2011), Marty Morris (2015), Joan Brown (2019), and Gavin Furness (2019).
The Millennium Cup was first played in 2000 and was the brainchild of the committee of the day led by President Rob Viol and Captain Darrell Arnett. The inaugural winners were Darrell Arnett and his daughter Renee who won again in 2003. Darrell also partnered Rhonda Moore in their victory in 2009. The Perpetual Trophy was donated by Dennis Parker (Life Member).
Before getting on to the winners, special mention must be made of the combination of Grace (5 H’Cap) and Gavin Furness (8) who finished 9 up, but as Grace is no longer a member, they were ineligible to win.
Grace is back from Canberra for a short time and is in fact the current Women’s Club Champion at Federal Golf Club.
Seven couples finished on 3 up and then there were three vying for championship honours, so we will concentrate on how they went about their day.
Firstly, finishing on 5 up was 2019 winner Joan Brown (20 H’Cap) who teamed up with Anthony Joseph (Scr).
This combination was considered one of the favourites for the title. Not only was Joan a former winner but excelled in the Opening Day Mixed where she had 46 points and lost 4 shots – could this be a telling factor?
Starting from the first Anthony birdied the first 2 holes and after parring the 3rd to be 2 up they somehow managed to lose the next two holes and then a further loss on the 9th saw them turn 1 down. As the saying goes they went from “chocolates to boiled lollies” all in the space of 6 holes.
Was there a way back?
There certainly was as Joan reeled off 6 pluses on the back nine and they finished a very creditable 5 up. The three losses on the front nine were costly in the overall result and in the wash up they finished 3rd.
Then there were two.
Firstly, two previous winners Susie Rich (20 H’cap) and Joe Alexander (17) teamed up and were also seen as a formidable combination. Susie was looking to have her name inscribed on the Perpetual Trophy for the 4th time.
They started form the 4th Hole and were going along nicely and after their first nine holes were 4 up. They stretched that to 7 up with three holes to play. Pluses on the next two holes (the 1st and 2nd) gave them a score of 9 up with only the third to navigate – disaster struck and with both players failing to make a score they dropped back to finish 8 up.
That loss could turn out to be very costly and they had to wait for the group behind to finish before an outcome could be determined.
In that group were the 5th placed combination from 2021, Jill and Tony Morgan who were determined to avenge their disappointment from last year where losses on both the 9th and 18th holes probably cost them the title.
This year Past President Jill (27 H’Cap) and Tony (18) also started from the 4th hole. They commenced well and were 3 up after 5 holes – and then came their nemesis hole, the 9th. Just like last year they both lost it but recovered with 3 pluses over the next 3 holes to turn for home 5 up.
After safely navigating the 18th, their other “nemesis hole, they were also 7 up with 3 holes to play. They managed one plus and two halves over the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd to finish 8 up – the same as Susie Rich and Joe Alexander.
Now for the countback!!
The countback showed that both pairings had 5 up on the back nine, so on to the last 6 holes – both had 2 up – so on to the last 3 holes. At last, a winner was determined with Jill and Tony having 2 up and Susie and Joe 1 up.
Congratulations to Jill and Tony Morgan on winning the 23rd playing of the Millenium Cup. A new combination’s names will be etched on the trophy.
Commiserations to Susie Rich and Joe Alexander who will rue their final hole loss. Third placegetters Joan Brown and Anthony Joseph on 5 up will also look back at what could have been.
On 3 up were the following players-
Defending Champions, Rhonda Moore and Stuart Gicquel finished in 15th position on 2up.
Appreciation once again is extended to the Sponsors of the day the Furness and Botello Families.
The 6th green was open for the first time since being seeded and it is probably fair to say that it is not quite ready for everyday play. Thanks to the course staff for preparing the course and as usual we acknowledge the house staff and Pro shop staff in making sure that it was a successful day.
The next “Mixed Major” is the O and S Allom Bowl, scheduled for Sunday May 15 and sponsored by Veni Tang and Gary Hing. The defending Champions are Carolyn Browne and Mackenzie Buck.
In the meantime, we toast the 2022 Millennium Cup Champions Jill and Tony Morgan
Roving reporter’s comment – It was nice to see Gavin and Grace teaming up again – but it was even better to see that Gavin lost a shot. I am sure after I spread the word his Senior Pennant team members will have something to say about that!!
from Greg Fitzhardinge