– NEDLANDS PLAYERS TO THE FORE
In excess of 300 golfers (228 Men and 81 Women) descended on the nation’s capital last week to play in the 2023 AVGU Championship – the 33rd Men’s Championship and 5th Women’s Championship.
On Monday preceding the Championship itself 4BBB Events were held at Fairbairn and Murrumbidgee Golf Clubs with 151 pairs (302 players) engaged.
Best of the Nedlands combinations were Cath Bellemore/Paul Baster and Brian Stuart/Wayne Trumble both with 43 points. They finished a very creditable equal 10th out of the 151 pairs – an excellent effort.
Gunghalin Lakes, Gold Creek and Queanbeyan Golf Clubs were the venues for the Championships proper which were played on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.
Within the Men’s Championship there were 3 Grades – “A” Grade, “B” Grade and “C” Grade. In the Women there were just the two grades – “A” Grade and “B” Grade
Some of the past performances by Nedlands members-;
2019-National Gross Champion Cath Bellemore in Launceston
2022-Joan Brown – “A” Grade Runner-up in Mandurah
2022-Mandy Sudlow Brown – “B” Grade Runner-up in Mandurah
2006-Jim Purves – “B” Grade Gross Winner in Canberra
2006-Gordon Holusa – “A” Grade Nett Winner in Canberra.
2008-Joe Alexander – “B” Grade Gross Winner in Adelaide
2011-Neil Watson – “A” Grade Nett Winner in Hobart
2015-National Nett Champion-Joe Alexander in Darwin.
2017-Joe Alexander – “B” Grade Gross Winner in the Gold Coast
2018-Joe Alexander – “B” Grade Gross Winner in Port Stephens
Nedlands has always been well represented and in 2019 in Tasmania there were no less than 30 players in Launceston – which was the highest representation from a non-Tasmanian club.
This year there were 11 Nedlands players in Canberra-;
WOMEN “A” Grade
Cath Bellemore and Mandy Sudlow Brown.
MEN “A” Grade
Paul Baster and Gavin Furness
MEN “B” Grade
Joe Alexander, Brian Stuart, Phil Montgomery, Ian Mumford and Greg Parry (now Cheltenham).
MEN “C” Grade
Chris Chung, and Wayne Trumble.
Looking at that list of past performances, and without suggesting no other Nedlands player was in with a chance, one would suggest that the perennial winner, Joe Alexander would be favored again and of course the 2019 Women’s Champion, Cath Bellemore, would also be among the favorites to win.
Paul Baster and the incorrigible Mr. Gavin Furness could have a chance in “A” Grade.
After Round One the following was the case
WOMEN – “A” GRADE
Mandy Sudlow-Brown playing at Gold Creek – Nett 70 – Equal Leader
Cath Bellemore playing at Gold Creek – Gross 86 – =3rd
Gavin Furness (12??handicap)
Playing at Gold Creek – Nett 69 =4th
4th Gross with 81
Playing at Gold Creek – Nett 74 =24th
Joe Alexander (19??handicap) playing at Gunghalin Lakes – Nett 73 =7th
Brian Stuart playing at Gunghalin Lakes – Nett 79 =35th
Greg Parry playing at Gunghalin Lakes – Nett 78 =30th
Phil Montgomery, Ian Mumford – DNF
Wayne Trumble – playing at Queanbeyan – Nett 72 =14th
Chris Chung playing at Queanbeyan – Nett 80
Moving along to the Final Round-
Cath Bellemore was tied for the Gross lead after the second round and starting from the 16th at Gunghalin Lakes overcame a shaky start finishing with 5 straight pars – which saw her go down by one shot – a great effort. Cath finished 6th overall Nett after the best “A” Grade Nett score of the day – 72.
Mandy Sudlow-Brown had a day to forget in the second round at Queanbeyan and was well off the pace going into the final round. Mandy finished in equal 19th position Nett.
In “A” Grade after a good second round at Queanbeyan, Gavin Furness was sitting at the top of the “A” Grade Nett Leaderboard on 138 and equal 3rd on the overall leaderboard going into the final round at Gunghalin Lakes. A poor start on a par 3 – double bogey and some further uncharacteristic doubles and a triple saw his chances of victory disappear. He did however finish 7th overall Nett and 14th Gross – a very commendable effort He was second Nett in “A” Grade , 3 shots from the winner who flew home with nett 66. A good week’s work.
Editor’s note – Where were his betters??? One might well ask.
Paul Baster had flown under the radar, in the shadow of his compatriot and after a slow start in the first two rounds at Gold Creek and Queanbeyan he was well back on net 149. But he put together a great final round at Gunghalin Lakes – nett 68 to climb into 7th place in the “A” Grade nett results and 17th overall.
Now for the” B” Grade.
Joe Alexander was leading the way in “B” Grade after a fine second round Nett 65 at Gold Creek to lead by three on 138. He was also in the top four Gross and with a closing 87 finished Runner-up Gross in “B” Grade – a great effort.
Playing at Queanbeyan on the final day Joe held his nerve and after playing his final 5six holes 3 under his handicap finished with net 70 and the “B” Grade nett Championship was all his. Well done Joe- another trophy for the “Pool Room”
Like Paul Baster, Brian Stuart had flown under the radar after a poor start in the first round, a fine second round 65 (second only to Joe Alexander) saw him leap up the leaderboard by some 25 spots.
An average last round at Quenbeyan of 75 saw him finish his campaign in equal 7th position in “B” grade and 23rd overall, a very good week.
Ian Mumford, Phil Montgomery and former Nedlands Member Greg Parry enjoyed the week after failing to complete one of their rounds. However, in the Stableford Competition played in conjunction Michael and Greg finished equal 12th and equal 15th respectively.
In “C” Grade Wayne Trumble finished a creditable 24th and like his fellow ‘B” Graders who missed out on a mention, Chris Chung enjoyed the friendship and camaraderie of the week.
Congratulations to Joe Alexander on his “B” Grade Championship Nett victory and to Cath Bellemore for her overall solid performance in finishing Runner-up in the Women’s Championship.
Congratulations to the organizers for a great week of golf and to the host clubs for their hospitality and in particular the condition and grooming of each of the 5 courses.
Well done to Joe Alexander for once again coordinating the trip and next year we look forward to more support from the Nedlands Members when the Championship will return to South Australia – Riverland near Berri and the Murray River National Park.
From – Greg Fitzhardinge