Versatile Gratham again beats his age at Cooroy

Gratham Leatherbarrow is just as accomplished using hickory clubs as he is with regular equipment.

By Peter Owen

JUST a week after claiming the Sunshine Coast Hickory Classic, Cooroy’s old marvel Gratham Leatherbarrow showed he was just as proficient with regular clubs when he won the club’s par competition on Saturday.

Gratham scored plus two – shooting four under par for his second nine around the tricky Cooroy circuit – to win on a countback.

“It was a strange round,” he said. “I had a couple of three-putts early, played poorly for the first nine, then really well on the back nine.”

His score equated to a round of 72 and gave the 73-year-old the satisfaction of again beating his age – shooting a score lower than the number of birthdays he’s celebrated.

Gratham puts his outstanding recent form to a change in the way he addresses the ball – “I’ve taken my right foot back a few inches which makes me swing squarely through the ball” – and keeping fit.

“I try to exercise regularly and I’ve got my own rowing machine,” he said. “And I follow Gene Sarazen’s advice to practice each day with a weighted club – just a few swings at a time to work on tempo.”

And, of course, he believes playing regularly with hickory clubs has improved his overall golf game.

“They’re more difficult to hit,” he said. “Playing with hickory clubs, as I do most Tuesdays, teaches me to watch the ball and swing with rhythm.”

Girl power gets job done for Noosa Springs

Noosa Springs’ all-girl team of Jasmine Lena and the Moore sisters, Sunday and Coco, scored a crushing 3-0 win over Caloundra on Sunday to join the lead in the Blue Conference of this year’s Sunshine Coast junior pennant competition.

Sunday Moore, a seven-handicapper, beat Caloundra’s No 1 player Miles Romagnoli 4&3, Jasmine Lena scored a 3&2 win over Zac Doolan, while little Coco Moore easily beat Sam Cavanagh 5&4.

After three matches their Noosa Springs 1 team heads the standings alongside Maroochy River 3, both teams recording two wins and a loss.

In the Red Conference, Noosa Springs 2 – comprising Caitlyn Wheatley, James McCulloch and Josh Bell – was beaten 2-1 by Headland, Caitlyn winning her match 2&1.

Both Noosa Golf Club teams had a bye.

Junior competition continues next Sunday at Cooroy, while Round 5 matches on June 13 have been switched from Tin Can Bay to Maroochy River.

Lifetime dream comes true for Brad Burns

A year after being denied a chance to play in the US Senior PGA Championship because of COVID-19, Yandina Creek’s Brad Burns this week joined some of golf’s greatest names in Oklahoma for the Champions Tour’s second major of the year.

A three-time winner of the PGA of Australia’s Professionals Championship (2003-2005), Burns has topped Australia’s Legends Tour Order of Merit for the past four seasons.

One of the country’s most prolific competitors, Burns’ 2019 Order of Merit win earned him a place in the 2020 Senior PGA, only for the pandemic to force its cancellation 12 months ago.

“I’d already paid for the accommodation and the airfares,” Burns said at the time.

In fact it was almost a case of déjà vu for the popular Sunshine Coaster, who in 2017 had earned a spot in the $2 million Insperity Invitational in Texas, only to be denied two months out from the tournament due to a late change in the qualifying criteria.

Money invested in flights and accommodation was again lost.

But fortune was on his side this year, and Burns lined up in the big event at Southern Hills Country Club alongside PGA Tour winner Matt Gogel and US club professional Jeff Schmid.

But that, unfortunately, is where Burns’ luck ran out.

He shot rounds of 80 and 79 to miss the 36-hole cut – as did former major winners Tom Kite, Todd Hamilton, Corey Pavin and John Daly.

The event was won by German Alex Cejka, while the best of the Australians was Victorian Stephen Leaney, tied in 11th place.

Cooroy golfers hope appeal succeeds

COOROY Golf Club officials are hopeful of the success of developer GemLife’s appeal against Noosa Council’s decision to reject an application to build a $120 million retirement resort on part of the club’s land.

They see the proposal as guaranteeing the long-term future of the club. As part of the deal, GemLife had agreed to build a new clubhouse, pro shop, storage for 40 golf carts and a new sealed carpark, improve the course and pay for 246 new golf memberships for a period of 10 years.

Councillors, however, rejected the application, citing environmental concerns and maintaining it did not fully comply with the Noosa Town Plan.

GenLife has lodged a Notice of Appeal with the Planning and Environment Court. It is likely the process will take about a year to run its course.

Don’t miss Noosa Springs Ladies Series

REGISTRATIONS are now open for the second round of Noosa Springs’ Ladies Golf Series, which will be played on Tuesday, July 6.

The stableford event, which draws competitors from throughout southeast Queensland, will be followed by a gourmet lunch, complete with a glass of sparkling wine.

Those who play in two of the three scheduled Ladies Golf Series will go into a draw to win a half day Spa Escape, plus four rounds of golf at Noosa Springs. The prize will be drawn after the final round in December.

The cost is $104 ($39 for Noosa Springs members). Call the Golf Shop on 5440 3325 for more details or to register.

Superintendent seeks greener pastures

Popular Cooroy greens superintendent Todd McNamee, who has transformed the hinterland course since he moved from Coral Cove three years ago, has announced his resignation and will leave the club in mid-June.

He will be taking up the position of greens superintendent at Mt Coolum.

And, while he will be sorely missed at Cooroy, his friends there have wished him the best in his new role.

While a replacement is sought, assistant Brendan O’Brien will be taking on the extra duties of supervising the greens staff. The club has also appointed a new green-keeping apprentice, Ayden Hampton.

Club competitions


Monday, 24 May

Women’s stableford: A grade – Allana Moore 39, Rungratree Cox 37c/b; women’s 9-hole stableford: Tracey McKay 19.

Tuesday, 25 May

Men’s stableford: A grade – James Cervi 41, Gary Wood 40, Allan Harris 39, David Alsop 38; B grade – Ray Bostelman 36c/b, Shane Dunn 36c/b, Kevin Krogh 36c/b, John Osmaston 36; C grade – Dirk Derek 38, Chris Rowlinson 37, David Garner 36, Jim Lawrence 35c/b.

Wednesday, 26 May

Vets 4-man team stableford: Mike Norman, John Maree, Peter McDonald & Aldo Zuzza 85; Wayne Raison, Don Drysdale, David Whiticker & Martin Taylor 83c/b.

Thursday, 27 May

Women’s stableford: A grade – Fiona Watson 35, Sandra Callaghan 34, Trish Berg 33c/b; B grade – Kathleen Anschau 38, Judy Patterson 34, Christine Dowling 33c/b; C grade – Melissa Cowie 34c/b, Trish Eldridge 34, Lindy Owen 33.

Saturday, 29 May

Men’s stableford: A grade – Miles Richardson 39, Alan Burton 38c/b, Alan Holley 38c/b; B grade – Gary Elliott 40, Derek Pousette 39, Sam Harrington 38; C grade – Lee Clayton 40c/b, Rob Bruce 40, Gregory Hinson 39. Women’s stableford: Janine Freestall 34, Cindy Lawson 23, Arlene Penlington 23.


Monday, 24 May

Men’s stableford: Doug Oates 36, Robert Hobson 35, Ian Griffiths 33c/b; women’s: Lorna Gibson 37, Debbie Collinge 36c/b, Dianne Hudson 36c/b.

Tuesday, 25 May

Men’s stableford: Tony Carabetta 33, Phil Fortington 31, Martin Scollon 30; women’s: Persephone Lobb 36, Margot McKellar 34, Helen MacKenzie 31.

Wednesday, 26 May

Men’s stableford: Simon Cotton 37c/b, Paul Liddy 37, John Betar 36c/b.

Thursday, 27 May

Men’s stableford: Tony Carabetta 34, Robert Dutton 33, John Taylor 33.

Saturday, 29 May

Men’s stableford: James Hordern 38, Will Costin 37c/b, Kerry Sunderland 37.


Monday, 24 May

Vets Host Day stableford: A grade – Terry McCulloch 41, Terry Lyons 39, Peter Crosby 36; B grade – Joe Daniels 39c/b, Wayne Carty 39, Darryl Ayers 38.

Tuesday, 25 May

Women’s stableford, 9 holes: Juanita Langford 18c/b, Beatrice Bruin 18.

Wednesday, 26 May

Vets stableford: A grade – Mike Kent 39, Michael Todd 38c/b, Tony Hayes 38; B grade – Dave Lyons 39, Darryl Ayers 36c/b, Andrew Dick 36; C grade – John McNamara 38, Paul O’Hare 37c/b, Gary Webster 37.

Thursday, 27 May

Women’s American Foursomes: T. Cairns & E Hunt 65c/b, K. Sawrey & C. Clark 65.

Saturday, 29 May

Men’s par: Div 1 – G. Leatherbarrow +2c/b, J. Kennedy +2; Div 2 – P. Jeucken +5, J. Martin +4’ Div 3 – J. Ruig +1, C. Gannon sq; women’s par: T. Thomas +2c/b, T. Cairns +2.