Lucky Ben wins the comp, and the girl

Ben and Laura – engagement caps off a great week.

By Peter Owen

When Ben Kearney tallied 18 points in a stableford competition at Noosa Springs last month, finishing last in the field, he wasn’t too concerned. He’d done the same thing a few months earlier, then came out and scored 42 points in his very next round.

“A mate ribbed me about my poor score,” Ben said. “I told him to watch out – I’d follow it up with 40 points.”

He did better than that. Last week, playing off a handicap of 11, Ben scored 43 points to win the Wednesday competition. His round included four birdies, and Ben was delighted with his performance.

It wasn’t the highlight of his week, though. Ben, 32, became engaged last week to his fiancé Laura, and the pair hurriedly left for a few days in Adelaide to celebrate with family and friends.

The couple, who have been together for more than 12 years and work together in social media, relocated from Adelaide last year, seeking a warmer climate.

“We were planning to go overseas last year but Covid put a stop to that,” said Ben. “We were keen to leave Adelaide, though, and decided to move to Noosa. It was the best decision we could have made.”

Ben has been a golfer for eight years, honing his game at The Vines Golf Club of Reynella in Adelaide’s wine-growing region. He says he loves playing at Noosa Springs and especially enjoys the social atmosphere of the resort.

Noosa falls short in district final

It took a star-studded Pelican Waters team on Sunday to deny Noosa the title of best-performed club in the district.

For the first time, the winners of the Sunshine Coast zone pennant titles clashed with the best of the Glasshouse zone golfers in a district championship decided at Beerwah.

Pelican Waters, fielding some of the best amateur golfers in the state, beat a gallant Noosa team 5-2 in A grade, with Noosa’s Ryan Mulder scoring a 6&4 win over his young opponent James Riseley.

Toby Harding and George Giblett – first and second in last year’s Noosa club championship – squared their matches with highly-rated Justin Morley and Chris Crabtree.

In the Masters district final, Noosa Springs went down 4-3 to Wantima, the Noosa Springs winners being Michael Mason, Andrew Horner and John Gavin.

Late starter, but Andy’s found his niche

When Andy Stewart finally gave up playing Australian Rules football at 45, he looked for another sport to fill in the weekends.

He found golf. And, at an age when many players are considering giving it up and slowing down, he joined Cooroy Golf Club and went about mastering the game.

He did pretty well and now, at the age of 59, he finds himself leading after the first round of the Cooroy Vets Club Championship.

Andy, who played for AFL clubs Noosa and Pomona, shot 74 last week to lead by two strokes from Bob Noble, with John Berringer and Grathan Leatherbarrow tied on 78.

The six-handicapper reckons he’s got a big enough lead to claim the title. “It’s only 36 holes,” he said. “And Cooroy’s a pretty tough track.”

Australian PGA becomes Covid victim

The Australian PGA Championship, scheduled for December 2-5 at Royal Queensland, has been rescheduled for January 13-16 because of public health concerns and uncertainty surrounding quarantine arrangements for visiting golfers.

The Australian Open, planned for late November at Sydney’s The Australian, has also been postponed. It will now be played in late January or early February.

Neither of the events – the two major tournaments on the PGA Tour of Australasia – were played last year because of the pandemic.

The Australian PGA was played at the Hyatt Regency Coolum for a decade from 2002, then at the renamed Palmer Coolum Resort in 2012, before moving to Royal Pines Resort on the Gold Coast in 2013.

It was scheduled for Royal Queensland last year to celebrate the club’s centenary.

Tooman shows better form in NQ

Former Noosa club champion Simon Tooman improved sharply to shoot two-under-par 72 in the second round of the Rowes Bay Legends Pro-Am in North Queensland last week to finish just outside the top 10.

His two rounds of 78 and72 placed him nine strokes behind winner, Chris Taylor of Hervey Bay.

Consistent Brad Burns of Yandina Creek was second, after rounds of 73 and 71.

Gil’s in the running for a holiday

Gil Hoskins, a former director of the Hawthorn Football Club and one of the busiest golfers at Noosa Springs, put in an early claim for monthly honours when he tallied 38 points to win this week’s Sunday Series stableford competition.

Gil, who rarely misses a chance to compete, pipped Murray Hopping on a countback to win the Joe Langley Real Estate-sponsored event.

If the 16-handicapper’s score turns out to be the best recorded during Sunday Series play in September he’ll go into the final in December and compete for a holiday at Noosa Springs.

The weekly event is open for Noosa Springs members and visitors. Sunshine Coast locals get to play for the special green fee of $79, which includes an electric cart.

Club competitions


Monday 30 August

Women’s stableford: A grade – Sandra Fortington 35c/b, Paula Jeffrey 35; B grade – Jill Hill 35, Pauline Sunderland 34c/b; women’s 9 holes: Lynne Hancock 21.

Tuesday 31 August

Men’s stableford: A grade – Karl Gottschalk 42, Anthony Zipf 41, Craig Strudwick 40c/b, Cody Pyne 40c/b; B grade – James McKean 41c/b, Dave Whitehead 41, John Henshall 40, Mark Ostwald 38c/b; Chris Rowlinson 40c/b, Jim Crawford 40, Clive Hart 38c/b, Andrew Aitken 38c/b.

Wednesday 1 September

Vets stableford: A grade – Anthony Ryan 40, Pete Blair 37, Alan Meredith 36c/b; B grade – Tony Jackson 40, Rodney Gillard 37c/b, Graeme Caffyn 37c/b; C grade – John Kingston 42, Neal Moloney 38c/b, Edwin Forth 38.

Thursday 2 September

Women’s stableford: A grade – Cynthia Duco 36c/b, Fiona Watson 36, Judy Patterson 35c/b; B grade – Sandy Hyde 41, Michelle Linklater 38, Barb Forder 37c/b; C grade – Rosanne Chisholm 39, Margaret Schofield 38, Trisha Dunn 36.

Saturday 4 September

Men’s stroke: A grade – Aaron Carter 69c/b, Michael Newman 69, Michael Cookman 70; B grade – Dave Butler 67c/b, Brad Edwards 67, Michael Cantori 69; C grade – Geoffrey Smith 68c/b, Anthony Broad 68, Greg Smith 69. Women’s stroke: Kathleen Anschau 75, Rungratree Cox 76, Allana Moore 77c/b.


Monday 30 August

Men’s stableford: David Gibson 42, Brian O’Keefe 40, Graeme Maddern 38.

Tuesday 31 August

Men’s stableford: Robert Dutton 41, Steve Troon 39, Phillip Fortington 38. Women’s: Judy Buss 35, Tereza Holley 33, Margaret Walker 32.

Wednesday1 September

Men’s stableford: Ben Kearney 43, Donald Gregor 41, Dick Whittington 39. Women’s: Toni Liddy 39, Elizabeth Balmforth 37c/b, Sandie Tregaskis 37c/b.

Thursday 2 September

Men’s stableford: Tony Carabetta 32, Alex Hackett 31, Robert Dutton 30.

Saturday 4 September

Men’s stroke: Will Costin 70c/b, Jim Williams 70, Ian Griffiths 71. Women’s: Tereza Holley 71, Tracey Carter 72, Kerry McFarland 74c/b.


Tuesday 31 August

Women’s stableford, 9 holes: Sandy Viney 24, Jenny Webster 19c/b.

Wednesday 1 September

Vets stroke: A grade – Bob Noble 66, Andy Stewart 68, Keith Harkins 70; B grade – Jim Lenske 67, Jim Gregg 70, Bruce Wilshire 71; C grade – Joe Daniels 68, Nick Kostalas 72, Jim Henderson 73c/b.

Saturday 4 September

Men’s stroke: Mark Kelly 67, P. Carroll 68; Div 2 – P. Korczynski 63, G. Menyweather 66; Div 3 – B. McLean 66, D. Davy 69. Women’s stroke: Sarah Brogden 68, Wendy O’Hare 69.