White tees help Alec to a great score

Alec Graham back to his best form.

By Peter Owen

THOUGH he’s lived in Australia for 50 years, Alec Graham still speaks with the broad Scottish accent of a true Highlander, so much so that you need to concentrate on the context to truly comprehend the words.

When the discussion is about golf, however – more precisely about scoring 46 stableford points in a single round – it’s not hard to understand phrases like ‘chipped and putted well’, ‘kept the ball in play’ and ‘had a day out’.

Alec, a former boiler maker turned salesman who lived in Cairns before moving to Brisbane and ultimately relocating to the Sunshine Coast, has been a Noosa Golf Club member for more than 20 years.

When you speak to a Scot, you almost automatically conclude three things – they like a drink, they’re a good bloke, and they know how to play golf.

Alec didn’t discuss his drinking habits with me, or the number of mates he has, but his efforts in last week’s veterans competition is evidence enough of his golfing ability.

Playing on a course still recovering from the unseasonal drenching, Alec shot three over par. Playing off a handicap of 13 that equated to a remarkable 46 points and a runaway win in the day’s A grade competition.

“I was helped because we were playing off the front trees,” Alec explained. At the age of 72, he doesn’t hit the ball as far as he used to do.

“Off the front tees I can reach most of the par fours in two and I’ve always been good at chipping and putting,” he said. “When you’re closer to the green it’s easier to chip and putt.

“But 46 points! That’s unbelievable – I’ve never done anything like that before.”

After moving south from Cairns, Alec lived for a few years in Brisbane, where he was a member of McLeod Golf Club.

Then, after moving to the Sunshine Coast, he joined Beerwah before buying property near Lake McDonald, where his wife Belinda was able to keep horses and he was able to practice his golf game.

Alec joined Noosa, where all that practice paid off and he was able to get his handicap down to five.

He’s always been a regular player in the popular Tuesday Club competition and, for several years, was the club president.

“The Tuesday Club’s been a remarkable success,” Alec said. “The fields are always full and it’s been a great money spinner for Noosa. It’s always a good day.”

Alec usually plays three days a week – Tuesdays, of course, with the vets on Wednesday, and in the Saturday competition.

As for the rest of the time, he says he just looks after his wife and tries to make her happy. And, in the background, Belinda chuckles to herself.

Coco makes state team

COCO Moore, perhaps the most improved golfer at Noosa Springs, has been selected for the Queensland secondary schools girls’ team after an impressive showing in the state championships at Townsville.

Coco was placed third in the 10-12 age group, shooting 47 for nine holes on opening day, followed by an impressive 79 over 18 holes. She shot 94 on a much tougher course the next day, and finished her tournament with a nine-hole score of 49.

The four best-performed girls earned selection in the state team.

Coco’s Sunshine Coast team, which included Peregian’s Elliana MacRae who finished second, won the state championship for their division.

The championships were held at Townville Golf Club and nearby Rowes Bay.

Noosa leads both junior pennant ladders

NOOSA maintained its lead at the top of Division 1 of the junior pennant competition after drawing 2-2 with Maroochy River 2 at Gympie on Sunday.

Noosa’s No 1 player Shane Dunning scored a stunning 3&2 win over highly rated Ionna Muir, while Nate Jackson beat Lilly Surassen 3&2. Eli Cookman and Max Rogers dropped their matches, but the single point for a draw was enough to keep Noosa on top of the standings.

In the other Division 1 clash, Noosa Springs drew 2-2 with Maroochy River 1.

Sunday Moore and her sister Coco continued their unbeaten pennant runs with Sunday taking down Maroochy River’s scratch marker Alex Procopis 1up, and Coco scoring a comfortable 5&4 win over Ellandi Findlay.

In Division 2, Noosa Springs drew 2-2 with Maroochy River 3, following wins by James McCulloch and Angus Thomson, while Noosa beat Headland 2.5 to 1.5. Noosa’s Cooper Liddell and Amy Coates scored easy wins.

Noosa, unbeaten after two rounds, sits atop the standings in Division 2.

Martin ready for Q School challenge

ROOKIE Noosa professional Ryley Martin will take a step towards securing his future as a touring pro when he plays in the first stage of Q-School qualifying at Victoria’s Moonah Links course at the end of the month.

Martin, who plays and practices at Noosa Springs, was one of the first to enter this year’s Q-School, which will be played over 54 holes from Wednesday, June 29 to Friday, July 1.

The leading players in that event – the exact number won’t be known until the full field is determined – will qualify for the final stage of qualifying.

That will take the form of a 72-hole tournament, also played at Moonah Links, from July 5 to July 8.

The top 15 after that event will gain a card to play on the PGA Tour of Australasia, while the next 15 will also join the tour, but will not hold an exemption category and will find it harder to gain a start in the top events.

It is a long, arduous task for young golfers, but the rewards can be significant.

Martin qualified his way onto a number of PGA Tour events at the end of the current season. Although he made the 36-hole cut only once, he showed he has the game to compete with the best.

Also entering the first stage of Q-School qualifying are young Sunshine Coast pro Chris Crabtree and Pelican Waters amateur Justin Morley.

Burns in form for return to Legends Tour

VETERAN Yandina pro Brad Burns, keeping his eye in while the Legends Tour takes a mid-year recess, shot consecutive rounds of 70 for a four-under-par total of 140 in the Moranbah Pro-Am, which was played at the weekend.

Burns’ consistent performance was good enough for seventh place in the event – the first on the Queensland Mining Towns swing of the Pro-Am Tour.

The Legends Tour, on which Burns has been one of the dominant players in recent years, returns in next week, with the Fiji Legends Golf Classic scheduled to be played from June 14 to 16.

Club competitions


Tuesday, 31 May

Men’s stableford: A grade – Bruce Blakemore 40, Justin Morgan 38, Tim Butterworth 36, Gav Hunt 35c/b; B grade – Neil Bickley 40, Geoff Cohen 37, Philip Richardson 35c/b, Robert Tasker 35c/b; C grade – Glenn Heath 37, Dan Harmer 36c/b, Alfie Bartlett 36c/b, John Brough 36.

Wednesday, 1 June

Vets stableford: A grade – Alec Graham 46, Gary Ward 40, Ted Clark 37; B grade – Steve Little 39, Murray Joseph 35, Jim Schofield 34c/b; C grade – Martin Taylor 39, Jeff Scougall 37, Barry Tobin 36c/b.

Saturday, 4 June

Men’s stroke: A grade – Rodney Vaughan 67, Warick Redwood 68c/b, Aaron Carter 68c/b; B grade – Michael Norman 70c/b, Alan Burton 70c/b, John Henshall 70c/b; C grade – Shaun O’Brien 68, Bryan Saggers 69, Anthony Broad 70; women’s: Paula Jeffrey 72, Rosemary Caffyn 79c/b, Peta Mancktelow 79.


Tuesday, 31 May

Men’s stableford: Nathan Howie 38, Josh Constable 35, Alex Wyer 33.

Wednesday, 1 June

Men’s stableford: John Glennon 38, Michael Cawsey 37, John Reid 36; women’s: A grade – Tracey Carter 36, Jennifer Aitken 33, Annette Philp 32; B grade – Deborah Bennetts 31, Barbara Sweeney 30c/b, Vicki Pearse 30.

Thursday, 2 June

Men’s stableford, black tees: Bob Hunt 40, Dylan Hayes 31, Andrew Aitken 26.

Saturday, 4 June

Men’s stableford: A grade – Richard Tasso 73, John Betar 74, William Hanton 75; B grade – Craig Scott 69, Brian Mead 74, Michael Cawsey 75c/b; women’s: A grade – Tereza Holley 74c/b, Elise Fisher 74c/b, Meredith Bunn 74; B grade – Marlo Douglass 79, Barbara Stott 82, Barbara Sweeney 83.

Sunday, 5 June

Men’s stableford: A grade – Simon Hennessey 39, Drew McMenamin 36; B grade – Ray Brown 39, Raymond Orloff 33; women’s: Dana Angus 33.


Wednesday, 1 June

Vets stroke: A grade – Greg Flanagan 69, Geoff Pembroke 71, Grathan Leatherbarrow 71; B grade – Michael Lunney 75, Garry Stephens 76, Dave Lyons 77; C grade – Alex Kologaras 73, Andrew Aves 74, Jim Henderson 74.

Thursday, 2 June

Women’s stroke: Jenny Tucker 72, Tina Thomas, 75, Juliet Hall 76.

Saturday, 4 June

Men’s stroke: Div 1 – Greg Michael 70, Noel Ackland 72c/b, George Giblett 72; Div 2 – Jason Bahr 71c/b, Derek Wood 71c/b, Terry Lyons 71c/b; Div 3 – Jeff Matheson 70, Geoff Cowan 73, Peter Palmer 76c/b. Women’s stroke: Tina Thomas 74, Carole Clancy 75c/b, Wendy O’Hare 75.