By Peter Owen
A day before the Noosa Legends Pro-Am last week Brisbane golfer Nigel Lane wasn’t even in the field – surprising, perhaps, because he was coming off a win in the previous Legends Tour event on Stradbroke Island.
“I am very fortunate as I only received a late entry the day before the event,” said Lane, who spends most of his time these days coaching golfers at his academy near Brisbane airport.
Even then, he was placed in the morning field, a time spot filled by professionals not really expected to contend.
But Lane defied all of that dubious logic.
He shot two-under-par 70 in warm, humid conditions on a course that had been drenched by recent heavy rain, and led the morning wave of players.
A lack of breeze added to the discomfit of the 61 professionals in the field, and the tricky nature of the layout largely kept scoring in check.
Though several players challenged in the late afternoon, nobody could better Lane’s 70.
Two legends of the over-50s game – Yandina Creek’s Brad Burns and current Legends Tour Order of Merit leader Andre Stolz – came closest, equalling Lane’s score.
Stolz, in particular, had his chance for victory.
“I was five-under through nine holes and double bogeyed the last,” said a disappointed Stolz.
Burns, a four-time Order of Merit winner, also faltered late with a bogey on the 18th hole.
“I enjoy playing here as the people are friendly and the course is always in great condition, even more so this year,” said Burns.
Stolz and Burns, coincidentally, were also joint winners last year, sharing the 2020 title with NSW visitor Peter Fowler.
It was the second time this year Lane had made a last-minute decision to contest a Legends Tour event with pleasing results. He was a late entry, and lucky to get a start, in the Bribie Island Legends Pro-Am in July, before going on to post a three-under 69 and share victory with three others.
Lane, Burns and Stolz, who each received about $2500 for their day’s work, finished a shot clear of evergreen Peter Senior and Sunshine Coast veterans Anthony Gilligan and Glenn Joyner.
Also on one-under was Simon Tooman, a Noosa Golf Club member who is a regular contender in Legends Tour events.
A shot further back was Noosa club professional Shane Healey, who rarely competes but, when he does, invariably plays well.
Last year he finished fourth in the Noosa Legends Pro-Am, and placed in the top 10 again this year.
Anthony Edwards, who spends most of his time behind the counter of the Noosa pro shop, also did well, shooting one-over 73, former head pro Mark Tickle posted six-over 78, and Andrea Egea, the Wolston Park head pro who spent several years in the Noosa pro shop, scored 80.
The Sunshine Coast swing of the Legends Tour ends on Friday with the 36-hole Sunshine Coast Masters at Twin Waters.
Victoria’s challenge ends
Former Peregian junior Victoria Fricot’s quest to gain entry to the Ladies European Tour came to an end on Sunday when she finished well back in the LET’s pre-qualifying school event at La Manga in Spain.
Victoria, who is an ambassador for Noosa Springs, shot rounds of 83, 77, 79 and 78 in the event won by Sweden’s Lisa Pettersson.
If you can’t beat ’em…
Sandie Tregaskis was sitting on a Sydney beach, watching over her two sons, as her husband Andrew played a weekend round of golf, when a troubling thought occurred to her.
Her kids would soon grow up and not require her supervision, and Andrew was unlikely to give up golf. How would she fill her spare time?
It was then that Sandie decided to share her husband’s passion. She signed up for golf lessons and joined Sydney’s Pennant Hills Golf Club.
“I hadn’t played at all before that,” Sandi said, “although I did come from a golfing family.”
She quickly found she had a knack for the game and became the club’s B grade champion, playing off a 17 handicap.
A decade or more ago Andrew and Sandie Tregaskis moved to the Sunshine Coast, initially living at Maroochydore, then at Peregian Springs, before moving to Noosa.
They joined Peregian, then transferred to Noosa Springs a few years ago when Peregian’s future looked doubtful.
It was at Noosa Springs last Tuesday that Sandie had one of her finest moments on a golf course.
Still rediscovering her game after a long, health-related break, Sandie scored 39 points to win the third and final leg of this year’s Ladies Open Day Series.
She prevailed over more than 100 competitors, declaring her victory to be ‘a great thrill.’
“I feel that my best is still ahead of me, and I’m very excited about the future,” she said.
Giblett turns in professional performance
BRILLIANT Noosa golfer George Giblett shot an astonishing seven-under-par 65 at Maroochy River on Monday to show the veteran professionals in the Legends Pro-Am how the game is played.
George, 20, the Noosa club champion, who played both days of the Maroochy River Legends Pro-Am as an amateur, posted 41 points – the best score of the day.
Starting on the 12th hole with a birdie two, he scored eight birdies and a single bogey – on the par four third hole – in his remarkable round. He was six-under for the back nine.
On Sunday, he posted a one-over 73 for 33 stableford points.
Had he been playing as a professional – and, of course, had been 30 years older – he’d have tied for first in the 36-hole pro-am, alongside Legends Tour Order of Merit leader Andre Stolz.
Stolz scored 71 and 67 to beat his great rival Brad Burns (72, 68) by two strokes. Sunshine Coaster Glenn Joyner (72, 69) was a stroke further back, as were Darren Rix (74, 67), Peter Senior (70, 71) and Chris Taylor (70, 71).
First steps for aspiring golfers
A budding champion or two may be taking their first steps towards fame by attending a series of golf camps that began this week at Noosa Springs.
The first of five weekly camps, under the supervision of teaching professional Greg Lynch, were held from 8.30am to 9.30am at Noosa Springs’ driving range.
Further camps, designed for kids aged eight to 14, will continue on the weeks beginning December 27, January 3, January 10 and January 17.
They cater for absolute beginners, through to more experienced junior golfers wanting to improve all aspects of their game.
The cost is $25 per day, or $110 for a five-day camp. Bookings should be made by calling Greg Lynch on 0425 228 796 or email email@example.com.
Noosa Springs is also hosting tennis camps, for kids aged five to 12, this week and for the weeks beginning January 3 and January 17. Glenn Irwin (0414 494 645) has the details.
Our juniors take on the best
Noosa youngsters Jaxon Smith and Nathan Jackson, and Noosa Springs’ Maddison Kelly are representing our region in the Greg Norman Junior Masters at the Palmer Gold Coast course this week.
They will compete with the cream of junior golf talent in south-east Queensland in a 72-hole tournament that ends on Thursday.
Monday, 6 December
Men’s stableford: Robert Flipp 36c/b, Greg Taylor 36, John Reid 35c/b; women’s: Carol Moloney 38, Robyn Buchanan 36, Suzy McGavin 35.
Tuesday, 7 December
Ladies Open Day, series 3, stableford: Sandie Tregaskis 39, Toni Liddy 38c/b, Debbie Love 38.
Wednesday, 8 December
Men’s stableford: John Glasby 41, Josh Constable 39, Ian Gow 38c/b.
Thursday, 9 December
Men’s stableford: Josh Constable 36, Emmerson Ovenden 30, Alan Holley 29.
Saturday, 11 December
Men’s stableford: Timothy Smith 40c/b, Greg Stott 40, Paul Grant 39; women’s: Rowena Faerch 36c/b, Noi Pike 36, Wendy Hopping 35.
Sunday, 12 December
Men’s Sunday Series, stableford: Steve Troon 38, Ryza Garbacz 37, William Sultmann 36c/b.