By Peter Owen
Veteran Coast journo and golf tragic Peter Owen joins us with a regular roundup from the fairways.
LIAM Dawson, an outstanding 16-year-old golfer with the smoothest of swings, accepted his trophy for winning the Noosa Springs Junior Classic, then lamented what might have been.
Dawson, a one-handicapper from Caloundra, shot an excellent two-under par 70 to successfully defend the title he took at Noosa Springs last year.
But it could have been even better.
He shot out of the blocks like an Olympic sprinter, with birdies on four of the first five holes he played. After nine holes he had recorded five birdies, three pars and a solitary bogey for a four-under 32.
The young man’s focus slipped a little on the back nine, but he never looked like being caught in what was the first junior tournament staged on the Sunshine Coast since Covid-19 restrictions were imposed.
“There were just a few unexplained errors – particularly on the back nine – in what could have been a day to remember,” Liam said.
He won by four strokes from Mt Coolum’s Adam van Dorsselaer, with Daniel Cho, of Indooroopilly, a stroke away third.
In the girls’ division, Caitlin Vanderkruk, of Keperra, shot an excellent three-over par 75 to win by six strokes from Ionna Muir, of Maroochy River, and last year’s champion Dhiya Rampersad. Noosa Springs’ Jasmine Luna was the girls’ Division 1 net winner with 73.
The event was organised by the Invincibles Sunshine Coast Junior Golf Tour, whose president Graeme Miller said the course had been set up magnificently, and that everyone was made to feel welcome.
Spotlight on the ladies
BRONWYN Dean and Fay Layton returned outstanding scores of 39 stableford points to share the spoils in the first leg of the Ladies Golf Series at Noosa Springs. Chrissie Gray-Buchanan was a close third.
More than 100 women took part in the popular event which is usually conducted over three rounds. It was cut to two this year because of Covid-19.
As well as the thrill of competing in an 18-hole event, the ladies enjoyed a gourmet lunch, and are in the running to win the year’s major prize of a half day in the Noosa Springs Spa and four rounds of golf in an electric cart.
The second round of this year’s series will be held on Tuesday, December 15.
Andrew’s a master of the course
ANDREW Horner, who last year led Noosa Springs to a thrilling come-from-behind victory in the Masters pennant final at Twin Waters, showed he’s maintaining his great form by winning Saturday’s stableford competition at Noosa Springs.
Horner, who was his team’s No 1 player in that historic victory and scored the win on the third extra hole after Noosa Springs and Maroochy River had been tied on 3.5 wins after regulation play – scored 38 points on Saturday.
Playing off a handicap of seven, he beat John Gavin and Neil Cutting, who each returned 37 points. Rob Mowatt and Leon Jordan were another point further back.
In women’s competition, Dianne Kemp won with 39 points, a stroke ahead of Janet Young. Jill Wilson, Tracey Carter and Margaret Hart tied for third on 35 points.
Reduced green fees for locals
SUNSHINE Coast golfers can now play at Noosa Springs on Tuesday and Sunday at special reduced prices. The resort has extended its Locals Special of $79 for a round of golf in an electric car, previously available only on Sundays.
The offer is extended to golfers who live in Noosa, on the Sunshine Coast and in Gympie. Ring 5440 3325 for more information and to book.
Those who play on Sundays are welcome to compete in Noosa Springs’ Sunday Series for a chance to win weekly prizes, and compete for a year’s free golf at both Noosa Springs and Links Hope Island on the Gold Coast.
The male and female golfer with the best score each month will compete in a December final for the grand prize.
Like father, like son
FORMER Noosa junior Jesse Egea, who gave up golf for a few years to concentrate on rugby league, won his second straight trainee tournament when he shot par 66 in last week’s Jindalee Trainee Match event to share the victory with two other apprentice professionals. Jesse is now an assistant to his dad Andrew at Wolston Park. Andrew Egea was a popular teaching pro at Noosa Golf Club for several years.
Bowditch shows signs of form
STEVE Bowditch, arguably the best golfer to come out of Noosa, has struggled with injuries and poor form over the past few seasons as he’s battled to compete on the US PGA Tour. Now playing in the second tier Korn Ferry Tour, Bowditch found the going tough again this week when he missed the cut in the TPC San Antonio Challenge in Texas. But the two-time PGA Tour winner did show glimpses of his best form with a second round two under-par 70, which included four birdies and an eagle.
Robert Allenby, twice a winner of the Australian PGA when it was played at the Hyatt Coolum, also missed the cut with rounds of 71 and 75.