26 Nov 2019 | Amateur golf |

Aussies runner-up in Asia-Pacific Am

by Martin Blake

Australian team
The Australian team at the Asia-Pacific Senior Amateur in Malaysia.

Australia was pipped by a rampant New Zealand in the Asia-Pacific Senior Men’s Amateur in Malaysia, despite great performances from the the players at Sungai Long Golf and Country Club outside Kuala Lumpur.

The Australians, led by Greg Rhodes, Ian Frost and Gordon Claney, were in front going into the last of three rounds but ultimately finished second behind the Kiwis.

It is an improvement of one spot on the third place achieved in 2018.

Frost, the triple order of merit champion and 2016 Asia-Pacific Amateur champion, had a hole in one during the second round.

New Zealand (even-par 872) won by just nine shots. The best four scores in the six-man teams counted toward the total, so it was remarkably close, with a 12-shot turnaround on the final day and Kiwis going first and second individually.

In the individual section, Victorians Rhodes and Frost tied-third at three-over par 219 for the 54 holes behind New Zealanders Stuart Duff (216) and Peter Brinsdon (217). Claney, who was equal-leader going into the final round, tied-sixth at 219 after closing with a 76.

“We were a couple in front going into the last day but the Kiwis overran us,” said Rhodes.

“We tried our best but 75s weren’t going to get it done. We needed to be having par.”

Rhodes said the Australians were disappointed with their final day; his own regrets included a triple bogey at the third hole where a “mental error’’ of going at the pin saw him find water. “We’ve had a pretty good record in this event, and we gave it our best. I know some of the boys were disappointed,” said Rhodes.

The other Australian team members were David McClelland who tied-17th in the individual, Peter Hannah (40th) and Brad Dowling (20th).

Port Macquarie’s David Bagust, the recent Australian senior champion, competed individually and also had a good week, finishing tied-ninth as well as Lester Peterson, who was tied-15th.

Australia last won the Asia-Pacific title in 2016.

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