23 Nov 2022 | Amateur golf |

Australians setting sights on double success

by Contributor

Australian Sue Wooster takes a one-stroke lead into the final round of the women's individual competition at Kota Permai. Picture by Malaysian Golf Association.
Australian Sue Wooster takes a one-stroke lead into the final round of the women's individual competition at Kota Permai. Picture by Malaysian Golf Association.

By Spencer Robinson, APGC Media

Australia turned up the heat in the country’s bid for an historic double success at the 2022 Asia-Pacific Golf Confederation (APGC) Senior Amateur Championship.

While Ken Brewer and Greg Rhodes led Australia into a commanding position after the second round of the men’s event, Sue Wooster and Nadene Gole helped the women’s team overhaul first round pace-setters Japan.

As well as setting their sights on capturing a seventh men’s team title in the event which was launched in 2006, the Australian contingent is hoping also to be able to celebrate a victory in the inaugural women’s championship.

In steamy conditions in the Malaysian capital, Brewer and Rhodes both returned three-over-par 75s in the second round at Kota Permai Golf & Country Club.

With Ian Frost contributing a 78, Australia posted a day two total of 228. With the best three daily scores in each team counting, Mark Allen’s 83 was not required.

With a two-day team aggregate of 454, Australia heads into Thursday’s final round with a seemingly impregnable 14-shot lead from Singapore and Korea with India a further three strokes back in fourth.

However, the battle for the women’s team title is poised for a nail-biting climax.

Trailing Japan by three shots after the first round, the Australians soared ahead of their rivals thanks to solid performances from Wooster (76) and Gole (75). With only the two best daily scores counting, Jacqueline Morgan’s 81 was discarded.

The Japanese team were thankful to in-form Hiroko Oga for keeping them in contention.

On a day when neither of her team-mates – Tomoko Suzuki and Mayumi Tanaka – managed to break 80, Oga had the distinction of recording the best round of the day, a two-over-par 74.

With a two-day team total of 305, Japan is now three shots behind the Australians. Hosts Malaysia are a distant third on 335.

In the chase for individual honours among the women, Wooster holds a one-stroke advantage from Oga with first-round leader Suzuki a further shot back.

Teeing off on the back nine, Wooster was slow out of the blocks. Following a double-bogey six at 10, her opening hole, the Australian dropped further shots at 11, 13 and 15. From that point, though, she was a model of consistency, recording 11 pars and a birdie at the second to sign for a 76 – one worse than her her first-day effort.

After her first-round 70, Suzuki stumbled to an 83, including two triple-bogeys. But Oga found her range with an outward one-under 35, coming back in 39 as she continued the fine form that has seen her win two significant individual titles in her home country in the past month,

In the last week of October, the 52-year-old won the Japan Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship. She followed that up by capturing the Japan Women’s Senior Championship last week.

In the men’s individual competition, an exciting final round is in store with just four shots separating the leading seven players.

Sharing top spot on 150 are Brewer and New Zealand’s Michael Barltrop with Rhodes in third place on 151 and Singapore’s Jimmy Aw, runner-up at last week’s Singapore Open Senior Championship, fourth on 152.

Also in contention are Frost and Indian Ajai Singh Sirohi (153) and New Zealander Malcolm Gullery (154).

Suffering with a hand injury, Korean Kim Yang-kwon, joint first-round leader with Barltrop, struggled to an 84.

MEN'S TEAM SCORES

454 – Australia 226-228 (Ken Brewer 75-75; Greg Rhodes 76-75; Ian Frost 75-78; Mark Allen 79-83) 468 – Korea 236-232 (Kim Yang-kwon 74-84; Jang Heong-seo 78-78, Lim Nae-rack 84-76; Hwan Chung 85-78); Singapore 234-234 (Jimmy Aw 75-77; Tim Pinnegar 78-83; Lai Chee Weng 81-76; Andrew Ng 82-90)471 – India 236-235 (Ajai Singh Sirohi 78-75, David D’Souza 78-81, Dilip Sharma 80-86; Lokendra Malik 83-81) 473 – Hong Kong 235-238 (Syren Johnstone 76-92; Doug Williams 78-80; John Ball 83-76; Tony Taylor 81-82) 476 – New Zealand 239-237 (Michael Barltrop 74-76; Malcolm Gullery 79-75, William Houng-Lee 86-86)

WOMEN'S TEAM SCORES

302 – Australia 151-151 (Sue Wooster 75-76; Nadene Gole 84-75; Jacqueline Morgan 76-81) 151-151 305 – Japan 148-157 (Hiroko Oga 78-74; Tomoko Suzuki 70-83; Mayumi Tanaka 80-86) 335 – Malaysia 164-171 (Lam Kui Moi 78-80, Ireen Teng 86-92; Doris Yee 88-91) 342 – Hong Kong 174-168 (Felicia Louey 84-81, Yvonne Wong 90-90; Cathy Chung 96-87)

LEADING MEN'S INDIVIDUAL SCORES

150 – Ken Brewer (Australia) 75-75; Michael Barltrop (New Zealand) 74-76 151 – Greg Rhodes (Australia) 76-75 152 – Jimmy Aw (Singapore) 75-77 153 – Ajai Singh Sirohi (India) 78-75; Ian Frost (Australia) 75-78 154 – Malcolm Gullery (New Zealand) 79-75 156 – Jang Heong-see (Korea) 78-78 157 – Lai Chee Weng (Singapore) 81-76; Sazaly Hassan (Malaysia) 79-78; David D’Souza (India) 78-79 158 – Mitchell Steel (Scotland) 78-80; Doug Williams (Hong Kong) 78-80; Kim Yang-kwon (Korea) 74-84 159 – John Ball (Hong Kong) 83-76 160 – Lim Nae-rack (Korea) 84-76; HJ Soldin Sidol (Malaysia) 80-80 161 – Tim Pinnegar (Singapore) 78-83; Stewart Lee Beck (Malaysia) 78-83

LEADING WOMEN'S INDIVIDUAL SCORES

151 – Sue Wooster (Australia) 75-76 152 – Hiroko Oga (Japan) 78-74 153 – Tomoko Suzuki (Japan) 70-83 157 – Jacqueline Morgan (Australia) 76-81 158 – Lam Kui Moi (Malaysia) 78-80 159 – Nadene Gole (Australia) 84-75 165 – Felicia Louey (Hong Kong) 84-81 166 – Mayumi Tanaka (Japan) 80-86

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