16 Oct 2023 | Amateur golf |
Australia's best seniors to contest nationals
by Golf Australia
Australia’s best senior golfers will converge on Lake Karrinyup in Perth this week for the national championships, with Sue Wooster aiming for a record-setting fourth straight women’s championship, and James Lavender defending his men’s crown.
Wooster, from The National, won in 2018 and 2019 and again in 2022 when the tournament resumed after the Covid-19 pandemic intervened.
But she will face tough competition from Australia’s top-ranked senior, Nadene Gole, also from Victoria.
Gole was runner-up to Wooster at Launceston Golf Club last year and has had great results overseas in 2023, reaching the top eight at the US Senior Women’s Amateur and runner-up in the R&A British Senior Amateur. She has won state championships in Tasmania, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and Victoria this year.
Other contenders on the women’s side could include Gemma Dooley, winner of the NT Classic who is second behind Gole in the national order of merit, Louise Mullard who is inside the top three on the OOM, and Cath Slolz, a former professional golfer who has recently joined senior ranks and will be making her national senior amateur debut.
Lavender’s victory at Launceston last year for his first national senior championship was another chapter in a career that includes more than 20 club championships at his home club, Northern in Melbourne.
He has had an excellent 2023 including state championship wins in Tasmania and Queensland and he is looking to defy the odds by becoming the first person since Stefan Albinski in 2010 and 2011 to defend the national men’s title.
Among those expected to provide him with a tussle are Greg Rhodes, another Victorian who has won the championship twice previously (in 2017 and 2015), Ian Bradley, who is new to the senior ranks and the winner of the Victorian Senior Amateur last month at 13th Beach, the Queensland champion Graham Hourn and the consistent Mark Allen, runner-up to Lavender last year.
The 2023 event will be the second year of the joint format where Golf Australia is proud to be able to showcase men and women’s golf at the same time. The championships will comprise 54 holes of stroke play for both men and women, beginning on Wednesday and reaching its climax on Friday.
Widely acknowledged as Western Australia’s premier private golf club and set amongst a tranquil botanical haven for wildlife, Lake Karrinyup Country Club has a strong history of hosting championships.
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