16 Dec 2020 | Amateur golf |
SA Senior Pennant Champions
BLACKWOOD BRIDESMAIDS NO MORE! At their 5th attempt in the final, Blackwood ended Tea Tree Gully’s 13-year winning streak in Division 1 of SA Senior Pennant. But it wasn’t easy – and no-one with any knowledge of the long term rivalry between these two clubs would have expected it to be. A number of other clubs have also made it to a final against Tea Tree Gully and all have failed at this last hurdle; generally being in the contest for the first nine until the class and depth of the champions would prevail. An inkling that this year might be different came when Blackwood beat Tea Tree Gully at Royal Adelaide in the minor round to finish on top but with Covid delaying the final until mid-December it was far from clear if finals would even go ahead. Tea Tree Gully were without the services of their number one player in John Davey all -season (out with injury) whilst Blackwood were in similar circumstances without Chis Claxton, who stabilised their lower order. Tea Tre Gully were, however, still strong and had depth, so pundits identified that for Blackwood to prevail, their top 3 had to win and find one win somewhere else in their order. This was the scenario that did eventuate but until after a titanic struggle. Craig Gordan established an early point for Tea Tree Gully and, in an indicator of what was to follow, Ken Brown beat Karri Heikkonen 1-up in a battle of the experienced campaigners. Andy Munn (1-up) got the first point for Blackwood before Mike Richards (1-up) grabbed another for the defending champions. Blackwood then made it 3-all with wins to Glen McGough and Nick Wake leaving Norm Cordina with a 2-up lead over Nigel Turner playing the par-3 16th. It was back to 1-up when Norm‘s effort to get up-and-down from the greenside bunker narrowly missed and back to square when Nigel took the 17th – yet another match being decided on the 18th!
Norm was in a greenside bunker in two and Nigel on the back of the green but facing a very slick downhill/down grain putt. Norm’s par attempt again just missed leaving Nigel with a 6-footer for the win which he started to celebrate half-way on its journey and history was made and Blackwood eventually had the big win they’ve chased for 14 years. It came down to a game of inches with, perhaps, neither player, or side, deserving to lose – a great contest. Mention must be made of the amazing efforts of Tea Tree Gully since the inception of Senior Pennant in SA – 14 years of competition and 14-finals – a great sporting achievement indeed. In Division 2, Glenelg defeated the semi-final giant-killers, South Lakes 6 & 1 and in Division 3, the strong Kooyonga side which only lost 1 game out of 49 for the season defeated Mt Osmond (6.5 to 0.5). Both these sides will now be promoted to their next respective Divisions. Thanks must go to West Lakes Golf Club for hosting the final; in a (Covid) curtailed presentation, the winners of the SA Senior Order of Merit were given their awards: • Senior Gross and Combined Nett – Steve Ross (South Lakes) – to win both with a low handicap shows both not only great play but also great consistency. • Super Senior Gross – Mike Richards (Tea Tree Gully) – a 3-peat for this highly credentialed player
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