12 Dec 2022 | Amateur golf |

Tassie duo off to sample Royal Liverpool in Play 9 final

by Martin Blake

Play 9 image
National winners Erin Delpizzo and David Baker celebrate at Kingston Heath.

Two Tasmanian golfers are beginning their preparations for the golfing trip of a lifetime having won the national Play 9 final.

Hairdresser and mother-of-two Erin Delpizzo from Ulverstone Golf Club and teaching assistant David Baker from Wynyard Golf Club, just 40 minutes apart, graduated from the national final at Kingston Heath in the week of the ISPS HANDA Australian Open.

As a result, they will be Australia’s representatives at the International Play 9 final, to take part at Royal Liverpool the week before next year’s Open Championship at the same venue.

They will also receive tickets to the Open Championship.

“It’s amazing,” said Delpizzo, a 27-handicapper. “It all started with my husband (Danny) saying to me, ‘do you want a crack at that?’ And I said: ‘What is it?’

“I’m a hairdresser and I had a couple of cancellations, so I went down to the club, we paid our entry, and I had one of the worst rounds of my life! Then the second time we played, I had 17 points and got through to the State final.

“That was up in Launceston, and I thought that’d be nice to just go and check out the course. So I had 17 points there.

“My husband’s a better golfer than me, so it’s all been worth it just for the banter! If he says anything to me about my golf, I’d say ‘Well I’m in a national final’!”

At Kingston Heath, she won the national final for women with 18 points.

Delpizzo works full-time and the nine-hole format on a Thursday night suits her perfectly. “It’s not always easy to find the time, which is where the nine holes is great,” she said. “It’s educating people that they don’t need to be intimidated. That’s why we have a handicap, right? They think that they can’t do it, but I’ll say ‘yes you can’!’’

Baker won the national men’s final with 21 points, helping Tasmania to victory in the teams event.

An 11-handicapper at Wynyard, he was shocked as anyone to win the prize.

“There was a poster on the wall at the club, and then this email came (from Golf Australia),” he said. “I thought: ‘Might as well have a crack’!’’

Baker loved the vistas of Kingston Heath where he had four three-putts and four one-putts on the day. “It’s great that anybody of any standard can play that event,” he said. “We’ve all got a handicap and we can all win. Someone said to me, ‘I didn’t realise you were that good a golfer’. And I said: ‘Well, I’m not’!”

The Play 9 national competition is supported by the R&A.


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