Nudgee Golf Club and Yarrawonga-Mulwala Golf Club have both overcome slow starts to complete wire-to-wire wins at The Scramble Championship Final at Sanctuary Cove.
Both Nudgee (Women’s Scramble) and Yarrawonga (Mixed Scramble) began the third and final rounds at The Palms Golf Course at Sanctuary Cove Golf and Country Club with slightly more than a five-shot advantage.
It would prove to be a crucial buffer as contenders threw down the gauntlet throughout the front nine.
Led by 2016 champion with Balaklava Golf Club, PGA Professional Chris Duke, the Nudgee women’s team of Lisa-Maree Jones, Lara Forster, Wendy Edmiston and Brooke O’Keeffe saw their overnight lead eaten away as both Mosman Park Golf Club and Lucindale Country Club made their charge.
After kicking off their final round with ‘Red’ by Taylor Swift, the team switched the playlist mid-round to AC/DC.
It helped to ignite a charge around the turn that saw them return a score of 61 for nett 55.3 and a total of 48.1-under par for the three days and a three-shot win. With a nett score of 53 in Round 3, Lucindale claimed second spot at 45-under par with Mosman Park third at 41.4-under.
With just two birdies in their first eight holes, the Nudgee team needed a spark as they moved into the back nine.
They got a boost with a birdie for a nett eagle on nine and then made eagle when Brooke chipped in from 40 metres out at the par-5 10th.
“There was a bit of indecision about clubs and the like,” Chris said of their third shot on 10.
“Brooke stepped up and said she would go first and proceeded to chip it straight in.
“Never looked like missing as soon as it left the clubface.”
“I used a sand wedge and thought that there was a little ridge behind the hole so I could be aggressive because if it went long it was going to roll back,” said Brooke.
“Checked perfectly, released and straight in the centre of the cup. Best shot all day.”
Yarrawonga, too, answered the challenge laid down by Ulverstone Golf Club and Kooindah Waters Golf Club with a timely eagle on 10.
With four holes to play, the team of PGA Associate Dale Crothers, Fletcher Kelly, Jason Hanson and Scott and Lachie Thom trailed Koondah Waters by 1.8 shots. They then made birdie for a nett eagle on the par-4 15th and converted Dale’s tee shot to 10 feet for birdie at the par-3 16th.
With three nett eagles and a nett birdie in their final five holes, Ulverstone set the mark in the clubhouse at 59.7-under par.
Although he didn’t tell his team-mates, Dale knew that their lead was just 0.3 of a shot standing on the 18th tee but the leading team all week completed their victory in style, making birdie for a nett eagle and a total for the three days of 62-under par for a win by 2.3 shots.
Dale is a two-time Victoria/Tasmania PGA Associate champion but said that there was something special about winning in a team of boys spread along the Murray River.
“Jason has been into me all week about that, he thinks this is the biggest win of my career now,” said Dale.
“Definitely the most fun. Sanctuary Cove has put on a really good show for us so pretty happy to come out of it with a win with the guys.”
In the Women’s Consolation Final, Rossdale Golf Club’s nett score of 56.8 saw them pip defending champions Launceston by just 0.3 of a shot with Muirfield Golf Club third with a score of 57.9.
In The Scramble Consolation Final, Portsea Golf Club’s nett score of 51.6 saw them finish a shot clear of Townsville Golf Club (52.7) with Geelong Golf Club (53.2) snatching third from Meadowbrook Golf Club by just 0.1 of a shot.