Scramblers go low at Sanctuary Cove – Championship Final Day 1 review - PGA of Australia

Scramblers go low at Sanctuary Cove – Championship Final Day 1 review

Ulverstone Golf Club posted a remarkable nett score of 47.8 to headline a bumper first round of The Scramble Championship Final at the picturesque Palms Course, Sanctuary Cove.

The team from Ulverstone in northern Tasmania – captained by Head PGA Professional Darren Spencer – fired 57 off the stick to catapult themselves into the lead of the Mixed draw in sunny conditions on Tuesday morning.

“It all just clicked for us today,” said Spencer who has played in The Scramble every year since its inception, but who is making his first appearance in a Mixed Championship Final. “There was no particular strategy, we all just got out there and had a heap of fun.”

Responsible for the day’s major highlight as well, the Ulverstone boys had an eagle on the par-4 third hole, as the team’s two highest handicappers combined for a moment to remember.

Avoiding water down the entire right side, they found the shortest way home to kickstart their charge up the leader board.

“Our 36-marker found the fairway and then our 34-handicapper put it in the hole from 80 meters,” laughed Spencer. “I couldn’t believe it but it was certainly a very special moment.

“We are all just here for a good time and suddenly we are at the top end of things, so hopefully we can go well again tomorrow.”

Playing the back nine in just 28 shots was enough for the Tasmanians to secure a lead of 1.9 strokes ahead of the team from Brisbane River Golf Club. Incidentally, the Queenslanders fired the day’s best gross round of 56, to enter the clubhouse at -20.3

It was a day for low scoring, as three of the Mixed teams finished at better than 20-under par after handicap adjustments, impressing Tournament Director, Broc Greenhalgh.

“It’s certainly some of the best scoring we’ve seen in the first round for a little while,” he said. “It’s not uncommon for teams to go low once they know the course, but the quality out there today was outstanding.”

On the Women’s side of the draw, Lucindale Golf Club were the best of the bunch; the South Australians posting an imposing 17.2-under par to lead by 0.7 of a shot ahead of Coffs Harbour.

Captained by Craig Davis, they were in control right the way round, shooting 31 on each nine to finish with 62 off the stick.

“It was just such a fantastic day out on the course in wonderful conditions,” said Davis who is based at Mt Gambier’s GolfnMore. “The team all played really well, we have gelled superbly and we are just loving being up here.

“It’s a privilege to be their Adopt-A-Pro this week. I get to Lucindale throughout the year for some coaching and club-fitting so to spend time with them out here is fantastic.

Davis has a deep connection to The Scramble, having played in his first more than fifteen years ago, before working plenty of Championship Finals during his time at Twin Waters. Now on the other side of it again, he recognises just how valuable it is to incorporate PGA Professionals into the event.

“I think it’s vital. It’s a different environment and important to engage with the people you work with every day in a more relaxed and casual basis,” he said. “It’s a great way to make friendships and develop a stronger connection.”

Tight at the top in the Women’s draw, Lakelands Country Club sit just 0.2 of a shot adrift after the first round. The Western Australians shot 59 off the stick to come in at 17-under. Set to be hotly contested for the remainder of the week, Coffs Harbour are only a further half shot back after an opening 16.5-under par.

The Scramble Championship Final continues tomorrow, as teams fight to make the cut. In the Mixed field, the top ten teams after tomorrow will play for glory on Thursday, with the top three in the Women’s draw set to battle it out on the final day.

For a full leader board, click HERE

For more information on The Scramble Final, click HERE

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