By Casey O'Connor
No fewer than 72 years separated the oldest and youngest players in the play offs for the RSL Golf Champ and Medallist. The youngest Matthew Burgess aged just 15 and at the other end of the scales Keith Alien – those mathematically inclined can do the maths. To be eligible to play in the final qualifiers had to have won a monthly medal during the preceding 12 months.
After a year jockeying to get into the play-off, nobody really gave the eldest or the youngest much thought but it was the young pup that had the old dogs taking notice at the end of the round.
Of course the elder statesman, Keith Allen did little to help his cause when he found two trees on the first hole of play.
Throughout the play on the 18 blustery holes many rated themselves good chances with the bingo theory of eyes down and looking, slow back swing and full follow through – basics that most soon forgot.
Eric McLellan fancied he was a chance to win the prize but when he totted up his score card found he had fallen one shot behind Keith Jones who was we are told got to work on his acceptance speech. That was bound for the bin the minute Ken Hinze finished his round with a score of 67 and supremely confident that he would take the booty.
It was all a little premature as the entire field had to pay homage to the youngster in the field, Matthew His score was good enough to easily win the days competition. He went home with the RSL Bistro Voucher and the $100 prize for the coveted Champ of Champs trophy.
Ken Hinze’s 67 good enough to claim the runner’s up spot – he also picked up one of the pin prizes.
Other Pins were won by Keith Jones and Bob Watts.
Keith Jones also won the putting competition. Mike McAuliffe who is hopeless in the wind won the final NAGA which is fitting as he has generously sponsored this award all year.
The play off for the Ladies Medal of Medallists for 2018 was held on the same day and in a hotly contested event Kay Webb’s score of 69 (a great score in the conditions) was good enough to add another trophy to her collection.
The presentation of the Golfer of the Year followed at the RSL. David Burgess, father of Matt kept things the prizes in the family when he received the Tom Reeves Shield and a prize from the RSL Sub-Branch. Congratulations to the Burgess’ and thanks you to the RSL Sub-Branch and the RSL Services Club for their sponsorship.
Matthew’s win highlights the misconception that RSL Golf is for old retirees or old diggers. The competition is far from that and is open to all l golfers.
With only one junior in a field of 34 players, it begs the question – “where are they all?”
Perhaps as we settle in to school holidays it is time for a reminder that golf is available to juniors at $5 a game at any time except Saturdays and the club will even throw in free balls and a free pull buggy.