The finalists of the North and South Zone in Super Senior Pennant, Forster Tuncurry and Castle Hill, met at Pacific Dunes Golf Club to determine the Champion Club for 2023.
The weather was perfect as was the Golf course with slick greens and well manicured fairways- a tribute to the Superintendent and his staff. These two teams had met before in 2020 – at The Lakes – where and conditions at Pacific Dunes would turn out to be identical to those experienced some three years ago.
After five holes Forster Tuncurry had opened up a 5/3 lead with Paul Matthews playing strongly. The numbers one and two for Castle Hill, Gerry Power and Drew Simonsen were ahead 1 up at this stage, with the Castle Hill Captain Ian Cochrane leading his opponent two-up
On reaching the 9th Castle Hill led 4/3 with one match square. With the exception of the number Four and seven matches things were becoming very tight. Ben Henry from Forster Tuncurry had increased his lead to four holes while Paul Matthews opponent ,Bob White, still had some work to do.
By the 12th, scores were starting to swing Forster Tuncurry ‘s way with their top 3 players drawing level with their opponents. THe mid noth coast team leadi three to two with two matches square.
The south westerly wind that was predicted was starting to bare its teeth; some extremely strong gusts made shot making a real challenge.
The stage was now set for a close finish over the remaining 5 holes, some of the toughest on the course.
By the 14th, Castle Hill had bounced back.
Bob White was fighting hard, chiselling into lead his opponent had built. The top three for Castle Hill of Gerry Power, Drew Simonsen and Lindsay Verdon seemed to be managing the harsh conditions better than their opponents. Greg Ellis from Forster Tuncurry proved too strong for his opponent Mark Foley, winning 4/3.
The seven and eight players for both teams were all square walking up the 18th.
Trevor Amery, four down after nine eventually lost to Ben Henry 1 up, while Des Harvey just managed to edge out Gary Cush 1 up. Captain of the Castle Hill team Ian Cochrane proved too strong for Mike Bain, Ian winning 4/2.
At this stage it was left to the top three players to decide the fate of the Pennant. With one hole to play Castle Hill were ahead 3 matches to two with Gerry Power 1 up, Lindsay Verdon and Bob White all square. just moments earlier, Drew Simonsen had claimed a 4/2 win over Tony Jay.
After a great battle Paul Matthews finally defeated Bob White on the 18th, after Bob was 4 down after nine holes, while Lindsay Verdon prevailed in his match 1 up.
The Pennant was now in the hands of the two Number ones’, Tony Reed and Gerry Power.
Both hit the 18th for three with Tony having a 12 metre uphill putt for birdie, leaving it a metre from the hole. Gerry had a little downhill slider from about 5 metres leaving it some 1.5 meters short. Needing to sink his putt to win the match the ball looked in but at the last moment fell off to the right for a bogey six.
Tony knocked in his putt to square the match after a great tussle over 18 holes.
The final result saw Castle Hill crowned the champion Club for 2023, 4.5 to 3.5.
Entry Forms for the 2024 Pennant will open on February 1st and close on the 1st March. Our Championship day will be held on Monday 6th May at Stonecutters Ridge. Entries open on our website in early March 2024.