Interstate raiders have taken control of both the men’s and women’s divisions after the second round of the NSW Senior Championships at Tuncurry Golf Course.
Three-time Australian Women’s Amateur Champ Sue Wooster, at even par for the tournament, has a three-shot buffer over her nearest competitor, fellow Victorian Nadene Gole with NSW Golf Club’s Gemma Dooley another shot back in third.
In the men’s, the final round is shaping up as a battle between a pair of Queenslanders with Stephen Deane holding a one-shot lead over Lakeland’s Ian Frost, while the 2020 Senior Amateur champion, David Bagust of Port Macquarie, is two more shots adrift in third at three-over.
Playing in the cooler morning conditions, Dean was a model of consistency as many of his competitors struggled to come to grips with the rolling fairways and tricky greens.
The Brisbane Golf Club member, who described himself as a ‘bit of an underachiever’ in the sport, played mistake-free golf on his outward nine, mixing seven pars with a birdie and a bogey.
Deane continued the trend on the back nine, swapping a birdie and a bogey on the 12th & 13th, but then found his range with birdies on the 15th and 17th to eventually sign for a two-under-par 70.
“I just hung in there, holed a few tricky putts. I got lucky a couple of times and made no silly mistakes, which is probably the trick,” Dean grinned after his round.
Dean admitted a few nerves were flying around as he approached the clubhouse, but a clutch birdie on the penultimate hole helped settle the butterflies.
“I made a nice three on 17, which calmed me down. I hit a good drive, knocked it in the middle of the green, and then rolled in about a 20 foot putt. It was just nice.”
“I calmed me nerves, I get a bit nervy, and it gave me a nice walk down the 18th.”
Deane admitted his experience of final group pressure was a little bit limited, but he’d b out there to enjoy it regardless.
“This is a bit unfamiliar to me. I’ve had a few pennant wins, won a club championship at Brisbane, I just won the senior champs, too,” he added.
“I was in the final group in the Tassie seniors and played terrible, so this time I’ll just try and relax.”
In the Women’s Divison, it will be the three-time Australian Senior Champion, Sue Wooster, who they will all need to catch in tomorrow’s final round.
After starting the day with a one-shot lead, Wooster struggled to a three-over-par 75 but still managed to see her lead extended to three shots.
“It was a bit of grind today. I didn’t hit it quite as good as yesterday, and I probably didn’t putt as well, either,” Wooster quipped.
LEADERBOARDS – WOMEN
“A couple of three-putts on the back nine ended in two bogeys, which saw me finish two-over.
“Not enough birdies today,”
With a handy lead, but one which isn’t an impossible hurdle for her opponents to overcome, Wooster said going on to victory would be all about maintaining focus.
“My focus should be better tomorrow. And It will probably help getting the speed of the greens a little bit better,” she added.