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Castle Hill make it 3 in a row.

The finalists of the North and South Zone in Super Senior Pennant, Forster Tuncurry and Castle Hill, met at Pacific Dunes Golf Club on Monday 16th October to determine the Champion Club for the 2023 year. Initially 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 earlier in 2020 at The Lakes where conditions at Pacific Dunes would turn out to be identical to those experienced some 3 years ago.

After 5 holes Forster Tuncurry had opened up a 5/3 lead with Paul Matthews playing strongly. The numbers 1 and 2 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 2 up

On reaching the 9th Castle Hill led 4/3 with one match square. With the exception of the number 4 and 7 players things were becoming very tight. Ben Henry from Forster Tuncurry had increased is lead to 4 up while Paul Matthews opponent ,Bob White, still had some work to do. Castle Hill ahead 4/3 with 1 match square.

By the 12th hole scores were starting to swing Forster Tuncurry ‘s way with their top 3 players drawing level with their opponents. Forster Tuncurry leading 3/2 with 3 matches square. The south westerly wind that was predicted was starting to bare its teeth with some extremely strong gusts which 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 a big swing had eventuated with Castle Hill staging a big fight back. Bob White was fighting hard against the lead his opponent had built earlier. 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 while Greg Ellis from Forster Tuncurry proving too strong for his opponent Mark Foley ending up winning 4/3.After the 14th Castle Hill were ahead 5/2 with 1 match square.

The 7 and 8 players for both teams were all square walking up the 18th. Trevor Amery, 4 down after 9 eventually lost to his opponent 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 3 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, with Drew Simonsen having had an earlier 4/2 win over Tony Jay. After a great battle Paul Matthews defeated Bob White on the 18th, after Bob was 4 down after 9. Lindsay Verdon proved too strong winning 1 up. The Pennant was now in the hands of the 2 Number 1’s 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 6. To square the match and to enforce the McPherson rule, where the scores of each team are added to decide the winner, Tony knocked in his putt to square the match after a great tussle over 18 holes.

The final result meaning Castle Hill were the champion Club for 2023, 4.5 matches to 3.5 matches. The Mc Pherson rule was not employed after adding add the scores Castle Hill had 10.5 points to Forster Tuncurry’s 6.5.

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.

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