Championship finalists ready for tee off

He turned 40 on Tuesday and Setio Prajogo-Shanahan hopes Sunday will bring cause for a second celebration when he tees it up in the final of the club championship at Mount Gambier Golf Club.

Twice a runner-up, he will have his work cut out against three-time champion Hayden Schroder. But after beating six-time winner Anthony Williams 2up in extremely trying conditions last Saturday, Prajogo-Shanahan is hopeful his recent good form could bring a change of fortunes.

“If I bring my best on the day it will be a bonus, but I’m just glad to have another chance to get a result my way,” he said. “I’m coming in as the underdog but third time lucky would be nice.”

He needed his best to get past Williams and got off to a perfect start in the semi-final, going 1up after a birdie on the par-five 1st hole. A par was good enough to go 2up after the 2nd, but after the 3rd was halved in pars, the match quickly swung Williams’ way.

Riding a hot putter, he took the next three holes to hit the lead following birdies on the 5th and 6th. He extended the margin to 2up after the front nine, shooting 36 off the stick despite the near gale force winds.

The back nine started with three halved holes, but the momentum swung Prajogo-Shanahan’s way when he took the par-four 13th with a birdie. He also won the next three holes to go two up and the match was over after Williams was unable to win the 17th.

Meanwhile Schroder earned his place in the final with a comfortable 6 and 5 win against 2020 runner-up Hayden Cook. Schroder was quickly in control with wins on the first two holes, before Cook got one back on the third with a par.

That was the end of his challenge, however, Schroder setting up a win on the par four-4th hole with a superb 9-iron to two feet for a birdie. Another birdie on the 5th put him 3up and that blew out to 4up by the turn following halves on the 6th, 7th and 9th and a win on the par three 8th.

Schroder also won the 10th and 11th and halves on the 12th and 13th ended the contest early. “They were pretty challenging conditions so two over (par) through 13 was not bad,” he said. Four grade finals will also be decided on Sunday, with teenager Callum Harvey taking on Josh Knowles in A Reserve.

In B Grade Bryan Hunt will meet Brett Shepherdson, in C Grade Kev Lennon will clash with Matthew Bowering, while the D Grade final will feature 10-year-old Blake Schroder against Max Hellyer. While the semi-finals of the club championships were the focus of most attention on Saturday, 84 players battled the elements in the Monthly Medal.

It would be fair to say Mother Nature had the upper hand, with just two players able to beat their handicap. In the end it was Kooyonga Golf Club visitor Tyron Howard who took top honours, beating Winston Prowse on a countback after the pair finished with net 71s.

Howard, playing off a 38 handicap, had 52 off the stick on the front nine for a net 34 and 57 on the back for a net 37. That was just enough to edge out 26-handicapper Prowse who shot 45 on the front nine for a net 33, but unfortunately could not maintain his form on the inward nine.

He finished with 52 off the stick for a net 38, a triple-bogey seven on the par-four 17th costing him the win. Conditions were much kinder for last Thursday’s stableford competition and that was reflected in the scores.

Graham Robinson finished with 45 points to take top spot, the best score in a Thursday competition in 2021. Playing off 19, he shot 40 off the stick on the front nine to pick up 23 points and backed that up on the inward nine with 42 for another 22 points. That was enough to beat runner-up Malcolm Treloar by three points.

The round of the day was turned in by club pro John Martin. Playing off scratch, he shot a two-under par 70 off the stick to finish in 7th place with 38 points.

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