World renowned ultra marathon runner Kevin Mansell (pictured) has many trophies in his cabinet following his feats of running between Melbourne and Sydney and his duels with the legendary Cliff Young, but he’ll need to make more space in his cabinet for his latest trophy, the winner of the GEM Easter Tournament Best Nett winner.
Mansell is a much-loved ornament of the club and his victory was well earned and well received. With the usual maximum numbers setting out in this prestigious event and the course set to its maximum, Mansell (30) did what was required over the opening nine, playing to his handicap.
Having got the longer holes out of the way he could get into his rhythm and pace himself, his 3 pars on the inward nine seeing him come in with a 97-30-67 for a popular win.
Sharing the accolades of winning the Blue Lake Golf Club’s marquee event was visiting Heywood golfer Brad Koenig who claimed the best gross award with his 73 off the stick. Koenig reaped the benefit of his length and consistency, making short work of the par 5 third hole with a birdie.
With the tee placements as far back as possible bogeys were to be expected and Koenig registered three on his outward nine. His back half resembled the opening nine with another birdie on the 11th followed by two bogeys on the 12th and 16th holes for splits of 37 and 36.
His birdie on the 11th was vital as it meant he just managed to hang on to the title after he and Brad “Razzle” Talbot tied on 73. Unfortunately for the local golfer Talbot double bogeyed that same hole for an inward 37. It was a disappointment for the talented Talbot who challenged with birdies on the 1st and 3rd holes for splits of 36 and 37.
Two local golfers, Tim Bates and Marc Dalton, tied for third with 74 apiece, the former getting the nod in a count back. Both had 38 on the back nine requiring a double count back with Bates’ 25 over the last six holes being one better than Dalton’s.
A grade golfers filled the minor prizes behind Mansell in the Best Nett category with Tim Von Stanke (75-6-69) just edging out Nick Wilson (76-7-69) for second and third. Von Stanke’s 35 off the stick, with birdies on the 11th and 12th was always going to be hard to beat.
Mansell added to his trophy collection by also taking out the GEM Easter Tournament Veterans title with his 67 seeing off Beachport’s Peter Buckley’s score of 87-18-69. Russell Armstrong (18) finished third on nett 70.
Sunday saw most competitors tee up again for a chance to add their names to the honour board. Scott Manning led the way in the Best Nett competition with his superb 76-12-64.
Manning took advantage of a slightly easier set up, his first six holes producing either pars or birdies. A slight stumble on the 8th with a double was made up for with birdies on the 13th and 17th to see him run out a two stroke victor.
Another visitor, this time from Rosebud Country Club, Rod Heinrich took second, winning a count back from Zach Westwick after both tied on 66. Heinrich’s two birdies on the 12th and 17th was enough to secure the result from the unfortunate Westwick who impressed with a 36 off the stick on the inward nine.
Westwick was rewarded for his great round by taking out the Best Gross Award from Trevor Little on 73 and MGGC’s Sam Letizia revisiting his old course for third place on 75.