Along with the Gambier Earth Movers Easter tournament the Wayne Scutter Invitational is one of the marquee events for not only the Blue Lake Golf Club (BLGC) but also features prominently on the calendar of golfers throughout the state.
Named in honour of one of the ‘founding fathers’ of the club, this year’s event attracted a shade under 150 golfers from Victor Harbour, Millicent, Penola, Naracoorte and Attamurra Golf Club as well as many local members.
In an appropriately thrilling climax to the event a play-off was needed to decide the outright winner of the Invitational after BLGC Manager and Bistro Owner Bill Burley and BLGC Head Greenskeeper Daniel Christian finished tied on 72 off the stick.
With both players off the same handicap (2) they went down the 10th as the first play-off hole and despite Burley having a short putt for the win, he could not capitalise on it so they headed down the 18th.
Christian ended up prevailing after a great recovery shot and while both players were deserved of the title there could only be the one winner and Christian was announced as the champion for 2021.
Only two A grade golfers; Jayden Eldridge and Mike Dedonatis, managed to play under their handicap, but plenty of B and C Grade players took advantage of the benign conditions and favourable handicaps to fill the placings.
Finishing first overall and winning the award for best nett was BLGC member Michael Millhouse.
Millhouse overcame some early struggles to compile a round of 89-26-63.
Turning with 46 he was still under his handicap but a par on the 11th soon had him thinking of higher honours and that came to fruition with an inward 43 thanks to another par on the 16th.
However the day is all about who is best off the stick.
While the big names like Darren Bilney (+1) and Anthony Williams (scratch) were expected to feature prominently, both had their struggles and were out of the running.
Christian, in superb form made short work of the fourth hole; the hardest on the course, then added another birdie on the 10th.
With two bogies on each nine he had to settle for a pair of 36’s and then watch Burley play the 18th with shots up his sleeve for the win.
Burley was coming off a birdie on the 17th and needed just a par to take the honours but walked off with a double bogey and into a play-off.
A good field of close to 20 Ladies also competed in the Wayne Scutter Invitational on Saturday and scoring was above average in the tough course placements.
Best of the lot was Ronda Edwards who was on track for a below handicap finish with pars on the 15th and 17th before finding trouble on the last for a round of 87-17-70.
The double on the last threw Edwards back into a count back with Sue Agars who also finished on nett 70.
Fortunately for Edwards her one under over the back nine was good enough to hang on for the win.
Rounding out the placings after also being successful in a count back was Annette Ford.
Ford’s round was mixed with four pars and two triple bogeys but she finished with grace and poise to hang on for third place from Karen Panagopolous who left her worst for the last hole.
Cory Davis has been enjoying a purple patch of form lately and he continued that in Tuesday’s Stroke round at the Blue Lake Golf Club.
While Davis deserves all the accolades for his superb round there were a number of hard luck stories right behind him.
Davis (27) got off to a slow start with a triple bogey on the first hole but bounced back to turn with a 47. To prove he does have the game to lower his handicap he threw in a birdie on the 17th to have splits of 47 and 44 to take the outright win.
Second place getter, Ben Wilson’s golf was all over the place. After a birdie on the 2nd he put one out of bounds on the third to walk off with a nine, but still turned with a 42 so the rest of his golf was good. Another birdie on the 10th set him up for an inward 40 to finish 82-17-65.
The semi-finals of the Blue Lake Club Championships were held on Sunday.
In A Grade, Anthony Williams defeated Josh Ransom 5/4 and Trevor Little beat Daniel Christian 2/1.
B Grade saw Scott Sawyer defeat Gavin Coon 4/3 while Wayne beat David Akins two up.
Meanwhile, Brian Vawser defeated Cory Davis 5/4 and Russell Lingham bettered Ken Milksop 8/7 in C Grade.