Williams breaks
through at open

Seven-time club champion Anthony Williams held off a hot field to take out the inaugural Barry Maney Volkswagen Mount Gambier Golf Club Open last Sunday.

With challengers coming from all over South Australia and western Victoria, Williams won the 27-hole event by two shots from Jake Laubsch after shooting 72/34.

He paid tribute to the condition of the course, saying he had no issue with the speed of the greens despite not making the most of multiple birdie putts in his first 18 holes.

“The greens were quick, but so they should be,” Williams said.

“I parred the first 16 holes but had a few lip-outs so it could have been better.”

On his first 18 holes Williams’ first non-par hole was a bogey on the par-four 17th after his tee shot found the fairway bunker.

He got that back instantly thanks to a birdie on the par-four 18th when he hit his short approach shot to the green to about three feet from the hole before easily making the putt.

The even-par 72 saw him tied with regular sparring partner Darren Bilney ahead of the final nine holes, but it was Williams who prevailed thanks to a two-under par 34.

That included a bogey on the par-four third, but he made up for that with birdies from close range on the fifth, sixth and seventh.

That gave him a two-shot buffer over Jake Laubsch who followed his one-over par 73 on the first 18 holes with a one-under 35 on the final nine.

Williams agreed the event had been very successful, saying it was “good to see so many people from away” come to the region to take part.

Other winners in the men’s section were Jayden Eldridge who took out the 27-hole nett with a score of 106, and Peppi Pace who won the 18-hole stableford event with 33 points.

The women’s 18-hole gross event was a cliff-hanger, Jennifer Van Rijthoven eventually beating Kerry Pedlar on the 2nd play-off hole after they both shot 86.

The other women’s winners were Bernie Jennings who took out the 18-hole nett with 73 points, and Vicki Clark who won the stableford event with 35 points.

In Saturday’s stableford competition it was Bryce Whicker who found some of his best form to finish on 40 points, the equal best score of the day with Jon Clayton.

Playing off a nine handicap, Whicker had 18 points on the opening nine holes, but lit up the back nine, shooting a two-over par 38 off the stick to add 22 points to his tally.

That was good enough to win A Grade by a single point from David Boyce who cruelled his chances with double-bogeys on the seventh and 15th.

Clayton’s 40 points saw him take out B Grade by two from Leigh McCracken, while in-form teenager Flynn Davison finished with 37 points to beat Graham Robinson by one point in C Grade.

The best round of the day was turned in by Warrnambool visitor Caleb Perry who shot a two-under par 70 to finish with 36 points from his handicap of +2.

Perry was four-under through 15 holes, but ended any chance of a round in the high 60’s with a double-bogey on the par-three 16th.

Meanwhile in Thursday’s stableford competition only two players in the 108-strong field were able to beat their handicap despite the good conditions.

The winner was Dennis Smith who edged out Flynn Davison after they both finished on 39 points.

Smith had 45/45 for 19/20, while Davison had a pair of 52’s to score 20 on the front nine and 19 on the back.

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