Grafton’s Brett McConnell – unluckiest player for the week

30th March 2020

There is no doubt golfers are a hardy lot (real desperate) with 104 starters in last Saturday’s Fletcher & Associates 18 hole Stableford and from the observations of club officials all players, without exception, complied with the social distancing regime which was very much appreciated by those same officials.

A further successful outcome from the day was the provision of the flag sticks not required to be handled with the addition of a stopper so that the golf ball was easily retrieved by hand, especially for those golfers with a suspect problem back. The one player per motorised cart provision was also well received by all players.

The overall winner on the day with a healthy score of 39 points was Bob Perl (13) one shot clear of a host of players with 38 against their names. Two of those players were Graham Tracey (8) and Jim Lehn (9) who were the best of the A Grade group, with those two golfers taking out the win and runner-up spots respectively in that grade. It was a similar situation in B Grade when Paul Danvers (14) and Trevor White (12) both finished with 38 points and following the countback process that was the order they finished in. Things were a little better defined in C Grade, where Danial Usher (18) came home with 38 points from Ken Radunz (19) two shots in arrears with 36. Scores were a little closer in D Grade which was won by Alan Wade (21) again one of those players with a score of 38, one shot clear of the runner-up score of 37 points. 

As there were no nearest the pin trophies on offer there was no Mark Harvison sponsored Pro pin handed out. However all players with 34 points or better received a pro-ball for their effort, which was a just reward for coming out to play and at the same time supported their Club and especially our professional, Mark Harvison.

In last Tuesday’s competition 57 players teed it up and were the first group of golfers to play under the revised playing conditions as a consequence of the Coronavirus. There was no catching the overall winner on the day, Chris Wheelahan (13) who accumulated a great score of 41 points, 3 points clear of his nearest rivals, which included Peter Brennan (15) and Eric Hillas (26) who were awarded the 1st and 2nd runner-up positions respectively for their 38. The unlucky player to miss out on one of those runner-up spots, also with 38 was Mick Carter (6) who was a touch unlucky in the countback procedure. Pro-balls went down to those with 31 points, so a consolation prize for Mick in the run down. 

The Thursday competition also attracted a fairly good field, despite the current difficulties. Gerry McMullan (20) was the best of the bunch with 40 points from Peter Herden (17) who recorded 39. The 2nd runner-up spot was awarded to Matt Katon (12) who put together a score of 37 points. 

Pro-balls went down to several players with 34 points on a countback. 

Without a doubt the unluckiest player for the week was one of our more regular golfers, Brett McConnell (9) who produced a hole-in-one on the 1st, which obviously was great effort in itself. However as the usual nearest the pin trophy was not available and with the temporary suspension of the hole-in-one jackpot, poor old Brett missed out on all of those appropriate rewards, which would normally apply. However his hole-in-one will be formally recognised on the honour board, which will give him some satisfaction without the monetary prize. He will just have to do it again when the normal playing conditions are reinstated. He does possess the skill to do it again.

At the time of preparing this report the Poolworks Monthly Mug scheduled for next Saturday will proceed as normal. This is subject naturally to any changes to playing conditions that maybe imposed by Golf NSW or the State Government.

It should be recognised by all our members that the Club is doing its very best for the course to remain open. For our golfing pleasure and the safety of all players and staff involved with the operations of course. This also includes the safe operation of Mark Harvison’s Pro shop facility. The importance to follow the social distancing protocols cannot be stressed enough, which includes one player per golf cart, the distance between players to be at least 1.5 metres apart at all times.

Grafton Golf Club has in place strategies to ensure all golfers follow the Government advice for both indoor and out door public events. At the same time give us some form of relief in these unprecedented times in the form of a game of golf. Our strict compliance to the conditions imposed by Government authorities and our Club will ensure the continuance of golf for the immediate future at least.

Ray Hopwood