Our A2 team, with a stand out performance, came away Pennant Champions winning an excitingly close match in overtime to beat a much more fancied opponent in Lady Bay 4/3. Player highlights were:
- Elliot Willgoose at #5 played fantastic golf to win 4/3 against an older and more experienced opponent.
- Steve Kinnane at #7 continued his good pennant season form to win 2up against the Lady Bay captain.
- Danny McVitty at #6 was involved in a tough tight battle that headed to extra holes after Danny made a birdie from a fantastic approach on the 18th to win the hole. The tough 19th (Mount Barker's 1st) would be mostly suited to Danny's long game and with his opponent all but conceding the final putt, he made Danny play it to win...,but with the crowd watching the putt was missed and the Lady Bay player put his hat back on and to the 20th they went. On the par 3 20th, Danny's flushed 8 iron nestled 8 feet from the pin and with his opponent unable to secure a par, it gave Danny 2 putts to win and the 3rd match for Echunga.
Lady Bay then struck back at #'s 4, 3 & 2 winning very close games against Ian Bonython on the 19th, Anthony Evans and Naren Taverna both on the 17th, leaving David Spaven playing a #1, needing to win if Echunga was going to hold the shield.
David, playing the 18th 1up, had a strong chance to win, but from the fairway miss-timed his approach, leaving it well short. His opponent was bunkered, but he managed to get up and down to win the hole and go to the 19th. David then played two superb shots to the long par 4 and then effectively had three putts from the back edge of the green to win the game and Echunga the match. With all his team mates watching on, and David's ice cool temperament on show, a win was probably never in doubt.
Well done boys! You really played well all season and deserve your A2 pennant win.
Congratulations to Ian Bonython for a great Captaincy job this year. Your leadership and experience showed the team the way and results followed.
Our other grades A1, B1 and C1 unfortunately were all runner ups, but fought out some very tight matches.
C1's lost 4/3 to Nairn. Tied at 3 matches all, Echunga was looking the goods with Rob Eibisch's match going down the 19th, but a miraculous shot from his Nairn opponent out of the trees on to the green and then rolling in a lengthy putt for par put the pressure back on, and with Rob's putt slipping by from a similar distance gave Nairn the win. That's match play golf though, you never know what can happen.
Good wins to Liam Carroll 5/3, David Bedson 2/1 and Bill Walter 1up gave Echunga a sniff, but were just not quite able get the result they wanted.
B1's lost to Mount Barker/Hahndorf 4/3 in another close contest. Again hinging on one match, they were unable to close it out. Good wins to John Norman at #1 5/3, Steve Griffiths 6/5 and Chris Nailer 3/2 gave Echunga a chance, but alas it wasn't to be.
A1's took on hot favourites Mount Barker/Hahndorf in a rematch from the 2014 final, but were knocked over 5/2 in the end. At the turn, it was neck and neck, but over the back nine, Mount Barker started to gain the upper hand, and with the wind also getting up, made it tricky for all players. As with the apparent theme of the day, and with the close matches being played, there were defining moments, and with a better shot here or there, the results could have gone our way, but wasn't the case. Echunga had wins to Jamie Burt 3/2 and Brenton Slee 1up with 3 losing matches finishing on the 17th and 18th.
Best Player Awards for the finals.
A1 - Jamie Burt
A2 - Elliot Willgoose
B1 - John Norman
C1 - Liam Carroll
So, that's the season. Thank you to everyone who competed for Echunga this season. Bring on season 2016!