DUNTRYLEAGUE gun Dennis Schultz is hoping his third attempt at a NSW Masters Pennant crown is the charm.
Schultz will line-up alongside fellow Duntryleague members Wayne Carpenter and Robert Payne, as well as Dubbo’s Dave Gleeson, in the Oatlands side on track to claim its first major pennant in nearly four decades when it clashes with Cronulla at the Carnarvon Golf Club in Lidcombe on Sunday.
This year’s final bid is the Oatlands team’s third crack at a masters pennant win in four seasons, and following heartbreaking defeats against Castle Hill (2010) and Monash (2012), Schultz was hoping 2014 will bring about a change in fortune.
“From a club perspective, the club has been very competitive in major pennants competitions for many years now, but the club itself hasn’t won a major pennant since the 1970s,” Schultz said.
“It’d be a huge boost for Oatlands, and as a team, we’ve been together for the last five or six years and it’d be the icing on the cake, particularly being in metropolitan Sydney and such a big event.”
But nothing is ever how is seems in match-play golf.
“Things can change fairly rapidly,” he continued.
“In those years (when Oatlands lost) a couple of freakish holes from a few of their players changed things. We were in positions to win each of those matches.”
Schultz admitted to knowing little about Sunday’s opponent, Cronulla, but certainly had a wealth of respect for an outfit that’s stormed from 17th on the rankings into the final.
However, Sunday’s final was more about backing his team’s ability than dwelling on the form of the opposition.
“I expect at this point in time, we’re quietly confident,” he said.
“Throughout the finals we’ve played particularly well, especially in our last game against Liverpool and then the week before that against defending champions Monash.”
Oatlands has enjoyed a brilliant campaign in the masters pennants competition, finishing third in the rankings out of the 96 competing clubs in metropolitan Sydney before its tough victories over Liverpool and Monash, as Schultz already mentioned.
But following the losses in previous finals, Schultz was hoping consistency is set to be rewarded.
“I’ve played for seven years now and we’ve been in three of the last five finals now,” he said. “We were pipped at the post in the 2009 semi-finals as well, so we could easily have been four finals in the last six years.”