An Orange golf club team has overcome a six-hour drive, a frosty start, dewy greens and 23 other teams to claim regional victory in one of Australia’s biggest Pro-Am tournaments.
Four players from the Wentworth Golf Club were joined by the club’s PGA professional Todd Brakenridge to win the Holden Scramble Regional Final in Canberra last Friday.
It means Brakenridge, Matthew Stanley, Adam Honeysett and Chris and Shannon Bush are now going to the national final on the Sunshine Coast in November.
It’s been a long wait for the team as the foursome won the Wentworth club’s heat back in March.
Brakenridge said three of the players, Honeysett, Chris and Shannon Bush, were from Coolah and Stanley from Mudgee, but all travelled to the Wentworth to play golf.
“They literally had to drive six hours to get there (the Yowani Country Club course in Canberra),” Brakenridge said.
“Bathurst had to play at Riverside Oaks, in Sydney, but we had to go to Canberra, go figure.”
He said the one-day competition had provided plenty of challenges.
“We teed off at 7am and it was really frosty and then it was dewy. We were lucky to hole some putts early on in the frost,” he added.
Brakenridge said it was difficult to know how they were going against the competition as the day progressed.
“It’s really a putting contest. You never know where you stand but they all played very solid,” he said.
“We eagled on our fourth last hole and I knew that if we could get a couple of birdies coming in we’d be up there.”
They scored a net of 50.5 which was well clear of the second-placed team from Griffith Golf Club.
“We’ve now qualified for the national final which is at the Twin Waters Golf Resort on the Sunshine Coast from November 25 to the 28,” he said.
Brakenridge believes while it had been a long wait from March to October for the next game playing back then had worked in their favour considering the Orange weather since.
“That was the lucky thing about having it in March. It’s basically been under water ever since,” he said.
We were lucky to hole some putts early on in the frost.
He said Wentworth were the only Orange club to play a qualifying event for the Holden Scramble.
“The Holden Scramble is always one of the most highly anticipated events on our club calendar and we are ecstatic that Wentworth is going to be represented at the champinship final.”
The final will be over four days in full tournament conditions.
The scramble is now its 25th season having been contested by nearly one million golfers including 25,000 ladies.
“Having beaten roughly 8000 teams at the local level and 500 teams at the regional final, to be one of just 30 teams for the championship final, winning the event will just be icing on the cake to an unbelievable achievement,” PGA Australia’s national general manager Michael Chard said.