THE Mount Gambier Golf Club was a hive of activity last week, when 13 clubs from the Lower South East region and Victoria converged at the Attamurra course to compete in the annual women’s Open Day and the 95th SE Open Championships.
A field of 71 enjoyed the fine weather, improved course conditions and fast greens, but one golfer in particular made the most of the day.
B Grade player Di O’Donnell watched her ball roll towards the hole on the 16th green, hoping for a short birdie putt.
O’Donnell drove off the tee block with her four hybrid, then watched her drive fade left to miss the bunker and roll towards the pin.
To her surprise it disappeared and rolled into the hole for her first hole in one.
O’Donnell has been playing for 38 years and never thought this would happen.
Her playing partners had never witnessed a hole in one before and shared the special moment.
On returning home her family and friends gave her a guard of honour to congratulate her on her achievement.
As a result she claimed the nearest the pin for B Grade and will have her playing ball presented to her at in trophy form with her name added to the hole in one honour board.
The last woman to have a hole in one at Attamurra was Denise Harvey on the same hole in 2014.
Overall for the day it was the local course knowledge that proved invaluable, as the MGGC women were successful in claiming the majority of trophy honours.
It was a back-to-back win for A Grade player Faye Mainwaring, winning the SE Open Championship with 85 off the stick.
Carding seven pars on her home course, it has been a successful year for the low handicapper, who won major events throughout the year and represented the club at many away competitions.
Millicent’s Kirsty Bailey finished runner-up in A Grade with a gross score of 90.
Although the well known and respected golfer had a slow start with two double bogies, she recovered well to par six holes.
Karen Forster was in fine form to win the A Grade nett division 90.19.71, with two birdies on the first and eighth holes.
She continued that form to finish the round two under her handicap.
An impressive start for veteran Bev Pedlar saw her finish runner-up award with 92.20.72.
Due to the shotgun start Pedlar began on the 13th hole and scored 45 strokes on the back nine.
She continued to play confidently to back up with 47 on the front nine.
A stableford format was played for B and C Grades, which saw Kate McCormick and Julie Robinson win their first Open Day Salvers in their respective divisions.
McCormick has been in good form lately in B Grade and scored 20 points on the front nine, where she parred the first, fourth and eighth holes.
Three bogies on the difficult seventh, 11th 12th and 13th gave her three points each to boost her final scorecard to 39 points.
Runner-up was awarded to Lois Harvey, with a score of 38 points.
Although the dedicated golfer shot six holes to her handicap and seven under, having five one pointers just edged her out of first place.
Third place was awarded to Yvonne Shirley and fourth to O’Donnell, with both women scoring 36 points.
In C Grade Julie Robinson had an incredible day on the course, with a stellar 44 points.
A bogey on the long par 5 15th and a par on the 16th gave her eight points to secure the win, with her name now to be engraved on the Salver.
She also received a prize for the Veterans competition, awarded to the player aged over 60 with the highest stableford score.
Runner-up for C Grade was another local Julie Scott, who finished with 38 points on a count-back from Sue Downes from Attamurra and Lee-Anne Medhurst from the Blue Lake Golf Club.
Scott played a consistent game, with two bogeys on the second and 11th holes, which would have been a highlight of her day.
The nearest the pin was contested on the sixth hole for A Grade, which was won by Beachport’s Sue Wheal.
Mary Kentish not only won the nearest the pin for C Grade on the eighth hole, but also claimed the most accurate drive prize which was held on the third hole.
The prize went to Mount Gambier’s Forster in A Grade and Blue Lake’s Lee-Ann Medhurst in C Grade, while a special mention goes B Grade winner Fleur Finlayson, a visitor from the Serviceton Golf Club, who came close to running out of fairway as her second shot almost reached the green.
A stableford round will be played today.
Next week Lyn Hudson, Yvonne Shirley, Carol Davis, Bev Pedlar and Betty McKechnie will contest the Medal of Medals played in conjunction with the seventh and final qualifying round of the Anne Schrapel Handicap Championships in stroke format.
Libby Altschwager – also a medal winner during the year – will be unavailable to play.