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Encourage Shield and Junior Pennant State Finals at Newcastle Golf Club

Monday 15th and Tuesday 16th January 2018

The eight teams contesting the 2017 State Encourage Shield and State Junior Pennant were faced with a strong breeze even at the 8am tee time on Monday 15th January 2018. It became a strong wind as the day progressed, putts were blown off line, and errant shots were accentuated by the force of the 60 kph gusts. The fairways were like carpet in most areas, green and lush, and the sun broke through the clouds regularly, making it a pleasant walk if you could avoid the wind. The only good thing about the wind was that the usually abundant “mossies” were blown away as well.

Encourage Shield

Semi Finals

In the first semi-final Moore Park GC were up against Bathurst GC. After nine holes each team had 2 matches up, 2 down and 2 square. It was evenly poised for an exciting back nine. This trend continued as the number one match came down the last hole with Moore Park having 3 wins to Bathurst’s 2 and Max from Moore Park now 1 up.  Ben from Bathurst sunk a good 4m putt to win the 18th hole and so they would need to continue down the 19th to decide their match. They squared the 19th and 20th holes with Ben winning the 21st hole to make the contest 3-3. The numbers ones then had to go back to the 1st for a hole-by-hole playoff to decide the overall result. Max made a good bogey out of the green side bunker and Ben had to sink a curly 2m putt to halve the hole. He missed and Moore Park was through to the final.

The other semi-final between Coffs Harbour and Golf Illawarra was not quite as close at the turn with Illawarra leading in 3, with 2 square and Coffs lead in 1 match.  Illawarra went on to win 4-2.


The final on Tuesday between Moore Park and Illawarra was very exciting right from the start. Conditions were the same as Monday with the wind continuing to play havoc with any golf ball in the air, and even sometimes on the greens. One boys approach shot was at rest on the edge of the green for 10 seconds before it got blown back down the slope, finishing 25m away.

After 9 holes Illawarra was ahead in 3 matches, with 2 square and Moore Park leading 1. Later, Illawarra had won the number 5 and number 6 matches, then Moore Park won the number 3 and number 4 matches, so it was 2-2 with the final 2 matches square after 17 holes. On the 18th, Josh from Moore Park hit one of the best shots of the event. He was about 160m from the pin and hitting straight into a 30kph wind. He struck it well at the left edge of the green and it just faded as it lost speed dropping to about 1m from the hole. The crowd went nuts! He made the putt to win the hole giving Moore Park 3 match wins overall. In the final match, Mitch from Illawarra made a good bogey and Max from Illawarra missed his par putt to win, so it was down the 19th for them. Mitch hit his drive too far left and had to knock it out sideways for 2. Max was in the greenside bunker for 2 and got it out to about 3m leaving a par putt. Mitch was over the back for 3 and then chipped to 4m and then missed the putt. Max, with 2 putts for a win, calmly sunk the par putt to give Moore Park the 2017 State Encourage Shield.



Junior Pennant

Semi Finals

Dubbo GC played against Bexley GC in the first semi-final. It was close all through the front nine and as they hit off the 10th, Bexley lead in 2 matches, Dubbo in 2 and 2 were square. The back nine is a bit more open off the tee and this tempted the older Dubbo boys to “open their shoulders” and hit it a bit harder. The wind had other ideas and decided to blow some drives into most unfortunate places. The younger and shorter hitting Bexley boys kept the ball in play more often and soon lead in 4 matches, eventually winning 4-2.


The other semi final saw Murray DGA play Northern Rivers DGA in a battle of the North v South of NSW. It was a bit one sided after 9 holes. Northern Rivers lead in 3, with 2 square and Murray lead in only one match. The wind was picking up and making things difficult for everyone, but the Murray players outsmarted the conditions and fought back to have 2 wins to Northern Rivers 1 win with 3-4 holes still to play. Northern Rivers won the next to draw level at 2-2. This left the #5 and #6 players, playing the 18th hole to decide the contest. Reilly from Northern Rivers, and Lochie from Murray won on the 18th, making it 3-3, so the number 1’s had to playoff down the 1st hole. Murray’s number 1, Zach pulled his drive and the strong tail wind pushed it further into the deep rough and he was forced to knock it out sideways for 2. His 3rd flew the green and he made a great flop shot to 20cm from the hole for 4. Meanwhile, Conor from Northern Rivers had hit a good drive and was on the green for 2, about 7m from the hole. Having given Zach his short 5th shot, Conor two putted to win, getting Northern Rivers into the final.



At 8:30 next morning the wind was just as strong as Bexley teed it up against Northern Rivers to decide the State Junior Pennant. The Northern Rivers boys were older and bigger than the younger Bexley team and it was evident by the tee shots that Bexley would need to rely on their short game to be a threat to their opponents. At the turn Northern Rivers lead in 1 match, Bexley lead in three matches but by the narrow margin of 1 hole only, and 1 match was square. Conor, the Northern Rivers number 1 got back in front after trailing early and was 1 up with 5 to play against Jeffrey Guan. As he does, Jeffrey holed a monster putt on 15, holed his bunker shot for birdie on 16 and sinks a 10m putt on 17 to win. At that stage Bexley lead 2-0. The number 5’s were square after 18 and went down the 19th where Reilly from Northern Rivers stumped his second to 1m and made the birdie putt to win. Bexley were now only leading 2-1.  Arki, the Bexley number 6, just needed to 2 putt from 4m on the 18th to win his match, but the pressure affected his judgement and he 3 putted. Luckily, his opponent did the same thing and Arki won, 1 up giving Bexley a 3-1 lead. The remaining 2 matches would determine the winner. Marco from Bexley and Isaac from Northern Rivers squared their match on 18 and had to go on while Josh from Bexley made a solid par to get back to square against Alex from the Northern Rivers on 18 and also headed down the 19th. Marco had hit his 2nd shot over the back on the 19th and played a great chip to have a chance to make par, while Isaac was lining up his birdie putt. Marco missed and marked his 2ft putt for bogey. Isaac felt the pressure and his putter let him down, leaving Marco to tap in his bogey putt to win the hole and the State Junior Pennant belonged to Bexley.



Junior Pennant Teams


Jeffrey Guan, Josh Todd, Marco Perin, Sebastian Sara, Oliver Davis, Arki Valdy, Kayun Mudadana, Aaron Valdy


Northern Rivers DGA

Conor Whitelock, Isaac Outridge, Alex Hunt, Jack Harlen-Robertson, Reilly Wunderlich, Jayme Walters

Murray DGA

Zach O’Collins, Rorey McNamara, Byran Filliponi, Laura Fellows, Liam Mount, Lochie Conroy


Lachlan Jones, Noah Gooch, Mitch Bourne, Ella Murray, Jim Alexander, Logan Whatmore


Encourage Shield Teams

Moore Park

Max Fischer, Josh Baltineshter, Oliver Huynh, Lorenzo Di Napoli, Massimo Di Napoli, Sam O’Brien, Angela Liu, Jet Ostrer, Harry Boys

Golf Illawarra

Mitch Austin, Brad Wills, Selena Bosevski, Corey Nolan, Sam Cascio, Coopar Nianios


Ben Davis, Cameron Jackson, Casey Thompson, Jake Davis, Cooper Starkey, Mitch Lamb

Coffs Harbour

Jasper Bailey, Bailey Schwarz, Jesse Ferrett, Aaron Zawadzki, Lachlan Coakes, Lachlan Squires


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