McKee's magic touch: former champion reclaims club crown
GOLF: The Grafton District Golf Club championship wrapped up on Sunday with Mat McKee resuming his position as club champion after holding off late surges from Greg Harvison and junior champion Willow Harris in an exciting final day.
McKee went into the final day of play on Sunday with a score of 215, eight shots ahead of Harvison on 223 and Harris on 228 and the golf to follow went down to the wire as a number of tie-breaking deciders ensued.
The eventual champion got off to a dominant start on the first hole in tricky conditions and lead comfortably from then on but Harris made ground on Harvison and brought the gap back to force a three-hole aggregate over holes one, eight and nine.
Harris took an early lead before Harvison pulled it back, but on the thrilling last hole the veteran left the door open for his opponent with a two-putt par and Harris took his chance to clinch the runner-up spot with a birdie, also claiming the P.J. Langham Shield for the junior club championship.
Winner McKee was feeling the nerves in the wild weather as he teed up to defend his lead.
"I reckon it was the worst conditions I've ever played golf in, if it wasn't the championships you would have said 'I won't play today',” McKee said.
"I was nervous going in but I hardly did wrong on the first few holes and kept my lead to hold on in the end.”
Grafton District Golf Club captain David Morgan was pleased to see some strong competition from both young and old players on the Grafton greens.
"It's good to see a young junior (Harris) getting up there, it's not long before he's 18 and I think he's going to try and get a traineeship to take him to the next level. He's been the best junior at Grafton for the last few years and I think he should be a great golfer at the next level,” Morgan said.
"It was special watching him and Greg in the play-off, Harris has been playing great golf and at 60 years old he's got a lot of experience, so for Willow to beat him was pretty exciting.”
GRAFTON CLUB CHAMPIONSHIP
Mat McKee 288
Willow Harris 302 (74)
Greg Harvison 302 (79)
Nick Fuller 316
Rohan Ford 327
Ralph Zaffino 349
Jock Macpherson 350
Al Donaghey 359
Tim Newsome 365
Robert Bell 394
Rick Paxton 394