CRISP SWING: Warren Gallop watches his tee shot fly on the first hole at the Mid North Coast Vets Challenge at Grafton. PHOTO: ADAM HOURIGAN
CRISP SWING: Warren Gallop watches his tee shot fly on the first hole at the Mid North Coast Vets Challenge at Grafton. PHOTO: ADAM HOURIGAN

Vets crown goes south

GRAFTON talked the talk but Mid North Coast won the Vets Challenge at Grafton Golf Club yesterday.

Mid North Coast, made up of nine golf courses from Woolgoolga to Macksville, visits Grafton each year, with Grafton to return the favour in the spring.

A total of 118 veterans were greeted by perfect crisp conditions.

"The course is in wonderful condition," Grafton Vets president Matt Tully said.

"The little bit of wind we've had lately has dried it out and made the greens lovely and fast."

Mid North Coast captain John Plummer, from Coffs Harbour, said events like this were all too uncommon in terms of bridging the gap between the geographical neighbours.

"There's only a few kilometres between us but you would think it was the Nile Valley," Plummer said.

While Plummer and Tully admitted such events were unlikely to produce the next Jack Nicklaus, friendly rivalries remained strong.

"It's a worthwhile thing to be able to show these fellas how to play golf every now and then," Tully chortled.

The visitors had the last laugh though, with Mid North Coast's John Burley scoring 40 stableford points to card the best score for the day.

Dek Pabian was best of the locals with 37, enough for third in a countback.

There were no hole-in-ones recorded, although Michael Skipper came awfully close. His tee shot on the first came up just 23cm short of the cup.

"He hit a lazy little eight-iron towards the green and the ball bounced around towards the hole," a witness reported. "If he hit it a little harder he would've had what every golfer dreams about."

Perhaps that dream will come true for someone next week when Grafton hosts the Vets Week of Golf.

Visitors from even further afield will descend on Grafton, with entries already received from Victoria, the NSW South Coast, Queensland and west of the divide.

MID NORTH COAST CHALLENGE
Winners
1. John Burley (MNC) 40; 2. S Ward (MNC) 38; 3. Dek Pabian (GRA) 37c/b
Nearest the Pins
1st Michael Skipper 23cm; 10th Ted Strong 156cm; 2nd shot 4th Jeff Hackett 299cm; 17th Ian Smith 194cm.



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