Pennant Champions crowned
The Golf Illawarra pennant finals were held on Sunday April 2nd. After a season hampered by wet weather, fine weather greeted the players at Shoalhaven Heads. The finals were dominated by five clubs with Jamberoo represented in three finals, with Links Shell Cove, Kiama and the Grange represented in two.
The Illawarra Pennant Division One final between Links Shell Cove and Port Kembla was the first match on the course. The Links were looking to go one better than 2016 against a Port Kembla team looking for their first top grade pennant since 2011. The match was close throughout and whilst the number 5 and 4 matches were taken out by Port Kembla it was the Links top order that proved the difference in the end running out 3 - 2 winners.
James Hegarty lost to Padraic Skehan 1 down
Clint Canty lost to Brad Watkins 5/4
Tom Holz defeated Dennis Allen 5/4
Anthony Brunero defeated Mark Crossingham 5/4
Colin Mitchell defeated Matthew Ward 3/2
The inaugural Illawarra Pennant Division Two final was between Kiama and The Grange. This was the only match that wasn't decided by the barest of margins, Kiama winning 4.5 - 0.5.The win will see Kiama move up to Division One in 2018.
Mark Hungerford defeated Peter Johnson 2/1
Beau Fraser defeated David Carruthers 1 up
James Malin squared with Luke Rich
Col Kenning defeated Ben Howchin 4/3
Adam Stojanovic defeated Dylan Humphries 2/1
The B Pennant final held between The Grange and Jamberoo was keenly contested. With three matches reaching the 18th, it was the Grange who took the title, their first since 2010 by winning 3-2.
John Starzynski defeated John Paul 3/2
Brad Douglas defeated Anthony Smith 2 up
Cameron Smith lost to Tony Panecasio 3/2
Rohan Pellizer lost to Jarrod Gehrmann 1 down
David Webster defeated Adrian Bell 2 up
The C Pennant final saw the Links claim their fourth title in six years after their victories in 2012,13 & 14. With Jamberoo up 2 matches to 1 it was left to Phil Gallastegui and Darren Sparks to win their matches on the last hole to give the Links a hard fought victory.
Dave Spencer defeated Dave Ransom 5/3
Sean Hussey lost to Andrew Ball 2/1
Phil Gallastegui defeated Chris Leckey 2/1
Paul Franks lost to Ron Chilby 4/3
Darren Sparks defeated Tim Young 1 up.
Jamberoo were looking to make it three in a row against Kiama who last won the White Horse Cup in 2008. After extra holes were needed to defeat their club's other team to make the final, Jamberoo were defeated after both the number one and two matches required extra holes to decide the title. Kiama claimed both matches to win 4-2.
Joe Ditton lost to Shane Townsend 1 down
Mark Jones lost to Peter Francis 3/2
Harrison Jones defeated Col Booth 7/6
Russell Worth defeated Matt Tedeschi 6/4
Brett Rorie defeated Scott Hainsworth 20th
Richard Harvey defeated Mark Cassel 19th
Whilst there were a number of players who were undefeated throughout the year a special mention to the following players who played in every match and won all their matches.
Anthony Brunero (Links Shell Cove) - Illawarra pennant Division One
Darren Sparks (Links Shell Cove) - C Pennant
Harrison Jones (Kiama) - White Horse Cup
Russell Worth (Kiama) - White Horse Cup
A special thanks to Kiama and Shoalhaven Heads Golf Clubs for making their course available for the semi's and finals respectively.