DANNY Crellin claimed his second Wonthaggi Golf Club A Grade Championship last Sunday after an exhausting battle against Michael Scott that went on to the 40th hole.
There was never more than a shot or two between the players all day and it was only fitting that Scott should make the match all square by winning the 36th hole of the match play final.
The pair headed down the 1st again but after squaring the 1st, 2nd and 3rd holes on their third time around, it was finally Crellin who broke through.
Playing what is rated as the hardest hole on the course, Scott was in trouble off the tee where Crellin played a beauty, just off the edge of the fourth. Scott’s chip from a terrible lie came out hot and Crellin played regulation golf from that point to make his par and claim his second A Grade title.
But, really it could have gone either way and right from the outset it seemed the two players were more intent on covering the moves of their opponent than they were playing the course on its merits but that’s match play.
In the unique Wonthaggi Golf Club format, Crellin and Scott came through the previous weekend’s semi-finals to line up in a match play grand final over 36 holes.
But it ultimately went to 40!
Early in the first 18, Crellin got out to a two-shot lead and through the middle stages, was actually playing the better golf without capitalising. Scott was scrambling and putting well to keep in touch.
Up by two at the 13th tee, Danny Crellin had the honour but scrubbed his drive left and followed with a poor chip. Scotty hit a beautiful fading three iron over the water to four feet from the pin for nice birdie. One the difference.
On the 14th Scotty got an A Grade bounce back into the middle of the fairway long. Danny was the same length but right in the side rough. He needed to bend it 160m but caught it a little fat and came up short. Michael Scott’s straight shot in was short too from his good position. Danny’s chip was too far past the hole. Scott got a bad lie in front of the green and his Texas wedge shot was the smart play but he left it a bit short. His lovely putt, however, from 12 feet was the perfect response and the match was all square after 14.
Danny’s lovely drive to the middle of the 15th put the pressure back on Scott who was right into the light rough.
Both 160 out, Scott was hampered by a tree but picked it up well to the edge of green. Danny’s delightful fade went to the middle of green. Scott’s tricky putt off the green came up short but he drained a 15 footer to square the hole. Still square.
On the 16th, Scotty hit a wayward drive left into trees but came out of it with a decent lie. Unfortunately he caught it a little skinny and went well through the green. Danny was straight and long up the right side. He hit a nice draw shot second but it rolled on through to the edge of green. The galahs had eaten out the side of the hole and this helped Scott drop another crucial one to stay square.
On the 17th Danny played second, after a poor shot by Scott, attacking the tough pin placement behind the bunker with an 8 iron, 145 over the gaping void to finish five feet past. A great shot and he claimed the hole to go ‘one up’ again.
On the 18th tee, Danny went straight up left centre while Scott’s shot leaked left, tight in near three trees on left. Danny went for it all with a three wood and hit it perfectly but it just caught the last tree right. Scotty scrubbed his out on to fairway safe but still with 140 to go. He got on to the green but both players left their putts short and presented gimmes to each other for Crellin to be one up at the end of the first 18.
It continued in that vein for the next 18.
In the A Minor final, Josh French had a clear win over Mark Tiziani, Aaron Yan was a popular winner in C Grade and 13 year old Harry Adams started to deliver on some of his promise as an excellent young golfer by winning D Grade.
Epic golf battle goes 40 holes at Wonthaggi