Seventeen-year-old Conor Whitelock has won the 117th Club Championship to be played at The Brisbane Golf Club, and in doing so has become one of the youngest champions in the club’s history.
And joining him on the honour board for 2019 is first-time Ladies’ Club Champion, Dee Dee Russell.
The championships were finalised in 36-hole match play events on Sunday, with Conor defeating Sam Slater 3&2 and Dee Dee prevailing over Emily Byre, 4&3.
For Conor (scratch), who earlier this year won the South Australia Junior Masters by 11 shots at Royal Adelaide Golf Club, it is his first Club Championship victory in any grade. His golf career started five years ago.
The new Club Champion is also a member of Byron Bay Golf Club, where he lives with his parents and is in Year 12 at Byron Bay High School. However, he has never won a major title there.
Although from NSW, he trains at Carrara on the Gold Coast four days a week and joining The Brisbane Golf Club earlier this year, where he and Sam will both play Pennants in 2019, seemed a good fit for him and to his family.
But his mum Rebecca said beating Sam in the final was the only downside of a magical few weeks.
“He and Sam are both members of the Queensland Boys’ team, they are both Queensland Academy of Sport members and are really great friends. He knew there could only be one winner, but felt bad it was Sam he beat to win it.”
For Dee Dee, it was her first Championship win at the club she joined three years ago. In previous years the Queensland Academy of Sport member has been unavailable to contest the Championships because of overseas golfing commitments.
Scratchmarker Dee Dee, who had never before played a 36-hole match play event, said she enjoyed the contest, although it had been harrowing at times.
“We played a composite championship course layout, which was very different and challenging,” she said.
“I have been playing well lately and brought that form to the final, but I had to because Emily made me fight for everything.”
Dee Dee has won only one Club Championships previously – at Coolangatta Tweed when she was 14.
Anna Lyons defeated Leigh Francis on the 20thhole to win the B Grade Ladies Championship.
Other 2019 Men’s Club Champions are: James Poulimas (A Grade Plate), David Raman (B Grade), Nick Kolatsis (C Grade), Rob Tathem (Seniors), John Caris (Veterans Matchplay), Ed Trendall (Byneset Trophy). – TONY DURKIN