Event Wrap-Up: Geelong BMW Lonsdale Links Pro-Am
Posted on: 15 January
Lonsdale Links kickstarted 2024 with the first major event of the new season, hosting the Geelong BMW Lonsdale Links Pro-Am on Monday 8th of January.
The club welcomed over 200 players from right across Victoria, with golfers from Shepparton all the way to Port Fairy making the trip to tackle the best course on the Bellarine.
Amongst the field were 53 PGA Australia Professionals, including Dylan Higgins who returned to defend his title from the last edition of the Lonsdale Links Pro-Am.
In true Point Lonsdale fashion, the weather turned ugly in a hurry and it rained… a lot, with over 23mm falling across the day.
Just as the skies started to clear ahead of the afternoon wave, players were confronted with nearly 50km/h winds before the rain returned to cap off a wild day on the Bellarine.
Despite the wet and wild conditions that tested golfers throughout the day, the course held up incredibly well which was a true credit to our Course Superintendent Heath D’Altera and the OCM team.
After a slight weather delay the AM field headed out on course, with close to 100 golfers braving the elements despite the damp conditions and bleak forecast.
Matthew Kennedy from Barwon Valley claimed victory in the Individual Amateur competition for the AM group with an impressive 34 points, playing off a handicap of 2.
John Wood finished runner up on a countback, while Matt Wade also finished with 34 points to take out third place.
Jackie McDonald claimed the Women’s AM competition with 30 points, while the team of Richard Meyrick, Vin O’Halloran, John Sestan with Professional Bryon Filliponi won the AM Team competition.
The PM field then hit the Links with slightly better conditions greeting them on course to start the round, before quickly deteriorating once more to level the playing field.
Jaydan Thewma from the Coca Cola team came out on top in a four-way tie for first, winning the PM competition with 32 points on a countback.
Nick Keenan finished in second place, Arthur Williams rounded out the podium in third and Don Rankin claimed fourth with all three golfers also finishing on 32 points.
Lou James battled the conditions admirably to finish on 31 points, claiming the PM Women’s competition while Pat Levy, Nick Noall, Shelley McDonald and Professional Kyle Michel combined to win the PM team event.
The professional side of the event was a nail-biter, with only three players breaking par in the tough conditions.
Brad McLellan and Kyle Michel shared the honours with impressive rounds of 68 (-2), while Ryan Lynch finished one shot back after shooting 69 (-1).
McLellan started from the ninth tee and flew out of the blocks, finding himself 4-under through his first seven holes before grinding out the rest of the round as the weather turned.
Michel put together nearly the complete opposite to McLellan, bogeying his opening two holes before fighting back with five birdies in his closing 10 holes to match the clubhouse leader.
We look forward to a bigger and better event next year (hopefully with a little more sunshine).