After skipping the 2017 season due to not being able to field a team for the whole season, Club Champion Rowan Kayll took the lead role of launching what was known as the “farewell tour” – getting the majority of the 2004 winning Pennant team back together to have another crack at a title, this time with the inclusion of young gun Joey Bland and our club Professional Dan Cromie (professionals have only been allowed to play pennant for the last 3 years)
The season got off to a great start, with the club recording its first 7-0 win away from Whittlesea since 1996 against Melbourne Airport at Ranfurlie. Round 2 saw us take on Yarrambat on their home course, a strong 5-2 win to Whittlesea put us on top of the ladder and in a strong position early.
Round 3 was played at Whittlesea, and even with Bacchus Marsh re-arranging its order, we managed to keep the winning run going getting up 5-2 – thus keeping the run going for wining the home match now at Over 20 years. Round 4 saw the first defeat of the season, losing 5-2 against Ranfurlie, however, a closer look at the scores shows the real story, with 2 matches going to Ranfurlie on the 19th – which could have easily been reversed for a win. John Steenson came into the team this week and in his first Pennant game in 3 years was unlucky to be one of the ones to lose on the 19th hole.
Round 5 played at Melton Valley saw us come up against the only undefeated team in Eastern Golf Club, and again with 2 matches being decided on the 18th hole, the team went down for the second game in a Row 5-2.
The final round at Eastern Golf Club in the Yarra Valley saw us go in with a great chance of promotion along with the already qualified Eastern, however, Ranfurlie, Melton and Bacchus Marsh also had mathematical chances of finishing 2nd and getting the last spot in the final. On the day though Whittlesea stood up and assured itself of promotion and a place in the pennant final by winning 4.5 to 2.5 over a gallant Melton side.
After winning in the final round, Mark Minarelli was presented with a medal for his achievement of going the season undefeated, an outstanding effort.
The final was held on the neutral venue of Eastwood Golf Club, the site of Whittlesea’s last Pennant final win in 2011 over Eynesbury. An 8:45am tee off is not the easiest of tasks when playing over an hour away on a cold morning, but the team and caddies were all there and fired up by captain Kayll ready to give it their all against the still undefeated Eastern. After 9 holes it was looking good, with Whittlesea being up in 2 Matches, tied in 2, and only just down in the others, however the quality of Eastern with its 2 professionals, and extremely strong team was able to get the first 4 wins on the board before Whittlesea could, meaning the remaining games while important to each player, could not alter the final outcome and the final result was 5.5 to 1.5.
While defeat was hard to take, with emotions running high at the presentations, the club can feel extremely proud of the achievement of the team, as making the final has given us promotion to Division 5 for next year where we will face clubs including Green Acres, Settlers Run and Eastern.
Congratulations to the whole squad for an exceptional season, Rowan Kayll (captain) Mark Minarelli (undefeated season) Dan Cromie, Joey Bland, Paul Brown, Col Henry, James Elliot, Adam Wyatt and John Steenson.
Huge thank you to our sponsor Leigh Moulden from Insurance Advisernet Doreen.