Junior Pennant Report

Round 5 Report – The Coast V Moore Park

Round 5 and final round of the Junior Pennants competition was held at Woolooware between the Coast and Moorepark. The end result was very dramatic with the Coast being 1 down coming into the 18th hole for three matches and able to half two of those matches to give an overall 3-3 draw result.


The start of the morning did not appear promising with large amounts of rain falling overnight which had the potential to cancel the round. The club made the right call to proceed at 10am and for majority of the afternoon there was only minor showers for a short duration.


The first match had our 5 and 6 pairing of Enzo Becina and return of Shreya Singh back into the team taking on opponents of similar handicaps.


Enzo’s match started with two square holes and then his opponent took a commanding 4 up lead by the 8th hole. Enzo was able to reduce the lead to 1 down coming into the 18th hole and was able to put pressure on his opponent on the last hole with the both teams watching on to edge out half a point.


In Shreya’s match, apart from making an 8 metre putt off the green to square the first hole, she was behind on all the holes with the opponents lead blowing out to 3 up on the 14th hole. Knowing that she needed a strong finish, Shreya birdied the 16th with her tee shot on the par 3 coming close to holing out (15cm from hole), then hitting the flag with her putt off the putting green and subsequently tapping in for par to win the 17th hole. On the 18th hole both Shreya and her opponent bogied the long par 4 and the match ended 1 down.


In the 4th match, Zachary Fleming was put under pressure losing the first hole. Zach was able to turn thing around and taking the lead on the 4th. The next 5 holes was steady with Zach taking a one up lead on the turn and then dominating the back 9 to finish with a 4&3 win.


The 3rd Match, Ben Spicer-Marks trailed most of the round and in typical Ben fashion kept pushing to the 18th hole trailing 1 down. His driver landed on the left side of the rough and Ben was able to use his trademark hook around the tree to land on the green and 5 metres from the hole. Steady two putting was enough to win the hole and the final half point required to draw with Moorepark.


The 2nd match was a grudge match for Nicolas Escobar Mercado who was taking on his former team who he previously won the Encourage Shield a few years ago. Nicolas played solid the first 9 holes and most of the time was well in control of the match having the lead. In the back 9 his opponent who was the same handicap was able to step up and chip away at the lead and eventually closing out the match 4&3. This was Nicolas’ best round for the tournament. 


The final match Arnav Singh also took on an opponent of similar handicap and lost the first three holes as his opponents took advantage of the ladies par 5 distance vs the men’s par 4 rating for the first two holes. From holes 10 to 16, Arnie was able to win 6 holes and square one hole to close the match on the 16th hole with a 3&2 win.


Given the amount of rain the course was in a good playable condition. I would highly recommend Woolooware clubhouse for those who have not visited previously and they did a fantastic job to look after the team post round.


To summarise the season the team played very well given this was their first season in Junior Pennants, with no home matches, having tough teams in our division, challenging courses and nine out of 15 matches in our division ending in a draw. The team has learnt a lot from the experience and will be stronger for next year. The winners for the division was Cronulla who defeated the defending champions NSW 5-1 to progress to the semi finals. 


Finally the team would like to thank the club and all the parents for their support for the Junior Pennants season.

Round 4 Report – The Coast vs Cronulla 


Round 4 of the Junior Pennants competition was held at St Michael’s between the Coast and Cronulla. This was a very tight contest ending in a 3-3 draw with both teams closely matched from a handicap perspective.


The first match had our 5 and 6 pairing of Zach Fleming and Enzo Becina. Similar to last week we had another strong start with both matches well under control throughout the round. Zach was first to give The Coast our first point winning 7&6 with Enzo following a couple of holes later winning 5&4. Both players will get a more challenging task next week by playing in 4 & 5 position with Shreya returning back into the team and slotting into number 6. 


In the 4th match, Zara Todd had a much more competitive match against her opponent. The front 9 was a strong start for Zara with at times taking a 2 shot lead and being 1 up at the turn. In the back 9 her opponent started to press and levelled the match on the 16th hole. He then drained a monster putt on the 17th hole with Zara responding in similar fashion taking a one shot lead going into the last hole. Unfortunately Zara was not able to hold the lead on the last hole with the match ending on a tie.


While most of the matches was fairly close from a handicap perspective, in the the 3rd match Riley Mungovan playing off 15 was against a well in form 7 marker who from the start was playing much better than his handicap. Unfortunate Riley was not able to replicate his strong performance last week and his opponent won 8&7.


The 1st and 2nd matches was represented by Nicholas Escobar Mercado and Ben Spicer-Marks. Nicholas was in fine form coming into the round and demonstrated his great ball striking abilities by going toe and toe with his opponent who was previously a +1 marker and played of 2 on the day. The first 4 holes both players could not be separated, even though Nicholas opponent could outdrive Nicholas by 40m. Towards the middle of the round Nicholas lost some momentum and his opponent was able to take advantage and eventually winning 4&3.


In the second match Ben had a strong hold on the match and was leading throughout the match. With three holes to go Ben was 3 up but found trouble in the next 3 holes and his opponent was able to win those holes to square the match. 


The team enjoyed playing St Michael’s and while there was temporary holes and greens in play the course was in fantastic condition. We would like to thank St Michael’s for their hospitality and also to all the parents and Maurie for coming out to support the team. Next week is our final round against Moorepark at Woolooware Golf Club. As we are the final match the tee times will be around 12:30. It would be great to see members coming out to support the team.

Round 3 Report – The Coast vs St Michael’s


Round 3 of the Junior Pennants competition was held at Moorepark between the Coast and St Michael’s. Three matches was decided on the 18th hole with St Michael’s taking overall victory 3.5 and 2.5. 


It was an interesting day at Moorepark as the Premier had just announced their plans to reclaim some of the land back for general public use and the Channel 7 news crew were covering the story on site. 


The first match had our new 5 and 6 pairing of Zara Todd and Zach Fleming. Both matches was well in control through out the round and was finished in strong fashion with Zara winning 5&3 in match 5 and Zach taking the win 6&5 for match 6. Both players were very steady and they didn’t let their opponents sniff a come back. 


In the 4th match, Riley Mungovan made his Junior Pennants debut. This was a very close match throughout with Riley taking a 2 up lead after 5 holes. The next 7 holes was a fight with his opponent making a comeback and taking a 2 up lead on the 12th hole. Riley reduced this to one down going into the 18th hole however was not able to win the final hole to gain half a point. Overall a very strong round from Riley given he was playing against a 6 handicapper.


In the 3rd match Ben Spicer-Marks did not have a great start going 5 down after 7 holes. Barely able to walk after the 9th hole I was about to call the match off but Ben wanted to keep playing and to get something out of the match. He slowly chipped away at the lead and was one down coming into the 18th hole. He was able to win the final hole to provide the team half a point which is very impressive given the pain that he was enduring just to walk the course. Amazing effort Ben. 


The 1st and 2nd match was played by Arnav Singh and Nicholas Escobar Mercado. Arnav did not get to a good start going down by 4 after 7 holes. He was able to win two holes back on the subsequent holes and halve two additional holes in the back nine but his apposition was just too strong on the day winning 5&4.


The 2nd match was one of the most exciting and was the strongest round from Nicholas in the last three matches of the junior pennants. The momentum kept changing with Nicholas going 3 down after 9 holes and then winning the next 3 consecutive holes to square the match. With both teams watching on the 18th green Nicholas needed to make a 2 metre putt to tie the match. Unfortunately it pulled up short on a tricky green and gave St Michael’s the final point and overall win. Well played Nicholas and it was a great comeback  from 3 down and you did very well to keep pushing your opponent to the last hole.


Overall the team had a great experience at Moorepark and would like to thank them for their hospitality. Thanks also to all the parents who came out to support the team and kept encouraging the team throughout the round. Next week the team will be taking on Cronulla at St Michael’s for Round 4 with tee times from 11:20. It would be great to see Coast members coming out to support the team. 

Round 2 Report – The Coast vs Woolooware

Round 2 of the Junior Pennant competition was held at the NSW Golf Club between the Coast and Woolooware with the Coast taking their first win of the competition with a result of 3.5 and 2.5. The players enjoyed perfect conditions with light winds at the start of the round and the wind picking up gradually throughout the day.


The first group out was our number 5 and 6 pairing of Enzo Becina and Shreya Singh. Shreya got off to a fast start winning the first 6 holes and her opponent fought back during the middle of the round to bring the deficit down to 3. In the end Shreya closed the match with a comfortable 5/3 win. 


Enzo’s match started with first two holes halved and then Enzo started dominating with a 3 up lead at the turn. His opponent reduced Enzo’s leads with some fine play at the start of the back 9 however Enzo was able to close off the match with 4/2 win. Both Enzo and Shreya have been undefeated so far in the competition.


The second pairing included our number 3 player Captain Ben Spicer Marks and number 4 player making her Junior Pennant debut, Zara Todd. Both matches was very close with Zara’s showing a lot of fight to turned a 3 down start and putting pressure on her opponent to being 1 up on the 8th hole. Unfortunately the back 9 did not go Zara’s way with losing holes 10-15 and losing the match 5&4. I was very impressed with Zara’s attitude on the course and how calm she was throughout the round and not giving up especially given the tough start she had going 3 down initially. 


Ben’s match was the closest of the day and it was a tight contest against the opposing captain. With three points secured and Ben leading by 1 after the 15th hole it appeared the final point would be decided by this match which was the last match remaining. Hole 16 and 17 did not go Ben’s way with his opponent winning both holes and take a 1up lead into the 18th hole. The opponents tee shot on the 18th found the out of bounds and Ben played the hole perfectly to square the match and gain the half point to provide the Coast the overall win.


The final competition included our number 1 player Arnav Singh and number 2 player Nicholas Escobar Mercado taking on the best two players from Woolooware. Nicholas did not have the best day with his Driver but kept pushing his opponent which included a 90m hole out for eagle. Unfortunately the steady play from his opponent was too much and Nicholas loss the match 5&3.


Arnie played against his class mate from Caringbah in the final match. This was a close match with the front 9 Arnie trailing by 1. The back 9 Arnie took control of the match squaring two holes and winning 4 holes to win by 3&2.


It was a great for the team to experience NSW and we would like to thank NSW for their hospitality. They went out of they way to look after the team and thanks also to all the parents who came out to support the team and help ball spot on all those blind shots. Next week the team will be taking on St Michael’s at Moorepark for Round 3.

Round 1 Report – The Coast vs NSW

Round 1 of the Junior Pennant competition saw The Coast take on the reigning champions NSW at Cronulla Golf Club. The NSW team included two Cronulla members and majority of their squad was loaded with close to scratch or plus handicap players. Overall the team played very well against a very strong NSW team and at times it appeared we could win or potential draw the competition. In the end the last 5 holes did not go our way and The Coast lost the match 5 to 1.

The first groups included the Coast number 6 player Shreya Singh (24 hcp) taking on a 6 handicapper and our number 5 player Enzo Becina (23 hcp) competing against a 4 marker. This was the most exciting match of the round where the lead kept changing throughout and shifting momentum for both sides. Both matches ending on the 18th hole with both matches halfed. Both Enzo and Shreya kept surprising their opponents with amazing recovery shots and clutch putting throughout the round.

The 4th match was between our youngest competitor Zachary Fleming (10 years old and off 22.7 hcp) against NSW captain playing off 1 hcp who was about twice Zach’s size. Zach unfortunately did not have the best start to the round going 3 down in the first 3 holes but fought back to remain 3 down until the 9th hole which is an impressive effort given Zach’s  opponents driver distance was almost twice of his distance. The next 5 hole saw both players exchanging wins with the match finishing on the 13 holes with Zach losing 5/4.

The 3rd match was between our Captain and Little Bay Cup Champion, Ben Spicer-Marks (6.7 hcp) versus his opponent playing off +0.5. During the middle of the round Ben was trailing his opponent but managed to take a 1 up lead at the turn. At this stage it appeared the Coast could potentially draw against NSW as Enzo and Shreya was also up in their matches. On the 14th hole Ben lost the lead and ended losing in the end 2/1.

The final grouping including the Coast number 2 Nicolas Escobar Mercado (6.4 hcp) vs his opponent playing off +0.6 hcp. Nicolas had a tough start on the first hole with the ball coming right to the edge of the boundary fence resulting him chipping out and losing the hole. Nicolas managed to square 3 of the holes and win a hole against his opponent who continued to bomb his driver and find amazing recovery shots when in trouble to steadily keep increasing the lead and eventually winning 7/6.

The final match was played by Arnav (aka Arnie) Singh (5.8 hcp) vs NSW member Kayun Mudadana  who plays off +2.3. Kayun was a member of Cronulla and the week prior won the Cronulla cup so was in good form going into the event and is considered one of the best juniors in the state. The first three holes saw both players winning holes and squaring a hole to remain even. By the turn Kayun had pulled ahead by 4 with Arnie’s driver letting him down. Arnie managed to pull back two points and square two holes from hole 10 to 13 but a costly missed chip on the 14 and three putting the 15th hole from long distance handed Kayun the win 4/3.

It was great to see so many parents out to support the team on the day and we would like to thank Cronulla for really looking after the team and hosting a wonderful event. While the results did not go our way by playing against a quality field it gave our team an opportunity to measure ourself against the best and this will help to develop the team in the long run. Next round will be against Woolooware at NSW on Sunday 15 October at 10:30.