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Double delight for Des at GEC open


A Des Chitty double, a hole-in-one and a temporary motorhome village were among the highlights of a successful Gisborne East Coast senior open tournament here this week.

Over 100 men and women — nearly a third of them from out of the district — took part in the open, which culminated in matchplay finals for the men on Wednesday.

Eleven trophies were presented — eight to the men’s group winners, two to the Sunday 18-hole net winners and one to the overall women’s stableford winner.

Mangawhai club member Des Chitty collected two of these. The first was the Endeavour Cup for the top net by a player from 55 to 69 years of age.

Chitty was eligible by just one day. He turned 70 the day after although his net 66 would have won the other trophy up for grabs — the Discovery Cup for best net by a player over 70. That honour went to Poverty Bay member Reid Fletcher with 69.

Chitty’s other piece of silverware was arguably the premier trophy — the Challenge Cup for winner of the Group 1 matchplay.

Chitty, after 4 and 3 victories over Brian Morrissey (Poverty Bay) and Ray Walford (Gisborne Park) en route to the final, beat home course player Bernie Rothschild 2 and 1.

Several locals featured at the top of other groups.

Cliff Poole (PB) won the Captain Cook Cup Group 2 final; Roger Kelly (PB) McMillan Cup Group 3; John Aitchison (PB/Mahia) McMurray Plate Group 5; Warwick Thompson (PB) Musgrave Cup Group 6; and Dallas Atkins Nick’s Head Cup Group 7.

The shot of the tournament came on Sunday when Dave Mettrick aced the 167-metre 11th hole.

Mettrick’s perfect effort earned him a bag from club professional Dave Keown, who has sponsored a hole-in-one for 19 years but had yet to give one out.

The women’s three-day stableford tournament featured 42 players.

New Zealand Veteran Golfers Association secretary/treasurer Launa Seddon was the overall winner. The Omanu member’s efforts included a 44-point haul on Monday.

The women clearly found the Bay course, with its drying fairways and quick greens, to their liking.

Poverty Bay’s Fay Pell had 42 points on Tuesday and 44 on Wednesday, clubmate Vicki Fraser had 43 on Wednesday and Gisborne Park’s Mihi Marino racked up 40 on Tuesday and 42 on Wednesday.

Palmerston North’s Katherine Paskins won the 9-holers’ section, her efforts including a 25-point haul on Wednesday.

Among the 9-holers was Nan Carmine, a recent addition to the nonagenarian club. She was second in the Monday stableford.

Gisborne East Coast Veteran Golfers’ Society president John Fricker was delighted with how the week went.

“This was a hugely successful event and we’re all very pleased with it . . . the visitors were very complimentary, which I hope turns into their return next year.”

Many of those visitors travelled to Gisborne via motorhome and were able to camp at the course. Fricker counted 19 motorhomes all-up.

The occupants of a couple of those must have got a fright when a huge tree branch cracked and crashed to the ground on the nearby 18th hole when the wind got up on Sunday morning.

Fricker and his team were grateful to the club, sponsors and all those who helped with the rejuvenation and running of the tournament.

Women’s results — Overall stableford winner: Launa Seddon.

Monday stableford: Launa Seddon 44, Jean Food 39, Blanche Walker 39.

Tuesday stableford: Fay Pell 42, Mihi Marino 40, Teresa Lewis 40.

Wednesday stableford: Fay Pell 44, Vicki Fraser 43, Mihi Marino 42.

9-holers’ stableford, overall winner: Katherine Paskins (Palmerston North).

Monday stableford: Annabelle Sutton 19, Nan Carmine 16.

Tuesday stableford: Katherine Paskins 22, Gail Thomas 18.

Wednesday stableford: Katherine Paskins 25, Jenny Newman 20.

VETERAN CHAMPIONS: The group winners and women’s stableford champion from the Gisborne East Coast senior open at Poverty Bay golf course are, back row (from left): Jack Campbell, Warwick Thompson, Reid Fletcher, Roger Kelly, John Aitchison and Howard Symons. Front: Des Chitty, Launa Seddon, Cliff Poole and Dallas Atkins.Picture supplied