Hartfield GC’s Jay Motzel had a hot putter to thank as he clinched a one-stroke win in the fog-shortened Aglime Sand Greens Championship of WA.
Heavy fog halted play for more than two hours on the second morning of the stroke play championship at Moora Lake View GC, and with 160 golfers in the field the decision was made to reduce the final round to nine holes.
Motzel (pictured above with Aglime of Australia’s Dave Gartner) shared the overnight lead with Goldfields GC members Peter Gaby and Carl Naake, with all three firing three-under-par opening rounds of 69. This left them a shot clear of past champion Daniel Negus (Hartfield GC) and David Stewart (Goldfields GC).
The final round became a nine-hole shootout after the fog eased sufficiently for play to begin, but no one was able to dislodge Motzel at the top of the standings.
Negus put in a charge over the closing holes to card a two-under 34, but Motzel held his nerve on the final green to hole a short par putt to post his own round of 34 and secure a one-stroke victory at -5 for the championship.
“Honestly, it was the flat stick that got it done for me today and it’s awesome to finally win a State Sand Greens after playing in it so many times,” Motzel said.
“The golf is always enjoyable but what’s even better is to catch up with people you haven’t seen for a year. It’s just a great couple of days.”
The result could have gone differently had pre-event favourite Connor Fewkes (Goldfields GC) not been impacted by a quintuple-bogey 10 on the ninth hole of his first round.
Despite this, WA state captain Fewkes still carded a respectable one-over-par 73 on day one but the fog delay on day two left him with too few holes to claw his way back, his closing 33 leaving him at -2 for the championship in 4th place – a shot behind clubmate Stewart.
Celebration of country golf
Aside from the stroke play championship, the Sand Greens also featured the popular ‘Super Scroungers’ Two-ball Ambrose and 4BBB Stableford team competitions, which were typically well supported.
Motzel and Negus claimed the gross Super Scroungers title on a countback after four teams tied on 63 (9 under), while Harrismith GC’s pairing of Aaron Quartermaine and West Astbury scooped the net title with a 60.75, leaving them a half-point clear of Goldfields’ Paul and Ryan Edwards.
In the 4BBB, Murray Clausen (Nokaning GC) and Phillip Crute (Brookton GC) teamed up to post a 50-point total and pip Mount Barker GC duo Peter Steicke and Tom Riggall to the crown by a single point.
As always, the event was a great celebration of country golf, said GolfWA Operations Manager Neil Goddard. “The Sand Greens weekend has been a regular fixture in many people’s calendars and is a fantastic way for men from all over the state to catch up each year,” he said.
“This year’s field consisted of 160 players from 60 different clubs just having a great time in each other’s company despite some very difficult weather conditions. Their enthusiasm for this event is always appreciated.
“I congratulate all the winners, especially Jay, who has been a great supporter of this event, and thank Aglime of Australia – particularly Dave Gartner – for sponsoring this event once again. Great credit to all at Moora Lake View who battled the rain and fog but kept the greens in great condition for the four days.”