Jay Ar Martin got home by one shot when the four-round A Grade club championship ended last Sunday to make it his 10th club champion title at Yarrawonga Mulwala Golf Club Resort. He has joined Gary Page as equal club champion title holder.
It was an enthralling battle between the 33-year-old and the pro shop’s 22-year-old Dale Crothers who turns trainee professional on January 1.
After round one, with a two-under-par 70, Martin led by three strokes and followed up his first round with another two-under-par. But a sizzling six-under-par 67 by Crothers tied it all up at the half-way mark.
A terrific third round 69 by Martin to Crothers’s 73 on the Murray Course gave the eventual winner a four-shot buffer going into the all-important final 18 holes, on the Lake Course.
Both players stumbled a little but there was some brilliant golf on the Gold Nine, with pars and birdies. And in the case of Crothers, an eagle on the 18th Par 5, forcing Martin to putt a three-footer for birdie to avoid a play-off. He did, for a final round 74 compared to the runner-up’s 71. Both players delighted the 40 or so fans following the keen competition.
Martin was thrilled with his victory and equalling the club title record. “It’s great. At my age it’s phenomenal when you look at all the elite quality of golfers coming through the club,” the greenskeeper from Black Bull Golf Course told the Yarrawonga Chronicle.
Martin’s club champion titles date back to 2001. Page’s titles started in 1985, with his last one being in 2007 when he defeated Martin.
“Jay Ar’s a humble champion,” 61-year-old Page told the Yarrawonga Chronicle. “He’s a great young fellow and there are more (club titles) to come.
“It’s his turn to watch out for the young blokes creeping up behind him.”
Jay Ar’s overall total of 283 was five-under-par, Dale’s 284 was four-under and in third place was Troy Robertson on 301, 13 over par.