Newsmaker of the month: Mick McLoughlin

Reports and statistical analyses continue to show that Aussies have played a lot more golf in the past 12 to 18 months; Brisbane’s Mick McLoughlin took it to a whole new level.

The 58-year-old philanthropist set out to break the Guinness World Record for the greatest number of golf holes played – cart assisted – in just seven days.

The previous mark stood at 2,000, meaning that McLoughlin had to average 16 rounds a day for seven days straight to reach his target.

Record rainfall, thunderstorms, a failing body and an ongoing battle with willpower that urged him to stop the madness all conspired against his quest, yet McLoughlin soldiered on, playing his 2,001st hole at Wynnum Golf Club
in fading light on Saturday, November 27.

A board member and proud supporter of Ronald McDonald House, McLoughlin raised in excess of $275,000 for the organisation but paid tribute to the supporters who came
out in the pouring rain and the motivation that provided.

“They didn’t sign up for this so I asked them and not one of them said they wouldn’t go another 18,” McLoughlin said of the horrendous conditions that threatened to bring his average undone on day three. “That was kind of a turning point in the whole week because these people were behind me 100 percent. How could I let them down?

“The next morning I got up and I was like, Throw whatever you want at us because we’ve got through the worst of it.”

Headliners

HANNAH GREEN: The West Australian received a “life-changing” $US1 million reward for winning the Aon Insurance Risk-Reward Challenge conducted throughout the course of the 2021 LPGA Tour season.

ADAM SCOTT: After months of speculation, the 2013 Masters champ added his considerable clout to a host of golf’s biggest names in signing on for the 2022 Saudi International, the first in the new agreement between the Asian Tour and Greg Norman-led LIV Golf Investments. Scott also announced that, in partnership with sponsor UNIQLO, he would be hosting a new junior tournament in Los Angeles in February.

STEPHANIE KYRIACOU: The 2021 Ladies European Tour Rookie Year of the Year ended the 2022 season with a top-five at the Andalucia Open, thus securing third spot on the moneylist and a €50,000 bonus cheque. The 21-year-old then qualified for the final stage of the LPGA Tour Q-Series along with Karis Davidson and Sarah Jane Smith.

JARROD LYLE: Three years after his passing, Lyle had the latest addition to the PGA Tour of Australasia’s Webex Players Series, TPS Murray River, named in his honour.

MIN WOO LEE: His sixth-place finish on the European Tour Order of Merit was the highest by an Australian since Geoff Ogilvy in 2006, Lee edging inside the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking in the weeks that followed.

DRUMMOND GOLF WPGA MELBOURNE INTERNATIONAL: A new addition to the WPGA Tour calendar, the tournament will be played at Latrobe Golf Club from January 24-25, the prizemoney of $50,000 equalling the richest pro-am purse in WPGA Tour history.

GUY WALL: The long-time pennant player for Sydney’s Pymble Golf Club recorded the biggest win of his career on the SParms Legends Tour, defeating Peter Lonard in a playoff to win a rain-soaked Australian Senior PGA at Richmond Golf Club.

LYNLEY EADIE AND KIM MORRIS: Crowned winners of the Golf Australia Visionary of the Year Award for piloting a program at Victoria’s Shepparton Golf Club that has seen an influx of women members.

CRANBOURNE GOLF CLUB: The Melbourne club was announced as the host site for the 2022 Australian Amateur, the date pushed back to March 29–April 1 to avoid any potential border closures.

LEWIS HOATH AND CAITLIN PIERCE: Queenslander Hoath and South Australian Pierce triumphed in their respective 36-hole final matches to win the Tasmanian Amateur titles at Mowbray Golf Club in Launceston.

ROSS HERBERT: The first golf coach at the Australian Institute of Sport, Herbert’s contribution to the game has been further acknowledge with the Golf Australia Order of Merit winners for men and women to receive the Ross Herbert Memorial trophies.

AUSTRALIAN GOLF CENTRE: Welcomed staff members from both Golf Australia and the PGA of Australia into the new epicentre for Australian golf, marking a time of greater collaboration between the game’s two governing bodies.

She did what?

Victorian Su Oh was left gobsmacked when an ace on the 12th hole of the LPGA Tour’s CME Group Tour Championship came with a two-year lease of a Lamborghini. The only issue? The 25-year-old has never driven a manual car. “Hope they have got good insurance,” she joked.

6.3%

Riding golf’s COVID-infused boom, golf club memberships in Australia rose 6.3 percent for the calendar year 2020 to 409,970. It represents the biggest single rise in membership figures (more than 24,000) since the numbers were first collated nationally in 1970.

Getty images: Andrew Redington (OH)