This content is for subscribers only.
Join our club! Become a subscriber to get access to the latest issue of Australian Golf Digest, plus exclusive content and videos only available with a digital subscription.
News You May Have Missed: July 2024 - Australian Golf Digest News You May Have Missed: July 2024 - Australian Golf Digest

Aussies Of The Month: Senior PGA Trio

You don’t see this too often at a major. Australians Richard Green (runner-up), Greg Chalmers (third) and Scott Hend (equal fourth) filled the three positions on the leaderboard after winner Richard Bland at the recent Senior PGA Championship at Harbor Shores Golf Club in Michigan. Think that’s rare? How about both Green and Chalmers being left-handed? C’mon Aussies!

Birdie Of The Month: The Streak Goes On

Adam Scott teed up in his 92nd consecutive major at the US Open at Pinehurst, after scraping into the
field via the world ranking at No.61. He has now played in every major since the 2001 Open Championship at Royal Lytham, which is the longest active streak in the majors and is among the longest ever consecutive streaks. Jack Nicklaus teed up in 146 straight majors, but no other player has played 100 consecutive championships. So, how is Scott tracking in his chase of Nicklaus? Well, he’s guaranteed a 93rd consecutive major start at the Open Championship this month at Royal Troon (he qualified via the Open Qualifying Series at the 2023 Australian Open) and a 94th at the 2025 Masters, given he is a past champion.

Bogey Of The Month: What Were They Thinking?

This wasn’t just a bogey; this was a double-bogey that came after a drive out-of-bounds. Coffs Harbour Golf Club banned Eden Campbell, 11, from playing in the member’s comp after a change in club rules meant players of her age needed to hold a handicap of 25 or better. Eden’s handicap was 38.6. Her parents met with the club, which scrapped the rule, but she was still not able to play in 18-hole competitions – instead restricted to playing socially or in nine-hole events.

Golfers In The News

Seeing the positives: West Australian Minjee Lee started the final day of the US Women’s Open at Lancaster Country Club in Pennsylvania in a three-way tie for the lead but charged to a three-shot advantage. On the back nine, Lee unfortunately fell apart and closed with an eight-over-par 78 to drop to a tie for ninth, allowing Yuka Saso to win. “Obviously I’m going to acknowledge my disappointment and then come back stronger, take the positives out of the week,” Lee said. “I’m sure there will be many better performances ahead.”

Green and gold: Although the Olympic teams weren’t finalised until after this magazine printed, they were almost set in stone for Australia. At world No.5, Hannah Green was guaranteed a spot on the women’s team for Paris and was set to be joined by No.10, Minjee Lee. A country can only send two players for each gender unless more are ranked within the top 15 in the world, in which case the maximum is four. The next best after Lee on the women’s rankings was Gabi Ruffels, at No. 40, so Lee looked safe. 

Similarly on the men’s side, Jason Day, at world No.21, locked up his Olympics spot while Min Woo Lee was set to join his sister in Paris, given that he was Day’s nearest Aussie, at No.36. Adam Scott was the closest challenger to Lee at No.61, but he would opt out of the Olympics if eligible, meaning Cameron Davis, at No.68, was Lee’s true nearest countryman. Cameron Smith, despite being our most recent major champion, at world No.72, was set to miss out.

Climbing the ranks: Sunshine Coast tour pro Cassie Porter grabbed her first professional victory in the US on the secondary Epson Tour. The 21-year-old took out the FireKeepers Casino Hotel Championship at Battle Creek in Michigan, holding off a four-way tie for second that included New Zealander Amelia Garvey.

Shearer’s statue: The late, great Bob Shearer was honoured by his beloved Southern Golf Club in Melbourne recently when a bronze statue of him was installed outside the clubhouse. Shearer, who died in 2022 aged 73, was a lifelong Southern member who enjoyed roaring success in pro golf. He won once on the PGA Tour, twice on the European Tour and in Australia, one of his 16 domestic titles included the 1982 Australian Open – where he defeated Jack Nicklaus and Payne Stewart at The Australian Golf Club.

What are the odds? The Whittaker family at Mt Derrimut Golf & Community Club in western Melbourne locked up a rare statistic: Kyle Whittaker became the fourth member of his family to make a hole-in-one at the par-3 ninth hole. Kyle recently made an ace with an 8-iron, joining brothers Tristan (April 2024) and Brent (2009), and father Graham (2012).

King’s honours: Aussie golf icon Peter Senior was among nine golf-industry figures to be included on the 2024 King’s Birthday Honours List. Senior won 35 times as a professional, including 21 on the Australasian Tour. Among those domestic titles were three Australian PGAs and two Australian Opens. Senior’s wins also included European Tour and Japan Golf Tour titles. Sandy Roberts was also included for services to media as a commentator. 

 getty images: NurPhoto, Patrick McDermott, Aric Becker/ISI Photos