Greetings all and welcome to the 2013 William Buckley Classic
Sands Torquay & 13th Beach – October 25, 26 & 27
An event briefing will be held after dinner on Friday even.
Golf on Saturday is on The Beach Course and commence from 11:15am
The Sunday rounds commence from 8:55 am at The Sands Torquay
Longest Drive and Nearest the Pin will be contested each day.
The organisers of The WBC would like to take this opportunity to thank:
Roger Brown from Focal Point Garden Design for the magnificent Murrangurk Perpetual Trophy;
Sam, Campbell and the team at bwired for their help with the Bushranger Golf website;
Libby and all the team at Peppers Resort & Sands Tourquay;
Ben and the team at the 13th Beach Golf Links;
Denise, Steve and all the team at Heathcote Winery;
Richard, Sam and the team at Inside Golf magazine for their support;
Sally Pitt of Pitt-Bull Media the Tournament Director’s Director;
All the Members of Bushranger Golf; past, present and future.
Giddy-up and enjoy!
The Format: Teams playing 36 holes of 2-ball ambrose for stableford points.
The Rules: Since slow play is a potential problem for us, the rules are designed to encourage play in the right spirit and at the right pace. Teams play their chosen best ball on each shot and may place their ball half a club length (about 50cm) from where the chosen ball lies, no nearer the hole. Balls must be placed in the same cut as the chosen ball. In the interests of fast play from tee to green, teams are NOT required to mark with a tee and precisely measure from the chosen ball as they play each shot. Team members can play in any order on a shot. Please have fun, move quickly between shots and keep up with the group in front.
Putting: Once on the green, Bushrangers should mark near the chosen best ball so all team members play from near enough to the exact same position.
Handicapping: Each team will be assigned a handicap based on official Australian handicaps and information supplied by the Bushrangers. The handicapper will be governed by a commitment to rewarding good play according to a player’s ability.
Playoffs: In the event of a tie, a sudden-death playoff will be held. Teams play together as a twosome (taking alternate strokes playing one ball). Teams can determine the order as each member takes their first shot. This order is then continuous and carries over from one hole to the next until the playoff is decided.
The Rodeo Rule: This is minimum drives for each team member and will be enforced. Each team’s rodeo requirements will appear on their scorecard.
Who was William Buckley?
Born in Cheshire, England in 1780, William Buckley fought as one of the King's Own Regiment against Napoleon's forces in the Netherlands. He was convicted of receiving stolen cloth in 1802 and was sentenced to transportation to Australia for 14 years. He was among 300 prisoners sent out in 1803 to establish the first settlement on Victoria's Port Phillip near what is now Sorrento.
Buckley and two others escaped in December 1803 with the aim of getting to Sydney. Alas, they went the wrong way and circled Port Phillip Bay. Due to the harsh terrain and lack of food, Buckley's companions decided to return to the settlement and give themselves up. But not the determined Buckley. It was the last time any white man would see of him for 32 years.
A powerful man standing over 6'6", Buckley pressed on along the coast to Breamlea, Torquay, Anglesea, Aireys Inlet and beyond. His first permanent resting place was near Mount Defiance where he found an abundance of shellfish, edible vegetation and natural cover. In the winter, Buckley was close to death but was rescued by an Aboriginal tribe.
Fortunately for Buckley, the locals believed that white people were Aborigines who had come back from the dead. They named him Murrangurk and took him in as one of their own. For the next three decades, Buckley travelled extensively throughout the region, mostly around Geelong, Barwon Heads, and the Otway Ranges. On July 7 1835, Buckley wandered into a camp of John Batman’s party and reacquainted himself with European society.
He was the first European to walk the bush on both sides of Port Phillip Bay, living off the land and on the run from the law. Given that our determined Bushrangers regularly ingratiate themselves with the locals on our trips and that this tournament is played on courses on both sides of the bay, we think it is fitting that this event is known as The William Buckley Classic.
The Form Guide
The Murrangurk Masters – Early in his travels, William Buckley found a spear by a grave near Torquay. It belonged to the respected warrior Murrangurk. The locals believed Buckley to be Murrangurk returned from the dead as a giant white man. The two-player team format and the name of WBC perpetual trophy reflect the lives of these two men combining under one name and each year the reigning champions will play as The Murrangurk Masters.
Matthew Pitt (Pw Jones) & Richard Fellner (Quigly) – One of the reigning champions fronts up here with a scurrilous rogue looking to add this title to his already imposing record. These two combined to carry all before them at the CCC in May and Pw somehow jagged a freebie in 2012 to score a WBC title. Quigley has won every BRG title on offer except this one and comes in here looking to be the first player to win at least one of all the BRG Major Championships. Alas, the Quigley Slam may prove elusive as form has deserted these two of late and their odds have blown out with the bookies as the smart money is parked elsewhere. A long shot.
The Sullivan Bay Ginger Bread Men – Buckley and two other convicts escaped from the camp at Sullivan Bay near Sorrento on December 27, 1803. The others turned back after a few days, but Buckley pressed ahead and stayed on the run for the next 32 years.
Gav Doran (The Rose) & Neil Hocking (Hocks) – These two devious reprobates are perennial contenders in BRG Majors, but are starting to reek of the acrid stench of Buzz-Aldrin-ism for their somewhat dubious capacity to complete their missions in second on the big occasions. They did jag a glorious win in the 2009 KGS but since then they have been in contention on the back nine of the Bushranger Cup, the WBC and the KGS and have not been able to close out the deal. It may be that their heinous commitment to jocularity and a bi-partisan appreciation of the good times on offer at the BRG weekend festivals de ambrose means their competitive juices have all but flowed downstream by Sunday afternoon. If they don’t burst a few valves on Sunday morning and start leaking oil all over the track then expect to see them come flying home at the finish.
The Barwon Heads Sir Robins – On his first day marching alone, Buckley happened upon a group of Wathaurong people camped peacefully by the Barwon river. Fearing for his life, he silently crossed the river at the heads and bravely ran away.
Ian Crotty (Crocko) & Tomm Cassidy (Casso) – This unlikely combo of golfing superstars may be the surprise packet of the WBC with their uncompromising good humour, insatiable appetite for destruction, unstable character flaws, dry wit and cavalier approach to good times on and off the golf course. One is a wily old stager who has played in about as many BRG weekends as anyone here and the other is a newcomer to the scene who has made a big impression in his debut year on the SGA Tour. Can this veteran and rookie combo find the perfect balance of youthful enthusiasm and sage experience to prevail here this week? Perhaps not, but it will sure be a lot of fun watching their bandwagon come steaming round the home turn with wheel nuts loose, nostrils flaring, flanks sweating and eyes popping out their heads as they come crashing towards the finishing post.
The Corio Bay Fugitives – Buckley and his two fellow escapees reached the waterfront on Corio Bay at what is now Geelong a few days after escaping. He came to know this area very well over the next 32 years.
Rob Lugton (Luggo) & Shane Myers (Shano) – The 2010 Champion Luggo comes in here looking a little under-cooked compared with some of his previous campaigns. His golf game has suffered since the rod and reel have started interrupting his BRG commitments. A man cannot worship before two alters and expect to reap the spoils of victory no matter how many lives he is prepared to destroy in pursuit of his gruesome objectives. Shano is making his first start in a field of this quality and despite his fine pedigree, outstanding credentials, irreversible character flaws and penchant for consorting with a broad range of incorrigible deviants, he will struggle to make this step up in class. If they can settle in to a nice rhythm early, they could well surprise some of the more fancied chances.
The Swan Island Hackers – Buckley and his two fellow escapees reached Swan Island at Queenscliff on New Year’s Day 1804. It was here that the other two chose to return to Sorrento but Buckley refused to give up and made the momentous decision to press on alone.
Paul Gray (PG) & Frank Reynolds (Burt) – This Jekyll and Hyde combo are capable of serving up anything worthy of Palmer and Nicklaus right through to something resembling Laurel and Hardy. They have racked up more starts than most in BRG Majors this year and served up a very credible effort with a podium finish at the CCC in these parts in May. It seems their golfing ability is not in question and they can whale the pill all over the park. The trick for them is somehow harnessing their rabid commitment to the social aspects of the weekend and sometimes over-indulging in the good times and camaraderie on offer. They certainly have their priorities right and are sure to contend again some time even if only by sheer weight of numbers and appearances. Great value for trifectas.
The Bream Creek Freaks – Buckley cruised past 13th Beach and crossed Bream Creek the next day. Later he returned and it was here he built a substantial hut and lived for many years on the abundant supplies of food, including the fish he trapped in the creek.
Bob Spicer (Bobby) & Joe Bugeja (Joey) – This hard-hitting combo is known to talk a big game and be able to back it up. Have proven their worth at the SGA International and decided to bring some of that ripping form back to the domestic Tour and have set sail on a crusade of good times at the BRG Major Championships. They made an inglorious debut at the 2012 KGS but have always starred in the après-golf activities between rounds and they have even started to show signs on the golf course of impending glory. A storming finish in the 2013 Bushranger Cup saw them on the podium and, as hesitant as the humble and discrete Joey is to discuss it, his hole-in-one earlier this year has been a catalyst for a paradigm shift in his game. With Bobby’s unerring consistency and Joey’s capacity for thrills, they could be in for the ride of their life here this week.
The Torquay Hookers – Buckley camped on the banks of Spring Creek at Torquay during his solitary march through the district in 1804. It was here he picked up the spear from the grave of Murrangurk that later would be his saviour.
Joel Matthews (Monty) & Mark Rosewall (Ken) – One has loads of experience on the SGA Tour, distinguished himself representing BRG at the 2013 ASGCC, and is a renowned golfing impresario in his own right as one of key agitators of both the Montclaire Classic and the famous Jack the Hack. The other is local to these parts and has an intimate knowledge not only of the local golf courses, but of the best eateries, night spots, snack bars, ice cream parlours, convenience stores, shoe shiners, saddlers, gunsmiths, blacksmiths, sports psychologists, club repairers, golf coaches, swing doctors, driving ranges, surfing spots, fishing holes, playgrounds, bike paths, nude beaches and tourist attractions that the Surf Coast has to offer. This pair is as close to a sure thing as ever there was. Pick out the bookie you most want to take to the cleaners, bet the farm and then just sit back and relax and wait for the riches to start rolling in.
The Mount Defiance Alliance – At Mount Defiance just past Lorne, Buckley found a cave with fresh water and food nearby and made it his first permanent home, living there for several months through the autumn of 1804. As winter set in, he began to struggle and decided to make the long trek back to Sorrento.
Darren Nelson (Dazza) & Ken Cattanach (Kenny) – One of the dark horses in the field this week, they come in here with a reputation as big-game players with a thirst for the spotlight. Dazza has swept all before him on the SGA Tour since 2012 with his easy-going style and positive outlook and this year debuted in a BRG Major with a 2nd place in the CCC. Kenny has shown some useful form on the Tour and appears to have the pedigree, the temperament and the liver-power to comfortably make this step up in class. The bookies rate them as a massive chance to see out the journey here and they are sure to deliver super value to their backers.
The Coonewarre Revivors – It was near the banks of Lake Coonewarre, a short walk north of the 13th Beach Golf Links, that two local women found the weak and starving Buckley. They thought he was the ‘white ghost’ of Murrangurk and nursed him back to health.
John Walkington (Johnny Walker) & Grant Gains (GG) – A couple of new players from The SGA Tour who have shown some decent form in the shorter version of the game but have no idea of the demands that will be placed on them at this level of golf. They have the character, the golfing skill and the good humour to match it in this company, but a complete lack of experience at the highest level will surely find them wanting. Will need to jump from the barriers on Saturday morning and clear out to a massive early lead if they are to have any chance of holding off the challenges from their more fancied opponents. Look for a stronger showing at the after-golf activities than anything they can conjure on the course during the day. A long shot here and really just making up the numbers in their maiden run.
The Indented Heads – It was at Indented Head in 1835 that Buckley, after 32 years in the wilderness, decided to return to European society when he walked into the camp of John Batman’s exploration party. Standing 6’ 6”, dressed in possum skins and carrying a spear, a driver, 5-iron, wedge and putter, he made quite a first impression.
Arkin Lokman (Barkin Arkin) & Phil Bell (PB) – First start for this mysterious combination in a field of this quality and there are huge question marks on their ability to handle the step up in class. Have been plying their trade in their local events but fronting for the WBC is an entirely different proposition. The long days toiling on the golf course and the even longer nights around the campfire singing songs, spinning yarns, making merry, telling gags, goofing off and getting involved in general, common or garden-style Bushranger shenanigans can take their toll on even the most battle-weary competitor. They will back themselves and come out swinging early on, but expect to find them gasping for air by Sunday arvo and requiring some medical attention after having been completely overwhelmed by the intoxicating demands of the mighty WBC!