Greetings all and welcome to the 2015 William Buckley Classic
13th Beach – October 23, 24 & 25
An event briefing will be held after dinner on Friday even.
Golf on Saturday is on The Beach Course and commence from 10:00am
The Sunday rounds commence from 8:52 am at The Creek Course
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;
Billy and the team at the 13th Beach Golf Links;
Denise, Steve and all the team at Heathcote Winery;
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.
Nick Mouhtaropoulos (Moota) & Paul Himarios (Himma) – It would not be an understatement to say that things got a little hairy last year on the Mornington Peninsula as these two mythical Hellenic Gods tore the WBC to shreds with a Herculean display of golf. With some breathtaking shot-making, they owned the event and lead from wire-to-wire for a glorious victory. Himma played some simply sublime golf and was still only the second best player in his team as his partner took his game to another level. Will be one of the favourites here as both men are golf tragics of the highest order and will be very keen to go back-to-back. They could be building a Hawthorn-style dynasty here unless the rabid Bulldog Moota gets distracted and emotionally destabilised by too many questions about the Elimination Final loss to the Adelaide Cows. Very handsome but flighty.
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.
Dave Warwick (Diesal) & Phil Peacock (Dust) – Dave Warwick (Diesal) & Phil Peacock (Dust) – What an awesome combo this is. Who could forget their remarkable win at this venue in 2011 with Dust perched proudly & squarely across the broad, rippling shoulders of Diesal, heels down and reigns loose giving the great thoroughbred his head, showing him the whip now and then but never needing to use it as the champion stallion galloped into the history books giving his little jockey mate the ride of a lifetime. As far as this correspondent recalls, Dust packed his clubs in his car after the front nine on Sunday and just sat back and enjoyed the show like the rest of us. A great team and a huge chance.
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.
Matthew Pitt (Pw Jones) & Darren Nelson (Dazzler) – Matthew Pitt (Pw Jones) & Darren Nelson (Dazzler) – Clearly the crowd favourites and not far off the bookies favourites when you look at this team on paper. Dazzler already has the 2015 Vic SGA Tour Order of Merit sewn up and he took out the CCC earlier this year. However, when we scroll further down the team list to the supporting cast, we find a man who has probably seen more shooting stars lately than he’s played rounds of golf. It would be a monumental effort if Dazzler could take this thing out on his Pat Malone. Pw Jones is a veritable BRG veteran, so his experience could count for something, but it may be a bridge too far for this handsome and affable combo. Perhaps could consider for your trifectas to add a bit of value but at long odds to trouble the engraver on Sunday.
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.
Gavan Doran (The Rose) & Ian Steer (The Punter) – Gavan Doran (The Rose) & Ian Steer (The Punter) – The betting public aren’t sure what to make of this pairing, which is a little odd as The Punter is the most qualified bookie on the Bellarine this weekend. The Rose will be very keen to repeat the success he tasted with Hocks here in 2013 that was backed up by a brilliant title defence last year that was only scuppered by the extraordinary performance by the golfing Gods of Hellas. The Rose, as always, will be at his brilliant cheese-munching, platter-serving, wine-cork-popping, story-telling, goblet-filling, sonnet-composing, toast-delivering, rap-dancing best between rounds and will back that up on the golf course throughout. He has played this event more than anyone and, in his record 10th appearance at the WBC, it would be a bona-fide fairytale performance if he could pull another win out of the hat.
The Point Lonsdale Cavemen – After parting ways with his companions, Buckley moved on to Pt. Lonsdale where he is thought to have sheltered in a cave for a short time. Buckley’s Cave is still a popular destination for local history buffs and Bushrangers on the lamb.
Mark Henderson (Hendo) & Leo Ryan (The Conductor) – This scribe found it hard to ignore the resemblance to a certain pair of characters in the classic film, ‘Twins’. Hendo, of course, is big Arnie (a former rippling mountain of muscle and masculinity just a shade past his prime) and he has some brilliant recent form with a CCC win in 2013, a mighty victory in the 2014 KGS and then a come-from-behind theft of the Bushranger Cup title this year. Although he has not jagged a BRG Player of the year, this is the only BRG Major Championship he has not won. Whether he has what it takes to carry The Conductor across the line is another matter as his team-mate has a slightly inferior form line in BRG Majors. His most memorable effort was reversing, on foot, off a putting green into a bunker. If they do manage to salute, keep a close eye on the presentation as The Conductor is more likely to trip over the podium than climb onto it.
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.
Richard Fellner (Quigley) & Michael Mileo (Seve) – A weekend chock full of pressure for these two gents with Quigley chasing an unprecedented Grand Slam of BRG events, needing only the WBC title to become the first man to have won all five of the BRG Major titles. He has already dubbed it The Quigley Slam, so he is not lacking confidence. It would appear he has chosen his partner well in Seve who has won this event twice before in partnership with the great and volumous Da King. The only trouble is that since his last WBC victory in 2008, Seve hasn’t looked liked being in contention in any of the BRG Majors. These two may be more likely to duel out The Best Dressed Award with their exotic outfits and glorious plumage.
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.
Rob Lugton (Luggo) & Shane Woiwod (Woo Hoo!) – This pairing of cracking gents are at very short odds for the award of nicest blokes to be paired in a team. Ever. If there was such an award. Alas, the unscrupulous rogues and highwaymen who run BRG do not hand out the WBC trophy on the basis of gentility of character. Of course they will be hell bent on securing the WBC title and Luggo has the pedigree to do so, having won this event in 2010 in superb style during a year when he won just about everything on offer. Has not won much since and has made more of a name lately with his signature move of colouring his hair to match the event branding at the BRG Majors. Woo Hoo is more of a newcomer to the scene, however he acquitted himself admirably in his debut at this event last year and this combo may have the perfect mix of wily experience and youthful enthusiasm to get the job done here. A big chance to surprise.
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.
Joel Matthews (Montclaire) & Des Baker (The Candlestick Maker) – This pairing will have a target on their backs after their runaway win at the CCC in May this year. The Mont backed that up with a grinding effort to take out a hotly contested KGS in July. He looked to be on a massive roll until he tried to parlay his BRG form at the ASGCC on the Gold Coast where things came horribly undone. Perhaps this return to a cooler climate and closer proximity to wine-making regions will serve him a little better. The Candlestick Maker has been playing more golf this year than anyone in the field, so unless he has over-golfed himself, they are a massive chance.
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.
Bob Spicer (Mr Bob) & Joe Bugeja (Joey) – If trophies were handed out for knowing how to have a good time then these two bodacious units would need extensions on their pool rooms to house all the silverware. If late nights, good food, quality refreshments, jocularity and wholesale liver punishment were the criteria that the bookies framed the market on BRG Major Championships, then these two shy and quiet wallflowers would be absolutely unbackable favourites. Notwithstanding their commitment to fun, they don't mind a trophy and are nearly always in contention in the BRG Majors. Alas, they are still yet to take home a title and a few doubts must be starting to creep in about their closing ability. Mr Bob is as solid as a rock and his mate can certainly perform under pressure, so this couple of flighty stallions must be considered amongst the favourites here.
The Aireys Inlet Slicers – As his situation became more wretched as he trekked alone, Buckley found clear water at Aireys Inlet and much needed food. He built his first dwelling near here, a primitive hut of which Maslow would have been proud.
Corey Kelly (Mr Cheese) & Peter Calverley (The Cavalry) – This combo is as keen as the day is long. One is a cheese baron who has made quite a name for himself at the BRG Majors with his culinary contributions to the après-golf activities. He always brings the cheese to compliment the superb Heathcote Shiraz although sometimes he is so busy preparing his gastronomic delights that he forgets to pack his golf game for the trip. The Cavalry, on the other hand, is a humble, unassuming fellow who has been making his name on the SGA Tour with some stellar performances this year. He is capable of tearing the Bellarine Peninsula’s finest courses apart and is a dark horse in this field who is well capable of leading the charge for his team. This combo are a huge chance, both on and off the course.
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.
Shane Myers (Windows) & Ross Morganella (Rossco) – This inexperienced duo do not have much BRG Major Championship experience to fall back on but they are both quality units capable of performing at this level. Rossco (of Jummies SGC fame) is making his debut in a field of this quality but should make the step up in class with no problems. Windows has a bit more form behind him and, given the scurrilous company he is known to keep, he has the pedigree to suggest he can cover the distance here. The real question is how they will cope with the demands of an event of this magnitude and the associated post-golf shenanigans. A fast start will be imperative to provide enough of a buffer for them on Sunday afternoon when the whips are cracking. A roughie firming in the jodhpurs.
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.
Adam McCaw (Macca) & Steve Humphries (The Bear) – This fertile and belligerent pair of hardened golf-nuts made their BRG Championship debut at this event last year and acquitted themselves admirably. With that experience under their belts, these fine gents will have a far better idea of what it takes to succeed in such esteemed company. They add a touch of class to a field that is already glittering with golfing superstars and will be looking to make a name for themselves here this week. Will need to pace themselves to ensure that they have enough in the tank at the business end of the weekend, both on and off the golf course. A wildcard in the deck and not the biggest roughies here this week, they will certainly be backing themselves, even if no one else does. Could surprise.