Greetings all and welcome to the 2016 William Buckley Classic
October 21, 22 & 23
An event briefing will be held on Friday Evening.
The Saturday rounds commence from 11:00 am at Cape Schanck.
The Sunday rounds commence from 8:30 am at Moonah Open.
The presentation will be held at Moonah Links Golf Academy.
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;
Richard Mitchell for his superb cartoon of William Buckley for the cover art;
Sally Pitt of Pitt-Bull Media because she rocks the Kazbah;
Denise, Steve and all the team at Heathcote Winery;
Richard Fellner for for his help with the promotion, publicity and marketing
of Bushranger Golf and the events operated by Social Golf Australia.
All the Members of Bushranger Golf; past, present and future.
Giddy-up and enjoy!
The Format: 36 holes of 2-ball ambrose over two days for stableford points. Longest Drive and Nearest the Pin will be contested each day.
The Rules: Since slow play is a potential problem for us, these 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, keep up with the group in front and pick up your ball when you have scratched on the hole.
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 playerâ€™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 teamâ€™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 Batmanâ€™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.
Adam McCaw (Macca) & Paul Benson (Pacca) – As one half of last year’s winning combo, Macca leads the charge here with BRG debutant Pacca bringing up the rear as the tail-gunner. The new man is rumoured to only know how to hit an 8-iron, so if you see him on the first tee with just one club in his bag, you will know he has ditched the rest of his set and is not feeling over-confident. A lack of BRG experience could be a factor for this pair of golf tragics but the biggest challenge may be coping with the first tee jitters with a group of rowdy spectators enjoying some robust heckling. This pair may well fly out of the blocks, but will certainly struggle to go the distance here so don’t expect a repeat of last year’s heroics.
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.
Steven Humphries (The Bear) & John Coleman (Medal) – The other half of last year’s winning combination is also dragging in a debutant to partner with here. Given their pedigree, expect this pair of champions to be in the thick of everything this weekend, both on the course and off. They add a touch of class to a field that is already glittering with golfing superstars and will be looking to make a big showing here. Will need to pace themselves to ensure that they have enough in the tank at the business end of the weekend to stay with their more fancied rivals. 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.
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.
Pete Russell (Rusty) & Gavan Doran (The Rose) – The bottle shops of the Mornington Peninsula have been put on notice as these two BRG legends and golfing reprobates make their way south for the weekend. Lovers of a good time, a few good wines and fine tunes, it would be a brave man to bet against this pairing having the most fun of anyone here this weekend. Old hands at swinging the hickory, they have played in more BRG events than most here and The Rose won this event in glittering style in 2013. They may need the right conditions, humidity, cellar temperature, wind direction, green speeds and blood alcohol levels to prevail here, but it would be a brave man that bets against them being in the thick of the action come Sunday afternoon. Will not disappoint.
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.
Mick Van Ray (Da King) & Richard Fellner (Quigley) – With 8 BRG titles between them, these two stalwarts of Bushranger Golf have very little left to prove. Da King has won the WBC twice and Quigley has captured every BRG major title except this one. Coming in here for his 8th attempt, he has always finished in the top 10 and is starting to resemble Sam Snead & Phil Mickelson trying to win the US Open. What he has locked down is the best dressed award at this event with his signature plus fours and ties. Da King may be his biggest rival for this award with his penchant for trotting about town in his purple velvet suit, turning heads and making everyone else look second rate. A brilliant combination.
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.
Matthew Pitt (PW Jones) & Carole Little (The Sitter) – The chances of this team prospering is highly debatable considering they have never met let alone played golf together. One is a BRG heavyweight with a formidable track record including a win in this event in 2012 and the other is an itinerant golfer making her debut in a BRG Major Championship. Considering Mr. Jones is severely under-golfed of late, the team’s chances may rest entirely on Carole’s ability to carry her partner for most of the 36 holes. The bookies already have them at very long odds before tee off and don’t expect their price to shorten as punters look for value among the more fancied prospects. They certainly have the character, ticker, intellect, wits & humility to win here but may be lacking the form to salute.
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.
Richard Mitchell (Signor Saddam) & Wayne Ball (Ballo) – This odd couple will have been setting themselves for a tilt at the trophy for weeks now, and with a mix of good natured jocularity and ball striking ability, they should be the life of the party on and off the course. Ballo’s ability to self-medicate himself into zen-like state of golfing brilliance has proven to be a master stroke with an incredible run of BRG form in the past 12 months and Saddam’s sharp tongue and wild-swinging ways have the potential to blow things wide open. With three Bushranger Cups between them, they know how to get the job done here. This pairing could be like Nitro & Glycerin colliding with Jekyll & Hyde with a touch of Abbot & Costello to spice things up so just sit back and enjoy the ride.
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.
Ian Steer (Steery) & Peter Guille (PG) – The big show will be rolling into the Golf Academy on Friday afternoon and at the reigns will be our old mate Steery, who loves jumping on any passing bandwagon if he sees it is bound for glory. Rode along famously on the coat tails of his shabbier and more experienced mates in March to steal a Bushranger Cup on debut and will be hoping that Pete can provide a nice slip stream for him to tuck in behind on his way to another podium finish here. If Steery can keep his mind off the W.S. Cox Plate for long enough on Saturday and focus on the golf, this super competitive pair could be worth a nibble with your friendly neighbourhood SP bookie. Definitely two to watch.
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.
Nick Sutherland (Nicko) & Stuart Wilson (Disco Stu) – Certainly among the favourites here this weekend, this big-hitting, beer-swilling, knee-slapping, gut-wrenching, ball-bursting, rib-tickling, nut-busting, side-splitting pairing with a devil-may-care attitude believe they can carry all before them. One is a mind coach who will have his work cut out keeping his unruly team mate focussed on the job at hand and the other is a party animal who will need to be on his game to keep his partner rolling through the après-golf festivities. Nicko is coming off a super win in the KGS earlier this year and both can golf their balls with the best of them. They been working up to this one for months, but they need to remember that handy Trackman results mean nothing when the whips start cracking and rarely parlay into success in BRG Major Championships. Worth a nibble each way.
The Coonewarre Revivors – It was near the banks of LakeCoonewarre, 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.
Lino Polo (Marco) & Darren Nelson (Dazzler) – Rumour has it that these two certified, card-carrying, A-grade golf nuts have played 36 holes a day for the past month in preparation for this great event. Lino has saddled up for a Cash & Classic and Dazza has a CCC and a couple of BRG Golfer of the Year titles to his name, so they are no slouches. They can’t get enough golf and were recently escorted off a golf course for setting up flood lights around the place so they could keep on golfing after dark. A year ago Dazza came blazing home here for a close 2nd place finish, but if these two decide to squeeze in some extra holes on both Friday and Saturday evenings they may be cooked by Sunday afternoon when the real business starts. Will give it everything and won’t die wondering.
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.
Dean Mitchell (Deano) & Kirk Haywood (Captain) – These two veterans of the SGA Tour in Victoria and all-round nice guys team up here to make what will be one of the most jovial and courteous pairings ever to grace the fairways in a BRG Major Championship. In a field of glittering golfing mega-stars, these two take the tone of the weekend up another notch altogether. But don’t be fooled by these smiling assassins, they have winning form on their side and they are a lethal combination on the fairways despite their excruciatingly pleasant exteriors. These two cunning rogues will pick apart the golf courses with surgical precision and ruthlessly grind their opponents into the turf of the Mornington Peninsula and be laughing all the way to the presentation ceremony on Sunday afternoon.
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 (Big Cheese) & Peter Calverley (Cavalry) – The Wallace and Gromit of the BRG Major Championships, one is a cheese-loving raconteur and creator of culinary masterpieces, the other is a wise but low-key type who has a finger on the pulse and does a bit of eyeball-rolling at his mate’s shenanigans. Behind closed doors they will be thinking that they are sure things here. Both are more than capable golfers on their day, but it remains to be seen how the immense pressure of the WBC will be handled. Have been spotted numerous times consuming a mystery ale prior to rounds of golf which may be investigated by WADA, but suspicions are that it is simply craft beer that goes well with a nice Brie. Will need to get off to a good start, as 3 days of gastronomic festivities can tend to retard their abilities on the golf course. Perform well in all conditions.
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.
Lee Dodge (Dodgeman) & Scott Kidman (SK) – Carried all before them with a brilliant performance to take out the 2016 KGS in July. Are looking to parlay that form into another solid showing here. Have slightly more experience than some others in the field and will be talking up their chances accordingly. Both are deeply committed to the fun between rounds and this has been their undoing in the past. That they overcame this self-handicapping at Rich River is a credit to them and speaks volumes of their chances here. They talk a big game and can be vulnerable to some solid heckling but if their games are ‘on’ they are capable of tearing these golf courses apart so must be considered a huge chance here.