The Ivo Whitton Trophy is named after the great Victorian amateur, Ivo Whitton who won 5 Australian Open Championships (1912, 1913, 1926, 1929 and 1931); 2 Australian Amateur Championships (1922 and 1923) and 5 Victorian Amateur Championships (1919, 1920, 1922, 1923 and 1924).
The VGA introduced the Ivo Whitton Trophy in 1960 for the lowest average stroke score in designated tournaments held each year. The inaugural winner was Kevin Hartley with an average of 72.72 from 32 rounds. Hartley went on to take the trophy 12 times out of the first 18 years of the competition.
At a special presentation ceremony at Royal Melbourne in March 1961, Ivo Whitton himself handed his trophy to the first winner. In reply, Hartley is reported by Victorian Golf to have said he “thought the trophy was the best awarded in Victorian golf and which in future years any winner would be more proud of than any other trophy”. And said “he would prize it above all other trophies he had won or might be fortunate enough to win in the future”.
The trophy has lived up to all expectations with the honour roll reflecting a who’s who of Victorian Golf including Michael Clayton (1978 and 1980); Peter Sweeney (1981); John Lindsay (1984); Brad Hughes (1987); Robert Allenby (1990 and 1991); Stephen Allan (1994) and Geoff Ogilvy (1995 and 1997).
2017 Ivo Whitton Rankings - following The Sands Open Amateur
2017 Individual Event Winners
2016 Ivo Whitton Champion: Kyle Michel
The 2016 winners of the State Rankings trophies have been announced, with Shepparton’s Kyle Michel etching his name on the Ivo Whitton trophy for the second consecutive year, and Commonwealth’s Alexandra Hilliard claiming her maiden Susie Tolhurst trophy victory.
The Ivo Whitton Trophy is awarded to the male player with the lowest stroke scoring average from sanctioned events on the Golf Victoria rankings calendar and named after one of the greatest Victorian men’s amateur players.
In his career, Ivo Whitton won five Australian Open Championships (1912, 1913, 1926, 1929 and 1931); two Australian Amateur Championships (1922 and 1923) and five Victorian Amateur Championships (1919, 1920, 1922, 1923 and 1924).
Kyle Michel finished the 2016 season with a scoring average of 69.125 from his 24 counting rounds, with a very fine margin separating him from Kingston Heath’s Jack Murdoch who finished runner-up with an average of 70.416.
Michel, who is a member of the Victorian Institute of Sport (VIS) high performance squad, had 3 wins from events on the calendar, including the Mooroopna Masters, Shepparton and Portsea Open’s.
Michel was also victorious in both the prestigious Victorian Par 3 and Country Championship events.
Golf Victoria High Performance Manager Ashley Marshall said that “consistency was the hallmark of Kyle’s performances throughout 2016, so it is no surprise he was able to win the Ivo Whitton Trophy for a second time.
“It was also a breakout year for Jack Murdoch who continues to improve and had several really strong performances.”
With back-to-back titles, Michel confirmed his name with an impressive honour roll of players, including Robert Allenby, Geoff Ogilvy, and 2016 Olympian Marcus Fraser.
The Susie Tolhurst Trophy is awarded to the female player with the lowest stroke scoring average from sanctioned events on the Golf Victoria rankings calendar and was re-named in 2016 in honour of Victoria’s Susie Tolhurst, a pioneer in women’s golf in the state during the late 1920’s to mid-1930’s.
Susie represented Victoria on several occasions and competed in Championships and Opens throughout Australia before making her move to the international scene at the British and French Opens.
Victories in the Victorian Women’s Amateur Championship (1929, ’30, and ’31) and the Australian Women’s Amateur Championship (1930 and ’31) solidified her position as one of the greatest Australian women golfers of her generation.
A member at the Commonwealth Golf Club, Hilliard ended the 2016 season with a 70.92 average for her 12 counting rounds, contesting a total of 35 rounds around Victoria and a select few events interstate.
Second place’s Olivia Kline (Kingston Heath) led the charge for the trophy for the first half of the year, only to have a Hilliard take her in the second half of 2016 after she returned three great rounds of 69, significantly improving her average.
Marshall said “it was great to see a young player in Alex take out the Susie Tolhurst Trophy.
“A member of the Golf Victoria Elite Squad, Alex has continued her development as a player, and her strong scoring in the second half of 2016 was naturally a highlight.”
2016 Olympian Su Oh won the state rankings title in 2012 when it was previously named the Champions Trophy, and has made the successful transition into professional golf where she is now based on the LPGA Tour.
Both Michel and Hilliard received exemptions into last week’s Oates Vic Open, and took their position in the field with a long list of Victorian golfers who have won the state rankings titles and have gone onto successful professional careers.
2016 Ivo Whitton Rankings (as at 21 December - Woodlands Open)
Click here for Individual Event Winners
2015 Final Ivo Whitton Rankings as at 15 December (post Port Phillip)
2015 Ivo Whitton Event Winners
2014 Ivo Whitton Trophy FINAL Averages (Note: Only eligible players are listed)