Play 9 winners set for Sydney

L-R: Victorian Play 9 winners Michael Hu, Sue French, Kathy Naoumidis and Lachlan Bath.
L-R: Victorian Play 9 winners Michael Hu, Sue French, Kathy Naoumidis and Lachlan Bath.

Michael Hu (RACV Torquay, 24 points), Lachlan Bath (Winchelsea, 22 points), Sue French (Commonwealth, 22 points) and Kathy Naoumidis (Mentone, 22 points) have claimed the top spots at the inaugural Victorian Play 9 State Final and will fly to Sydney to play in the national nine-hole event during this month’s Emirates Australian Open.

One hundred players from 58 different clubs, including 28 country clubs, teed it up on Royal Melbourne’s West Course today in the Victorian Play 9 State Final, rounding out the first ever Victorian Play 9 Series.

Throughout October a series of 21 nine-hole qualifiers took place across metropolitan and regional Victoria with a total of 423 participants teeing it up.

The winners from each qualifier booked a spot in today’s field with Hu, Bath, French and Naoumidis now set to join representatives from other states at the national event at The Australian Golf Club on November 25.

And they couldn’t be more pleased.

“Feels pretty good actually! Came here just expecting to knock it around and play well but this is the best I could hope for,” said Bath

“I’m very excited. It was a lovely day, I had a day out and had some very nice playing partners,” added French.

The memory of the day will be even stronger for Naoumidis who broke her putter the morning of the final.

“My putter broke this morning. I was at Bunnings at 9am with glue, a clamp and a bit of wood to fix my putter so I could play here today – maybe that extra glue helped the putts go in today!” said Naoumidis.

The series was established as part of an industry-wide promotion of nine-hole golf as a fast, fun and enjoyable playing option that can fit into busy lives.

“It’s an awesome format. You can get nine holes in really quickly. The thing with golf is that takes a whole day and when you have a family it’s really hard to get away. So the nine-hole format works really well for me,” said Hu.

The winners’ prize to the national event includes nine holes on the tournament Saturday following the conclusion of play, a weekend pass for the 2017 Emirates Australian Open, return flights to Sydney, two nights’ accommodation, transfers and all meals in Sydney, tickets to the Emirates Australian Open champion’s cocktail party on Sunday evening and a player gift pack.

Golf Victoria expresses its sincere appreciation to Royal Melbourne and all of the qualifying round hosts listed below for being involved in this pilot event to promote nine-hole golf.

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Qualifying round hosts:

Cranbourne, Melton Valley, Metropolitan, Warragul, Heathcote, Gardiners’ Run, Rich River, Wangaratta, Mortlake, Northern, Woodlands, The Dunes, Woorayl, Southern, Green Acres, Barham, Ballarat, Riverside Mildura, 13th Beach, Kings Cove and Riversdale.

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