In 2012, Golf Victoria introduced an equivalent Ivo Whitton competition for women, the Women’s Champions Trophy. This was then renamed in 2016 to the Susie Tolhurst Trophy. A schedule of 26 events was coordinated for the inaugural year including traditionally conducted women’s events such as the Women’s Autumn and Spring Country Tournaments as well as a number of existing Ivo Whitton events that have introduced women’s sections to provide weekend competition opportunities.
To qualify for the Susie Tolhurst Trophy and achieve a final average, a player must play a minimum of 12 rounds in events with Susie Tolhurst Trophy status.
2017 Susie Tolhurst Rankings - following the Rossdale Open Amateur
2017 Individual Event Winners
2016 Susie Tolhurst Winner: Alex Hilliard
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 Susie Tolhurst Rankings (as at 21 December - Post Port Phillip Open)
2016 Individual Event Winners
2015 Final Champions Trophy Rankings - as at 15 December (post Port Phillip Open Amateur)
2014 Champions Trophy FINAL Averages (Note: Only eligble players are listed)