David Avery is Wee Waa Golf Club’s 2021 club champion following three rounds of championship action played at the town’s immaculate nine-hole course in August.

The 27-year-old claimed his third consecutive club championship crown at the Wee Waa Golf Course on Sunday when he shot a par round of 72 to finish seven shots clear of the tournament’s gross runner-up, Ty Baker.

The victorious Avery, who currently plays off scratch, finished this year’s club championships event with an 11-over-par 299 after 72 holes as he surpassed his 2020 score of 301.

Avery told The Courier that he was pleased with his final round on Sunday.

“I didn’t play my best across the first two rounds, I didn’t play like I was hoping to,” he said.

“I had to scramble a lot.

“The last round though, I was happy with.

“Everything seemed to go pretty well. I putted the best I’ve putted for in a while now and I hit the green a lot more.

“I was two-under going into the last hole and double bogeyed the last.”

Avery went into last year’s final round with a 19-shot lead before he eventually won by 30 shots, but he was pushed all the way this year by Baker, who he played the final 18 holes alongside.

“I was pretty nervous,” Avery said of his feelings going into the last round on Sunday.

“Ty played a pretty good game.

“He had a rough start [on Sunday] which sort of settled me a little bit but then we were pretty much neck and neck all the way through.”

The first and second rounds of this year’s event were played on Sunday, August 9 and 23 respectively.

Golfers played 54 holes across those two days before contesting the final 18 on Sunday.

At the completion of the first 18 holes, Avery was four-over-par in second place with 76 shots as he trailed leader Shannon Bartz by one after the 2018 champion scored a three-over-par round of 75.

A one-over-par 73 across the next 18 holes saw Avery finish with 149 at the halfway point of the tournament to lead by four shots from Bartz, who totalled 78 shots across the second 18 holes to settle in second on 153.

Competition was tight after 36 holes with Luke Humphries in third place on 154, Ben Russell in fourth on 155 and Ty Baker fifth with 156.

Baker then shot his way up the leaderboard to finish second at the completion of round two. He scored a tournament-best two-over-par 74 across the third 18 holes to leapfrog Bartz, Humphries and Russell to head into the final round just three shots back from Avery who scored a six-over-par 78 across his third set of 18 holes.

But Avery was eventually too good for his closest rival.

The defending champion saved his best until last with a par round on Sunday to finish seven shots clear of gross runner-up Baker who shot a four-over-par round of 76.

This year, Wee Waa Golf Club’s annual club championships event was forced to battle tight restrictions placed on regional NSW amid the latest COVID-19 outbreak.

The first round was played before the lockdown came into effect, then the second and third rounds were played following strict COVID-19 guidelines which included staggered tee-off times, only two players per group and one person per cart.

Club president David Russell said he was pleased and proud that all golfers adhered to the COVID-19 rules which allowed the club championships to continue.

During the final day’s play, several golfers told The Courier that they were thrilled that their local course was in such pristine condition following years of drought, during which grass was scarce across the nine holes at Wee Waa.

However, luscious green grass now spreads as far as the eye can see at the Wee Waa Golf Club, which Avery said was a real credit to the dedicated volunteers.

“I really enjoy playing here now,” Avery said.

“It’s looking good out there.

“Everyone chips in to help look after it, we don’t pay anyone to do it, its driven by volunteers and they’ve done a great job.

“They’ve done a lot of hard work to get it to and keep it the way it is.”

Results from Wee Waa Golf Club’s 2021 club championships event are as follows:

Champion – David Avery, A-grade gross winner – David Avery, A-grade gross runner-up – Ty Baker and Anthony Gray, A-grade nett winner – Ty Baker and Anthony Gray, A-grade nett runner-up – Shannon Bartz, B-grade gross winner – Will Baker, B-grade gross runner-up – Bill Lang, B-grade nett winner – Bill Lang, B-grade nett runner-up – Will Baker, C-grade gross winner – Sandy Stump, C-grade Gross runner-up – Ron Henry, C-grade nett winner – Sandy Stump, C-grade nett runner-up – Ron Henry, veteran winner – Sandy Stump.

Sunday’s monthly mug winner was Ron Henry and nearest to pin on the ninth was claimed by Ty Baker.

Meanwhile, the fourth round of the Les Davis/Col Stone Knockout was also contested on Sunday in conjunction with the final round of the club championships.

Avery, David Russell and Steve Gleeson all progressed to the fifth and final round which will be played this Sunday. A monthly mug will also be played on Sunday at Wee Waa Golf Club.

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