Flaherty close to golf tournament breakthrough

ANOTHER promising result, another near miss.

Warrnambool golfer Joanna Flaherty is in consistent competition form. 140211RG01 Picture: ROB GUNSTONE

Warrnambool teenager Joanna Flaherty’s latest effort in a Golf Victoria tournament left her encouraged but also ruing what might have been.

Flaherty was runner-up in the annual 36-hole Spring Country Tournament at Portsea and Sorrento this week, going down by a solitary stroke.

The 19-year-old signed for a round of 73 at Portsea on Monday and backed up with 81 at Sorrento on Tuesday.

But she couldn’t hold out Victoria Golf Club’s Kono Matsumoto (75, 78), who took home the Ruby McKenzie Trophy for her display.

Flaherty, a member at Warrnambool and Port Fairy golf clubs, said she was pleased with her performance.

“I hit the ball really well both days. I had a guy that I was staying with who showed me around Portsea the day before, which really helped,” she said.

“I struggled a little bit around Sorrento. I didn’t know where to hit the ball.”

But Flaherty, whose handicap has dropped six shots since she finished school last year, was slightly frustrated at another missed opportunity.

She also placed second in the Victorian Country Championships at Yarrawonga in August, losing a matchplay contest on the 18th hole.

“I’ve had a couple of really close seconds this year, which is a bit disappointing. I’ve still been pretty happy with the way I’ve gone this year,” she said.

Flaherty’s effort was one of a host of solid performances from Warrnambool Golf Club members.

Karen Jenkins took out the C grade gross section with rounds of 102 at Portsea and 97 at Sorrento. Jenkins was also the runner-up in the overall handicap section, which carries the Vi Teesdale Trophy, with net 150.

Di Sullivan won best net score in C grade for her 73 on day one, while Di Goodall did likewise on day two with 68.

Jenkins said she was surprised to win C grade, admitting “I hadn’t taken much notice of what the others had been doing”.

“Day one at Portsea I didn’t think I played terribly well at all but day two at Sorrento I played OK, just didn’t get into any trouble.”

Meanwhile, Flaherty is on target to claim Warrnambool Golf Club’s women’s championship when the 72-hole tournament ends on Sunday.

Flaherty shot a round of 79 yesterday to take her three-round score to 240.

She is 20 shots clear of Di Robinson, who shot 86 yesterday. Alison Sinclair is third with 263 thanks to her round of 87.

Beryl Drake leads B grade after her round of 96 took her to 281. Joan Jacobson is second with 294 and Marian McKenzie third with 296.

Heather Haberfield has one hand on the C grade title. Haberfield leads with 311, ahead of Jessie Johnson, 318, and Pam Arklay, 324.

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