Jet-set for first Anzac Cup clash

Published 6:00am 24 February 2023

Jet-set for first Anzac Cup clash
Words by Nick Crockford

Pictured from left: Matty Skinner, Tony Summerfeltd, John Whiting, Caerwyn Ross, Stuart Gray, Tony Von Hoff.

Four Redcliffe golfers will fly to New Zealand next month as part of a six-strong Australian team bidding to win the first Conor’s Anzac Cup.

Matty Skinner, Tony Summerfeldt, Tyson Von Hoff and John Whiting booked their places in the Conor’s Amateur Series national final, at Redcliffe Golf Club.

Mark Collins, a member at the host club, was in superb form and won the three-day world-ranked stroke play competition by three shots last week.

However, he is unable to make the Trans-Tasman trip, so club colleague Troy Summerfeldt, who was fourth, has been named to face the Kiwis.

Jet-set for first Anzac Cup clash
Champion Mark Collins with Conor's Amateur Series organiser Stuart Gray.

Joining him is Caerwyn Ross, a member at Pelican Waters and Paraparaumu in New Zealand, who was second and Matty Skinner, of Redcliffe, who was third.

Von Hoff and Whiting took the one-day (non-world ranking) stableford event gold and silver medals. The former won with 45 points in what was described as the “best round of his life”.

Scott Gregory, from Caloundra, took the bronze medal and having left early, was phoned the following day to say he was in the Aussie team.

All six take on New Zealand for the match play Conor’s Anzac Cup, named after organiser Stuart Gray's son, on March 6-8 at Jack’s Point in Queenstown.

Jet-set for first Anzac Cup clash
Mark Collins playing to the penultimate hole with Matty Skinner and club captain Chris Dewar watching on

Ross, who led after round one of the national final in Redcliffe, will captain Australia.

The 19-year-old recovered from a poor start to shoot a brilliant second round 66, finishing with three straight birdies.

That left him level with Collins, who had a second round 69 and led by one at the turn in the final round. Skinner, Summerfeldt and Redcliffe’s Callum Gardner were close behind.

However, Collins finished superbly, carding a second successive two-under-par 69 to win the national final on two under par.

The sport’s governing body, the R&A (Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews), has since confirmed Collins is now world-ranked.

Jet-set for first Anzac Cup clash
Caerwyn Ross playing into the second last hole with Mike Wilczynski in the foreground.

Ross had a birdie on the last to take the runner-up spot on one over. Skipper finished three over and Summerfeldt, who led after a first round 72, four over.

Among the other highlights was Michael Wilczynski’s second to the 14th which hit the actual flag and dropped in to give the Redcliffe club member an eagle.

The Conor’s Amateur Series national final which had regional and was the first world ranking tournament to be held at Redcliffe Golf Club.

Organiser Stuart Gray, who grew up in Redcliffe, played at Dolphins with his four brothers, for Redcliffe rugby union and boxed locally, named the event after his son Conor.

Jet-set for first Anzac Cup clash
The Conor's Amateur Series trophy, made in Melbourne of silver and rosewood by the same company that makes the Melbourne Cup

He was a budding actor at the Playhouse Theatre, who had extra roles in Shortland Street, Ash Vs the Evil Dead and A Matter Of Time, made by the New Zealand Film Commission.

Sadly, Conor was diagnosed with Desmoplastic Small Round Cell Tumor or DSRCT, one of the rarest forms of cancer in June 2021 and died in July last year, aged 22.

The tournament, originally called The Amateur Series, was renamed at Christmas 2021 with Conor agreeing under certain terms.

They included that $5 was donated for every player to the Australian Cancer Research Foundation to be used in child cancer research.

Jet-set for first Anzac Cup clash
Stuart Gray at the launch of Conor's Amateur Series, named after his son.

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