Sports reports: Brian Smyth earns bragging rights at Murray Bridge Golf Club

Plus the latest from Murray Bridge's lawn tennis association and rifle club.

This post was contributed by Murray Bridge Golf Club, Graham Buttle of Murray Bridge Lawn Tennis Association and Daniel Irvine of Murray Bridge Rifle Club. Send your sports reports to

Playing in the very last group of the day on Saturday, unflappable veteran golfer Brian Smyth’s 39 points has proven just enough to take out a Stableford competition at Murray Bridge Golf Club.

Smyth pipped a gallant Jared Thoman on a countback in the process.

Not much bothers him when he’s on course.

He settles into his own little world, blocking out any white noise from playing partners and other groups alike – noise that mìght well agitate other competitors, causing them to lose focus.

This ferocious concentration, as well as a fair bit of good golf, won him a B grade championship title five or six years ago and it was evident once again on Saturday as he kept the ball down the middle on his way to victory.

Two four-pointers on the eighth and 13th holes certainly helped his cause, too.

He is pictured above straight after his round, trying to keep a lid on his great win.

Reigning club champion Thoman has been right in the zone lately.

Fired up after seeing his father Rodney take all the plaudits last week, he came out to remind all and sundry just who the number one Thoman was around here.

A sensational 39-point round 67 off the stick was the result: two bogeys and three birdies with the rest pars is good going in most people’s language.

He was a clear winner in the A grade, with Captain Morgan finding form in the runner-up position with a very nice 37 points all the same.

The hit-and-miss Tyson Wright took out the B grade, with 35 points all that was required to do so with a point to spare over Troy Penhall.

Maurice Wells had a pretty good day, sinking a few putts for a change and clearing out to lead the C-graders with 38 points.

“Aussie” Bob McCormick was hot on his tail with a great back nine of 20 points, but his 37-point total was one shy of what was needed.

It was not a big field on the day so there were only seven ball winners, with everyone’s favourite club volunteer, Rob Magor, chalking up another good round of 36 points to lead them.

Dan “the Man” Hocking matched this score and has been showìng a bit of good touch lately.

Nifty Neville Briggs fired out 35 points while Bill Fisher and Paddy Secker, fresh back from a month away in the Flinders Ranges, each carded 34.

Jeff “Stuff” Hall had 33 and Bryan “Squashy” Squires did likewise and would no doubt have been performing cartwheels and handstands back at home when he saw he was the final ball winner.

Larger-than-life club personality Graham Edwards had a so-so day as he cruised around the course to finish with 30 points.

He won an NTP on the long and tough par-three sixth hole, however, with a super shot ending just four feet from the pin.

How could it be, then, that he only finished with a five for just the one point here?

Not even Trevor Burgess could four-putt from four feet, could he?

No, Edwards struck his driver sweetly off the tee just a little bit left and he saw his ball roll on past the water hazard and up towards the left of the green, or so he thought.

Sauntering up past the hazard he saw a ball with a black mark on it – the same mark that he used to identify his ball – in the light rough, so assumed it was his, even though he thought it should have been further up.

Quickly chipping it up onto the green, he was simultaneously greeted with the voice of playing partner Steve Angove: “What are you doing? Your ball is on the green four feet from the pin”.

Uh-oh – you guessed it: wrong ball hit, a two-shot penalty and a subsequent five for the hole.

It just goes to show that someone playing their 2750th round of golf can still make an inexcusable mistake.

Steve Angove won the Yabby on the fourth hole; and it was a popular win for McCormick in the pro comp after his 20-point back nine equalled that of four other players, but his brilliant last three holes knocked all the others out on a countback.

Another Stableford competition will be held this Saturday on slightly sandier greens than normal as the bi-annual coring of all putting surfaces takes place this week.

Next generation’s tennis stars come out to play

Junior coaching has begun for the summer at the Murray Bridge Lawn Tennis Association, with 37 young tennis players aged between five and 10 taking part on Saturday morning.

It was great to see the enthusiastic parent participation. 

The association always welcomes young children to be involved with the support of their parents.

Pennants results

Swanport (five sets, 51 games) defeated Schools (three sets, 31 games)

Postel (five sets, 48 games) defeated Sportsman (three sets, 31 games)

Doubles results

River Aces (five sets, 48 games) defeated Twin Bridges (four sets, 48 games); player of the match: Barry Griffith

Swanport (six sets, 57 games) defeated Mobilong (three sets, 49 games); player of the match: Rosemary Daish

Junior results

Murraylands (nine sets, 68 games) defeated Schools (six sets, 59 games)

Sportsmen (11 sets, 81 games) defeated Banks (four sets, 53 games)

Swanport (12 sets, 81 games) defeated Avoca (three sets, 53 games)

Wind makes shooting hard for Murray Bridge Rifle Club

Blustery conditions have prevailed on Saturday as 17 members and one visitor shot from 800 metres at the Deed Range at Monarto.

A strong wind from the right that proved hard to read was enough to keep scores lower than normal, and no possibles were shot.

Some close competition was still to be had, however; especially in F-open, where first, second and third were only a point apart.

In the end, Adrian Conlon prevailed off-rifle with 111.04.

David McDonald’s 110.06, not enough for top off-rifle, was enough to secure the F-class handicap on 120.4; third in open was John Cranwell with 109.01.

McDonald’s handicap win was only just ahead of recently signed up member Mark Bracken, whose 101.02, while eight points adrift of the FTR winner, was enough to secure second place in the handicap. 

It was a tough day for F-standard shooters, with the top off-rifle award going to Peter Byass with a 98.03.

New member Oscar Neumann had the best handicap score within standard, scoring 115.1 from an off-rifle score of 96.02.

He was happy to have beaten his father, David, by a single centre.

Wayne Halliday’s woes continued as he secured the Magpie Award in F-class with three “birds”.

Target rifle’s best for the day was the ever-reliable Robert Paech, who scored 95.06, including a 48.04 in a first round where he only dropped one shot – I’ll let you do the math.

Handicap in TR went to Gordon Harrison with a fine centre count in a 92.08. 

Without regular club morale officer Daniel Irvine present, it was a tight contest in TR for the Magpie Award.

In the end, the award had to be decided on a count-out from two shooters who each scored three birds.

Ultimately Andrew Heard’s birds were closer to the end of the card than Greg Traeger’s, so he took out the decidedly un-coveted award.

This week the club will hold its annual drawn pairs match, in which Traeger and Irvine will see if they can defend their title from last year in what is generally a fun match that is a useful practice in coaching and wind-reading.

The match will be shot from a range of 600 metres.

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