When the 2023 Men’s Brisbane District Golf Association Pennant season tees off on Sunday week (July 16), Brisbane Golf Club’s Division One team will be chasing its fourth title in the six years it has been back in the top competition.
As holders of the 2022 title, BGC has won the prestigious Pennant three of the past four completed seasons – 2017, 2018 and 2022 – and finished third in 2019. In 2020 and 2021, the advent of Covid-19 caused both seasons to be incomplete.
Until re-admitted to Division One in 2017, BGC had played in the top division just twice in almost three decades, and has made every post a winner since its re-admission.
And despite the loss of No.1 player Sam Slater, who has recently turned Professional, Pennant selector David Raman is confident BGC will again be a dominant force in the competition.
“Man for man, we will be a stronger team than last year. However, from time to time during the season we will be losing players for various reasons,” said David, who believes winning at home will be vital to success.
“Two of our key players, Chris Somerfield and Rory Gorman, will be returning to college in the US before the Pennant season is finished, and a number of our members will be unavailable at various times because of commitments to compete in various elite competitions.
“But that is no different to our situation last year, and we handled that well and managed to win despite the disruptions.”
Each Pennant team playing in the BGDA competition consists of 21 players – five juniors (under 19 years of age), five masters (over 50), and 11 open-age players, who are traditionally the best in the club.
A blow to the BGC team is the loss of Sam Slater, who recently announced he was turning professional. But several new players – Club Champion Taj Egea, Lachlan Jones, Isaac Rahmani, Justin McCormack, Mitchell Vesper and Rory Gorman – are expected to step up in his absence.
And the vastly experienced Stephen Deane, who will be playing in his 40th Pennant season for BGC, will again be a lynchpin of the Masters team.
BGC teams for the 2023 BDGA Pennant season will be: Opens – Cooper Clarke, Billy Dowling, Rory Gorman, John Houston, Sam Howse, Lachlan Jones, Craig Mahon, Greg Mitchell, Isaac Rahmani, Elliot Rees, Ben Stieler, John Smoljko, Ilija Soldan, Chris Somerfield and Mitchell Vesper; Masters – Ian Burgess, Stephen Deane, Eugene Estelle, Phil Lynem, Brian McKerr, Phil Somerfield, Paul Ryan and Ash Sturmer; Juniors – Taj Egea, Campbell Kerr, Hugo Koch, Justin McCormack, Chase Oberle and Harvey Palmer.
Each of the four clubs in Division One – Brisbane, Keperra, Redcliffe and the re-admitted Royal Queensland – will play six games, three at home, and three away. Royal Queensland Golf Club has been promoted to Division One after winning Division Two last year, while Pacific Golf Club has been relegated.
The 2023 draw is: Round 1, BGC v Keperra at Keperra, July 16; Round 2, BGC v Redcliffe at BGC, July 23; Round 3, BGC v Royal Queensland at RQ, July 30; Round 4, BGC v Keperra at BGC, 6 August 6; Round 5, BGC v Redcliffe at Redcliffe, August 13; BGC v Royal Queensland at BGC, August 20.
– TONY DURKIN