Fraser in Inaugural Sandbelt Invitation
Four Sundays in a row – that was the description of the inaugural Sandbelt Invitational golf event before Christmas which featured star Corowa international golfer Marcus Fraser.
Played from December 20 to 23, the four-day event was played on four of Australia’s finest layout courses, with Fraser firing rounds of 71 at Kingston Heath, 68 on the Royal Melbourne Course, 70 at Yarra Yarra and finishing off on his home course Peninsula Kingswood with a 75.
The 43-year-old’s overall total of 284 was one over par, resulting in a tied ninth position. He was five strokes away from second position. Former West Australian professional now residing in Melbourne, Brady Watt, was a runaway winner with 10 under par.
Professional and amateur golfers, both male and female, competed. Presentations were made at the Kingswood course location on December 23 to Watt and female winner Grace Kim from NSW.
The first tournament of its type was the brainchild of major champion Greg Ogilvy and his fellow Golf Australia magazine columnist Mike Clayton.
The event was played at each course as though it was a Sunday - the fourth day of a major tournament with the toughest pin placements.
Crowds walking the courses with the players was a key part of the event, creating a festive atmosphere befitting of the season.
“It was a great event, a big buzz, something you rarely get to do play four courses in four days,” Fraser told The Free Press.
“Geoff (Ogilvy) and I are great mates, he’s a member here and we were very pleased with the inaugural sandbelt event played on four great courses at their toughest.
“It featured half professionals, half amateurs and gave exposure to our most talented amateurs.” Ogilvy finished in 17th position with plus seven. Matt Millar, a Corowa favourite when he visits for the Marcus Fraser Ambrose event in Corowa, tied for 12th with plus four.
Since mid last year, Fraser has been director of coaching at the private Frankston-based Peninsula Kingswood Country Golf Club which has two championship courses.
“We have six coaches who service our 2000 members. It’s a wonderful club and I’m really enjoying my role. The opportunity was too good to miss. I’ll only play one or two events a year now.”
He’ll be back at his original club, for his annual event at Corowa Golf Club, in March.