Final Report & Results
The 2014 Sheraton Fiji Villa Teams Challenge finished in great style with a lavish banquet, themed as a ‘Coronation Street Party’ at The Sheraton’ Fiji Sandy Point Beach on Friday night 29 August.
The golf tournament, which has a history spanning fifteen years, includes four days of golf, all played at the Denarau Golf & Racquet Club. Teams of mixed fours, scored under a modified stableford system, where handicaps are changed daily.
The 2014 winners were announced as Team ‘Top of the South’ comprising of Peter & Shona Johnson, with Mike Inwood and Tania Appleman, all members of New Zealand’s Motueka Golf Club. With a winning margin of 9 points, they finished with 875 team points. This was the first year that they had competed in the event, with captain Peter Johnson, announcing “they will be back, and their expectations had been exceeded, greatly”.
Team ‘Shore Mata’s’ with team members Jill & Graeme Udy (NZ – North Shore GC) along with Chris & Paul Mackenzie (NZ – Matamata, GC) were placed second on 866 points.
Tied equal third were the teams known as ‘4-Play’ and ‘Steel Foxes’, with 858 points. 4-Play team members Marie and Bill Platt from New Zealand’s Manor Park were in the winning team in 2013, but were back with their long-term teammates, Judy & Ross Morten. The Morten’s (members of NZ’s Manor Park & Boulcott Farm GC, respectively) who had been playing for some years in the tournament were unable to make the event last year.
Team ‘Steel Foxes’ also had a new look, with Sid & Ollie Thornton from NZ’s Waiuku GC, and playing in their first Villa Challenge, partnered up with previous competitors, Ike and Barbara Ashworth who are members of Thames GC in New Zealand. They were tied in 3rd place with Team ‘4 Play’.
Johnny & Di Crook (Australia’s Bayview GC, along with Simon Cox (NZ’s, Mangawhai GC) previous winners, partnered with Tiri Naylor from the Denarau Golf & Racquet Club, came in 5th place with 856 points. They competed under the team name of ‘Bent Anzacs’ with their traditional 4th player, Sue Cox taking a managerial role, out of action with a shoulder injury.
Derek Larsen from Mount Maunganui, (NZ) scored the perfect shot during the week with a hole in one on the par 3, 17th. Club of choice was a 7 iron – it was Larsen’s first hole in one.
The best round on any one-day was scored by tournament regulars, Team ‘4 Uro’ with 233 points on day 3. The team players are all members of NZ’s Pupuke GC and include Karen Cater, Karen Purdy, Linda Millsteed and Susan Binks.
The Villa Challenge first started by John & Wendy Cooper of previous tour company ISTAS, has been managed for some years now by PaR nz Golfing Holidays, who are based out of Auckland. The scoring system has remained unchanged over the history of the tournament where players score against par and then add their handicap to get their score of the day. Good rounds are rewarded with handicap reductions daily, and poor rounds are assisted with extra handicap points for the next days play. The name changed two years ago to the Sheraton Fiji Villa Teams Challenge.
Local teams were placed down the field with Team ‘Fijian Floozies’, Sulu Brook, Linda Callaghan and Edwina Paterson, all DGRC members along with Suva’s Sereima Bale, finishing with 828 points in 8thplace. With total points of 819 and playing under the team name of ‘Strugglers Cove’, Laura Cunning, Trevor Fox, Marc Hinton and Joy Leslie finished in 15th place.
PaR nz Golfing Holidays have announced the dates for the 2015 Sheraton Fiji Villa Teams Challenge as the 9th to 14th August 2015, which will follow their popular women’s tournament, The Sheraton Fiji Denarau Women’s Golf Classic scheduled to be played the week earlier.
Final Results (all NZ based players unless noted)
1st: 875 – TOP OF THE SOUTH: Peter & Shona Johnson, Mike Inwood, Tania Appleman
2nd: 866 – SHORE MATA’S: Chris & Paul Mackenzie, Jill & Graeme Udy
3rd: 858 – STEEL FOXES: Ike & Barbara Ashworth, Sid & Ollie Thornton; 4 PLAY: Marie & Bill Platt, Judy & Ross Morten
5th: 856 – BENT ANZACS: Simon Cox, Di & Johnny Crook (AUS), Tiri Naylor (FJ)
6th: 837 – BOPPERS: Julie & Grant Whittaker, Eric McPherson and Phillipa McKnight
7th: 831 – COXLESS FOUR: Jad Suttor, Elaine Swanney, Pam Prenter, Wendy Parkes
8th: 828 – FIJIAN FLOOZIES: Sulu Brook (FJ), Edwina Petersen (FJ), Linda Callaghan (FJ), Sereima Bale (FJ); 4 URO: Karen Cater, Karen Purdy, Linda Millsteed, Susan Binks
10th: 827 – SENIOR CIRCUS: Jim & Sue Senior, Bill & Raewyn Roan
11th: 826 – GREY WACKIES: Sue & Richard Gibbs, Warwick & Jennifer Wakeham
12th: 825 – WINDY JAFFAS: Warwick Copeland, David Hartstone, Carole & Phil Butland; 3 PENSIONERS & 1 FILLY: Derek & Jane Larsen, Peter & Jill Northcott
14th: 821 – BULA VA: Ken & Elaine Magill, Pearce & Marilyn Bresnehan
15th: 819 – STRUGGLERS COVE: Laura Cunning (FJ), Marc Hinton (FJ), Trevor Fox (FJ), Joy Leslie (FJ)
16th: 816 – HAPPY HACKERS: Jenny Cartwright, Shaun Iles, Trish & Russ Lategan
17th: 813 – 4 SHADES OF GREY: Linzi Bull, Chris Ellett, Sally Chambers, Mary Haggas