A strong field of the region's best players, including reigning champion James Zappelli, will line up on Sunday to do battle for Goulburn Valley District Golf Association's Open Championship.By Matthew Galea
Rich River Golf Club will host this year’s Goulburn Valley District Golf Association’s Open Championship on Sunday, where 35 of the region’s best male golfers are expected to compete.
The course has taken a lot of rain during the past week, but association president Peter Fraser expects the course to be in good condition for the 36-hole event.
‘‘I haven’t been up there for a couple of weeks, but Rich River is always presented very well,’’ Fraser said.
‘‘All the top-line players will be there, so it will probably just be a matter of who can play their best on the day.’’
Reigning champion James Zappelli will look to defend his crown, but will face tough competition from Cobram-Barooga pennant winning teammates Terry Vogel and Chris Tomlinson.
Kyabram Parkland’s Matt Jean, Shepparton’s Kyle Michel and Mooroopna’s Ben McGibbon are also being backed for strong showings by Fraser.
The championship also has a sub-junior under-15 category, as well as B-grade scratch and handicap events.
There will also be an A-grade handicap event.
The event will also act as the final stage for the region’s golfers to impress Country Week selectors.
‘‘Matt Jean is managing that team and is one of the selectors,’’ Fraser said.
‘‘The team will be announced after the event.’’
The association has traditionally performed well at Country Week and has won three of the past six Country Week shields.
Nine players will be selected, while a party of 20 will travel to Keysborough for the event, which is played during three days, starting October 2.
‘‘We’ll take down about six juniors in that party of 20 to blood them through,’’ Fraser said.
‘‘We’ll play 36 holes at Victoria Golf Club on the Wednesday, another 36 at Keysborough Golf Club on Thursday and another 18 holes at Long Island Golf Club on the Friday.
‘‘Peninsula, Ballarat and Geelong are the strongest teams, traditionally.’’
West Gippsland and North Eastern are the other teams that will compete with Goulburn Valley in division one.
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