Off the stick at champions
Johnston, McInally take lead
GOLF: The Monto Golf Club Closed Championship is in full swing after the first 18 holes played on Sunday.
Boyd Johnston and Brett McInally led the A-grade at the end of the first day, returning a gross score of two over par 72.
Mathew Dahtler is leading B-grade with a five-stroke lead on a score of 86, while Warren Drahm returned 89 to lead the C-grade by four.
It’s the 45-hole championship stroke, the biggest comp of the year exclusively for members.
The games are running “off the stick”, meaning handicaps aren’t taken off the stroke.
Club treasurer Shane Taylor said this means a champion could come from any of the three handicap grades.
“The C-grades are still in with a shot if they have a really good three days,” Taylor said.
Helen and Leslie Irvine share the ladies’ lead as the only two women playing with 89.
As there were only two, the ladies were playing in amongst the men for the game.
For Helen, it was her first championship as captain since taking over from Glenn Evans a couple of months ago.
“I’ve only been chucked in the deep end,” Helen said.
“We used to play it 27 holes, but we’ve bumped it up to 45.”
It was a significant championship for a few people besides Helen.
For club secretary Wal Wilkes, it will be his last before moving to Rockhampton.
Johnston also won the Monto Rural Traders sponsored game running concurrently with the first round, with a nett score of 66.
The competition will continue into next weekend with games finishing on Sunday, and trophies at the end of the year.
FIRST SALVO: An early favourite, Boyd Johnston took the lead in the first day of the championship. PHOTOS: JACK LAWRIE
This will be Helen Irvine's first championship as captain since taking over from the previous captain.
Wal Wilkes hopes to end his last championship on a high note.
Shane Taylor gets in practice before hit-off.
Long drive down the far end from Steve McGregor.
Monto Golf Club members relaxing before the start.