Horror start brushed off
Dowling recovers from nightmare shot at first tee
BLAKE Dowling went through every golfer’s nightmare on the way to his maiden Isis Golf Club Championship (A-grade).
With a comfortable lead, Dowling stood on the first tee to line up his shot. The 60-year-old hoop pines guided Dowling along the 176m path to the green but his shot went wide, very wide, and the pressure was now on.
Dowling said the first shot had him in trouble, but he recovered well enough to beat his older brother, Damien, and father, Clinton, to win his first title at his home club.
“I was quite a few shots in front and the first hole was nerve-racking,” Dowling said.
“I hit it out of bounds on the first, and shot seven on the par three.
“The rest of the round I got one bogey and four birdies.”
Dowling’s recovery was impressive enough to win by 13 shots in a dominant performance.
Saturday’s round was made harder by strong wind and drizzling rain greeting the players. On Sunday the sky cleared and the wind died down to make it much more pleasant for the field.
He said there were now plans for more club titles, and thanks to his good showmanship, Dowling added, he didn’t rub it in too much at home.
“It was excellent winning my first club championship and hopefully there are more to come,” Dowling said.
“There wasn’t too much bragging – well, maybe a little bit towards my brother and dad.”
The winners in the other grades in the Isis Golf Club Championships were: Mark McAulay, men’s C-grade; Michael Stanton, men’s B-grade winner; Helen Ricciardi, women’s A-grade winner; Cecily Fay, women’s B-grade.
CLUB CHAMPIONS: (From left) Mark McAulay, Michael Stanton, Blake Dowling, Helen Ricciardi and Cecily Fay.